Can any one ofer some advise?

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Can any one ofer some advise?

Postby hunt4 » Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:24 pm

I do most of my hunting on 80+ plus acers of family owend land in
Tioga county, Pa. This land is borderd on two sides by three difern hunting camps posted land on one and a little dirt road on the other. Every year I have been seeing more and more does and fewer and fewer bucks even thou we have have taken only 2 bucks in the last few years and taken does at every chance! The lack of food is out of the qusttion be cuase we have at least 12 difernt farms withen a 1/2 a mile. We even have about 30 acers of the property in alfalfa fildes witch ofers plentey of food to the deer for a time but when the stalks get to big and touhf for there likeing we cut and bale it. I just can't find out what is the mater. Can some one help? Any and all advice will be helpfull.

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RE: Can any one ofer some advise?

Postby burnnurse1 » Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:04 pm

Could be any number of things, but just going off what you said in your post I'll try to help.
1) the more does you have the less likely it is that your going to see bucks. The reason being is that if a buck does not have to travel far to actively search out does and breed then he won't. It's like the playboy mansion. Have you ever seen Hugh Hefner at a bar. Nope. Cause he's gotta 'em all under one roof.
2) what are the management practices of you and your neighboring leases? Are they of the if it's brown it's down mentality? If so then your young bucks aren't ever going to make it to maturity. Hence, less bigger deer sightings.
3) What are your hunting practices like? Are you careful with scent elimination, etc.
4) You say you have an 80 acre tract. How many hunters do you have on this tract? I don't know this to be gospel, but I've heard you Ideally want 1 hunter per 100 acres. Somebody else may be able to elaborate on this. Fewer hunters equals less pressure which equals more sightings.
5) Do you make it a point to be in the woods during peak rutting times? This is generally when your big boys are most likely to mess up.
Anyway, not knowing what your setup is or what your hunting tendencies are like, this hopefully will give you a little help. Lots of good advice to be found on these forums. Good Luck!

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RE: Can any one ofer some advise?

Postby djohns13 » Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:26 am

Burnnurse1's advice is sound.  There is only one additional item I would like to offer.  You did say that two of the surrounding properties are hunting camps, meaning that the deer may be wising up due to the substantial hunting pressure.  Doesn't mean they aren't there, just means they are making harder on you to find them.  I personally have found that the better judge of the buck population is done with trail cameras and not just eyewitness sightings.  I wouldn't worry until a good trail camera census fails to show the bucks, then you might have an issue.
Either way, during the rut you don't have to worry.  If your property has does, then during the rut you will also have bucks unless the surrounding properties have an overabundance of does.
Good shooting.
Darren Johnson
Internet Pro Staff Member - Indiana

Glad to talk to all of you, but I'd rather be sitting in a tree stand on a cool morning trying not to move so that the bruiser buck directly below me doesn't figure out that I am watching him!

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RE: Can any one ofer some advise?

Postby JPH » Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:36 am

How long have you owned the property? When was the last time the timber saw the buisness end of a chainsaw?
Sometimes hunters leave their property untouched for 10 years or so and before you kniow it, the timber is too mature. I find thick nasty cover to be a great buck attractant.
You may benifit from some selective cutting, brush piles, and new growth.

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RE: Can any one ofer some advise?

Postby northernVT » Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:43 am

I agree with JPH. If you provide the deer with the three basic things they need, then they will spend a large portion of time on your land. Food (variety), cover and water. Not to mention having a sanctuary that you never go into. Provides a safe place for the deer.
Good luck with this. 

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RE: Can any one ofer some advise?

Postby cannycorn2000 » Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:27 am

shoot more does, as many as you can legally take in a year
No Sacrifice, No Victory!

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RE: Can any one ofer some advise?

Postby Gafrage » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:07 am

I don't have any bucks that make their home on the property I hunt, but they frequent it.  This past weekend, I spent about 15 hours between 2 people cutting down some Buckthorn in hopes that some undergrowth will occur that is native.  I think JPH is correct, having native undergrowth is a big thing.  The thicker the cover, the more the big bucks appreciate the environment.  They feel less threatened because of multiple reasons.  Make sure your forest isn't overly mature, make sure you have new growth coming up, take down dead trees, leave some brushpiles of some of the trees and non-native undergrowth.  If you manage it, they will come.  Give the deer every reason to spend their time on your property than someone elses.  Leave some land for a sanctuary and be sure if you bump deer out of their bedding area to note that, if it happens more than once, they will leave that area.  

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RE: Can any one ofer some advise?

Postby cannycorn2000 » Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:33 am

And keep shooting does.

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