What tactic would you use in this situation?

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ILBowhunter
 
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What tactic would you use in this situation?

Postby ILBowhunter » Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:07 pm

This is a question about bowhunting tactics for a specific situation, particularly immediately after a snowfall.  Here is a description of the situation.
 
Suppose your hunting property is 250 acres in a Midwestern state, with about 180 acres of hardwoods having a couple of creeks and logging roads running through it, and the remaining 70 acres in crop fields (partly corn, partly beans).  Suppose that during October you had the opportunity to hunt the property for 8-10 days and not had anything approaching a shot, having seen a few deer at a distance and no good bucks.
 
Imagine Halloween passes and now it is early November.  One night you wake up at 2:00 AM to take a leak and the ground is bare, but when you get up at 5:00 AM you discover about 4 inches of fresh snow.  On the property you have three stand locations and you decide to hunt a stand that is good for any wind out of the west (i.e., southwest to northwest), and which you only had hunted once or twice during the season.  It is about 25 degrees and the sky seems fairly clear when you climb into the stand at 6:00 AM, twenty minutes before legal shooting time.  At 6:30 AM, as the sun is coming up, a west wind picks up, whipping the fresh snow around, and then a squall passes through adding some more snow.  By 6:50, the wind is still from the west but has died down substanially, the sky has cleared, and and the sun is pretty much up.
 
I'm curious, what would you do in this situation?  This scenario happened to me a few years ago, and the end result that day was the second largest buck I have ever taken (213 lbs field-dressed and a net 136 6/8 P&Y inches).  I can't say what I did was necessarily the only way to have approached the situation, but it sure worked for me.  Rather than tell the end of the story now, I'd first like to hear from some other D&DH "Stump Sitters."  How would you have hunted on that day?  Again, I don't necessarily think there is a right answer to the question, but in a few days I'll tell what worked for me.

ILBowhunter
 
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RE: What tactic would you use in this situation?

Postby ILBowhunter » Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:16 pm

I should add the following to the previous post...
 
In addition to the times I hunted the property in the season to which the post refers, I only had hunted the property a few times during the previous bow season.  So, factor that in to any response you may want to make.

msbadger
 
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RE: What tactic would you use in this situation?

Postby msbadger » Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:56 pm

Well I can't say I know mid west weather.....but I would have been dressed for a long cold sit (layers i could peel off if need be... with food and drink.....I also would have been walking out the door at 5am not getting up....I hit my stands at LEAST an hour before legal hunting hours ...that way I'm settled in and relaxed and any deer I may have bumped are settled down as well.....Deer are moving before and after a front..... figure I'd see some buck moving in and around 8-10and or 10-1pm but thats here in NY...Id have an all day plan

Panman1949
 
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RE: What tactic would you use in this situation?

Postby Panman1949 » Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:42 am

Not seeing deer close to my stands I might have opted to still hunt or spot and stalk some cover near the fields if the land allowed this.  Hard to say though. Pan
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mag30079
 
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RE: What tactic would you use in this situation?

Postby mag30079 » Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:13 am

I agree with both msbadger and panman. 5am you should be walking out the door to your stand. I'd sit till around noon, if there is no movement still hunting would be great in the snow.
 
Great senerio

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JPH
 
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RE: What tactic would you use in this situation?

Postby JPH » Sat Sep 13, 2008 4:05 am

Well clearly, whatever choice you made was the right one. I'm looking forward to hearing the rest of the story.

I would like to know a little more about the stand you were in and what the other stands were like. But I'll take a stab anyway.

To begin with, the first midwestern snow in early November is the holiest of all hunting days in my book!

Plan A: Assuming that the wind has died down to a gentle 5-15 mph, I would sit my little fanny right where it is. I would do a lot of glassing. The snow and the November leaf drop would allow me to see deer much further out. If I see an attractive buck at a distance, I'll rattle him. If not, I'll sit as long as I can stand it. I know it is not a real sexy plan, but it's how I roll.

Plan B: If the wind stays high (20 mph or more), I would slip down and try to get into a sheltered area. With the wind in my face and a good backdrop, I would rattle softly in hopes of pulling a buck off of his bed.

Note: I differ from our other distinguished panelists in that I would not go to my stand so early. I like to climb into position 20-30 min. b/f shooting light. Personal prefrence.

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EatDeer
 
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RE: What tactic would you use in this situation?

Postby EatDeer » Sat Sep 13, 2008 4:47 am

I'd be in the stand 45 minutes before first light.  I would have sat tight all day in the tree stand, provided the wind didn't change. I might have slipped down at 10:00 am to stalk to another stand site, but I normaly only do that when I'm too cold to sit any longer. Just because someone dosn't see any bucks for a while, doesn't mean that a booner won't show up at anytime. Every situation is different, and things happen that we can't control no matter what tactic's we are using. That is why it's called hunting.  
"Let a young buck go, so he can grow."

ILBowhunter
 
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RE: What tactic would you use in this situation?

Postby ILBowhunter » Sat Sep 13, 2008 5:05 am

I expected that some might think getting on stand 20 minutes before shooting time is too late, and I agree.  But, my preference is closer to JPH & EatDeer, as normally I try to be in 30-40 minutes before light.  On a very, very cold morning, when deer are likely to be moving off-and-on throughout the day, I might even be a bit later. 

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JPH
 
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RE: What tactic would you use in this situation?

Postby JPH » Sat Sep 13, 2008 5:28 am

The primary reason I arrive when I do is pretty simple. My bony ass has only so much warranty left on it. I am a better hunter when I am warm and relaxed.

Secondly, my AM stands are most often set back off of feeding areas, so I do not anticipate running into deer until they begin to leave the fields. 

Lastly, in early to mid-Nov. I have learned that deer can come from any direction, at any time. I'd rather not stink up my stand location during a time that I cannot shoot.

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howhill1
 
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RE: What tactic would you use in this situation?

Postby howhill1 » Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:18 am

not knowing your topography real well and with the given circunstanecs and the time of year i would have gone to the stand i thought best with the intention of sitting all day. perhaps rattling and grunting intermiitantly. with the fresh snow visibilty through the timber should be good if i was exoeriencing alot of deer movement in the distance i would first off record this info for further use then perhaps attemp some still hunting.
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