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The Pros and Cons of Early Season Whitetail Bowhunting

The Pros and Cons of Early Season Whitetail Bowhunting
September 7, 2022

Eric Clark | Okayest Hunter

It's said that early bowhunting season is easy if you've done your scouting and homework. There are far fewer hunters to compete with, and deer have not yet been exposed to real hunting pressure. There are still challenges, though. The heat and mosquitos alone prevent several deer hunters from entering the woods to bow hunt.

Some bowhunters swear by early season bowhunting, while others dread it. Some argue the earlier in the season you hunt, the better your chances are of harvesting a mature buck. If you're an Okayest Hunter, odds are you're handing in your homework assignment late and you don't have any meaningful or current intel to point you in the right direction.

If you're considering early-season bowhunting, there are a few things you should take into consideration. First, all that new camo and flannel you just bought will be great if you're looking to soak in pure sweat. Otherwise, what you remember from last season probably had a nice chill in the air. That's not early season in most cases. If you're new to hunting, you may want to wait until later in the season when weather conditions are more closely aligned with all those beautiful fall photos you see on hunting magazines and GoWild posts. I say that because I had a buddy that got turned off to bowhunting altogether because he almost got carried away by mosquitos and looked like he fell in a river from all the sweat seeping through his pores.

Moreover, it might also be fun for a new hunter to experience the thrill of the rut rather than the rays of the sun combined with mosquitos buzzing in your ears. Second, what is your physical condition? Early season bowhunting can be physically demanding, so make sure you're up for the challenge. Early season bowhunting is best if you've done your spring scouting. Patterning deer is critical this time of year. Because food is still abundant, you won't have as much luck hunting destination food sources. Remember, most everything is still green and editable.

On hot days, consider hunting near water or shade. Like us, deer need to stay hydrated, and shade is far more comfortable on a hot day. In one of their videos, The Hunting Public had a clip about how deer moved with the shade.

Foliage can make things more challenging too. Your shooting lanes might be smaller. This can be an advantage and disadvantage as you're less likely to be picked off, but your field of vision isn't as far either.

Pros of early season bow hunting:

  • Less hunting competition

  • Deer have not been pressured

  • If you've done your homework, you can pattern a deer

  • High chance of potential success

Cons of hunting in the early season:

  • It's too damn hot 🥵

  • It's green everywhere still, and deer have food all over

  • Mosquitos 🦟

  • Visibility is low with summer foliage

All in all, bowhunting the early season has its pros and cons. It's ultimately up to you to decide what is best. Do your research and be comfortable with what you choose! Remember, ya can't kill 'em from the couch. Happy bow hunting season, everyone!


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