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September Bucks: Early Season Tactics to Harvest a Mature Whitetail

States with openers this month offer the chance at one of deer hunting's greatest trophies—a velvet-racked buck.

September Bucks: Early Season Tactics to Harvest a Mature Whitetail

The author's father shot this buck on opening day in Maryland after months of scouting and patterning. Among deer hunters, October and November get all the love, but the early season can offer your best shot at a mature buck, if you play your cards right. (Photo by Dustin Prievo)

My dad had made the six-hour drive from New York to hunt with me over opening weekend of Maryland's deer season, which falls in the first half of September, and I was dying to put him on a mature velvet buck.

"If you don't sit there, I'm going to," I told him, offering up my favorite stand. Between trail-camera recon and countless summer hours behind the binos, I had spent a great deal of time scouting, patterning and preparing for the whitetail season and felt I had the deer pretty well dialed in.

Sure enough, like clockwork on the evening of opening...

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