Deer habits?

How can you become a better hunter? Find out here — and share your advice!
Squirrelhawker
 
Posts: 413
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:00 am

RE: Deer habits?

Postby Squirrelhawker » Sat Oct 11, 2008 5:29 pm

I agree with Goose here, re the buck lure. At least earlier in the season you might want to concentrate on disappearing rather than attracting a whole lot of attention.
When it comes to decoying and using scents, things can get rather unpredictable in the best of circumstances.

User avatar
Woods Walker
 
Posts: 4923
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:21 am
Location: Northern Illinois

RE: Deer habits?

Postby Woods Walker » Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:27 pm

DeanoZ:  You mentioned that you are hunting in New Jersey. I don't know where you are in NJ, but I still have some friends that live and hunt there (I grew up there in the 50's and 60's), and there's another wrinkle you may want to consider.
 
NJ is now a baiting state (it was not when I lived/hunted there), and from what my friends tell me, that can really alter the way deer would move based on what you've been told here. If there are other hunters on the properties adjoining your and they bait heavily, then what you have been told here may not be as effective. From what my NJ friends tell me, the baiting makes many of the deer go nocturnal. Maybe someone here who has experience hunting in a crowded bait state like NJ can offer some advice.
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

>>>--------------------------------->
NRA Endowment Life Member

User avatar
8uck5nort
 
Posts: 436
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:01 pm

RE: Deer habits?

Postby 8uck5nort » Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:24 am

All good advice and part of the "fun/frustration" (The two can be oh so close) is the learning part.
 
I agree with Goose on the buck bomb. If I were to use something at this time of year it would be nothing at all or a curiousity scent.
 
I will not start using dominant and sex based scent lures until the bucks get more agressive. (General rule of mine is once they get agressive I will get agressive). At this early stage you are "possibly" keeping shootable smaller bucks away from you.
 
But then again as also stated just when you think you got it all figured out they do something totally unanticipated... That is one reason that keeps us coming back. Then once you find 'em then you actually have to put one down...[;)]
 
Good Luck!
Veni, Vidi, Sagittam Mittere, now I'm ready for my nap :)

User avatar
PrairieShadow
 
Posts: 642
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:48 pm

RE: Deer habits?

Postby PrairieShadow » Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:59 am

I have never been very successful at patterning deer. But i have been able to get a good idea of the travel routes that they are using.

Has anyone every been able to say a certain deer is at a certain place at a certain time of day??

A lot of the shows we all watch on tv seem to be able to do this but i have not even came close to this.
Hunting isn't a matter of Life or Death
Its MUCH more important than that!

msbadger
 
Posts: 2374
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:59 am

RE: Deer habits?

Postby msbadger » Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:57 pm

yes indeed....since the farmer cut his corn for silage I've been able to catch up on two differant does with fawn...one twins...one young doe and sm.fawn....they feed from the top through one plot to a plot in the oak..... circle around and come back...late morning up to bed in a young wood lot that sits inbetween the morning plot and the one they go to before dark...thats the doe with twins
 
 The young one comes in from the bottom and feeds along the long oak plot then beds right under the line of oak at bootom of hill side...then feeds through another plot going up the hill to a big cpr field and pinesfor the evening

DeanoZ
 
Posts: 1114
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:06 am

RE: Deer habits?

Postby DeanoZ » Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:06 am

Hi all!  Just wanted to update you on the latest, the last few days have been both great and bad...I'll go into that in a minute but first I wanted to reply to some of the additional comments and feedback you all have been so great!.  JPH, just to clarify the Does that approached within 10 feet of my stand (and continue to do so) are yearlings, and I'd thought it best to let them be and wait for a more mature Doe to harvest...and trust me the first one that comes along is fair game.
 
As for the use of the Buck Bomb, noted and I have not used it since the first hunt and continue to see deer around the stand.  My scent tactics seem to be working well, I have deer coming within 10 feet of my stand and are none the wiser.  The wind has NOT been in my favor in some of those circumstances, but in most it has been, and the deer continue to approach so I'll keep on doing what I've been doing.  When it gets closer to the rut I'll try a drag line and a Doe Estrus Bomb.  I'd like to try some rattling and calling as well once we're into the rut, but would like everyones opinion on this.
 
Ok so now for the "Good, bad, and the ugly".  since my last post I've been out on the same stand two more times.  The following time was an afternoon hunt and it was warm, mid 70's, I saw those same two yearling does around 5pm and nothing else...about what I expected given the conditions.  But I used the opportunity to take a practice shot on the yearlings i.e. set the shot up, draw on the deer, but not release) so when it comes time for the real deal I'll be ready.  Good thing I did that because my arrow knock came off the string twice in mid draw!!!  After careful inspection i had noted 1. my forefinger was on the shaft as a guide (old habit from using the old style rests) and 2. the arrow was not fully knocked.  Even with my fumbling on the stand those yearlings would have been harvested had I let the arrow fly.
 
The following morning (last Saturday) I got into my stand early, jumped a couple does on the way in..which tells me I may need to get into my stand earlier the next time.  But I get settled in and by first light my two yearlings show up (as predicted)...and by now I'm thinking ok girls this is getting predictable...go away and don't come back until you bring your momma, or better still big daddy!  And then i hear some rustling deeper i the woods on my left flank.  I look and its still a bit darker in the woods but no doubt I see the outline of a larger deer feeding on the acorns.  I'm thinking great, momma's come along.  So after watching her for a good 5 mins she starts making her way towards my stand and is headed for the shooting lane I had predicted would be where I flung my first arrow from would be.  As she gets closer she picks her head up and low and behold its not a her, but a him...and its my 8 pointer to boot!  So now buck fever starts creeping in, I slowly stand and wait for him to look away or get behind a tree  so i can draw.  Well, he's browing pretty quickly so I was not able to draw until his head was behind the right most tree in my lane which meant i needed to be quick while he stopped so I could get a good sight picture and shoot.  I draw, get my sight picture quickly and just as I release he starts moving forward again.  It was all a blur after that, I heard the distinct thwap, he jumped and bolted straight towards my stand flying by it and then out and across the powerline cut..and as he is in full stride I see the arrow in him...he stops at the far edge of the powerline cut almost to stick his tongue out at me and then leaps ito the woodline!
 
So of course I'm shaken like a leaf, i just nailed him and was all happy with myself until it dawned on me where I hit him..dead center vertically, but halfway between his front and hind quarters...not good!  I came down off the stand and looked for sign where I had shot him...no blood, no fur, nothing and then I got this bad feeling that came over me and I knew I was in for a long day.
 
I waited 2 hours for my buddy to come over and help me track him..it took us an hour just to find the intital blood trail and it was faint.  We followed it 100 yrds further into the woods and it become more pronounced so I'm thinking "good, he'll bleed out and we'll find him soon" my friend reassured me of that.  The trail then took a turn left (that took us a good half hour to figure out) and into some dense laurels...so I'm thinking ok good he's about had it and he's looking for a place to lay down.  We get smack dab in the thick of the laurels and not another sign of blood.  We circled that area for another 2 hours going in every conceviable direction..nothing.  Took a lunch break and then went back out again for another 3 hours...nothing.  We called it quits for the day as it started to get dark, and I can tell you I was one sad puppy...not because I lost bragging rights to shooting a great deer, but because until I found him I would not rest easy knowing he was potentially suffering.
 
We have since searched that area and surrounding ones for the last 3 days and nothing.  I thought for sure by now I'd see buzzards circling the area or smell his rotting carcass, but nothing and I have to be honest it pains me not knowing.  A lot of good but unfortunate lessons learned on this hunt, ones I hope I will never make again.  First and foremost, I probably should not have taken that shot..it was too rushed and I let myself get caught up in buck fever!  Second, I should have drawn earlier so i did not have to rush the shot, and if the deer was moving like he was it would have been better to let the opportunity pass and hope he might circle back for a better opportunity to present itself.  Third, thank goodness my buddy was with me because I'd of never found the blood trail to begin with..at least now I know what I'm looking for and how hard it is..especially when the ground thickets have foliage that is turning red with the colors of fall.
 
I will be out again today to set up my stand for tomorrows hunt..I'll probably take a quick look for any sign of him and then take all these valuable lessons and apply them for the next opportunity.  I scouted a bunch of other areas and have some questions, but I'll save that for another post.  Thanks all for your feedback and sound advice.

Squirrelhawker
 
Posts: 413
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:00 am

RE: Deer habits?

Postby Squirrelhawker » Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:47 am

First off, most of us know how you feel. It sucks. Learn everything you can from it.
 
My thoughts on your hunting so far:
 
IMO opinion I think it was a mistake for you to pass up the opportunity to take one of the smaller doe. You didn't just pass on a small deer. You passed on an opportunity to effect a kill in a much less distracting and stressful situation. Also an arguably much easier animal to bring down depending on range, shot, and your equipment. There is much to learn from these kills. Most other predators on the planet learn to become efficient hunters through taking easier game first. We humans make it more difficult by inventing reasons not to do the same.
 
As to the shot:
 
Midway can be real iffy, particularly flat broadside on the left side but I don't remember you mentioning which side you hit him on.
 
The more the deer was 90 degrees to your angle of penetration, the less potential you have to do internal damage to adjacent organ systems.
 
In otherwords, if you were right on top of the lung area, broadside can be fine cause if you have good penetration you usually wind up with a double lung shot and a recoverable animal.
 
But, a broadside mid-body shot can easily put you in non-vital/collateral circulation rich territory. Particularly on the left side where you tend to have more gut and less liver exposed behind the ribcage.
 
Now look at your shot if quartering away from you.
 
A quartering away, mid body shot can get you a lung, heart lung, or even both lungs depending on the angle and and arrow path.
 
A large buck has a greater overall body mass and larger pulmonary system with which to deal with a marginal shot vs a smaller, younger animal.
 
IMO a new bowhunter should take every opportunity to take an animal in order to learn valuable lessons and build confidence.
 
Shake it off, stay focused and get back in the tree.
 
 

User avatar
8uck5nort
 
Posts: 436
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:01 pm

RE: Deer habits?

Postby 8uck5nort » Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:13 am

I know exactly how you feel. I am a relative new comer to bow hunting myself. This is only my third year. My first bow kill happened only 15 minutes or so on my second trip out. I got a clean double lung shot on a small 4 pt buck. Sounds great, but it was only beginners luck. Nothing more.
 
I have missed several times since (more than I'd care to admit) and have managed to only bring down 2 does since, and I hunt as much as I can.
 
In addition I also did pretty much the same thing that you did on a decent buck in November 07. I thought I had hit him good cause I had all the time in the world to shoot. Quartering away and calm. It was not until the next day I realized I had my arrow had been deflected by a tiny branch that in the twilight I just did not account for. To make a long story short I must have hit him in the shoulder blade cause he didn't go down and I lost the blood trail after about 75 yds. Just vanished. I looked for two solid days. I did recover both pieces of my arrow so at least I did not leave a foriegn body in him to facilitate infection (little comfort)[:-]. I was
sick to my own stomach for that, but like Squirrelhawker says learn everything you can and get right back in the tree stand.
 
Hunting with all its gadgets and new technology is still an art that must be practiced and practiced.
 
Good Luck!
Veni, Vidi, Sagittam Mittere, now I'm ready for my nap :)

DeanoZ
 
Posts: 1114
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:06 am

RE: Deer habits?

Postby DeanoZ » Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:24 am

Squirlhawker and Bucksnort, thanks for your replies and feedback.  The buck was broadside and I had the shot lined up just behidn his shoulderblade but again he moved just as I released and its quite possible I could have torqued the bow too and perhaps thats what caused the inaccurate shot.  My Equipment is a Bowtech VFT Bow 70# draw with carbon arrows and Rage mechanical broadheads.  so in theory, if hit in the right vital spot the arrow should have passed throguh the deer.  The fact that it did'nt tells me I hit bone or something stopped it?
 
I totally get what your saying about the quarting shot...so next time I'll be waiting for that unless he's close enough and the conditions are just right to nail him in the vitals broadside.  I will get in the stand tomorrow morning, and when my two friends come along I'll harvest one of them!

User avatar
JPH
 
Posts: 3419
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:28 am

RE: Deer habits?

Postby JPH » Wed Oct 15, 2008 10:24 am

ORIGINAL: DeanoZ

My Equipment is a Bowtech VFT Bow 70# draw with carbon arrows and Rage mechanical broadheads.  so in theory, if hit in the right vital spot the arrow should have passed throguh the deer.  The fact that it did'nt tells me I hit bone or something stopped it?

 
Don't be too certain about that. I shoot a simmilar set up, and I have had fewer than 50% pass through success.
 
I think highly of the Rage, but they do not penetrate as well as the fixed blades I used to use.

PreviousNext

Return to Best Practices

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: mouldsy2020 and 4 guests