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Deer moving out for good after lots of shooting in the area?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Snakum, Nov 18, 2009.

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  1. Snakum

    Snakum Member

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    I've been shooting a lot behind the GFs house: shotguns, AKs, pistols, etc. I have a small 50 yard range for running tactical drills, practicing drawing/mounting and firing, etc.

    This morning I went hunting behind this area because I've seen deer nearby and off the roads in the area (it's in the country in central NC). And I saw a large number of places they'd been bedding down, scrapes in the dirt from bucks, numerous deer trails, etc. To my new-deer-hunter eyes it looked like a huge herd of deer lives back there. But after creeping around and sitting for an hour or two at a time this morning and again this evening I saw no deer, nor did I even hear them in the thickets like I have other places. They were either gone or hiding in the thickets and not moving.

    Is it possible they've moved out of the area due to the firing every Saturday and Sunday (usually for an hour at a time, max)? Or would they move off when the range is hot, then move back in after it got quiet again during the week? How does this usually work with white tail?

    I am wondering if I have permanently spooked them away?
     
  2. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Lol, just exactly like you described. They're there before and after the season, but mysteriously very hard to see or find during. It's not so much the shooting that drove them to becoming nocturnal (they're there, just mostly nocturnal), it's the fact that deer have figured out when the seasons are after being hunted the same way for decades (which for them is many generations). Some of them DO find a plot of land that no one hunts, and get on it just for the seasons, if such an area exists within their home range. But most likely they just went nocturnal. If you get close to them bedded, they are gone before you ever see them. That my friend, is whitetail hunting. Enjoy. Just gotta keep at it. As long as you see fresh sign, they're still around, and if you stay out there and stay still and downwind, one or more of them may slip up and wander by during the day.
     
  3. schlockinz

    schlockinz Member

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    if you know the trails between where they eat and where they sleep, that would be a good place to watch, you should catch a few moving there.

    Not sure how the shoot affects it though, never shot a lot where I hunt, but I can tell you that if you leave a gut pile near a deer highway, that highway will become deserted.
     
  4. moooose102

    moooose102 Member

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    a bunch of "not so brite" "sportsman" came up to the woods where i hunted the first three days and shot for three days, almost all day long, including the night before opening day. and basicly gave any deer with any experience fair warning to get out of dodge, or be shot. there were a lot of them, shooting all over the place. i have to assume that they are once a year shooters coming up from the big city and "checking their gun/scope to be sure it was on target. and when it was dialed in, well, why stop there, might as well blast two or three boxes while they are at it. i cant believe they actually shoot where they are going to hunt, a day or two before season opens, and give the animals that much warning. i did get one, a doe but by 10:00 am, ALL of the deer were out of sight. i did not see one after that for the next 2 days. my brother saw 2 bambies on the second day, and nothing on the third. i am certain they are all down in the nasty swamps. and i just can not make it back in that far.
     
  5. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    I couple of years ago I was shooting a braked 7mm/08 handgun in my back yard. After about 10 shots, a doe walked calmly out from behind my 100 yard target.

    Another time, I took a single doe out of a herd of 6 to 8 deer with a 22-250 at a range of about 360 yards. The remaining living deer didn't leave until I had walked to within about 100 yards of them.

    I don't think gun shots bother deer all that much until a few have fallen. Around my place, deer are around through bow season but when gun season arrives I generally see none for several months. At least part of it is that if they're stressed too much with close calls from hunters they become nocturnal.
     
  6. wankerjake

    wankerjake Member

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    The rifle range I shoot at has deer tracks on it every time I go. On the 100 and 200-500 yard ranges. It's not so much the shooting, it's the hunting season. They just disappear!
     
  7. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    I agree with those who say it doesn't matter. On my range we have to stop and let the deer walk by because they croos in front of the backstops.
    They aren't the willy whitetails but as far as mulies I don't worry.
     
  8. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Basic training, Ft. Ord, CA, 1967. Deer walks out on the down range side of rifle range while we're shooting.
     
  9. Fryerpower

    Fryerpower Member

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    Did they call a cease fire or did you have deer in the chow hall?

    -Jim
     
  10. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I have my own 100 yard range about that far from my cabin. After testing a 50 round box of handloads I walked back to the cabin and there were three deer standing between the range and the cabin. Walked within 25 feet of them, rifle in hand, before they decided to casually walk off.

    Repeated gunshots didn't seem to alert them in any way.
     
  11. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    We have them wander across the trap and skeet range every now and then.
     
  12. RDA 226sig

    RDA 226sig Member

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    At the sportsman club where I shoot the whitetail deer bed in the woodlot between the ranges and ocasionally come out to feed on the ranges disrupting the shooting. They are used to the shooting and basically go about feeding.

    In my experience it is changes in activity patterns and irregular activity that disrupt deer movements. Trucks being parked in unusual places and doors slamming at odd times are more of a concern.
     
  13. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    At my Club range, where someone is banging away all the time, the deer run across the range, or graze on the 200 yard range.

    Sometimes you have to shoo them away from your target.

    No one bothers them, and watching the bambies is fun.
     
  14. Snakum

    Snakum Member

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    I've seen them at night now, so they're still here. I haven't scared them off. Gonna put up a tree stand at the intersection of two or three of the trails near the beds. I'll have to read a book or something so I'm not bored stupid. :rolleyes: I don't know how you guys do the stand thing. But that's the only way I'm going to get anything it appears. :D

    Loved the Army story. I was running an M-60/SAW shoot on a range in Graf and in the middle of thousands of rounds a small roe deer walked out and you could see the tracers suddenly arcing in. I had for gotten all about that.
     
  15. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    I have deer tracks all over my gun range. Shooting two days a week should not be a problem.

    More than one morning when I drove up to the range at Thunder Ranch in Texas, I would see deer on the ranges there too. Deer and many other critters (including a bear) hang around the ranges at the Whittington Center in NM.
     
  16. Titan6

    Titan6 member

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    They didn't disappear.

    At least not really. To you they did, here is what happens. Deer can range over a pretty wide area given the opportunity. A couple of days/ weeks before hunting season start a few people go out and start scouting where they have seen the deer all year looking for deer sign. This very action causes deer to start to change their movement patterns and areas that they bed down in. When hunting season opens thousands of people moving in ones and twos and threes move into these areas, further disrupting their patterns and bedding areas. Sometimes these people fire guns and this scares them and they may run in odd directions (or may just sit there, you never can tell).

    If you live in an area with a lot of hunting you should start driving a lot slower during hunting season, especially early morning. The deer will start to appear at unusual places and crossing sites on roadways. I notice that during hunting season the deer/ vehicle collision count on the early morning highway commute increases from about one a month to 1-2 a day. This peters out when rifle seasons end.

    So they might have "disappeared" from your area not from anything you did, but the guy over on the other side of the hill did.
     
  17. hossfly

    hossfly Member

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    Yup....it more of a hunting season pressure thing than a shooting thing. Welcome to deer hunting.
     
  18. Madcap_Magician

    Madcap_Magician Member

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    We have deer living on the Bradley gunnery range at Camp Ripley. And on the AT4 range. And on the machine gun range...
     
  19. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Moderator In Memoriam

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    If shootng is a regular thing, deer get used to the noise as merely part of their world. That's why they'll wander around shooting ranges, whether military or civilian--or even individual ranges.

    But if their world has been quiet all year long and then a bunch of shooting starts, it's a whole different thing. They'll move away some distance, although not nearly as far as some folks think. In general, it's hard to run whitetail deer more than a half-mile or so from their home territory, and even then they'll circle back when things get quiet. Their home territory is imprinted upon them.
     
  20. kanook

    kanook Member

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    A friend of mine learned everything he knew at the time about hunting from TV. In a 30min show how many deer do you see and they always get one.

    Real life, keep going out or get a game camera and learn the patterns. I had a herd of deer go across the back of my property and I figured next am I would have one down. Took a week before they came back.
     
  21. Snakum

    Snakum Member

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    Thanks for the info. I have since read that I may have made a bad mistake by walking thru their bedding areas and on their trails, even though I was unscented and cover-scented. I didn't know any better and this area is so unbelievably close to the road and the houses and the traffic I figured my scouting around couldn't make it worse. I didn't think about the scent that might still be on me.

    I have heard them deep in the briars and thorns and heavy brush farther out, but no new sign near the beds. I have always scented my gear from my boot bottoms to my hat with earth cover scent (and it's all stored in a bag with dirt and leaves) then wore a doe urine wick on my shoelaces and one off my belt, and even sprayed fox periodically on the boot soles. Even dressed outside so I wouldn't get house smells on me. But I wonder if walking around all over their beds and on the trails near the scrapes still left plenty of human scent. So between my stupid butt tromping thru their home three or four days a week and the shooting on the weekends, I guess I've driven them deeper into the brush beside the fields where they feed (at night and not on my hunting-permissioned land, of course).

    Without putting up a cam, do you think there would be any value to setting up early in a stand or blind near these trail intersections? Or have I most likely run them into the brush relatively permanently (till next Spring) with my 'blundering thru the bushes' hunting technique?

    Thanks again for all the help.
     
  22. Muzzleunloader

    Muzzleunloader Member

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    I have noticed that deer don't usually care about how many shots are being taken in an area. They are use to the noise. If it is close, they will run off. But I think their memories are short because I've had deer come back around after I've taken a shot within 30 minutes.
     
  23. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Not arguing with you, but I don't think their memories are short. I witnessed a fellow student hit by a car in a crosswalk on a busy street (along with dozens of other people who saw it) and not 30-45 minutes later finished my lunch and crossed at the same crosswalk where he was hit. Did I have a short memory? Nope. I didn't perceive an immediate threat and crossed because I thought it was safe to cross. In fact, I crossed at the same spot day after day. It was the traffic that was the threat, not the intersection itself or the crosswalk I crossed in.

    Why would I have any reason to believe that because somebody else was hit by a car that I would be hit by a car? Why would the deer fear being shot just because it happened to another deer? Does the deer actually comprehend hunting and being struck down? For all they know, their fellow deer was hit by something like lightning (louse noise, maybe a flash, a buddy drops), assuming they understand lightning.

    In the world of the deer, they may die at any time and anywhere. It isn't the location that they fear, but what they perceive as threats (sensed people, coyotes, dogs, cars, etc.). There is no reason to believe that a given location is particularly unsafe if no threat is perceived.
     
  24. PX15

    PX15 Member

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    Snakum:

    Well, I can tell you where they've gone...

    Apparently they took I95S to the I16W exit and turned on I16 and got off at the Metter exit..:eek:

    We have more Bambi's than "undocumented immigrants" around here and that's saying a lot.


    Jesse

    P.S. Please come get some of 'em, two have already bounced off my Son's Gran Prix....
     
  25. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No problem.
    My hunting buddy has a 500 yard rifle range in his back 180.

    Shoots his deer out of a tree-stand overlooking the steel targets every year with his trusty bow & arrow.

    If there are deer, shooting won't chase them away when you are not shooting.

    rc
     
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