The Texas bow season began on Saturday, along with rifle season for ranches with MLDP level 3 permits, and some good bucks hit the ground judging by message boards and what we are hearing here in the LSON office.
The Hill Country and parts of north and central Texas seemed the best bets for opening-weekend success, and scouting played a big part in downing a buck.
Reports from hunters in South Texas, where lots of rain fell in some places, including more than three inches in Dimmit County, were not great. It was hot, muggy and bucks were not hitting feeders thanks to plenty of green forbs due to recent moisture.
The deer that did move waited until later in the morning, according to hunters.
One hunter who did have a great opening weekend was Gabe Mitchell, who owns the popular hunting app HuntingScout.
Mitchell was hunting in Austin County near Sealy when a buck he had seen several weeks before the season made an appearance. But Mitchell had seen a pattern that he used to harvest the big buck, and early-season hunters should take note.
“I was hunting the San Bernard riverbottom,” Mitchell said. “I’ve noticed something the past few years — when teal season turns on, the big bucks that had been coming to the feeder like to stay back in the thickets. I think the shooting drives those bucks away from the feeders.”
Mitchell set his stand on a trail downwind from his feeder where he didn’t even have a shot at the feeder.
“I put my tree blind in the thick stuff away from the feeder,” he said. “I’ve seen the bucks check the does at the feeder from the thick stuff. I was hoping this buck would do that and that is exactly what happened.”
After a perfect, 22-yard double-lung shot, the buck ran 40 yards and piled up.
“I rough scored the buck around 155 inches,” he said. “It’s a great deer.”
Many other great bucks hit the dirt during the first few days of the season. Read about the beginning of deer season in the next issue of LSON, out Friday, Oct. 10.