154 Without question, hunting the early season can be extremely tough in most states across the country. Usually, you’re dealing with biting insects, hot temperatures and serious scent issues due to those sweaty walks to the stand. In addition, most of the big buck activity takes place under the cover of darkness when things start to cool down. However, the early season still has some major advantages for hunters who are willing to fight the heat and tough things out. The fact that bucks are generally still traveling together in bachelor groups and are sticking to a predictable feeding to bedding pattern should get you motivated. Throw in a limited amount of outside hunting pressure and you’re looking at the perfect opportunity to lay the smackdown on an early-season bruiser!

Check out this awesome, high-racked velvet buck that Michael Waddell connected with a few days ago in Wyoming. I can’t think of any better way to start the season than hammering a tall-tined velvet trophy with a bow long before the November rut. Right now, I am working hard to get my little boy a shot at his first whitetail with a bow. Seeing Waddell’s pictures makes me want to take a sick day with my son and hit the woods wide open. Thanks Michael for the email and congratulations on a phenomenal early-season velvet buck.—Travis Faulkner