September Bow Hunting Tactics

While many hunters are still on hold waiting for early archery seasons to come in for their state, some hunters are reaping the reward of September bow hunting. Normally when you hear September and bow hunting in the same sentence, you also hear preparation or a specific state like Kentucky. While this is usually the case, many hunters enjoy slightly earlier seasons than October 1st in some state’s normal season opening date, or in the special case of urban zones. Many states like Arkansas host urban hunts in an effort to reduce deer numbers in urban zones. Fortunately for bow hunters, the urban hunt takes place sometimes a month before the regular season opens. This gives hunters a chance to partake in September bow hunting, and a chance at a buck in velvet!

StruttinBuck “Velvet Whitetail” | September Bow Hunting
(Video) –  Giant urban whitetail hunting in Arkansas with SB’s Daniel Davis and Brandon Hunt behind the camera!


September Bow Hunting

September bow hunting is available to hunters with opportunities in “Urban zones” with states hosting them. For the StruttinBuck crew, the Arkansas Reduction hunt in the urban zone proved to give them an opportunity with a once in a lifetime buck, especially with the buck still in velvet!

It’s easy to find out if, where, and when your state’s archery season opens, or whether or not they host urban hunts. Simply look at the season guide or recreational guide to your state or go to their website. Urban bow hunting or a states early archery season like Kentucky, gives a hunter a unique chance to not only harvest a buck still in velvet but still in a summer pattern in early September. Deer are not the most vulnerable during the rut, but when they are the most easily patterned. With the right September bow hunting strategies and tactics in place, a velvet buck can easily be brought down.

September Bow Hunting Strategies and Tactics

There is a multitude of tactics that can be used when bow hunting in the early season…but it all revolves around summer patterns. September bow hunting gives the hunter a brief (1-3 week depending on the state,start date, and area) window to catch bucks still on their summer pattern.

Food Sources

Everything about a buck’s summer range revolves around food…more so food, cover, and security,  but together comprising the buck’s small core area during the summer months, and the first part of September. The food source usually in the form of an AG field or large enough food plot with high protein like soybeans, alfalfa, or clover, is visited every single night during this time. Like clockwork, a buck will work out of his very secure and secluded bedding area, through dense cover and staging areas, and right at or after dark work his way out into the feeding area.

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This pattern and route that the buck takes every day is very easy to pick up on with some simple summer scouting with a pair of binoculars or with the help of some trail cameras. For the StruttinBuck crew, it was months worth of trail camera intel all pointing to a velvet monster still on his summer pattern come September 1st.

Water holes

september bow hunting | G5 PrimeIf August and September go without significant rainfall, September bow hunting opportunities could very well come from water sources. Water holes for deer, manmade or not, offer great ambush spots for early season bow hunting. Spring and early summer contained plants filled with water, so much so that bucks did not have to actively seek water during those months. However,  late summer and periods of drought can change this drastically. Late summer, August- September, can force bucks to seek out water sources, adding yet another easily patterned opportunity to the list of September bow hunting tactics.

Transition Areas

The problem with the two above bow hunting strategies is that they might not be opportunities at all. Food sources might not lure the buck out until well after dark, bedding areas are untouchable, and water sources or water holes might not always exist or be “huntable”. In this scenario, a hunters only option is to catch the buck in the transition area. This is the funnel, the staging area, the small kill plot, the logging road, or the run the buck will work through before going to the water source or food source from his bedding area.

Just like the video above, these transition areas ( a pine thicket in the video)  can catch bucks working through before legal shooting time ends. If the food source and water source are not available to hunt, figure out where a tree stand can be placed in order to ambush a buck in a transition area.

If you find yourself with an opportunity to partake in September bow hunting, be sure to look out for these early season bow hunting strategies and tactics. If you are able to pick up on a velvet buck’s summer home range and pattern, then you just might be able to send a Havoc his way.

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