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New to hunting, what can I do to increase my chances of bagging a deer?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by kayak-man, Dec 15, 2013.

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  1. kayak-man

    kayak-man Member

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    Hey guys,

    Well, over the weekend, I picked up a deer tag, borrowed my dads truck, and took my bow out into the Olympic National Forrest.

    I didn't get anything, but I had a lot of fun, and going to try to get out there every day I can for the rest of the season.

    What are some things I can do to maximize my chances of getting a deer, from the standpoint of just not scarring them away? I think yesterday I was too impatient, and moved around too much, instead of just slowly working my way into a good spot, and parking my butt there for an hour or two. Since I wasn't sure how far from the truck I was going to be, I brought a day pack with some food, water, and a few other things that I probably wouldn't bring this time.

    Sorry for the rambling. I guess my questions can be summed up with:

    - Where are some good places to wait for the deer? Am I looking for lots of sign like droppings and where they rubbed up against a tree? Trying to find their food/water?

    -My backpack is sort of a dark silver color. Should I try to find something else? Wrap it in a dark green shirt? Am I over thinking the color issue?

    - As far as food, what are some of the things you guys like to eat when you're hunting? I'm at a loss here because I try to eat healthy, but don't want to carry a cooler around for grilled chicken? Just looking for some suggestions.

    Thanks guys,

    Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson
     
  2. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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    You gotta be where the deer are, or where they're gonna be. Seems obvious, but it can't be overstated - if you're where they were, they might come back, but unless you're where they are, or where they're gonna be, all you're gonna look at is tracks and poop.

    And if you're gonna ambush 'em, you gotta learn to be still. Like, a cat waiting for a mouse to peek out of its hole, still.
     
  3. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    I think you nailed it right there.

    The longer you can sit still in one spot, doing absolutely nothing without going insane, the better your chances are. Me, I can't do any of those things.
     
  4. wyohome

    wyohome Member

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    Blacktails like the edges of clearcuts. They will be bedded on a south facing slope nearby, maybe getting out midday for awhile, then showing up near dusk. They like to bed in sword ferns and salal. Once you find this area, try to be above them early, and on their route to the clearcuts in the evening.
     
  5. wyohome

    wyohome Member

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    Water sources are not an issue there. Where are you located, east or west?
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
  6. gspn

    gspn Member

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    Buy your local hunting magazines…read them cover to cover. Find online forums that discuss hunting in your region. Talk to guys at the local hunting shops…when you buy gear from them ask them some questions about what others are doing to succeed. As a new hunter you have a lot to learn…the good news is that it's mostly a very fun learning curve. At times it can be challenging and even humbling…but fun all the way.

    Read, read, read…learn, learn, learn. I always tell people you can't kill 'em from the couch. Get out there as much as you can, the field is where you pick up experience.
     
  7. lauderdale
    • Contributing Member

    lauderdale Member

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    Get up a tree you will increase ur odds big big time! (Research it, it can be dangerous,use safety belt!
    Play wind for sure!
    Trail mix/jerky But what JSPN and the other fellows said FOR SURE!!!!!!
    Don't pee around ur hunting spot go when u leave truck!
    Find a comfy tree stand on criags list/borrow/make sure national forrest rules lets you use one?
    Even on ground see rules on clearing yourself shooting lanes the deer will travel down.
    Range a few spots so you know ur yardage,read,read,and read more,find a friend that know's some already,Thats allways fun and safe!
    Then KILL A MONSTER!
     
  8. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    I gotta disagree with getting in a tree!

    If you want to see deer get OUT of the trees and into a blind. Pack a comfortable chair, lots of snacks and a book or smartphone. Basically set yourself up in enough comfort that you can climb in that blind in the morning and not leave till after dark.

    I think you'll find yourself seeing just as many deer at 11am or 2pm as you will in those "golden hours" after dawn and before dusk. But the main thing is to just be out there as much as possible. With hunting your presence is far more important than any tips or tricks.
     
  9. kayak-man

    kayak-man Member

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    I'm on the west side. The areas I'm looking at are Kitsap and Mason county because they are convenient/close (I live in Kitsap) and out past Port Angeles. I believe the GMUs are 603 and 627.

    I'll try and hunt out in Tahuya tomorow morning, and then head back up to PA on Friday. In the meantime, any suggestions on what to read? I'll have a little bit of time while I'm on shift at the fire station this week, and might as well learn some stuff.

    Thanks again guys!
     
  10. gspn

    gspn Member

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  11. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Let's be realistic. You are hunting on public land, with a bow. The numbers vary considerably, but the odd's are against you on public land hunts vs private property. Many of the places where I hunt on public land have historic hunter success numbers of under 5%. One of my favorite spots is under 1%, but those who do take something usually get a monster. Even the better places are around 25%. What you experienced is normal. Public land hunters do good to take one deer every 2-3 years in many places.
     
  12. wyohome

    wyohome Member

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    I am not a bowhunter, but have shot many blacktails at 25 yards or less on public land. The deer are there, find them and ambush while they travel.
     
  13. wyohome

    wyohome Member

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    That is a name that I haven't heard in a while, used to fish that a bit for Steelhead.
     
  14. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    Deer like to travel or hang out where the hardwoods meet the pines or travel fence lines too. Good place for an ambush. Once the season is underway, expect the unexpected and during the rut, hunt the does.
     
  15. kayak-man

    kayak-man Member

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    Also, anyone know any good places in Kitsap County to get after the deer? I'm not looking for any "Secret spots" so much as just a chunk of woods where I might have a shot.

    Thanks,
    Chris
     
  16. Vincent Price

    Vincent Price Member

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    in my experience that gets you nowhere. There are some experienced hunters there of course who may give you some good hints. But there is also a lot of "experts" who don't know anything but will give you loads of advice. For a beginner it is hard to tell them apart.

    It's hard to give advice across the ocean because you probably have very different hunting conditions but here is what I would do. Admittedly most of it has already been said in this thread.

    find a spot along a "game pass" (sorry don't know the correct English word). Meaning a trail where you can find several tracks that look like game is frequently using it.
    wait there out of the wind. Meaning that the wind should come from the game pass to you. The wind is in my experience the most important factor. Stay there. Patience is the key here.
    Make as little noise as possible and move as little as possible. If you do move, do it slowly. No jerking, fast movements.
    A blind and/or getting up in a tree can be very helpful to get out of the wind and to avoid getting spotted by the deer.
    Sitting in ambush is usually easier than walking around trying to spot deer befor it spots you. In Germany we have a saying "one who walks a lot to find the deer sees a lot of deer. One who sits a lot in ambush shoots a lot of deer."
    Walking is of course more exciting but for a beginner I would recommend to wait for them at a game pass.
     
  17. Gunnerboy

    Gunnerboy Member

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    Welcome to the jungle! haha anyways blacktail deer are some of the most illusive and sneaky critters ive seen around, easiest way i found to hunt them is be in a clearcut around 8am thats about the time they start moving into the timber, Patience and moving slow is the key to the blacktail game. Im in southwest wa and cant offer any spots to hunt up there but if you find yourself down here let me know.
     
  18. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    Be patient and don't expect it to be easy... enjoy the experiance.
     
  19. coyote315

    coyote315 Member

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    I'd definitely advise you to bring water to drink, an apple and some jerky (eventually that will be from your previous deer! :) ) and then remember the more slow you move and still you sit, the less food you need. Hunt hungry anyway, it sharpens your senses.
     
  20. kayak-man

    kayak-man Member

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    Thanks guys!

    I was looking at the calander last night, and it looks like I probably won't be able to get out there much more this season. I might be able to squeeze in one more day. On the plus side, that gives me a chance to uprade the string/cams on my bow, increase the poundage, and keep working on my shooting skills.
     
  21. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    We used to run into a fair number of deer while grouse hunting in the national forest north of Olympia.
     
  22. WTBguns10kOK

    WTBguns10kOK Member

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    When moving....stop, look and listen. Repeat.

    Don't worry about colors of clothes or items, it's not as important as being still when there are animals around.
     
  23. courtgreene

    courtgreene Member

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    i also advise you to read "my first deer" (or some such title) in the hunting section posted by "trent." If you shoot at something, learn from his mistakes and wait a while before looking for it... also learn from his tenacity, if you have to strangle it, strangle it!
     
  24. Tony k

    Tony k Member

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    be as silent and stealthy as possible. For most of us who aren't ninjas, that means staying still and working the wind.

    Spend as much time out there as you can. Get to know the area you are hunting in during the off-season.

    I hunt almost exclusively on national forests like you are describing. I've found that the further away you are from an open road, the fewer other hunters you'll encounter.

    Don't feel bad if you don't get one this first year. Most successful hunters get that way through dedication and experience.

    Mostly, don't listen to people on the internets
     
  25. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I know nothing about black-tail deer.

    *But do they have a rut / breeding season this time of year like white-tail??
    *Or scrapes where the bucks like to mark and show how viral they are??
    *Do they have established deer trails between water & food?
    *Do they poop in the woods where you can find tracks and scat piles??

    Without at least finding some of that stuff real soon through scouting for sign?
    And then setting up on a trail or scrape?

    No deer for you with a bow on public land this year!

    Walking around looking for one and finding one is about as likely as finding a unicorn.

    They will either smell, see, or hear you coming way before you can get in bow range.
    That's how the stay alive to reproduce.


    rc
     
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