Michael talks about his recent mule deer hunt in Northwest Nebraska that ended up showing the diversity of wild game in the area and also helped him secure a surprise harvest. The Northwest Nebraska area is challenging to hunt, Michael says, because of its vast open landscape. Glassing, hiking hills, spotting and stalking, he says the hunt was challenging as there were a lot of nooks and crannies for the mule deer to duck and cover in. In addition, whitetail deer occupying alfalfa fields and creek beds kept the mule deer pushed up in the hills in more isolated areas making the hunting that much more difficult. In the end, he didn't get the mule deer he was in search of, however Michael says he was able to shoot a great whitetail instead. Plus, he was able to see the diversity of animals the area has to offer based on encounters with turkey, antelope, deer, elk, and even bighorn sheep.
Moving into October deer hunting action, Michael says now is a great time to utilize both real/active scrapes and mock scrapes to stir up some action in the whitetail woods. In Missouri on his main hunting property, Michael notes that the land falls in a CWD county so minerals, baits and attractants are prohibited. In order to get trail camera photos to take an inventory of what is available on the property, the Heartland Bowhunter team moves many of their cameras to areas with real or mock scrapes. The added benefit of a move like this is that scrapes are most often frequented by bucks instead of does so hunters won't have to spend as much time going through countless photos of does in order to find their potential shooter bucks. The way to create an effective scrape is not science and it doesn't have to be elaborate. Scrapes can be as simple as digging a small hole and burying a tree somewhere within shooting distance from your stand or using one of the many products in stores to help you create an appealing mock scrape. As we move later into the fall where there is more rutting action, Michael says decoys can be a great weapon to add to your arsenal. In fact, using decoys is one of his favorite tactics for targeting whitetails. While the bucks may be in loose bachelor groups still, things are starting to heat up and you'll begin to see dominant behavior displayed by older bucks creating a perfect situation to challenge mature bucks. It's not foolproof, and doesn't work every time, Michael says, but if you use it in the right situation and catch a buck in the right mood it can be really fun to watch the bucks as they come right in and get worked up over the decoy you have set.
Finally, Michael will wrap it all up with a look at season 13 of "Heartland Bowhunter" on Outdoor Channel, Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. ET and all of the hunts viewers can look forward to. Plus, he'll talk about his passion for archery hunting and how bowhunting and generous seasons have allowed him to introduce his kids to the outdoor lifestyle at an early age through crossbow hunting.
Be sure to catch Michael Hunsucker on "Heartland Bowhunter" on Outdoor Channel, Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. ET. Or you can head over to MyOutdoorTV.com and sign up for a subscription so you can watch previous seasons and episodes of "Heartland Bowhunter" on demand 24/7/365.