Too late to change?

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First_Gen
 
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:34 pm

Too late to change?

Postby First_Gen » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:22 pm

Hi all,

To give a brief background, this is my third season bow hunting. I have killed a doe with a bow but still haven't accomplished my goal of getting a buck with a bow. Maybe you can help...

Here the deal: I hunt two pieces of property the equates to about 15 or so acres. There is a stand set up back there which other hunters use for gun and muzzle loader season. They don't bow hunt so it is where I go. This season, however they moved the stand location across the "Hub" a more open part of the woods where quite a few trails intersect. They also blazed in an access trail during opening week of archery season (was not happy about that). The deer are still weary up there, which I believe is because of that trail being put in. However, it has been covered with leaves and there is now a fresh scrape right on the trail. The land owner says he has some decent size. The big complaint about the stand it is hard to access quietly, its in the middle of the woods. The best way to get to it can be a stalk hunt in itself, you have to take your time and be very careful not to spook the deer. Also the deer are not yet used to the change in location I feel.

Big picture is that I should have scouted more and been better prepared for the season. Where that scrape is, his trail comes down to some lower ground and I found another scrape. Talking to the owner, he uses that trail to a creek and cuts over to another property (which I have permission to "drift" over into, but I'm not liberal by any means with that permission). My problem now is, hunting this buck, who is now more active. Main goal is to not spook the deer in the area, but I need to adjust tactics considerably to get a shot at this buck. To me, that means a new stand location. I have a climber, but it has an armrest which is challenge to shoot a bow from, but doable.

I have two options on where to set this up. First is in between the two scrapes. This area can be thick and getting in there quietly will most definitely be a challenge. The other is by the creek I mentioned, which I can get to quietly but I have never hunted the spot. Between the 'lower scrape' and the creek, is a small thicket, that I have seen deer bedded down in.

The question to you guys is do I bother scouting some more? Do I just hunt the same stand and hope he gets stupid? any other suggestions? I don't want to call this season a wash because of poor planning, I need some advice!

Sorry for the long post...

Paul

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JPH
 
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Re: Too late to change?

Postby JPH » Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:10 pm

My advice? Forget the scrapes. During the rut I hunt terrain rather than sign.

If you have been hunting this area for a while I assume you gotten a feel for the herd's general movement patterns. In other words, you probably know how they move from bed to feed and back again. If you have not figured that out than yes, you need to scout more. If you have, then my next bit of advice is to look for terrain features that might funnel deer. By that I mean, creek crossings, saddles, corners or even brush piles. I would look to hang stands that overlook these areas and then time you hunts so that you are downwind of the deer's anticipated movements, based on the patterns you've learned. If a buck is using the property, he's likely to pass through one of these pinch points, looking for or following a doe, during hunting hours.

Take it for what it's worth and good luck.

First_Gen
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:34 pm

Re: Too late to change?

Postby First_Gen » Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:31 pm

JPH wrote:My advice? Forget the scrapes. During the rut I hunt terrain rather than sign.

If you have been hunting this area for a while I assume you gotten a feel for the herd's general movement patterns. In other words, you probably know how they move from bed to feed and back again. If you have not figured that out than yes, you need to scout more. If you have, then my next bit of advice is to look for terrain features that might funnel deer. By that I mean, creek crossings, saddles, corners or even brush piles. I would look to hang stands that overlook these areas and then time you hunts so that you are downwind of the deer's anticipated movements, based on the patterns you've learned. If a buck is using the property, he's likely to pass through one of these pinch points, looking for or following a doe, during hunting hours.

Take it for what it's worth and good luck.


Thank you for that. I generally know the layout of the land. I guess I got used to the stand location and just dealt with some of the bad beats I got, and handed to myself (missing a six point at 20 yards broadside haha). I have reason to suspect it might be the same deer. Where the stand is located is a hub of movement, but poorly positioned for pre-rut smarts. They tend to move behind and around it now (as I saw today).

I agree though, Im in anticipation to get a decent game plan before gun season opens up there (WWIII). I am planning on hunting Friday morning, that afternoon I am going to do a quick,quite scout by the creek area to find a tree, some shots and leave. I have a feeling that thicket is going to help me. That is where I park my truck now though, so I am going to need another option for where to park and coming up the lane.

I am skeptical about figuring out other pinch points in the back woods now, too much risk for changing patterns this late in the game. The only way I could would be to still hunt the area, but that is a skill I haven't even started to take on yet.

Thinking out loud here obviously, but I appreciate the advice. Id rather hunt a few deer with better chances, than a lot that I have no clue what they are doing.

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JPH
 
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Re: Too late to change?

Postby JPH » Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:11 pm

I think you're on the right track. For what it's worth, I would not obsess too much about going in and exploring new sites. If you are looking to take any buck, as opposed to a particular, mature buck, you really should not have an issue. I don't know where you are but where I live, bucks are on their feet and moving a lot right now. The buck you saw tonight might have been a mile away this morning and may be another mile away tomorrow. This gives you a little room to take risks. Yes, once you know the deer and their patterns well you should be cautious, but until then you are groping in the dark.

First_Gen
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:34 pm

Re: Too late to change?

Postby First_Gen » Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:42 pm

Good point, I will try that one other site (creek) with my climber and the existing stand for this season, then I am going to do some serious scouting and homework and make it better for next year. It is a great area to hunt, but I am still new and I have much to learn and experience. My minimums for a buck is a larger six point and up. I walked one earlier this year who had a nice body, but a small rack. Hopefully he survives this season, he will be a very nice deer next year.

I am in SE PA, it seems that peak rut kicks in later in November around here. I know I'm in the right area, but thanks for helping me make the decision to play it easy till I can scout next year. It will be worth the wait, I'll let you know how it goes!


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