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every year I forget a key thing about deer hunting

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Jason_W, Nov 7, 2012.

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  1. red rick

    red rick Member

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    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.
     
  2. Mp7

    Mp7 Member

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    *sigh*

    i wish i was in Appalachia now.


    Being in the woods is just great.
     
  3. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

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    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.
     
  4. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    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.
     
  5. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    Now, that made me laugh!
     
  6. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    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.
     
  7. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    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.
     
  8. 27hand

    27hand Member

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    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
     
  9. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    I do know I'll keep going (and complain the entire time).:D
     
  10. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    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
     
  11. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    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.
     
  12. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    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
    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.
     
  13. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    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.
     
  14. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    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.
     
  15. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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    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,
    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.
     
  16. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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

    Jason_W Member

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    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.
     
  18. 27hand

    27hand Member

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    hunting areas

    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.

    1349731402.gif

    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.
    1352517920.jpg

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

    1352517975.jpg

    1352517994.jpg


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

    Jason_W Member

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    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.
     
  20. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    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.
     
  21. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    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.
     
  22. JonP1980

    JonP1980 Member

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    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
     
  23. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    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.
     
  24. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    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
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  25. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    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.
     
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