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Steering the Deer- Can you?


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Read an article last night in NAW about rerouting deer in order to draw them in closer to a prime stand location that was intersting.  The author talked about placing obstructions in current heavily trodden paths and opening up other lanes where you want them to go. Potentially,  this could be useful for me in one of the places I hunt , but sounds like a lot of work. Another thing he mentions is using smelly shirts loaded with BO to reroute them; anyone ever try this before and if so, was it worth it?

 

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I have not tried the smelly shirt thing, but I have cleared and blocked trails. I had loggers on my property a few years ago and the tops they left completely changed travel routes. I used it to my advantage and opened new travel routes to pass closer to my stand locations. I also built-up barriers using tops and branches to redirect. It was amazing on how fast this worked. I found tracks on the "new" trails within a few days. I have created a few pinch points or funnels over the last few years. It doesn't need to be done all at once. I've settled into incremental improvement, I do a little every year and see what works and what doesn't. 

I would also say that most of the new movement are doe who tend to travel in groups. Lone bucks seem to like the super thick travel routes and are harder to influence, but during the rut the bucks come to the doe.

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I've seen those articles before. Even tried some of the methods myself years ago. Never quite worked out like I planned.  What I've found is that it's usually much better to just have the deer go on THEIR preferred travel route. Then make your set up based off of that. Somewhere along that line of travel, there will usually be a great spot to intercept the deer within your shooting range. Good scouting makes good set ups.

The less intrusion the better I think. And no way would I ever introduce "smelly shirts" in an area I want to hunt! Why alert the animals you plant to hunt of your presence? Instead of moving to a trail you want them on, they may just avoid the area all together?

At times it is easy to over think our hunting. Over many decades of hunting, I've found that keeping it simple, using some woodsmanship, and a little common sense, go much farther than most magazine articles I read.

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I've blocked holes in old fences and made new ones closer to my stand.  Old hole was around 55 yards. New one was 25yrds. Sometimes the deer would just jump the fence at the old location, other times they would use the new hole. Never killed anything for that stand. 

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   I have a neighbor that puts a ladder stand on our common property line and faces it directly towards a heavy game trail that is 50 yards into my land. I remind him that he does not have permission to shoot onto my land but refuses to move the stand. So every year I hang t-shirts just inside my property that are drenched in essential oils and sweat. I guess its possible to reroute deer, since I've never heard a shot come from that area.

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it works but not how some recommend like using twine or dropping trees. also if you pinch things in too much and make them feel uncomfortable like they can't escape how they want, they'll just skirt the whole area all together. you give them a reason to desire to go where you are. in open hardwoods thin a few spots to create patches of browse. do that around your stand too as long as you keep back cover to hide you in the tree. for food plots you can plant screening to section a food plot open a spot to walk through close to your stand or blind. streams you can knock down banks with equipment in a certain spot close to where your stand is easier to hunt and not get busted. i've used mock scrapes and curiosity scents that turned into spots the deer left scent and kept maintained themselves. fallow fields i've mowed a strip this time of year so there's some young lush green stuff to browse as they walk by vs matured weeds. you're enticing them not forcing them.

i would never do the t shirt idea. you're adding your presence which is bad depending on any specific deer how it handles presence. also even if they deer stayed the shirt will develop its own odor that the deer get used to and eventually ignore anyway. it won't help you either because they smell a presence from you X days old and you on stand will smell more and different. my thoughts anyway.

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7 minutes ago, dbHunterNY said:

it works but not how some recommend like using twine or dropping trees. also if you pinch things in too much and make them feel uncomfortable like they can't escape how they want, they'll just skirt the whole area all together. you give them a reason to desire to go where you are. in open hardwoods thin a few spots to create patches of browse. do that around your stand too as long as you keep back cover to hide you in the tree. for food plots you can plant screening to section a food plot open a spot to walk through close to your stand or blind. streams you can knock down banks with equipment in a certain spot close to where your stand is easier to hunt and not get busted. i've used mock scrapes and curiosity scents that turned into spots the deer left scent and kept maintained themselves. fallow fields i've mowed a strip this time of year so there's some young lush green stuff to browse as they walk by vs matured weeds. you're enticing them not forcing them.

i would never do the t shirt idea. you're adding your presence which is bad depending on any specific deer how it handles presence. also even if they deer stayed the shirt will develop its own odor that the deer get used to and eventually ignore anyway. it won't help you either because they smell a presence from you X days old and you on stand will smell more and different. my thoughts anyway.

I have used some of those techniques also. I brush hog a winding lane through the middle of my fields, and i find that the doe will use that path over trying to fight through the thick weeds. I have a stand that is surrounded by thick briars, and I cut a path through them every year. the deer will start using it the next day.

I try to create paths of least resistance in some areas and install resistance in other areas. The other parts of the equation are using the natural terrain to your advantage and using their existing travel routes. my goal is to "gently" guide them.

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I have absolutely had success keeping runs clear and blocking off others. It's next level type hunting and I've seen big bucks not give a F and go through stuff I didn't think was possible. But yeah for sure it works to some degree. I think it's most important when you have a productive stand go bad. Chances are there's a big tree down somewhere and they're now taking a new path. 

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Not personally while hunting, but JC has steered close to a hundred my way, over the last 40 years.   He sent one to me already on New Year’s day of this year, during my new favorite time to hunt deer, the Holiday ML season:

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Beats the hell out of tag soup.

 

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I have not "steered" deer as such.  But, for archery season, I sometimes place some limbs on a well used trail near my stand so that a deer coming down the trail will give me the slightly quartering away angle that I want.  It has worked for me and it's not very intrusive.

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I have steered many deer . Blocking trail as a juncture not in middle is key  many time the will just go around the obstruction. 

The newest blockage  i put in is a pond. It blocked 9 trails that use to cross a swale randomly and now they have to go around either end  of the pond. Makes a easy pinch point and i got a new  emeraĺd and golden shiner pond :)

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