Hunting a super early archery season like North Dakota’s requires lots of patience, not only in the field but when you’re in camp. You see, most outfitters like Chris Jorde (www.heartjoutfitters.com) realize that you only get a very small window in which to get the drop on a big, mature buck. For that reason and many more, he decides only to have his hunters go afield for afternoon blind and tree stand vigils. Despite having access to more than 2,500 acres of prime ground, Jorde believes in the low-impact approach that only afternoon hunting can provide.
by Daniel E. Schmidt
A conversation with Jorde almost immediately reveals that this is one guy who knows what he’s talking about when it comes to not only the early season, but hunting big bucks during the early season.
“If you try running guys out there for morning hunts … you wind up educating the deer in a hurry,” Jorde admits. “In fact, you can ruin it in one day.”
With that advice in mind, we decided to delay for a day our pursuit of a big 9-pointer Jorde had been following all summer. That buck had been showing up regularly near a finger of birch trees that paralleled several crop fields and a large grassy bedding area. The big buck, as evidenced by this trail-cam photo, was a fully mature deer that could easily score 150 inches, Boone and Crockett.
“There’s only one problem,” Jorde admitted. “He just peeled his velvet three days ago. I haven’t seen him since.”
Not a good sign, we knew, because big bucks like that often make the transitional shift within days of peeling their velvet.
Field producer Les Moore and I headed for the ground blind at 4:30 p.m. with high hopes. Minutes turned to hours and no deer came close. We did see some activity in the distance, and we both noted how those deer were heading for still-green soybean tops. Considering that Jorde reported all previous activity in his alfalfa fields, we almost immediately knew the transitional shift was on.
Want to hunt big bucks in North Dakota? Check out: Heart J Outfitters.
This is Part 3 of a 5-part series that will run this week here at www.deeranddeerhunting.com.
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