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The buck shows promise, already outside his ears in early August means I'll be looking for him in mid September! The buck shows promise, already outside his ears in early August means I’ll be looking for him in mid September!The North Carolina Bow Season opener is just 5 weeks away!

Unbelievable, how the summer flies by, what are you doing to get ready for the upcoming season? Here is a list of the top 5 things we think will help you have success in the field this fall.

  1. Set Up Trail Cameras – Trail cameras should be out getting a good inventory of those up and coming velvet monsters. Mossy Oak’s Bio-Rock is the perfect tool to get them coming to the show. I put out three cameras in an area I’m interested in, and try to catch them going or coming to food sources or water. If I don’t see what I want I move to another spot. It doesn’t make sense to sit in a stand where there is no activity, find where they are moving to and from and set up to ambush.
  2. Scout – Early season scouting is essential, but be careful not to go in too deep, you don’t want to bump that big boy before he gets his game on. Many practitioners of QDMA will tell you to stay on your property’s perimeter early on as not to apply undue pressure. I like finding the watering holes, it’s still hot in September and the deer are going to be moving to water. The brush and understory are thick too so be sure to spray everything down with scent eliminator before venturing into the bush.
  3. Practice, Practice, Practice! – Oh yeah, and one more thing, Practice! Backyard bow sessions should continue till making that 30 yard shot is routine. I like setting a tree stand up in my back yard and shooting at 20, 30 and 40 yard distances from an elevated position. In the early season unless you are on a green field you aren’t going to be making any shot that requires a ballistic calculator anyway. Train to get in close and put em down.
  4. Food Plots – Late summer and early fall is the time to get those food sources in the ground, do you have a plan? Check out Mossy Oak’s Biologic’s planting guide ( it can tell you the best recommendations for your region of the country, the time of year you will be planting, and whether you choose and Annual or Perennial blend. Its always a good idea to look at your weather forecast, if you can time it right, you can get your seed in the ground before an upcoming rain event!
  5. Plan to Play the Wind – Set your treestands up for the early season prevailing winds. Here in eastern NC early season winds usually come out of the southwest and southeast, I try to keep that in mind when I’m setting my bow stand location. Think about your approach as well, cut yourself a path to the stand that plays the wind, I also like getting all those little snappy twigs and branches out of the way, silence is deadly. Like any worthwhile endeavor, thoughtful preparation is key to success, get out and get ready!

Most importantly, take the time to bring a kid in the field with you this summer and teach him or her the practice of good woodsmanship, they’ll love you for it.