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How close to opening day would you sight in?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by ochsen, Nov 16, 2020.

  1. ochsen

    ochsen Member

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    I’m considering sighting in a rifle tomorrow (Tuesday) for opening day buck season this coming Monday. I’m worried that I might pressure the deer prematurely and they’ll all be spooked. I have been seeing a lot more traffic this year and don’t want to spoil anything.

    I do have other rifles ready to go but I’d like to use something different. I’d be sighting in around noon time in the general area I’d hunt.

    So, how close to opening day would you do this? Would you do this with 6 days left?
     
  2. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    Well to be honest, I'd check my sights and/or scope at a range, NOT where I hunt. Yes, I will check a week or so out.

    LD
     
  3. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I'm not sure gun fire is going to run off deer. I shoot year round at a range and have no doubts about my rifles being zeroed. And I've had deer and turkey walk right out into the range to feed while I'm shooting.
     
  4. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    There's a groundhog who actually lives downrange where I shoot..., but you pointed out already why such critters are not bothered...., people shoot all the time.
    The deer in the huge open area next to the lot where a sanitation company stores it's trucks don't react when they man the trucks in the morning. Massive banging noises, but they don't raise their heads, because it happens a lot. ;)
    I don't know what else happens on the land where the OP hunts, but on the small farm where I am the only hunter, when I shoot one of a group of does..., ALL the rest look my way when the shot is heard, and then scamper off.

    LD
     
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  5. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    its not too uncommon for me to verify my gun a day or two before opening day. I hunt close to home too. Its not ideal, but we"re always busy this time of year.
     
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  6. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

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    I won't ask why you don't sight in somewhere else. Not gonna do it. Uh-uh. Didn't say nothing.

    I don't think a small amount of gunfire will spook them badly. My guess would be that what spooks them one day, may be forgotten the next. But I've never talked to a deer about that.

    I've always believed, that what really tips the deer off to hunting season is the early morning slamming of truck and jeep doors. And of course I think they are tuned into all of a sudden there's ten times as many humans skulking around, exhibiting predator behavior.

    In most places, there's periodic target practice going on, so I would guess that gunshots alone might not spook them that badly, if not very close or directed at them. ?? Just guessing. How many shots it take to get sighted in may make a difference.

    But having blown all that hot air, I'd suggest sighting in somewhere else, if at all possible.
     
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  7. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have had deer walk out between me and my target while I was shooting.

    This is the spot and time I killed the last hog I shot, just a few hours after I sighted in the rifle I used when I got there. I can’t tell you how many other distant shots I heard while I was sitting there, that evening either.

    7C584577-1535-446B-83AD-027D667872CC.jpeg

    They were back just a few hours later.

    7ED16A73-31C2-4422-8EBF-CFF65D41EC86.jpeg

    The deer were right on time the next morning.

    A5260B02-F07F-4130-B181-16613B13515C.jpeg

    Just not that big of a deal.
     
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  8. stillquietvoice

    stillquietvoice Member

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    Y first year back into hunting, afterbirth jury, had a new to me 243 win. Couldn't find ammo until the night before season started. Sighted in in the morning at o e spot and then traveled to a different place and killed a doe 2 hrs later.
     
  9. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

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    The range where I do most of my shooting has frequent deer and turkey sightings. I can't explain it but they don't deem to care.

    I shot in a mid-range prone match a little over a month ago, and a cease fire was called while a small buck walked across the range during live fire.:thumbdown:
     
  10. entropy

    entropy Member

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    We have deer between the Traps and the shotfall zone at our club all the time, as well as on the rifle, pistol, and bow ranges. Turkey, pheasant, rabbits, too, even saw a grouse a couple years ago. I sometimes use the deer behind the Traps as my staring point when I call pull. We had a rabbit sit about 10 feet away and watch me and one other guy in a shoot off during Annie Oakleys last summer. He never moved until we were done, just sat and watched us.

    When I worked at gun shops, it happened a few times that guys would come in to buy a gun and a box of ammo on the Friday night before the opener. The drunk ones were not happy when we'd refuse to sell. I always told them "Hey, come back in tomorrow morning sober, and I'll be glad to sell you a deer rifle!"
     
  11. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I was sighted in back in April for this year, I have confirmed the zero three or four times since. That said a few years ago I took a nasty fall coming in from the morning hunt. Gun/scope came down pretty hard on a log. After lunch I went out and confirmed zero before going back out for the afternoon hunt. I saw that same spike buck again that afternoon. He was haunting me all season that year.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
  12. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    I have had deer with in shooting distance acting normal as can be. Some one shot really close by and all the deer did was raise their heads for a breif moment and went right back to what they were doing.
     
  13. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    If you have a place you can shoot already, why would you pay to go to a range?

    I always sight soon before opener. I drive 900 miles to MI every year and want to confirm zero after the trip and climate change. About 500 yds from where I hunt too.

    Personally I think going out in the woods before opener does more to spook the deer. I still do it though. Many people check their stands and blinds at the last second. I bow hunt up until the gun opener and I have no complaints about my gun season success.
     
  14. JDeere

    JDeere Member

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    I shoot year round so it's really not an issue. As far as scaring deer no worries. Opening day I shot a doe cause I had not seen any bucks I wanted. Not 5 minutes after taking the doe a nice buck walks in, took him to. Sometimes they scatter after a shot and sometimes they just look around. I think it depends on wind direction and how the stars are aligned...
     
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  15. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    Like others I shoot all year. I've got deer on cameras literally 500 yds behind where I'm shooting from, while I'm shooting. Gunfire, barking dogs, farm machinery are just things they get used to.

    My normal procedure is to practice with my rifle up to a couple weeks before the season, clean it, then head out back to fire a couple rounds just to season the bore. It's rare to have a rifle that's POI is the same between clean and fouled bore. Barring rain/snow, it won't get cleaned again till after the season.
     
  16. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    Do you honestly think a deer would remember and remain alarmed over a gunshot for 6 days?
     
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  17. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    ^^^This. While I wouldn't shoot the night before opening day if my stand was not far off, I have checked my guns for zero during the season on the same area I hunt and shot deer relatively soon afterward. I have shot deer standing in front of me and had the rest of the group stand there and watch it kick. Watched my granddaughter miss a deer during the youth hunt this year(watched the dirt kick up behind it, the 10 year old was in another stand 60 yards to the back and of me) and it ran 40 yards with her ears laid back only to stop and go back to feeding right underneath me in my bow stand.

    That said....you should be shooting regularly enough that it won't take much to check if the gun is still on.
     
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  18. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    and it’s just another sound they are acclimated too. If they run from vehicles, put feeders on them and throw corn when you cross the place they were in, then they will come to your location for the same reason I see more coyotes on the edge of fields when I am running a tractor than sitting in a stand, it’s an easy food source.
     
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  19. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    In my experience it has not. I shot a deer after shooting my 338 Precision rifle a while. It walked out at my 100 yard target. I also see deer in the field where we shoot skeet once or twice a year. We go after the hay is mowed and shoot 1k or so. Was a big event when all the kids were smaller. Not so much now. Most every time we quit out right before sundown and as we were cleaning up the field would get full of deer.



    Or 1 day

    I will check my 300 the day before season. If I had a new load or something I would do it earlier but nothing has changed. Gun is in the safe. Should be ok. It always has been.
     
  20. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    There have been many occasions where we killed a deer in the morning, and shot another in the evening off the same stand. Many times.
    It just doesn't effect things that long.

    With that being said, I generally don't have to do much sighting in. I love to shoot and try to get to the range often enough that things stay dialed in.
    It doesn't always work out that way, but I try.
     
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  21. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    I stay out of my hunting area, unless I'm hunting.
     
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  22. ochsen

    ochsen Member

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    Wow I wasn’t expecting so many replies. Thanks everyone.

    So the boring details:
    I’ve only been hunting for 6 years or so and each year I’ve been shooting a different cartridge from my father in laws selection of rifles. This year it’s 35 Remington. It’s actually sighted in using 150gr Corelokts which apparently isn’t made anymore. I don’t want to use up my father in laws ammo and was still able to replace that with some new/old stock. I ordered 200gr Leverevolution and it finally came in—that’s what I was going to sight in.

    My in laws have an old farm in WV, a little over 100 acres, so the rifle fire is definitely loud no matter where you are on the property. Due to COVID-19 I’ve been spending my time there/here working from home. I’ve been watching A LOT more deer and larger bucks than I ever have. I don’t want to jeopardize my chances with sighting in this late. At any rate, we’ve been having crazy high winds these past few days on top of this mountain, so I don’t think it would be productive trying to sight this in. My FIL has an old .243 Win Sako that’s ready to go that I really like, so I’ll be using that again this year.

    I live in SW PA, there are a ton of sportsman clubs around there but all are closed to the public. I’d definitely zero in elsewhere if I could, but this is what I have available.

    > Do you honestly think a deer would remember and remain alarmed over a gunshot for 6 days?

    LOL. Maybe I’m just superstitious or paranoid. Or both.
     
  23. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    Like everyone here has said. It really doesn't matter. Deer hunting is a multi million dollar industry. People are gullible. They pay people to use their stuff and then pay for them to hunt on camera on a reserve. They know where and when the animals will move. Ive seen it personally. A hunter friend of mine was allowed a moose, one particular moose with a broken horn was his to kill. Was the number 2 moose on the reserve. They sat him where the moose would be. He killed it and they gave him the missing piece of horn. Lol. All the scent lock and BS he advertised was of no consequence but people watching the show have no idea about all the particulars. I have many old pictures of us in KISS shirts and shorts with nice deer. I wear deodorant and wash my clothes in the washer with everything else. If you are hunting for freezer meat then all the crap they sell you is not needed. If your out in the middle of nowhere with a bow, hunting for a mature buck it can have its place but At rifle ranges I've not seen any reason for it. I switched to almost always hunting with a handgun because with a rifle is not so much hunting as target practice. In my state we have unlimited deer tags. 2 buck but all the doe you want. Plus we have de-predation permits to kill all we feel need. Nobody goes without a deer and the population still rises. I also hunt in the Appalachian Mountains. Both here and in wv is legal to hunt over a corn pile. If you can't kill a deer every few days over a corn pile then the noise 6 days ago isn't the problem.
    I don't like to hunt over a pile but if it's been a busy year and I didn't get to hunt i know I can fill my freezer from my yard over a corn pile. No fancy deer "cocain" or anything else works better than corn imo. I can shoot multiple deer out of the same pile, and I gut them 20 yards away from it. Sometimes I even get coyote that way.

    Archery aside, hunting deer isn't very difficult. And even then ive seen little problem. I haven't hunted with a bow in years but the last year I did i killed 5 from one stand and one from my yard. If you struggle to get a deer you will probably never get a bobcat or coyote. Crow are more attentive in my opinion than deer. Ive shot deer with their head in a gut pile licking and sniffing deer blood.

    Millions of deer are killed every year by loud vehicle. Ive seen semi trucks screaming along lit up like a comet kill deer many times..... i seen one kill 4 at one time in front of a hay field we have. Do the roads shut down 6 days at a time to bait them back in?

    We hit some every year with a disc/sickle mower while mowing hay. A screaming tractor running 8 or 10 mph...... deer are IN MY OPINION the stupidest game animal hunted. With squirrel being close. . Both will often spot you and try to run you off. Deer will do that thing where they look away slowly then jerk back to you and try to catch you moving. They will often stomp and paw at you or blow to run you off. Squirrel just twitch their tail and fuss at you. Neither are all that smart when it comes to self preservation. Countless times ive shot a deer while the others just stood there. And if they do see you and run they almost always circle back.

    Screenshot_20201117-124315_Gallery.jpg

    Took that the other day while my family (3 loud kids) was eating supper at the table.

    And yeah I'm aware the bank is barren. I've spent a staggering amount of money on that bank and can't even get the briars to take it. Lol
     
  24. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Some places have more pressure than others.
    Nobody I know kills mature bucks by half arsing it.

    That said, filling the freezer w younger deer can be easy.
    Just depends on what one wants to do.

    My little spot has been good the last 5 yrs, but properties next door sold, new hunting pressure (legal and illegal) really has things jacked up this yr.
    Been crappy even through bow (proly x bow users next door).

    We are the last cover for a bit, and deer movement comes along 3 paths. With crop rotation and harvest, we are down to pretty much one way..........and the neighbors are influencing that movement greatly.

    Is what it is.

    Never know when a hot doe will bring a buck across the field.
    I'm dreading the cold and late MZ season.

    Im willing to burn my tag on a 100" 8 pt, as long as I get a cool picture of my rifle and deer.
    You shoot small deer, use a neat rifle :)
     
  25. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Hunting small parcel ground, we let others hunt earlier nearby and educate the deer.
    Try to let our area be a bit of a sanctuary.
    By the shooting opening day, seems like a few were trying to get to us LOL.

    Some shooting on our place, but not by us.
    My hunting bud is the caretaker and he aint happy.
    We have the conservation officer on speed dial.

    Had problems a few yrs back and we got that fixed. Looks like the new people need to be reminded of the law and manners.
     
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