ApexerER

Where will the deer be in 2+ feet of snow?

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I hunted once in very deep snow on Thanksgiving 7 or 8 years ago. It was wet snow and even though it was over a foot it melted quick. I got a call from one of my hunting buddies last night that was down on the lease trying to plow us some parking area's. He had a very hard time and said there was over 2 feet of snow and didn't get a whole lot plowed.  He asked me to bring my snowmobile this weekend thinking maybe I could pack down some of the trails we have cause he doesn't think there is any way his 4 wheeler will get through it. 

I have hunted in a few inches of snow several times but never in 2+ feet. What can I expect the deer to be doing with that much snow? They can't dig for acorns in that much can they? Will they stick to thick pines where the snow isn't as deep? I am a terrible still hunter but thinking that might be my only option this weekend. I can't imagine 2 feet of snow won't change the deer pattern. I am guessing if I find one I will find several....Obviously I will be able to tell where they have been from tracks as well. 

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In deep snow deer in my area tend to hold up in pine standings, the snow depth can be substantially less under the pines. They will move from cover to cover and  have seen them dig deep to get to clover etc.. in foodplots, will also nip at tree buds / branch tips of apple trees. 

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6 minutes ago, NYBowhunter said:

In deep snow deer in my area tend to hold up in pine standings, the snow depth can be substantially less under the pines. They will move from cover to cover and  have seen them dig deep to get to clover etc.. in foodplots, will also nip at tree buds / branch tips of apple trees. 

+1. In heavy pines by me for sure

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schaghticoke area not far from me got 27+" we had 16-17" in the first pass. haven't been out again to check total but i'm thinking it's about 2' feet or so. being mid week i haven't made it out to the farm yet. I'm sure i'll need the sled to get anywhere. deer still travel just not as much. i'm going to look in south facing slopes with oaks (acorns). thick pine stands too where not as much snow hit the ground. small saddles are no longer good but edges of them are fine if you're using a bow. anywhere deep snow will drift or pocket deer will obviously go around. they're still out there. they don't really go anywhere.


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Upper Hudson River Valley QDMA

 

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pines was my first thought too.  They seem to love those areas when the snow comes down.  Good call on south facing slopes too, especially if sun is out.

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Thick Pines or any thick area that wont allow the snow fall to be as great on the ground followed by a good food source or the travel route from the thick cover to the food source.

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Hunted with over 2 feet or snow and single digit temperature, during muzzleloader a few years ago with a friend. He found them in the planted pines. They were dug in tighter than an Alabama tick. Shot 2 out of their beds with the muzzleloader. They wouldn't move.

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Thanks for all the responses, I think I am going to try and hit the pine thickets first from downwind of course. Maybe I can get my first ever deer stalking....

How far away from the pines should I really start to slow down and glass etc? I am a terrible still hunter....More than 100 yds? I assume the answer probably depends how thick it is until the pines....

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3 minutes ago, ApexerER said:

Thanks for all the responses, I think I am going to try and hit the pine thickets first from downwind of course. Maybe I can get my first ever deer stalking....

How far away from the pines should I really start to slow down and glass etc? I am a terrible still hunter....More than 100 yds? I assume the answer probably depends how thick it is until the pines....

I have a couple stands that hug close to pine stands that lead to food and bedding. 

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Thick pines/cover, or...

I am right on the edge of the Tug (west side). As the snow deepens, they move out of our area down to the lowlands where there is less. If that happens, deer hunting is like fishing in a toilet. I can look all I want but aint gonna like what I see.

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37 minutes ago, ApexerER said:

Thanks for all the responses, I think I am going to try and hit the pine thickets first from downwind of course. Maybe I can get my first ever deer stalking....

How far away from the pines should I really start to slow down and glass etc? I am a terrible still hunter....More than 100 yds? I assume the answer probably depends how thick it is until the pines....

Head to the pines in the dark and try to set up within range to see in if possible.  I know we have at times jumped in stands in the morning in the pines and the deer stayed bedded within 50yds until sun up.  Quiet and downwind helps!

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By the way, if it were me and you don't spot anything sun up, I would sit a bit but would then do a quiet walk through as you may push up bedded deer that you can't see.  just a thought.

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Pines... That's where i head too in a snow or rainstorm... Shot a button buck in 2 feet of snow a few years ago. The drag out sucked...

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11 hours ago, Pygmy said:

Any multiflora rose around  ?   They love the berries and they are up out of the snow....

Not that I have ever noticed.....

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11 hours ago, Hock3y24 said:

If you can find pines next to oaks, I’d sit right on the edge.

I think this is exactly what I am going to do for the first hour or so......Then I am going to hit the rest of the pine standings I am aware of on the property....

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Any type of thermal cover, as mentioned. As far as food, especially in wet heavy snow.. Ive read they can smell a single kernel of corn through almost a ft of fresh light fluffy snow.. wet heavy snow only a couple inches.. So id think they will go to areas they know hold acorns, or whatever available food and start digging in hopes to hit the right spot. but To save the energy they will probably consume twigs and natural woody browse above the snow.. which can very well be the pine branches they may lay next too.. 

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Pines, wind (snow drift) buffers and yarded up in big groups so feast or famine in terms of sightings the later in season it gets in my own observations.

Edited by OtiscoPaul

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