By Mark Kenyon

Well, another weekend is in the books and Holyfield is still alive.

With the cold front last weekend, I had high hopes that I might be able to catch him slipping up and showing in daylight, but it didn’t happen. I hunted in his core area again on Saturday evening and then hung a new observation stand about 150 yards away for Sunday, but no luck either night. With that being the case, I decided to pull out of my main MI farm and let it rest until later this month. No use pressuring these deer and further educating Holyfield if he’s already shifted to a slightly less daylight active pattern.

That said, this past Tuesday night, I did finally get some good news. For the first time since the archery season opened, I saw Holyfield. I was watching the area from the road and at last light he emerged from his front bedding area and walked along the outside edge of my food plot screen until a doe caught his attention in the adjacent tall grass. He then proceeded to bump her around in the cover and then eventually disappeared in the fading light. He’s a smart old guy, and if he’s been traveling just outside of the food plot, using the egyptian wheat/sorghum as cover, he might have passing right by me each time I hunted, without me ever knowing.

None the less, it’s a relief to know that he’s alive and still in the area, but I’m sticking to my original plan. Until I see some indisputable evidence of daylight activity in a spot I can kill him OR we get a good cold front in late October, I’m laying off. In the meantime, I reset all my trail cameras on the property with fresh batteries and scent in the mock scrapes and I added a fourth camera in a new location. And speaking of, I used my ATV to get to all of these camera locations and timed it so that my driving around coincided with the farmer harvesting the neighboring crop fields, and with rain in the forecast to wash away any leftover odors.

And that’s just about it. We have another great cold front pushing through the area today actually, and so I’m heading to one of the other properties I’m hunting in Michigan for tonight and tomorrow. Hopefully we can learn a thing or two over there, and maybe even get lucky. Conditions certainly will be conducive for it.

Best of luck to any of you heading out too!