It's less than 90 days until the opening of archery deer season in most areas of Mississippi and 140 days before the opening of the gun season statewide.

Deer hunters know it takes a lot of summer sweat to create success during the season, and July is the start for many.

“At some point, we will schedule a work day to visit the camp and organize a plan,” said George Bennett of Jackson, a member of a club in Claiborne County. “And no, it’s not a chance just to get together and grill steaks and have a few drinks, but of course, there’s no rule that says we can’t do that after the work when we’re studying the pictures from the trail cameras.”

“We’ll identify the trails that need to be clipped and start on those. We’ll decide where we’re going to plant food plots and what seed we’ll put in the ground, and in areas where there is no farming, we’ll clear them of brush and put in some summer/fall plots. We might discuss where we want to leave stands, move stands or build stands and possibly start working on that.”

In recent years, thanks to the increase in the use of and dependency on trail cams, Bennett said his club waits until September to determine the final pieces of the puzzle. 

“The pictures we get in the fall are more indicative of where the deer are wanting to be when the season opens,” he said. “That cuts it kind of close for the archers, because we don’t want to be intruding on the woods when they’re getting ready. But we usually establish where they want to hunt, and we avoid those areas as much as possible. That’s why it’s critical that we get as much as the big-ticket work days done in July and August. With a couple of weekends a month, with it mandatory that members make at least one a month, we generally can get it done. It’s either come do the work or you pay a fine, which just means you’re paying a bigger share of the food-plot budget.”