The archery season for deer opens on Oct. 12 and runs through Nov. 21. Early in the season, hunters have the best luck sitting in tree stands close to sources of food. Besides acorns, deer are also attracted to farm fields, cranberry bogs and apple orchards.

Acorns are beginning to drop from the trees like rain, providing a valuable mast crop for wildlife.


The acorns are big this year and in areas where there is a good stand of oaks, deer are taking advantage of the fresh food supply.


The archery season for deer opens on Oct. 12 and runs through Nov. 21. Early in the season, hunters have the best luck sitting in tree stands close to sources of food. Besides acorns, deer are also attracted to farm fields, cranberry bogs and apple orchards.


Later in the season, when the rut kicks in, areas with scrapes and rubs are good places to concentrate on, especially if you are looking for a trophy-sized buck. I have not done a lot of scouting yet, but will start looking for good hunting areas this week.


So far, the best sign I’ve seen has been in the oaks where there is an ample supply of acorns. Last year,there was also a good mast crop, although the acorns seem a lot bigger this year.


Besides tracks and droppings where the deer have been feeding, I’m not seeing much sign of other activity.


Last year in October, the bucks went through a short pre-rut period early in the season. In the spots where there were acorns, there were numerous fresh scrapes and rubs.


That may happen again this year in the next couple of weeks. Often, a full moon and cool weather will kick off rutting activity. The moon is full tonight so it will be interesting to see if the bucks start making scrapes this week.


I’m not an avid bow hunter, but I also enjoy waterfowling and upland bird hunting with the dogs and the seasons are all open at the same time. I buy an archery stamp each year so I can walk the woods with a bow in hand while I’m out scouting for deer.


If I find a good sign, I’ll sit in a tree stand a few times during the archery season. Tree stands are a peaceful method of hunting and I like sitting quietly in the woods, with hopes of seeing a deer, while enjoying the colorful month of October.


Surplus antlerless permits:


The state reminds hunters that antlerless deer permit sales will begin today for permits remaining in Wildlife Management Zones 10, 11, 13, and 14. Surplus permits are not available for any other Wildlife Management Zones this year.


Hunters will be allowed to purchase one permit per zone per day. The cost is $5 per permit in cash or check. Credit cards cannot be processed at agency offices.


To purchase a permit, hunters must present their original hunting or sporting license. Carbon copies or photocopies of licenses will not be accepted. A person may bring the original license(s) of another hunter and purchase permits for him or her.


Hunters who purchased their hunting or sporting license online may purchase only one antlerless deer permit per zone online at www.mass.gov/massoutdoors. All subsequent permit purchases by online license holders must be made at a MassWildlife District office or Field Headquarters.


Permits will be sold in MassWildlife’s Westborough, Acton, West Boylston, Dalton, and Belchertown offices. Southeast District permit sales during the first week (October 5-9, 2009) will be at the Myles Standish State Forest Interpretive Center. After that beginning on Oct. 13 sales will move to the MassWildlife Bourne office.


Once the quota is reached in a particular WMZ, permit sales for that zone will end. MassWildlife encourages anyone who has not yet done so to return their permit notification or reapplication card as soon as possible. Re-applicant postcards will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.


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