- peter VermouthMemberJanuary 22, 2017 at 9:08 amPost count: 916
I intended to start this a while ago, too busy. Right now I have the flu.
Nope, didn’t get a deer this year. That doesn’t mean I didn’t learn anything. Often we learn more from failure than success. On the other hand I did see Deer. Bucks and Does!! This is the third year I’ve hunted. The first year I didn’t see any deer, the second year I only saw a couple. This year I saw over a dozen. If I had a doe tag, I would be eating doe meat now. I did see bucks. I know of two BIG’UNS that I have seen… didn’t get a shot, too far away, or too much brush in the way. I wanted to share what worked, and what didn’t work… might help, and would like the same from you.
Rattling. I rattled and grunted a lot with NO result. I’m thinking there are sooooo many does in relation to the bucks that they are thinking why bother fighting, and we all know a buck will not leave a doe in estrus.
Trail Cams: Best money I’ve spent in a long long time. Didn’t get the fancy jobs, no video, just pics. I have one I don’t like and two I do like. Good ones are Moultrie, just the basic model. I know how to read sign. Look at a track in the mud, or a pile of poop, and say a deer was here since the last time it rained. Don’t know if it was day or night, don’t know how often the deer is there… Yeah, I’ve put up threads across a deer trail, to find out when, but still not all that exact. Not much information, unless you sit there for a 24 hour day. Even then you don’t know if you spooked the deer. Yes there are bedding areas, and feeding areas, but they are eating acorns, and they are EVERYWHERE. The camera will sit there and wait, doesn’t sneeze, burp, fart, sweat, pick its nose, cough, pee, or any of the other things we all do to scare the deer away. Look at the pics and you know the day, time, and what it was that was there (Buck, Doe, or turkey parade). What I learned is that there are a lot of places the deer only frequent once a week.. or even once a month. An additional benefit is the variety of wildlife you get to see. We have seen turkey parades that included over 24 birds, coons, possums, porcupines, coyotes, bobcats, and one buck trying to get onto a porn site. When I come home from a walk in the woods the girls are waiting for me… Not to see me, to see the trail cam pics.
Gum. This is not scientific, but it seems it is a lot easier to sit still when I am chewing gum. Just have to remember to stop chewing when walking.
Listening: EVERY time I saw deer I heard them first. It may be that more deer went by silently that I didn’t see, but I’m really thinking that sound is more important than sight. Could also be that the noise woke me up.
Swamp. Since we were having a drought the swamps were mud (no standing water) so I went in there last August. I found lots of tracks, poop, and all of the high ground (islands?) had beds. Didn’t see any deer, but they could have been 3 feet away, the foliage was so thick. I did get mud up to my ass, the girls hosed me off when I got home. It was well worth the misery, now I KNOW where they bed (hide) during the day.
Doe Blat: The only times I saw the BIG’UN (I think there are three of them) was when I used the doe blat. I parked myself beside the swamp, and bleated. The BIG’UNs just peeked out of the swamp and went back. Don’t think they saw, heard, or smelled me, I’m thinking they were not alone….
Stalking/still hunting: Saw deer a few times while still hunting (White tail two step). I’m thinking they just happened to be walking by when I was sitting still (aka resting). Stalking is best used to approach a stand. MUST be used to approach a stand, You stalk the stand, wait the traditional 30 minutes for things to get back to normal, then do something to draw the deer out. i.e. rattle, grunt, or blat.
To be continued….
- peter VermouthMemberJanuary 25, 2017 at 5:29 pmPost count: 916
It is really unfortunate that you never know just why you didn’t see, or get a shot at critters. The worst heart breaker is when you see a deer just out of range, or in the brush, and a left turn will bring him into range, and the @#$%^&*() turns right. Did he see you? Did he smell you? Hear your stomach growling? Hear your heart beating? Feel your steely stare? You never know. Maybe a different camo pattern, a different deodorant. Did you brush your teeth? GOD this is worse than your first date, not A first date. THE first date. Or any date where she never returned your calls. OK, if your are still married to your first date you don’t know what I’m talking about, but most of have been dumped, and redumped, and redumped.
The Lost Rub Line. Last spring, I found a rub line. Lots of big rubs. I’m talking about a hemlock thicket with a rub on every tree, Even the mature trees had scars from rubs 5, 10, or 20 years ago. Rubs on multable sides of the tree, trees that died from rubicide. A week later I went back to scout it out a bit more. and guess what. I couldn’t find it. Did I mark it on my Garman? NO! I didn’t have one. I returned a few weeks later, returned several times, with the Garman. I have yet to find it. I’m thinking they moved it.
Patterns. We have all have read/heard about patterning deer. Sorry to say, I’ve done the research (with trail cams), and there are no patterns. If you (or your trail cam) sees a deer in a specific place, they may, or may not show up again. If they do, it is unlikely that you will be there, if you are, it may be just a random event. That means you are just as likely to see a deer anyplace else in the woods.
Cold. The best way to keep warm is the keep moving, the best way to spook deer is to keep moving. How do you keep warm, while not moving (shooting from your truck is illegal, and rather awkward with a bow longer than 2 feet). Years ago I realized that if I sit/stand on insulation, I squeeze the air out. Without an air space there is no insulation. The ice fishermen I watch out on the lake stand on a piece of plywood to stay off the ice. When you are standing on your fleece socks, they are squished flat, and offer no insulation. When you sit on your camo snow pants, that too is flat. I have done much better by using closed cell foam inserts in my boots, and I made a but cover with 3/4″ closed cell foam, covered with coated (water proof) nylon with a belt to hold it. Water proof is essential because wet is cold, and New England is wet.
COVER SCENT. An apple in your pocket may help, but there are better options. I tie a piece of indoor/outdoor carpet to my left boot and keep it damp with doe pee. Does it work? I have seen does cross my trail within and hour without hesitation. I have sat hunkered down between two trees, and had the feeling I was back in a cow barn.
Preemptive strike. Not against the deer, but against the stiff joints. I hav found that if I take the Imodium when I sit down at a stand, I can stand up a lot faster 4 hours later. This may mean nothing to you, but if you are lucky, you will live to appreciate it.
- R2MemberJanuary 27, 2017 at 5:47 pmPost count: 2309
Officially a hunter you be Grumpy. Whole bunch of good stuff you write.
The hunting world ain’t like it is in the books, on TV or for da** sure it’s not like the advertisements for gear and equipment say it is. Buy me and never fail, never be cold, never be wet. Yeah, at least not in my budget of life.
It always amazes me how the critters “know”. They’ve not the communications capabilities that we do but they got “the know”.
Around here the wind nearly always blows. The right direction, the wrong direction, matters not. Hunt the wind, right direction or not. Silent as a feather in a breeze, moving at a snails pace…..perfect trad hunting technique… But it seems often to matter not cause there’s always one animal “that knows”.
Always that one smart a**, usually, like Chuck Adams used to refer to as, a propeller headed doe, be locked on you. She “KNOWS”….And she’s perfectly willing to share what she knows…to every other four footed critter around, the world.
Enjoyed your piece there Mr. Grumpy….😉
- RiverwolfMemberFebruary 27, 2017 at 3:55 pmPost count: 23
If your hunting with a primitive style weapon , lets just say the hunt is more “Balanced” ….as it was meant to and should be………Demanding a higher study of habitat , and prey .
Nice writings , and insight”Monsieur grumpy” ,……much enjoyed .
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