Northcountryman

Where are the Deer ?

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After opening weekend , sightings of our Most respectable Quarry have dropped off precipitously . Nobody in my club has seen any deer , not even does , during legal shooting hours since Monday. Having said that, However, when I was driving  out to my spot this am around 6, the fields adjacent to the road And on private property were loaded with deer ; What’s up?!! As so often happens in the days following the opener , the deer have figured us out , I imagine and are moving very little ( if at all) during daylight hours and are only coming out under the cover of darkness ? Should we let it rest a bit , do you think ? 
 

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Some of the highest hunter densitys in the country coupled with an insanely long firearm season and you described the results.

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It has been 7 years since I spent the long Thanksgiving weekend deer hunting in the southern zone.  It had been pretty lame for at least 10 years prior to that. 

Basically, driving them out of cover was the only way see any.  I no longer enjoy hunting that way.  I would only do it, if I could find no other way to get venison.  I am not too concerned with that this year, since our freezer is stocked pretty good now.  We had quite a bit of left over, from the last couple years, and my opening day buck yielded a good amount.

I did not see any deer this morning, but I only hunted for a couple of hours.  I plan on putting in quite a few more hours over the next 3 days.  I will be thankful for just one chance at an antlerless deer, thru this weekend. I think my odds of that are pretty good.  

One of my local spots has improved a ton, over the last 7 years, thanks to a new neighbor who ended some chronic trespassing issues.  I will be hunting there all day Saturday. The spot I hunted this morning has held steady and has some great looking food plots this year.  I am hunting it again tomorrow.  

I am definitely heading back up north for the late ML season.  It starts a week earlier up there.  As long as there is some snow by then, my spot should be loaded with antlerless deer.  The best thing about it is, I will be able to hunt for a buck again.   

Edited by wolc123

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I will wait until the deer go back to close to normal,which should be by next week sometime. The weekend after this looks great right now..Cold and possibly snow. 

Deer hunting can be hard enough when they are active,i dont need to try it when the deer are hiding after opening weekend. Plus i am in a fairly good position with two bucks in the freezer. 

Muzzleloader season is great.

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44 minutes ago, GreeneHunter said:

I'd say the reverted to keeping all their activities to during the night and bedding all day ?

Yup , agree , but what I can’t figure out is , areas that I thought were For bedding  Are holding no deer !! Maybe they’re just Heavy cover areas and not truly bedding ? 

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1 minute ago, Northcountryman said:

Yup , agree , but what I can’t figure out is , areas that I thought were For bedding  Are holding no deer !! Maybe they’re just Heavy cover areas and not truly bedding ? 

I think they have multiple bedding areas and also sometimes bed wherever feels right at the moment. I sometimes still hunt and cover a lot of ground and dont even spook a deer,that is frustrating. It just means that they are not there at that moment or maybe the day. Deer sort of do rotations in my opinion..I have no clue as to the schedule,but have noticed it. I also think they do group up and that makes you think the woods are empty  if you dont see the group.

My hunting buddy has been hunting hard since opening day and seen next to nothing. Opening day he spent all day in a stand and saw not even a tail. 

Things will turn around sooner or later.

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6 minutes ago, BowmanMike said:

I will wait until the deer go back to close to normal,which should be by next week sometime. The weekend after this looks great right now..Cold and possibly snow. 

Deer hunting can be hard enough when they are active,i dont need to try it when the deer are hiding after opening weekend. Plus i am in a fairly good position with two bucks in the freezer. 

Muzzleloader season is great.

Yeah , you know , I used To think that Excessive hunting Pressure would simply drive the deer deeper into the woods , and , I’m not saying there’s not some of that going on , but I think it’s too simplified. I think they’re sticking to thick heavy cover but not changing their core areas too much and just hunkering down till the  perceived hunting pressure Lessens a bit . I’ll bet hunters walk right by them all the time and never even know it lol 

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3 minutes ago, Northcountryman said:

Yeah , you know , I used To think that Excessive hunting Pressure would simply drive the deer deeper into the woods , and , I’m not saying there’s not some of that going on , but I think it’s too simplified. I think they’re sticking to thick heavy cover but not changing their core areas too much and just hunkering down till the  perceived hunting pressure Lessens a bit . I’ll bet hunters walk right by them all the time and never even know it lol 

I always wish there was a way to know how many deer i walked by on a long still hunt or how many snuck off without me knowing. I dont think i would like the number.

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I think hunting pressure makes the deer choose their bedding spots more wisely,where they can either see you coming or hear you. I think they are more lax about that early on but remember pretty quickly that their life depends on it. With no snow on the ground the deer definitely have the advantage of spotting us first.

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I still say all these guys who sight there guns in the weekend prior to, or days before gun opener are simply alerting the experienced deer.  It’s every year.  

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That’s called over pressure, I’ve seen tons of deer. Happens every gun season, if you wanna see numbers you need to be out in bow. 

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7 hours ago, Hock3y24 said:

That’s called over pressure, I’ve seen tons of deer. Happens every gun season, if you wanna see numbers you need to be out in bow. 

Fully agree ! I'm not a Bow hunter by any means but do Crossbow . First day of Crossbow my son and I saw 5 Does and two Bucks and one Coyote ..... now barely see Does unless one of us kicks them while still hunting !


Answer to No One !

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Between the 3 of us that hunt together on private property, we haven't even seen a deer since gun season opened. Can't blame it on hunting pressure, as we have very little, if any, in the area. We might have heard 1 shot within 1/2 mile of us, but any others sounded like they were ~1 mile away. Seems like all the deer have gone nocturnal. The woods seem void of life! Not very motivating, that's for sure...


"It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice." - Wease

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Five trail cameras at my hunting spot reveal very little activity both day or night for the last two weeks. Previous to that, had all sorts of pictures on the cameras. 

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32 minutes ago, OldBrian said:

Five trail cameras at my hunting spot reveal very little activity both day or night for the last two weeks. Previous to that, had all sorts of pictures on the cameras. 

Wow , that’s discouraging , guess I’m far from the only one seeing this then !! So , how long before they resume their daily pre  gun Season activities ?

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Once they get a whiff of unusual human activity they perceive as danger they will go into survival mode and all their so called normal activity we see most of the year is deserted. They are still living in their home range laying low in the best habitat that conceals them and moving mostly under the cover of darkness to feed.

Your best friend now is snow and getting out of those tree stands and ground blinds  putting the "hunt" back into hunting. Still hunting and tracking is the way to go now and these methods will show you exactly where they are and how they are moving.

I am not a huge fan of drives but it is a productive way to get them out of their hiding spots and expose themselves.

Al

Edited by airedale
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Serious Dogs For Serious Work

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40 minutes ago, Northcountryman said:

Wow , that’s discouraging , guess I’m far from the only one seeing this then !! So , how long before they resume their daily pre  gun Season activities ?

As long as it takes to get some snow cover.  Knowbody knows where they are hiding by day now, but they still need to come out at night to feed.  When there is snow, folks will get on them tracks and push them back out.

Also, when it is warm, they dont need to eat as much.  You will start seeing action again, when the temperature and the snow falls.  Prior to that, the only option I know that will work, is driving the heavy cover

  I am hoping that some of the young locals will be pushing the adjacent jungle this morning, as they often do on the Friday morning after Thanksgiving.  Otherwise, I am just enjoying the warm temperatures, and relaxation in my most comfortable stand.  I brought along my favorite book to read, so either way, my time won't be wasted.

20201121_151414.jpg

Edited by wolc123

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12 hours ago, Northcountryman said:

After opening weekend , sightings of our Most respectable Quarry have dropped off precipitously . Nobody in my club has seen any deer , not even does , during legal shooting hours since Monday. Having said that, However, when I was driving  out to my spot this am around 6, the fields adjacent to the road And on private property were loaded with deer ; What’s up?!! As so often happens in the days following the opener , the deer have figured us out , I imagine and are moving very little ( if at all) during daylight hours and are only coming out under the cover of darkness ? Should we let it rest a bit , do you think ? 
 

    The Deer know they are being Hunted .  Spring Gobblers respond by Gobbling much less by Day # 4 after seeing one after another 2 Legged Predator sneaking up close to their Trees. 

  Day # 4- That is when the Spring Hunting gets much Tougher.

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Once gun starts you have to hunt up close to the houses , I’m kidding but that’s also true.

 

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Food and undisturbed bedding areas are key. People that don't see deer think they bed down all day, thats not  the case. Since bow i have watched a doe and her doe fawn stay on my property and throughout the day only move in a 100 yard radius. Its a  mountain side,  secluded spot with a foodplot and a sanctuary. They would eat in the plot and go bed in either my neighbors tall grass or into my sanctuary and repeat that in the afternoon. They did that countless times. I used them as live decoys and it paid off the day after the gun opener as a 7 pointer came looking for them. 

In the same location during the last week of bow/crossbow I had  6 does and a 3 pointer around me and literally in a 2 hour period they moved a total of 10 yards picking through the leaves eating red acorns. If they have food, bedding, water and no pressure in one spot  they will literally not move a whole lot.

Edited by NYBowhunter

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I havent hunted as much this year as past years by now because I was lucky enough to take a nice big ML doe, but as of tonight I am at the camp for most of the next 9 days getting serious....

This year though, I have certainly seen more hunters in the woods, most from out of the local area ( I know my neighbors). I think between that and the warmer temps, the deer are hunkering down more. My game cameras are certainly showing plenty of deer up through this week.

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I have a few cell cameras at my place and they have been pretty dead for about 10 days. But last night I did get 3 bucks on camera. Hopefully its a sign of things improving. 

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