Give up after spooking deer on the way to blind?


November 23, 2009, 07:21 AM
One of the places I hunt is a power line cut with a creek at the bottom, and I have to walk about 100 yards from the house to a spot where I can look over the creek and the large cleared area around it. On the way to the blind this morning I spooked 3 or 4 deer and had to sit and listen to them running through the woods. Of course, I didn't hear anything else over the next hour and when it became light enough to see down into the creek where they drink, nothing.

So, when I know I've spooked the deer in the area on my way to the site, is it best to just turn around and go back in the house? Or should I suspect another group or a single might meander by over the next hour?

I figured since the deer I scared ran into both sides of the bush, they told their buddies to avoid the creek clearing today since some noisy novice is hanging out there with a shotgun. :neener:

If you enjoyed reading about "Give up after spooking deer on the way to blind?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
November 23, 2009, 07:51 AM
no, i wouldn't give up.

next time...
walk slowly and quietly. if you get snorted on the way to your stand, or if you bump the deer and you are truly walking slow and quiet, calculating every footstep, the deer might get nervous and leave. but as long as you didn't completely blow them out of there, you'll have another chance at them.

November 23, 2009, 08:06 AM
I've shot deer and had the rest of the herd come back a half-hour later...

Loyalist Dave
November 23, 2009, 08:08 AM
Well you are by power lines and my have some mutant deer :eek:

but seriously, the deer spooked because they heard and or smelled something that they weren't accustomed to, that's all. If you went out there every day at the same time for a couple of months prior to hunting season opening of any kind..., they'd stop reacting to your approach, the same way they don't react when standing on the side of the road that is well traveled when a passing car blows its horn. You probably can't invest that much time though.

Deer are as much creatures of habit as are we, so you can't tell when you might get a straggler or two, who normally are there early in the morning, come wandering in "late", looking for the group you just kicked up, and you'd get a shot.

You should also stay all day, not just for another hour. Especially during hunting season, as pressure near you may force them back into your area, and to a place that they remember, such as where you are waiting in ambush. I get a lot of shots after 12, as many of the hunters surrounding the area where I hunt do morning only hunts. They bang the brush before dawn, like me, and bang the brush between 11 & 12 heading out for lunch or to a half-day at work, or they have given up for the day...., but the deer hear them leave...., and start to move about an hour or so later not know that I have stayed in place..., but they creep around so you have to be alert.


November 23, 2009, 08:11 AM
A friend of mine would put a drop of whiskey in every mouth of every fish he caught and released. I asked why he did that, He replied that when the fish returned to the school and told what had just happened the other fish would not believe him because he was drunk again.

I sat in my stand after getting busted and the deer returned.

November 23, 2009, 08:26 AM
Since your stand is not far is pointless to go to it an hour before you have good shooting light.

To avoid "bumping into" deer that you can't even see, wait until you have enough light to see well enough to shoot, then SLOWLY "hunt" your way to your stand.

Deer hear (and see) all the commotion hunter's make in the predawn darkness.

Some circumstances dictate heading to your stand early (stand site is far away), but in your case....sitting in the dark (waiting for the woods to settle back down) is probably counter-productive.

Good luck, have fun and be safe!


Art Eatman
November 23, 2009, 09:42 AM
The attention span of a deer has been alleged by wildlife biologists to be approximately twenty minutes. If they're disturbed but nothing bad happened as in no gunshot or "evil smell", they resume normal activity.

I've generally used a fairly weak flashlight when walking to a blind area before daylight. Less noise, less spooking.

However, as always, wind direction plays a part. The worst thing is for the wind to be from behind a hunter and toward the area being watched.

November 23, 2009, 09:57 AM
I like getting to my stand before it gets light. I've spooked deer, but there are more that can come into my area that were in another area. Here is a tip, an it has worked for me, I read it somewhere long time ago....In the dark going to your stand, go slow an walk an sound like a deer....take 3 slow steps, raise one foot an wait 2 or 3 seconds an step straight down lightly...wait a few seconds an repeat....Bad thing is I've gottin within feet of deer an then spooked them which takes about 5 yrs. off your life..Good thing is I've gottin into my stand an at light have seen bedded deer in the area. I know they heard those loud leaves crunching.

November 23, 2009, 10:06 AM
Bad thing is I've gottin within feet of deer an then spooked them which takes about 5 yrs. off your life

better than coffee early in the morning.

November 23, 2009, 10:10 AM
Lots of good info. Thanks guys.

Art Eatman
November 23, 2009, 10:14 AM
61chalk's sure correct about how to walk. No wildlife--or even livestock--walks along in a marching manner when feeding. So, a steady rhythm is a warning sign of something different, and different is bad.

November 24, 2009, 06:45 PM
I've scouted a second location at spot number one, where the big buck everyone sees in the Summer (or sees his tracks now in November) appears to be hanging out. It's a very swampy area about 1/4 mile into the thicket from the creek (spot # 1). It looks like he's tending 6 - 9 does and running other bucks off. I see multiple hoof prints all over the corn I put down on the creek bed, and one set of huge hoof prints. Yesterday I tracked those huge prints into the swampy area and found they are hanging out back there a lot, new prints all over the place. Because no one hunts back that far I guess they feel relatively comfortable in the swamp clearing. Then they come out at night to feed on the soybeans in the field about 1/4 mile farther on.

So, one night this week I'm sitting up camp near the swamp and will sit in the doorway of the tent/blind till I shoot something or go insane from sitting there. I'm going to go in around 3:00PM and stay overnight so I can be in the swamp at first light without crashing thru the briars and leaves to get there. My brother has seen the old buck and says he's really big for this area. I'd sure like to be the one to drag his butt back up the hill one morning over the next few weeks.

November 24, 2009, 07:09 PM
I've shot deer and had the rest of the herd come back a half-hour later...

Yup. Last week, I spooked 3 mulies, 2 ran down the ridge, one went high. I froze in place. Literally a minute later, the 2 that ran down came back past me to join the other one! Deer aren't very smart.

November 25, 2009, 01:24 PM
Remembered a story I believe was in Outdoor Life long time ago...a man always spooked deer to his stand year after year, just too many crunchy leaves. Then he got an idea...the day before season him an his wife went to the woods an raked leaves to make a narrow path to his morning he went in without any noise in years an got
a big buck....another guy said after years of spooking deer he went to a auction an bought a big box of old whine up alarm clocks....he strung them up about 4 feet in the air off treel limbs on the other side of the woods, then walked in an set a bunch more to go off a min. later an so fourth until he had made a funnel morning he didn't go into the woods but stayed on the edge.....the alarms starting going off on the other side of the here came the deer an he got a big buck....guess desperate times call for extreme thinking....

November 25, 2009, 01:26 PM
to be approximately twenty minutes.It always appeared to me the attention span of a buck in rut is about 20 seconds.

I have seen deer spook and then a few minutes later have a buck chasing a doe come right back by again.

At any rate, I certainly wouldn't give up because I spooked them an hour before daylight.
Deer are creatures of habit, and if you are setting on a place they normally want to be, they will be there sooner or later.


November 25, 2009, 03:39 PM
There is too many deer in NC to worry about bumping 3 or 4. And plus i'd rather sit it the woods seeing nothing than hear my old lady whining about me not folding clothes or taking the trash out, haha

November 25, 2009, 03:41 PM
My fiancee's dad has had a lot of trouble with spooking deer while walking to his stand this season. Every time he's spooked them, he'll still go to the stand and wait 4 or 5 hours, and nothing shows up.

November 25, 2009, 04:02 PM
Not at all. In fact, it is not uncommon to shoot a deer at a crowded feeder, have them all disperse in a stampeed & return within 5 minutes. When I am taking freezer does with several good prospects, I take one, let her lie, wait 5-10 minutes & take another.

Once you are still for awhile, your neck of the woods will likely return to normal traffic.

November 25, 2009, 04:49 PM
Wind, wind, and wind again.

As in pay more attention to the deers sense of smell than anything else.

You can bump deer walking and have the same deer return to "investigate" if it failed to scent you.

November 25, 2009, 07:45 PM
Quick story. And no, I saw ZERO game after this disturbance. Opening day, I am in a ground stand @ 5:30am. 45 minutes later, the sky is beginning to lighten, and the hair is starting to stand up in anticipation.

Then, out of the near darkness, comes mama angus cow & two young bulls. These are the same 800lb youngsters that have challenged & mock-charged my truck on several occasions, and now they are approaching my stand. Mama first, sticks her WHOLE HEAD into the front opening. I pat her on the nose & she backs out.

Then comes the more aggressive of the two bulls. He also sticks his head in, but refuses to pull it away. I pat him on the nose, nothing. I smack him on top of the head. Nothing. He is continuing to sniff & snort, & trying to lick everything including me. I am getting VERY angry at this point. It is opening day, and I am dealing with this ridiculous beef invasion.

My temper got away, and realizing these are large sturdy animals and unlikely to suffer serious damage, I hit the young bull in the nose. Hard. Actually, as hard as I have ever hit anything IN MY LIFE. He backs out, snorting, stomping, rubbing his nose on the ground. It apparently hurt.

I still have some hope of seeing game, it is still early, and I have not yet screamed. But, mama and the two youngsters are now 10 yrds away, fully blocking any potential shot, just staring at me. I stare back, realizing that this will challenge the bull, and I will be forced to get out & run him off lest he charge the stand. He is already pawing the ground. Finally, after being unable to contain myself as well as being now convinced I am about to be toppled by this prideful youngster, I grabbed my night-stick sized flashlight, kick open the door, and run SCREAMING at that little bull. He ran. They all ran. I would have beat him senseless had I been able to catch any of them. Or, they would have killed me. I was too angry to care. Needless to say, I saw no game opening morning after my little meltdown.

I have anger issues, but at least I did not shoot them. Thought about it....

November 26, 2009, 05:50 AM
Don't worry about it.......just hunt.

Quick story......

One afternoon in SC I was half way up a tree setting steps for a hang-on stand that I was going to hunt out of the next morning. While I'm up there a spike comes along from up wind. I see him before he sees me so I freeze. I'm only about 12 feet off the ground hugging the tree.

He works on past a bit but then starts feeding near a oak tree. I hang in the VERY uncomfortable position as long as I can but eventually must move. Just can not hold myself up any longer. Actually slipped a bit down the tree.

This spooks the deer. In fact I think he saw me too.

After he's gone I set about putting the rest of the steps up and setting the stand. By the time I get done it's kind of late and I decide to just go ahead and sit in the stand for the last hour of light.

About 30 minutes later, and mind you it's been only a little over a hour sense I saw the spike, I see a deer moving my way. As it gets close I can see that it's the SAME spike coming back along the same path he went down not to long ago.

He came right on in..................

Strike me that what someone said about deer attention spans rings true based on this and some other experences.

If you enjoyed reading about "Give up after spooking deer on the way to blind?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!