August Almanac

#TheHuntingPages August Deer Hunters Almanac! Antlers are at Maximum growth and mature buck visibility is the highest it will be all season! Brought to you by Big & J

Posted by Hunting on Monday, August 7, 2017


The fawns are raised, momma and the kids are on the feed and the bucks are showing plenty of “horn” (technically antlers), it’s time to find this year’s buck and start planning the hunt. The plots are out of the ground and the acorns are showing. The shadows lengthen and the mornings cool, our thoughts turn to hunting. It’s time to stash those golf clubs and fishing poles and spend some time flinging arrows and sighting in your deer rifle, fall is coming shortly.


Deer in August

  • As far as antlers go, what you see is what you get, August antlers are fully developed in most areas.
  • Antlers will calcify through the month of August and the velvet will peel in late August to early September, hard horns are ahead. 
  • The bucks are still in their bachelor groups and their thoughts are still on getting fat and staying happy, (that means avoiding momma and the kids).
  • Speaking of the kids, they are plenty big to outrun a coyote but not big enough to stay off the highways and other places trouble lurks.
  • The does and fawns are feeding together and everybody is packing on the pounds munching down their favorite summer foods, summer foods may not be fall food.
  • Late summer is EHD time, keep your eyes peeled around water sources for breakouts of this deadly disease, report immediately if you suspect EHD is rearing its ugly head.
  • It’s time to inventory your bucks and count your fawns and does. You’ll be chasing Mr. Big and shooting does before you know it.

Woods Work

  • Fall food plots need to be in the ground by month’s end, look up your first frost date and figure no growth after that, frost means freeze.
  • Some forages (like alfalfa) go dormant with the first freeze, others will stay strong like winter wheat and turnips
  • August is a good month to take stock of what is growing, hard mast and soft will be on the ground in a month or two, map your food sources now.
  • If the planting season got away from you again, make a plan, and work it next season, if necessary
  • This is a good month to eliminate weeds and invasive grassed out of food plots by mowing (before they go to seed) or using herbicides.
  • Fall is not a bad time to plant apples, chestnuts and other trees and shrubs that deer use for food and cover.



  • This is the last month to set your stands for the season, you should have cut your brush and shooting lanes months ago.
  • If you haven’t had your bow out of the garage since last season, it’s time to dust her off and get at it, ten practice shots per session isn’t too many.
  • Your guns will need some checking and/or sighting in, don’t wait to two days before the season or worse.
  • Cameras should be up and spying by month’s end, don’t overcheck your cameras and put every buck on alert in before the season begins.
  • This is the month to check straps and fasteners to make sure you will make it through the season…alive.
  • Unobtrusive scouting will allow you to see what deer are hanging out around the property you are hunting, don’t pressure them or they will be on the neighbor’s by fall.
  • Deer are now on summer foods, they will probably be on different foods by fall so don’t commit to a spot or stand just yet.
  • If you are planning on having some new deer gear for this season, buy it now and get used to it by fall.

“Digging in”  notes from our sponsor Big & J Attractants:

During August, forage quality is starting to severely decline as the dormant season is fast approaching.  Plants are seeded out, growth is slowing and protein and energy values are dropping.  Deer will continue to hit mineral sites but activity may decline since mineral content of plants will start to increase since the growing season is over.  Now is the time to push protein and energy food sources.  Activity around those sites should start to increase.  Products recommendations: Big & J’s BB2 Granular, BB2 Cube and Deadly Dust.

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Craig Dougherty has been a staple of the hunting industry for over 35 years. He has held senior executive and board level positions with multiple archery and firearms companies, and industry organizations. He was Chairman of the Board of the Quality Deer Management Association and was instrumental in the formation of the National Deer Alliance. He has and his son Neil have published books on deer management and hunting, and have written hundreds of articles and appeared on hunting TV and at countless sportsman’s events. The pair founded NorthCountry Whitetails a deer hunting and property management company, where they manage over 300,000 acres of deer hunting property for clients across the nation. visit: