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2018 Michigan Archery Season - The Best Laid Plans.......

January 2018, new year, new season, high expectations! I had just come off my best year ever with bow hunting being able to harvest 2 mature bucks on state land. The previous few years I had made tweaks to my tactics and I felt that with the results of 2018, I finally had this deer hunting thing figured out!

As summer was coming to an end my “Go To” spot #1A and B were producing mature bucks on camera at an early and regular rate that I hadn’t seen in previous years. Typically they would show up more into the season as the outside pressure drove the mature deer deeper into cover.

Note the body sizes. While the buck on the right has a very cool rack, he's obviously considerably younger than the other two. Shows well as all 3 deer are standing in the exact same spot.

Spot #2, the piece of property that I scouted and hunted for the first time the previous year and actually harvested the 2 bucks off was not providing a whole lot of promise on camera, but I wasn’t too concerned about that because honestly, the previous year showed a lot of buck activity but not really anything too mature. And those final results were good since this was the area I harvested both of my bucks the year before. I felt that this location once again would produce once the outer pressure kicked in.

Enter the 2018 archery season with high expectations! And fast forward through October to massive disappointment.

Spot #1A suddenly dried up as of the end of August. The mature deer were no longer parading in front of my camera like they had done all summer. It wasn’t too hard to figure out what happened here as in September I ran into another hunter setting up further in than I had seen anyone before. Initially I wasn’t too concerned and felt this would make my spot deeper

in even better. But it didn’t take too long to figure out that the two individuals hunting this

area were hunting it heavy and often. There is no doubt in my mind that the increased pressure along with the baiting that they were doing were changing the range/habits of these

smart, mature deer. This was confirmed further later in the season as finally late October I got pictures of my #1 and #2 hit list bucks on camera on the other side of the property at Spot #1B.