every year I forget a key thing about deer hunting


PDA






Jason_W
November 7, 2012, 10:08 AM
I don't really like deer hunting:D

Still I get a twinge of excitement before my first hunt of the season.

If you enjoyed reading about "every year I forget a key thing about deer hunting" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
27hand
November 7, 2012, 01:23 PM
I forget how much I like being in the woods until daybreak on the first day.

I had 14 geese fly over last Sat.
A redtailed hawk landed about 35- 40 yds out at eye level. I kept hearing a turkey but couldn't see it untill the hawk landed in the tree. Then I noticed the turkey was about 10 yds away in another tree.

I've watched 3 red foxes playing in a field about 60 yds out with one eveentually trotting right under me.
A few grey foxes quite a few years back.
Every year I have turkey's under me and tons of squirrels from the little red tree squirrels, many grey and quite a few fox squirrels.
I had a family of raccoons climb down a tree about 10 yds away and have had a great horned owl flying directly at me to the point it was 5 yds away flying past me.

Rabbits, groundhogs, dogs, and even hunters have walked below me and didn't notice I was 25 feet above them.

Even though I've shot a lot of deer, I still get a bit excited when I see them moving about.

It doesn't even matter though, whether I get something or not.

It's one of lifes simple pleasures. A steaming gut pile is just an added bonus knowing jerky and chops are on the way.

Yeah, I forget some key stuff as well, till daybreak. :)

Jason_W
November 7, 2012, 01:39 PM
I've hunted 20 seasons now and I've never seen a legal deer.

Also, I have the wrong personality for it. To me, sitting still in one spot for hours on end is an arcane form of torture on par with bamboo shoots under the fingernails.

tarosean
November 7, 2012, 01:42 PM
I've hunted 20 seasons now and I've never seen a legal deer

What are you hunting downtown Los Angeles? Seriously where are you hunting?

Jason_W
November 7, 2012, 01:44 PM
I left out the getting up before dawn part. Not a huge fan of that either :D

If someone out there has figured out how to successfully hunt whitetail at noon without sitting at a stand for hours on end, PM me;)

Jason_W
November 7, 2012, 01:47 PM
Seriously where are you hunting?

I grew up hunting northern Vermont and now I live in downeast Maine. Only bucks are legal (no spikes in Vermont) except during bow season and by special lottery drawn permit during the rifle and ML season in Maine and only during the ML season in vermont.

I've seen plenty of does, some within spitting distance. Just never a legal buck.

sixgunner455
November 7, 2012, 03:22 PM
methinks if does are legal during archery season ... i'd be buying a bow.

Jason_W
November 7, 2012, 04:02 PM
I might give bow a try at some point. I can't really afford a new expensive hobby at this point.

Besides, I have my doubts that I could bag one with a bow when i can't with a rifle.

I hope that at some point I get to try hunting some other species of big game or maybe even whitetail in a different region. I may like it more outside of the northern New England woods which, in most instances, is objectively horrible terrain.

sixgunner455
November 7, 2012, 04:08 PM
well, from what you said, you've seen does in spitting distance, but have never seen a buck. I'd be grabbing a bow, myself, and hitting a hay pile with some arrows until I could at least hit a pie plate at spitting distance. :D

Kind of hard to bag an animal you never see. take what you can get, mano.

Jason_W
November 7, 2012, 07:54 PM
Maybe I need some kind of blind. I could just chill with a good book and not have to worry about movement tipping off the deer that may or may not be around.

Though, wouldn't the smells associated with the synthetic fabrics and dies tip off deer just as much as movement?

If I ever own a piece of land I'm definitely putting in some food plots and probably elevated box blinds possibly replete with salvaged recliners:D

Hey, if I'm going to sit all day, I may as well be comfortable.

JeffDilla
November 7, 2012, 08:15 PM
I grew up hunting northern Vermont and now I live in downeast Maine. Only bucks are legal (no spikes in Vermont) except during bow season and by special lottery drawn permit during the rifle and ML season in Maine and only during the ML season in vermont.

As a fellow Mainer, come inland my friend. Central Maine. :)

MCgunner
November 7, 2012, 08:18 PM
I don't get that much thrill out of it, but I can't say "I don't like" deer hunting or I wouldn't do it. :D I much prefer bird hunting, waterfowl or doves being the choices to me here. no partridges or such here, only quail and I don't have a dog. Besides, they've taken a big hit in the last 20 years.

Jason_W
November 7, 2012, 08:23 PM
What are the woods like where you are? Around here the only public land I have to hunt on looks like it was logged in the last few years and is growing back incredibly thick. It's nearly unwalkable. I jumped two deer yesterday and only got the classic view.

I knew that catching up to them would be impossible in that stuff so I backed off not wanting to stress them too much. I tried to sit a bit this morning watching a trail but got real cold real fast and only lasted a couple of hours.

jmorris
November 7, 2012, 08:25 PM
If someone out there has figured out how to successfully hunt whitetail at noon without sitting at a stand for hours on end, PM me

Record message on digital recorder, when they trigger the motion sensor it powers up the radio and TX the recording back to your position.

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/attachment.jpg

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/attachment-1.jpg



Your success depends on how well you can sneek up on them.

Jason_W
November 7, 2012, 08:27 PM
I don't get that much thrill out of it, but I can't say "I don't like" deer hunting or I wouldn't do it.

Oh, I still go. I really just want a freezer full of venison and fulfill a long overdue rite of passage.

Like you, I enjoy small game hunting a lot more.

JeffDilla
November 7, 2012, 08:32 PM
What are the woods like where you are?

I'm fortunate enough to be invited to hunt several parcels of private land by a group of old timers who own a few lots of 40+ acres each. The type of woods varies, but it is mostly hardwood stands. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of thick evergreen growth in areas but they are beautiful plots of land interspersed with nice fields of clover. This is only the third year I've hunted with this crew but it is excellent habitat.

I also hunt in Northern Maine, north of Shin Pond, for tradition's sake with my 91 year old grandfather. The deer are extremely scarce up there, but I just enjoy being in the middle of the north woods hunting. I never really expect to see deer up there, but I'm ok with that.

splattergun
November 7, 2012, 08:34 PM
If someone out there has figured out how to successfully hunt whitetail at noon without sitting at a stand for hours on end, PM me;)

Still hunting.
Bonus; you find rabbits that way, too. Walking very slowly and quietly through the woods sharpens the senses in a way sitting in a stand never will.

Jason_W
November 7, 2012, 08:39 PM
I'm fortunate enough to be invited to hunt several parcels of private land by a group of old timers who own a few lots of 40+ acres each. The type of woods varies, but it is mostly hardwood stands. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of thick evergreen growth in areas but they are beautiful plots of land interspersed with nice fields of clover. This is only the third year I've hunted with this crew but it is excellent habitat.

That sounds pretty close to ideal.

I'm hunting a chunk of public land on the outskirts of Ellsworth. There is plenty of sign and I've seen deer, but there are no centralized food sources (all browse) and there are no real open areas to watch. The best I could find was a 35 yard long shooting lane overlooking one of the many deer trails.

JeffDilla
November 7, 2012, 08:43 PM
Wish I had more advice to offer you. I'm not quite the "great white hunter". I've been more lucky than anything else (although I did miss or lose a deer last weekend (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=683750).

Jason_W
November 7, 2012, 08:45 PM
The luck factor is crucial.

And everyone misses now and again. I missed a partridge a couple of weeks ago that was the easiest shot I'd encountered in ages.

jrdolall
November 7, 2012, 09:30 PM
Head south! Our gun season is not yet open and I have not even bothered with my bow this year. I normally see multiple bucks every trip to the woods but I really enjoy having my Kindle with me. It allows me to sit a lot longer without getting fidgety. I could easily kill 20-30 deer per year if I had any need for that much meat. The limit here would be 2 per day for a total of 202 per season.

Art Eatman
November 7, 2012, 10:03 PM
I hate going to a stand before daylight. Yuck. I'd rather set out around 9 AM and go walking hunting. Ease along through brush or sneaky-snake in jungly stuff.

It's fun to kick Bambi out of bed from maybe fifteen yards away. Hair standing out in all directions, eyes rolling back, ears laid back, and trying to make a standing start in fifth-gear overdrive.

If I'm gonna sit, I prefer to be on a hillside in late afternoon, overlooking some likely spot.

wgp
November 7, 2012, 10:46 PM
I hate getting up and out in the dark -- but I love being there listening to the deer mill around grunting, and seeing the sunrise and first light on the tree tops. At our farm (Kansas) my son will tell you that he has had repeated success shooting deer about 10 am after sleeping in and walking to his spot about 9. Go figure. Also, you can just about set your watch to the deer emerging from the trees about 4 pm. I really think the most productive time here is from 4 till dark.

I can't decide which I prefer -- the solitude of deer hunting or the companionship of upland bird hunting. Happily I don't have to choose. One thing, though, it's a lot easier to drop a quail in your vest than to field dress a big buck.

o Unforgiven o
November 8, 2012, 03:17 AM
I've hunted 20 seasons now and I've never seen a legal deer.

If that's true, than you are a far more patient and stubborn man than I.

41 Mag
November 8, 2012, 05:42 AM
I left out the getting up before dawn part. Not a huge fan of that either

If someone out there has figured out how to successfully hunt whitetail at noon without sitting at a stand for hours on end, PM me

Sounds a LOT like my daughter, (don't let that get to you,) but she is VERY accomplished at hunting which might.:D

Her theory is she don't need to get up and be cold sitting in the dark waiting for light to overlook an empty wood lot or pasture, when she can sleep in and head out when SHE gets ready. She usually shows up around 9:30, eats something, then heads out around 10 or so. It seems to work for her though most of her nice bucks have been taken between 10:30 and 1:30.

This was one she got two weeks before delivering my oldest grandson back around '01,
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f285/41nag/58268618pVnGio_ph.jpg

and with several more VERY nice ones for our area in between, this is what she pulled in last year,
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f285/41nag/Hunting%202011/Photo-0152.jpg

Needless to say I don't tell her how or when to hunt much anymore. The last one was dropped at 10:55 after sitting out on the side of one of our wood lines for around 45 minutes, the first one was around 1:45 in the afternoon after walking down the hill and setting up on a fence row, being out for about an hour. (She was told by her Dr and myself specifically NOT to go out, and then got her mom down there to help her load it in the truck.)

You might give hitting your areas a bit later as folks are heading out and making racket and such. This would disguise your entry, and believe me the deer learn to pattern people just like we do them. Get out a bit late, settle in and see what might get up and start moving mid morning to mid afternoon. You might be surprised.

red rick
November 8, 2012, 05:56 AM
You don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to see a deer, it just gives you a better chance, because they are moving more in the morning and evening. During the rut bucks are moving all the time, I killed my last one at 12:15 in the afternoon.

That's a nice buck, good job 41 MAG's daughter.

Mp7
November 8, 2012, 05:56 AM
*sigh*

i wish i was in Appalachia now.


Being in the woods is just great.

dragon813gt
November 8, 2012, 07:08 AM
I won't lie. I'm a fair weather hunter. I took up archery so I could be out in the woods when the weather is warm and I don't need layers of clothes. I hate getting in a stand before daybreak when the temp is below freezing. But I still do it. I'm just out a lot more early in the season.


Brought to you by TapaTalk.

Jason_W
November 8, 2012, 08:03 AM
The ironic thing is that I'm an avid ice fisherman and I've been out on a frozen lake on a 5 degree morning (no shelter) and it's felt warmer than a 25 degree pre-dawn morning on a deer stand.

I'm kicking myself for not getting out today as we have a thin layer of snow that fell overnight. The caveat to my original post is that I love hunting after a fresh snow. I've never tracked a buck, but I have followed a track and managed to catch up with a handful of does on numerous occasions.

Sav .250
November 8, 2012, 08:21 AM
What are you hunting downtown Los Angeles? Seriously where are you hunting?
Now, that made me laugh!

Kachok
November 8, 2012, 09:43 AM
I've hunted 20 seasons now and I've never seen a legal deer.

Also, I have the wrong personality for it. To me, sitting still in one spot for hours on end is an arcane form of torture on par with bamboo shoots under the fingernails.
You need to come to Alabama for real! I might see 15-20 legal deer at a time, every trip last year we brought home at leased one. Hard to throw a rock without hitting one in the deep south.

Jason_W
November 8, 2012, 09:52 AM
That sounds awesome, Kachok.

The deer population is in a similar situation on the coastal Maine island where I currently reside. An unhealthy number of deer and a rising Lyme disease rate to show for it.

unfortunately, deer hunting has been outlawed on the island since the 1930s excepting landowner depredation permits. Local municipal governments and the NPS are now starting to look at opening a season here but I expect there will be a lot of pushback in spite of the facts.

27hand
November 8, 2012, 10:01 AM
Jason_W,

It's not for everyone. I know guys that had hunted in an area I saw 40 to 50 deer a day (years ago). One never saw a buck in 20 yrs. He eventually shot a doe by mistake and swore it had antlers.

My one kiddo is not a morning person. He hunted a few years with me & a few years by himself. Shot 2 bucks, a forkhorn was his first and later he and I both shot 8 points.

He finally told me it wasn't for him and he quit doing it. Now he lives in NH and will probably never hunt again although he thinks the deer jerky I make is "fabulous". Ha. My other kiddo would never get out of bed in the AM for ANY reason. He has never hunted and has no desire to do so.

I've worked with guys who only hunt later in the day and are successful as well.

I was lucky enough this year to get a buck and a doe so far. The buck came in about 8AM. The doe, a few weeks later came in at 9 AM.

I archery hunt only in the AM now but I got up for over 30 years at 4 or 4:30 to go to work. I suppose I'm used to it.

If you have any interest, do it when you want to but do it in an area that there actually are deer. Do some PM scouting and look for signs that deer are in an area. I found such a place and I take many of my deer out of the same tree.

Good luck

Jason_W
November 8, 2012, 10:02 AM
I do know I'll keep going (and complain the entire time).:D

MCgunner
November 8, 2012, 01:33 PM
That camera thing in post 14 might be just the deal to put out back of the house to monitor a pile of corn for hogs at night. Go hog hunting in my underwear. :D

buck460XVR
November 8, 2012, 04:22 PM
I left out the getting up before dawn part. Not a huge fan of that either :D

If someone out there has figured out how to successfully hunt whitetail at noon without sitting at a stand for hours on end, PM me;)

While getting on stand before light and sitting for hours is a productive way of harvesting deer, it is not the only way. As Art mentioned, getting in the woods mid day is a good way to catch deer sleeping in their beds if one is slow and quiet. If you have enough area, sometimes you can make a large circle and catch one trying to sneak around you. I hardly ever sit after opening day anymore. Around here unless someone else kicks them up, they're holed up tight somewhere during legal hunting hours anyway. If you want to see deer, you need to move them yourself or with help from friends.

Jason_W
November 8, 2012, 05:03 PM
Moving quietly while watching the woods rather than the ground is tough around here.

The land has been logged some time within the last ten years and apparently, logging is less about cutting trees and more about breaking them with skidders. The result is a tangle of limbs and jagged, broken stumps.

Here's a pic I took of the ground in one of the very few spots where you can see for more than 25 yards
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k278/jwimb/IMG_0502.jpg

That's pretty much what you're walking over no matter where you are in this particular chunk of land. I've not yet figured out how to move quietly through it.

I actually spooked two deer on tuesday. I didn't see them before they bolted partially because my woodsmanship skills are rusty and I don't have my "woods eyes" yet. The other part of the equation was that I was looking at the ground to avoid tripping or impaling my calf.

I am heading back out tomorrow as I know there are deer around and that today's rains probably washed away my scent after my awkward blundering through the brush on Tuesday and Wednesday.

22-rimfire
November 8, 2012, 05:34 PM
Maine is a tough place to hunt. No so many deer out in the woods.

I dislike tree stands, but you might consider one in the overgrown areas. There is almost always a tree you can put up a portable stand. But that requires lugging it in daily since you might be concerned about someone stealing it in a public hunting area.

Glad you finally saw some deer.

When I get really bored, I take a walk and often jump deer... hence you see tails. Not a good thing when deer hunting but at least you see something even though you can't get a shot.

I really like still hunting (walk slowly and keep your eyes open one step at a time), but I am not very good at it. It is quite challenging.

buck460XVR
November 8, 2012, 06:09 PM
Here's a pic I took of the ground in one of the very few spots where you can see for more than 25 yards
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k278/jwimb/IMG_0502.jpg

That's pretty much what you're walking over no matter where you are in this particular chunk of land. I've not yet figured out how to move quietly through it.

I actually spooked two deer on tuesday. I didn't see them before they bolted partially because my woodsmanship skills are rusty and I don't have my "woods eyes" yet. The other part of the equation was that I was looking at the ground to avoid tripping or impaling my calf.


Two words.......wind and rain. When the winds blows hard all you need to do is to walk without the rhythm most humans walk with. When it rains, not only does it soften things that go snap, but the sound of the rain it's self drowns out other noises. Generally these conditions make it hard for the deer to use it's sense of sight also and one can get away with movement a tad more. These conditions generally mean scent is going in one direction and deer will depend more on their sense of smell as their other senses are compromised. Steady rain with no wind knocks down all scent and can be very productive. Fog to deer is like darkness to us. While they can see in the dark, they like us, cannot see thru fog.

The mistake many folks make when still hunting is looking at their feet. It's like looking at your front tire when riding motorcycling. You need to look ten feet ahead. Study your path and then walk it. You then stop and survey the surroundings.......thoroughly. You then look ten feet ahead again and repeat the procedure. If you keep your eyes ten feet ahead you'll find you don't need to look down at your feet so much, you'll see a better path ahead and your eyes will be in a position to catch deer movement sooner. If all you are seeing is tails....you need to slow down. It's better to cover 1 mile slowly and carefully than to just tromp thru aimlessly for ten. If you don't know the lay of the land, Google Earth your area and make a plan. Knowing the lay of the land in respect to wind direction and obvious deer escape routes means you can cut them off instead of being behind them all day.

41 Mag
November 9, 2012, 05:03 AM
In looking at the pic you posted the above post would be what I would concentrate on, wind and rain/snow/slush. As mentioned anything you can use to avoid the dry snap of a stick or twig the better off your going to be.

I am particularly fond of slow drizzling rain and still hunting. I have seen and taken several nice bucks heading out in that type weather. We don't get much snow round our parts but we usually get some pretty messy days.

As also mentioned above, look ahead and plan your steps as best as you can. When you place a step roll your foot down gently instead of simply stepping forward and this will also help you to move a bit more quietly. Using some soft soled boots helps as well, the harder they are the less forgiving they will when you do find that dry stick. I hunted for years in those old crepe soled type boots due to this. While they aren't much on wet weather, you can apply enough Snow Seal to keep your feet dry for a pretty considerable time if you avoid puddles. This high rubber boots also help as well, as long as they have a sole that isn't too rigid.

One old friend of mine and a VERY accomplished outdoors man told me once, if you clear a hundred yard in less than an hour your moving too fast and missing what you should be seeing. His words held a LOT of truth, as I have literally eased up on deer which were bedded down and didn't have a clue I was even in the same universe as them, much less within 50 or less yards.

I will be the first to admit, this is something that takes discipline and practice to accomplish, and I have seen plenty of white flags as well when out still hunting. You might fool some of them some or most of the time, but your not going to slip by them all.

Using a small pair of adjustable binoculars will also help you out greatly as you ease through an area. Move a short distance, then scan the area ahead thoroughly rolling the focus in close and then back out to as far as you can see through the brush. What you will find is that you can actually penetrate the brush somewhat using this technique, and it will also allow you to pick up deer parts, verses the whole deer. With practice you will find ears, legs, antlers, a flick of a tail which you initially thought was a bird. Rolling the focus knob in and out more or less focuses in on the different depths of the brush and more or less makes the clutter disappear. I have used mine in as close as 10 feet to determine which way a hog was laying within a switch cane break. I could see hair but had to focus in on it to see which end was which in order to place the shot in the shoulder and not the ham. I have also been standing beside a tree and focused in on a bush which had a slight glimmer in the midst of it, which turned out to be the eyes of a doe standing on the other side looking right back at me. You don't want to overlook the obvious, but you also want to be sure to concentrate on the subtle out of place differences.

I don't hunt in anything quite like what your showing there, but I do hunt in some pretty overgrown river bottom cover. This is one of the more open areas I hunt,
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f285/41nag/P4010004.jpg

I am actually standing right over a decent hog I shot, and took the picture back to where I shot it from. I initially thought it was a tree stump, but something just wasn't right about it until I focused in on it with my bino's.

There are two Polaris 500's and a small trailer sitting on the road exactly where I made the 100yd shot from. Like I said you have to be able to pick up the subtle differences, or not so obvious out of place differences, in the terrain or cover, which might just be the buck your looking for laying it's head down to try and keep it's self concealed. I have seen them bedded down and rather than risk being detected by jumping up and running they simply lower their heads or curl up into a ball to better conceal themselves in hopes you will walk right on by without seeing them. They can also stand still until the end of time, and will do so if they feel they are hidden.

Once you get a tactic down and start to see a couple of deer, you will find with a slight bit of improvement there might be a whole lot more there than you first thought that you simply passed right on by. I do however believe that if you change up your times on a couple of days and head out a bit later as most foks are coming in that you might also find more movement as well. Like i mentioned deer learn when and where to move and plenty of times I have gone out to do some work mid morning and found the up and around when I had sat out for hours and not seen anything. Pressure will do strange things and create different habits than in areas with little pressure.

tarosean
November 9, 2012, 06:58 AM
Here's a pic I took of the ground in one of the very few spots where you can see for more than 25 yards


Can you post a google earth or aerial view of the area?

Jason_W
November 9, 2012, 12:28 PM
I hunted a few hours this morning and the woods were particularly unpleasant. The rain and snow we got yesterday made everything even swampier than usual. I was good and soaked after an hour, but stuck it out for almost 4.

There was a substantial amount of snow left but I didn't that many tracks. I may call it for this particular area and find another spot. While I have seen deer, evidence suggests there aren't enough present to make enduring the area a worthwhile endeavor.

I'm still pretty new to this section of Maine and I'm still getting to know the region and find places to hunt. I have been able to locate an area that is awesome for partridge and that's a real win.

27hand
November 9, 2012, 11:34 PM
Jason

Remember what I said about hunting where there ARE deer. Maybe in looking for partridge hunting spots, you will find more deer sign.

For archery ( and it seems you are not an archer), I found that elevation is my friend.
I get up about 25 feet and being up there hides a multitude of my hunting sins.
I move too much and deer bust me all the time on the ground.
Up high , even when they surprise me, I can usually move without spooking them.

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l103/poofy27/1349731402.jpg

The pic you posted shows me that your moving will alert deer long before you see them. You may want to change your tactics. With my knees problematic, I have become primarily a poster if i ground hunt. I can walk at a pace to warm me if I get cold and can repost in an area that appears to me to be a place deer want to be. Ha. Think like a deer or give it your best guess. In walking, you may spot trails, rubs, beds in snow or scrapes. While all these signs might not mean there are deer in those very places, it will show that they are around. Find spots that deer may feed and / or travel to and from their bedding spots.
For archery, I hunt pretty thick areas with a max of about 40 yards sight but open shooting lanes are more like 25 to 30 yds. I also get into areas like this with my handgun although i have only shot one deer with the Redhawk.

Like this.
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l103/poofy27/Shooting%20hunting%20pics/1352517920.jpg

The center of these last 2 pics are where I shot my buck last month and my doe last week.

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l103/poofy27/Shooting%20hunting%20pics/1352517975.jpg

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l103/poofy27/Shooting%20hunting%20pics/1352517994.jpg


Keep it up. Odds are with you now. Good luck.

Jason_W
November 10, 2012, 08:25 AM
Maybe in looking for partridge hunting spots, you will find more deer sign.

Weirdly, I often find that places that hold an abundance of partridge usually have a very low deer population density. The exception is when there is a food source present (such as apples) that both deer and birds can't resist. Northern New England is a very strange place when it comes to habitat and wildlife.

I am, at the very least, starting to learn to recognize what characteristics make a piece of land impractical for hunting given my current skill level.

1. An over-abundance of food and cover. If deer can eat and take shelter pretty much everywhere in a given area, they don't have to be in any one place at a given time. For example, in the area I've been hunting, the food source is all various plant shoots, leaves, buds, that are everywhere. Same with cover. The woods are just so thick that the deer can find a great hiding spot within a few steps of wherever they happen to be at the time. Such conditions make hammering down their patterns difficult.

2. Swampy or excessively wet land, just because I hate being wet.

3. Complete lack of clear areas and visibility. Picking shooting lanes is part of the challenge of hunting, but I've explored some areas where there really are no areas in which to set up that would allow me to avoid detection. Though, if I could make it work, being able to brag that I took a deer that was 20 feet away would be pretty cool.

The tree stand idea is probably the tactic I'll have to employ around here eventually. I'm thinking that obtaining a flat shooting rifle and getting above one of the "clear cuts" might give me some chance. Unfortunately, that can't happen this year due to ongoing tough times. I may also pick up a pop-up ground blind at some point for hunting in the thicker areas where ranges are closer and working in a tree stand would be impractical.

I also really hope that I have the money at some point to travel around and try big game hunting in other parts of the country and world. My wife really wants to give a hog hunt a try at some point. I'd like to try spot and stalk hunting for something.

Jason_W
November 10, 2012, 08:41 AM
I also hope my complaints about Maine and Vermont hunting aren't coming off as anything but the sarcastic tongue in cheek observations they're intended to be.

I'm really not a complete wuss. I ice fish without shelter and heater.:D

And I'm now pretty good at pulling decent lake trout through the ice, so I'm not bad at everything outdoors.

jmorris
November 11, 2012, 12:22 PM
That camera thing in post 14 might be just the deal to put out back of the house to monitor a pile of corn for hogs at night. Go hog hunting in my underwear. I built them so they could transmit over long distances. If your only looking for short range of 100 yds or so just get a cheap driveway alert.

JonP1980
November 11, 2012, 09:10 PM
I'm from Ellsworth Maine. I live in Nh now. My father still sees tons of deer up on the bayside road. I hope to hunt up there again soon. Good luck

Jason_W
November 12, 2012, 06:42 AM
I'm from Ellsworth Maine. I live in Nh now. My father still sees tons of deer up on the bayside road. I hope to hunt up there again soon. Good luck

I usually see a lot of them when driving route 3 through Trenton and then just into the main part of Ellsworth. I just don't know that's open to hunting in that stretch. The Island is of course completely overrun with the things.

I'm going to try a new spot later this week. It looks like a power line runs through it which, in my experience, has made spotting deer a little more doable. As I said, I'm still really new to the area when it comes to hunting.

22-rimfire
November 12, 2012, 07:30 PM
Two words.......wind and rain.

Those are significant. I still hunted (yes, and I didn't spook them) within 20 yds of a couple does. Then I saw a small buck. Was getting ready to take a shot when I notice a much larger buck (long tined 12 pt kind of buck) in the brush moving toward me. Never got a shot at him and the other deer moved away. But it was windy and rainy, quite miserable.... one of my great memories.

That happened on Thanksgiving morning. I hadn't seen a single deer. I was bored. I had a date for Thanksgiving Dinner with my Sister and decided to take a little walk in hopes of finding a better "spot". Then I was going to head to the truck and drive to my Sisters. That is when I saw these deer. The following Saturday, I killed the small buck. Hunted for that larger buck afterwards, but never saw hide nor hair of him again. Wonderful experience!

Another was bow hunting when I was 14. Three bucks wandered up to me and I was in a blind (aka a few branches stuck in the ground in front of me.)... I was so excited. Two were big 8 pts and one big 6 pt.... within 10 yds. I got the fever and missed.... still a great memory!! I have learned to control myself until after I shoot since. :D

788Ham
November 14, 2012, 01:25 AM
If getting up before dawn bothers you, and you can't sit still for very long, try another "sport", billiards! You can go any time, even after noon, you can move around the table, and maybe even get a chance to get "a shot" once in awhile. Sounds like you bore easily.

Jason_W
November 14, 2012, 07:24 AM
Sounds like you bore easily.

Well, if sitting still in one spot for up to 10 hours doing absolutely nothing isn't the very definition of boring, I don't know what is.

I suppose my inclination to not be lazy is actually a detriment while deer hunting;)

sixgunner455
November 14, 2012, 11:01 AM
still hunting is a much better fit than stand hunting for a lot of people.

Jason_W
November 14, 2012, 11:20 AM
It's going to take me a while to perfect that technique. The woods here are very noisy and treacherous. also, I've noticed a weird phenomenon on cold days where the ground moisture freezes and spouts out of the ground in what could be best described as miniature ice stalagmites. Those are LOUD when you step on them.

As I said earlier, I am really enjoying partridge hunting again now that I found a place with lots of them. I few weeks back I must have covered five miles of abandoned logging road. It was a great day out and I even bagged two birds.

SchekRN
November 25, 2012, 09:33 PM
Grew up hunting Hudson River Valley in NY. Took for granted the number of deer and doe permits aplenty. Been hunting bucks only in northwest Vermont for 15+ years and have killed one buck..... a nice 8 pointer. This'll be my first year out with a muzzleloader and I won an antlerless permit in the lottery. My biggest challenge has been finding quality places to hunt. But, I do love early morning in the woods, as the woods come to life. It keeps me coming back, along with the hope of some venison in the freezer. Rifle season ended tonight. I've seen a few does and a spike buck, which is never legal except youth weekend.

TheCracker
November 26, 2012, 02:23 AM
I've hunted 20 seasons now and I've never seen a legal deer.

Also, I have the wrong personality for it. To me, sitting still in one spot for hours on end is an arcane form of torture on par with bamboo shoots under the fingernails.

What!? Seems like you should review your methods. 20 years and not seeing a legal deer is crazy. About like like the bamboo shoots crazy.

Jason_W
November 26, 2012, 09:55 AM
What!? Seems like you should review your methods. 20 years and not seeing a legal deer is crazy. About like like the bamboo shoots crazy.

It's a different ballgame up here. We have a much lower deer population than you southern guys (I've heard you have almost as many deer as squirrels) and the kinds of deer we're allowed to shoot are far more limited.

Here in maine, during the general firearms season only bucks with one antler at least 3 inches in length are fair game. A relatively few number of doe permits for the gun and muzzle loader season are issued via lottery drawing.

In Vermont, where I grew up and did most of my hunting between the ages of 10 and 28, there are antler restrictions and only three pointers or better are legal. Does are off limits during the rifle season and a small handful of permits are issued by lottery during the ML season.

Additionally, cheats such as baiting and the use of salt lick are illegal. Most of the guys I know who take deer fairly regularly own a nice piece of land that they've worked to make attractive to deer (food plots, etc.). Hunting public land is tough in northern New England as most of it the post-apocalyptic leavings of large logging operations.

I remember once doing extensive pre-season scouting and finding tons of deer sign and the perfect spot. On opening morning, I saw a group consisting of nearly a dozen deer, all does. That's just my bad luck, I guess.

Jason_W
November 26, 2012, 09:57 AM
Grew up hunting Hudson River Valley in NY. Took for granted the number of deer and doe permits aplenty. Been hunting bucks only in northwest Vermont for 15+ years and have killed one buck..... a nice 8 pointer. This'll be my first year out with a muzzleloader and I won an antlerless permit in the lottery. My biggest challenge has been finding quality places to hunt. But, I do love early morning in the woods, as the woods come to life. It keeps me coming back, along with the hope of some venison in the freezer. Rifle season ended tonight. I've seen a few does and a spike buck, which is never legal except youth weekend.

This guy gets how tough it is up here:D

Yarddog
November 26, 2012, 09:59 AM
What are you hunting downtown Los Angeles? Seriously where are you hunting?
Aint That the truth ; )
Y/D

If you enjoyed reading about "every year I forget a key thing about deer hunting" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!