Puzzled

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Washburn
 
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RE: Puzzled

Postby Washburn » Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:35 am

ORIGINAL: ranwin33
While the deer won't eat the corn pile all day long, it may draw them off their regular route for a while because now they have a new destination in mind as they go browsing through the woods. 

Agreed. A few years ago we had a non-hunting neighbor (with 160 adjoining acres) feeding corn year round. He only visited his property on weekends, but had a local guy keep his corn crib (no kidding) full 24/7. This neighbor also prohibits hunting on his land.
Anyway, for the time he baited/fed like this, it really changed the patterns of the deer in our section. Rutted trails led to his crib. Following these trails it was easy to spot how and where the deer were overbrowsing the natural food sources along the way. As a result, our deer sightings during season went way down, even though we knew there were alot of deer in the area.
When he stopped feeding, the deer returned to expanding their range again and spread out across the section. Hunting improved. Overbrowsing ceased to be an issue.

Washburn
"As the light grows dimmer and the trail begins to fade, my sweetest dreams are those of yesteryear, at deer camp."

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bwhntr
 
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RE: Puzzled

Postby bwhntr » Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:35 am

I can see a few deer changing their feeding patterns to the corn, but not all of them at once. They are indivudials, just like us, and don't always feed, move at the exact same time. I was thinking that possibly the larger bucks had dispersed them, running the yearlings off, does scattering, larger bucks cruising and seeking, at night since it has been a little warmer than it should be this time of year. It just seemed odd to me that after all of these weekends of me patterning them, that they all would change at the exact same time all at once. I am going to do some further research on this one.


http://aginfo.psu.edu/NEWS/2002/11/bucks.html

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ranwin33
 
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RE: Puzzled

Postby ranwin33 » Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:49 am

Look at it like putting free candy out for kids - they are all individuals, but they're all going to hit the free candy. 
 
I doubt the larger bucks have caused the yearlings to disperse, from my own observations I find the two seem to live together pretty well, even during the rut.  They may fight, but there are plenty of both still around.  Not to say some of the breeding age deer won't leave, but there are plenty who don't.
 
The "...exact same time all at once" phrase is what has me leaning to a change in food source. 
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
Aldo Leopold

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bwhntr
 
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RE: Puzzled

Postby bwhntr » Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:12 pm

I'm leaning that way too, after thinking about everything and reading. One deer can change feeding habits, and then the others follow suit.

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ranwin33
 
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RE: Puzzled

Postby ranwin33 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:43 am

That good ol' herd mentality.
 
Of course the nice thing about it, we can use that behavior to our advantage by finding where deer travel and where their destinations are, then setup stands around those areas.
 
In the recent edition of D&Dh there is an article talking about following deer tracks, to figure out where they've been and where they're going.
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
Aldo Leopold

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bwhntr
 
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RE: Puzzled

Postby bwhntr » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:34 pm

I did a little pre-hunt scouting on the food plot on last Saturday at noon. The plot encompasses about 2 acres, and it is Whitetail Clover. It has been eaten down short. The clover is still looking good, but I did not see any fresh tracks or droppings in the plot. That tells me that they know when to move on to another food source, and to not over browse an area. That is another reason why I have kept notes each time that I have hunted there. Otherwise I would not have known. Just really wasn't sure why they had moved on. Now I know for sure. Now I have to relocate them. There are other plots in the area. The search begins.

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ranwin33
 
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RE: Puzzled

Postby ranwin33 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:52 pm

Good luck and good hunting.

Let us know when you shoot one.
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
Aldo Leopold

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bwhntr
 
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RE: Puzzled

Postby bwhntr » Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:14 pm

Well, I found them today. About 3/4 of a mile South of where they were. They came in late in the evening. A nice 8 pt came in, but stayed well out of range. He never even looked at the does or yearlings, he just fed. This tells me that the main rut is over. Now time to observe and play hide and seek. And try and catch him off guard.

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Jslotter
 
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RE: Puzzled

Postby Jslotter » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:17 am

This is a good topic. In my area there alot of clover and alfalfa fields that deer flock to in the summer and early fall. There are some corn and soybean fields a few miles away also. I notice that toward late fall the deer will quit feeding off of the alfalfa and clover fields and travel the distance to the corn and soybean fields to feed on during the winter months. A few does will feed every once in awhile on the alfalfa fields but not as frequent as in the summer time. I asked a farmer in the area what he thought the reason was and he replied that the clover and alfalfa will spoil and sour when the ground freezes and the deer won't hit it as much, or at all until the next summer. I am no expert on that answer and it sounds pretty reasonable. What do you guys think? Is that farmer right about that?

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bwhntr
 
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RE: Puzzled

Postby bwhntr » Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:40 pm

I talked to a guy that I work with, and what he told me makes sense. Deer will feed on a food source, but eventually will move to another. It may be acorns dropping, corn that has been placed out, or good food plots or any other food source. They will not eat one source completely, but move from one to another, so as they let the food source rest. Sounds pretty right to me, when I eventually found them, they had moved about 3/4 mile away or so to another food plot that we have. Same clover, same deer, but different area. I know that it is mostly the same deer, because I have been observing them now for months.

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