By Mark Kenyon

I got home from Ohio last night at 3:00 AM, after hunting the first two nights of the season down there, and here’s what happened.

Heading in to the weekend, I had relatively low expectations. Temperatures were going to be high, mid-80’s, and there didn’t seem to be much else that might encourage increased daylight activity. That said, I still wanted to head down there with hopes of at least gaining a little intel.

The game plan was for my hunting buddy and I to hunt just the evenings and hunt only low-impact stand sites that would offer easy access and good observation opportunities. In the map below you can see my access route in red, and the two stand sites I hunted – the blue dot was night #1, the yellow dot was night #2. The two white dot are where my friend hunted. We had NEish winds, and you can see in the map how my long round-about access route and our stand sites were all set-up to ensure we didn’t have our wind blow into the core bedding cover areas of this property.

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Over the course of the two hot nights we saw basically what we expected – a handful of does on both nights towards last light. With it being opening weekend, I had a sliver of hope we might get eyes on a good one – but it wasn’t mean to be. None-the-less, we were also excited for this trip because of the opportunity to check cameras. And the results there, again, were kind of mediocre – but not too different than what we expected either. The cameras on this property historically go kind of dead from mid-August to late October, and it seems that’s what we’re going to see again this year. None of the mature bucks from this summer were on camera over the past month, but we did get two nice new bucks show up in mid-September, so that was a silver lining.

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So with our quick intel trip in the books and cameras relocated to quality October/November spots, the waiting game begins. We set up a new wireless trail camera in one of our top spots – so if we start getting a mature buck moving in daylight, we might head down for a quick hunt. Otherwise we’ll be waiting til late October, at the earliest, for our next return. As long as we keep pressure on this farm low, I’m confident that if we put our time in during the rut, we’ll get an opportunity.

From here my focus turns to Michigan, with our opening night in just five days. But more on that in a future post…