Home Forums Campfire Forum Where the Bucks Go!?

Viewing 18 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • wojo14
      Post count: 325

      So I want to start off by saying I have had a great hunting season so far. I killed my first trad deer. A nice big doe. I had a lot of great time in the woods and saw some great things. I even had the joy of spending a couple days in the woods with 2 guys I consider very good friends.

      Now you my conundrum…October in Western PA on my grounds always produce a ton of deer movement, but every year I notice around the first week of Nov the deer woods start to go numb. I go from seeing 6-15 deer a day to 1 if I am lucky. As far as bucks…none at all after a while. I have my theories.

      Rifle season starts on monday and goes till 3rd week on Dec. I will go sit in a stand.(with my bow)

      This is my 5th year hunting and my second year of 100% trad. I have yet to shoot a buck. I have always been hunting the lowlands where it is open hardwoods. I was thinking about setting up on the higher grounds on a ridge. I did have some encounters with bucks up there last year. I have not hunted up there this year yet. 😕

    • wojo14
      Post count: 325

      I wanted to test posting a picture.

      This is a picture from my stand in the hardwoods right off a field.

    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2261

      Wojo, nice photo of a nice runway. I hope you see that buck. I will also be hunting with my bow during rifle season this year. I’m interested to know if the deer change their paths much, heading for denser woods around here. I moved one stand into tighter, darker woods. The other stand is along a bit of a ridge where I found a nice trail this fall. We’ll see. Good luck out there! dwc

    • Ptaylor
      Member
      Post count: 573

      Hey Wojo. Some radio-collared data on black-tailed deer in coastal Oregon has shown that deer do not move out of an area when there is hunting pressure. Rather, they stick tight to really thick brush and are more active at night. So I’d say go find the densest brush you can, look for a deer trail coming out of it, and hunt the crepuscular hours over that trail. Good luck, I’m jealous of you eastern hunters still out in the woods.8)

    • wojo14
      Post count: 325

      There was some nice studies done by Penn State with collared deer as well. Their results showed the same. Deer stayed in home area, sat tight and moved more in evenings. I plan on hunting a different spot this weekend. I have a stand location on the edge of a ridge line near some thick areas. We will see what happens. Maybe I will post a buck pick soon:D

      We have had some very unseasonal temps in Nov.

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      By my own experience, I can say that what Preston and you note is true. The only piece of advice I can give you if you are truly interested in shooting a big buck is to get into the most dense cover you can.

      I did that for a few years, but found it didn’t really satisfy me. In the end, the better meat of younger bucks and does goes farther to feed my family and my joy in hunting.

      The danger in trophy hunting is that we enable our egocentric nature to rise to even greater heights of self-centeredness. At it’s core, Hunting is a community activity. The community, the family, survives by the success of its hunters. Now, with survival not reliant on a good hunter, hunting has been perverted into yet another opportunity to strut our stuff.

      It really turns me off to see guys get all “emotional” about killing a big deer and thanking it for its sacrifice. Chances are they won’t eat any of the deer, or even see the meat. What a hollow gesture. Anyone who has eaten a randy old buck knows its meat is about as gawd-awful as it gets. Why hold your nose and force it down when you can eat a tasty doe or four pointer?

      Trophy hunting gives the anti’s their best ammunition.

      I like to kill a big buck, same as everybody else. But I don’t hunt them anymore. But if one happens by….

      Sorry for the off-topic rant.

      Back to matters at hand. I have found that there is a lull in the rut. Some folks call it first rut and second rut. After the first active phase of the rut, there is a lull until the younger does, or those missed in the first phase come into estrus again. Then the activity picks up again.

      In the south, this cycle goes on at least three times. I think your rut starts earlier than our’s does. So maybe the last week in October represents the peak of your first rut. In NC, the average peak of the rut is about Nov 8th. So that seems right that your’s would be a week or two earlier.

      When the leaves come off down here, the deer go nocturnal. Really tough to get a shot. Sneak in really close to thick stuff and hope for the best.

    • Ptaylor
      Member
      Post count: 573

      No need to apologize for the rant Steve. It is refreshing to hear, because most of the time I feel like I’m the odd ball in a group of hunters. At work the other day I was talking with a customer about shooting rifles. He was saying how he wouldn’t shoot past 600 yards, I made a comment like “That’s a pretty far shot.” That’s when another coworker said “That’s not a far shot.” I made a few comments about how hunting is not about shooting, but getting close. Not sure if it registered at all.

      Well, there’s the reason I check in on this website as often as I can.

    • wojo14
      Post count: 325

      I get upset with guys calling themselves hunters and shooting animals with a gun and giving meat away…

    • wojo14
      Post count: 325

      Ptaylor wrote: No need to apologize for the rant Steve. It is refreshing to hear, because most of the time I feel like I’m the odd ball in a group of hunters. At work the other day I was talking with a customer about shooting rifles. He was saying how he wouldn’t shoot past 600 yards, I made a comment like “That’s a pretty far shot.” That’s when another coworker said “That’s not a far shot.” I made a few comments about how hunting is not about shooting, but getting close. Not sure if it registered at all.

      Well, there’s the reason I check in on this website as often as I can.

      I have those talks with guys I meet and work with all the time.

      I love seeing if I can get close!

      I have NO desire to shot a rifle at game. Not hunting to me. A lot of guys just want to kill…its about so much more!8)

    • grumpygrumpy
      Member
      Post count: 962

      Back to the topic…

      The bucks are just out of sight, peeking between the branches, laughing at you. Happens to me all of the time.

      Shotgun season started here today, and there were trucks parked on the roads along the WMAs. Audrey said she saw a group of 10 hunters with shotguns and orange vests/hats. Next week they will all be back at work, and the woods will be mine again. I’ve been out 2 days every week since Oct 20, and haven’t yet seen another deer hunter (a few bird hunters, but they stay in the fields), which is amazing since I’m huinting WMAs. Seen a lot of scrapes, does, and bucks that are too far away, and always hear snickers in the distance.

    • Ptaylor
      Member
      Post count: 573

      grumpy wrote: Back to the topic…

      The bucks are just out of sight, peeking between the branches, laughing at you. Happens to me all of the time.

      Seen a lot of scrapes, does, and bucks that are too far away, and always hear snickers in the distance.

      Grumpy,

      Am I to understand that your eyes and ears are good enough to see the bucks peeking through bushes and hear them laughing at you!!!:lol:

    • wojo14
      Post count: 325

      Shotgun season started here today, and there were trucks parked on the roads along the WMAs. Audrey said she saw a group of 10 hunters with shotguns and orange vests/hats. Next week they will all be back at work, and the woods will be mine again. I’ve been out 2 days every week since Oct 20, and haven’t yet seen another deer hunter (a few bird hunters, but they stay in the fields), which is amazing since I’m huinting WMAs. Seen a lot of scrapes, does, and bucks that are too far away, and always hear snickers in the distance.

      I feel the same. I hate seeing the orange army!

      Can wait till they all go away and give my back the woods…

    • Greg RaganGreg Ragan
      Member
      Post count: 201

      Around here (which is much like PA mountains) the patterns change pretty regularly. The summer pattern has the deer down low in the open hardwoods and fields on a regular schedule.

      Once the first early muzzle loader season opens and the leaves begin to fall the deer head into the thick stuff and go up high for security. They love the cover of the Mountain Laurels around here and spend most of the daylight hours in thick bedding areas and laurel.

      The bucks tend to travel downwind of the thick bedding areas and run the ridges hoping to scent a doe, yet stay out of danger/sight as much as possible. First and last light are your productive sitting times…other than that the deer will movement will be pretty slow.

      Tree stand sitters get pretty bored this time of year. I tend to hike uphill to be sitting on my stool on one of the above mentioned transition areas, then by 9am I am stillhunting. I’ll try to go right into the bedding areas with the wind in my favor especially if it is breezy to cover my sounds. If I get busted it is all good, if not I may get an opportunity and that has worked out for me. Better than sitting there seeing nothing and freezing! If you find the does you will find the bucks eventually.

      Some would gasp and say I am chasing the deer out of the area! I don’t think this is the case around here, but my areas are pressured heavily and I don’t have those old moss horned 4.5 year olds anyhow. The deer have to go somewhere and the pressure is all around….so they will be in a thicket somewhere. Love will make them come around again soon.

      If you have a partner you can have them sit on the escape routes while you sneak through the bedding areas also. this has worked well for me if you know the area well.

      In short go high and go deep in the thick and find the deer. They learn quick to stay out of sight when the orange appear….patterns change.

      Best of luck,

      Greg

    • wojo14
      Post count: 325

      Greg, Nice post! So true. My plans exactly.8)

    • grumpygrumpy
      Member
      Post count: 962

      Don’t have to see and hear, Preston I know they are there, and I know they are laughing. It is a Zen thing, you will understand when you grow up. 😆

      Nice post Greg, I’ll be doing the same. Just like to watch that I am hunting above the road. Not gonna drag a deer uphill. Unfortunately the best places to hunt are the places where you would need a helicopter to get the deer out.

    • John Cholin
      Post count: 24

      wojo,

      I have 28 acres in Luzerne County. I had bucks and does moving all day long until the leaves started to fall. Then most of the daylight activity ended, especially for bucks. This is the second year I have observed this pattern on this land.

      Sadly, archery season in PA ended this year on Nov. 14th, just as the rut was heating up. The weekend before opening day of the rifle season was like being in a war-zone, non-stop shooting all day long! If I can keep the trespassers and poachers off my place I might still have an opportunity. We shall see. Some folks seem to think that they have a God-given right to run deer-drives across everybody’s property and that makes it hard for a traditional bow-hunter.

      I didn’t get the buck I was after. But I will keep trying. I passed up several smaller bucks, legal but not mature. Hunting is the goal, taking a good buck is a bonus. Like in Primal Dreams! I subscribe to Gene Wensel’s credo – “don’t pick the fruit before its ripe!”

      Keep at it, good luck and stick a big one!

      John

    • Charles EkCharles Ek
      Moderator
      Post count: 563

      And now for something completely different.

      I’ve heard tales over the last few years of “monstah” bucks hanging out in dense cover at trailheads and parking lots during the firearms hunting season here in NH. They watch and know the patterns in the woods as well as any creature, and they’ve devised a strategy to hunker down and snicker as the orange army files past for distant destinations.

      So I put this theory to the test on a couple of recent forays. Sure enough, Foray # 1 brought me to a scape within rock-chucking distance of a semi-busy road, tucked just behind a hill from where the orange army disembarks its various vehicles. As I stood there staring a bit too long at the scrape, I heard not a snicker but an ego-deflating snort from just inside a nearby woods line. Sigh.

      Foray # 2 saw me fifty yards from the road at sunrise, heading down a snowless snowmobile trail. Up ahead of me, a scant hundred yards from the road, something with an inconvenient amount of headgear for dense woods leaped down from its trailside perch and dropped into a nearby cedar swamp, making a racket as it went. He didn’t go far, so we played cat and mouse for the next ninety minutes, while he watched me from various elevated vantage points, no doubt snickering each time he slid off to the next one.

    • wojo14
      Post count: 325

      eidsvolling wrote: And now for something completely different.

      I’ve heard tales over the last few years of “monstah” bucks hanging out in dense cover at trailheads and parking lots during the firearms hunting season here in NH. They watch and know the patterns in the woods as well as any creature, and they’ve devised a strategy to hunker down and snicker as the orange army files past for distant destinations.

      So I put this theory to the test on a couple of recent forays. Sure enough, Foray # 1 brought me to a scape within rock-chucking distance of a semi-busy road, tucked just behind a hill from where the orange army disembarks its various vehicles. As I stood there staring a bit too long at the scrape, I heard not a snicker but an ego-deflating snort from just inside a nearby woods line. Sigh.

      Foray # 2 saw me fifty yards from the road at sunrise, heading down a snowless snowmobile trail. Up ahead of me, a scant hundred yards from the road, something with an inconvenient amount of headgear for dense woods leaped down from its trailside perch and dropped into a nearby cedar swamp, making a racket as it went. He didn’t go far, so we played cat and mouse for the next ninety minutes, while he watched me from various elevated vantage points, no doubt snickering each time he slid off to the next one.

      I believe it. Mature bucks are mature for a reason.

    • grumpygrumpy
      Member
      Post count: 962

      snicker snicker snicker

Viewing 18 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.