We are in camp with the guys from The Rival TV. It’s early September and we are hunting the opener for the whitetail season in Kentucky. Locke and Collin, along with the other guys in camp, are hoping the deer are still in velvet and the summer patterns hold long enough for the hunt. Is luck on their side? We’ll go through all the details of our first hunt for Deer Season 2023-2024.
HUNTING VELVET WHITETAIL
Throughout the summer, the trail cams had shown quite a few mature bucks and helped establish some reliable summer feeding patterns. However, the challenge is in the timing – as the bucks begin to shed their velvet, their habits and patterns will shift.
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For the first hunt, Locke and Collin are setup with the Ohio river to their back, standing beans out front, and a favorable wind. Knowing the deer would likely be bedded very close, they were cautiously optimistic that it might be the right set to get a mature buck in front of them before daylight faded.
The first deer to show was a young spike, still in full velvet, watching him feed they felt confident a bachelor group of bucks were likely bedded nearby. It’s a waiting game to see whether a mature buck follows this spike out to feed in shooting light, and will he still be holding his velvet?
THE MOMENT OF TRUTH
After some time watching the spike buck feed out front, a mature 8 point began making his way through the timber and towards the edge of the field, following a similar path as the spike that had shown earlier. He wasn’t a giant trophy whitetail, but a nice mature buck in full velvet, and they were only one hour and 15 minutes into the first hunt of the season.
With everything lining up for a successful first hunt and Locke’s first full velvet buck, a decision was made. As the buck made his way from the timber and into he edge of the field, they took the first opportunity to make an ethical shot and watched the buck fall 60 yards away in the standing beans.
This Kentucky velvet whitetail deer hunt was a fantastic start to the season and full of more than just a hunt. Sharing camp with Blair Goins, Bart Goins, and Joe Shults from The Rival TV, along with Nashville recording artist Adam Sanders, was a great time. Having the good fortune of having one of the shooters bucks from camera show up on the first night, still in full velvet, sets a great tone for rest of the season.
This hunt was full of first, and it’s a reminder than in the middle of the inevitable grind of future hunts, every hunt can bring something different, and the feeling of success is always well earned.