What tactic would you use in this situation?

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RE: What tactic would you use in this situation?

Postby JPH » Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:21 am

Hey ILBowhunter, when you reveal what you did in this situation, can I go next? I think this is a really cool idea for a running thread and I have a situation I want to try on everyone.

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RE: What tactic would you use in this situation?

Postby Woods Walker » Sat Sep 13, 2008 5:35 pm


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.

What he said!  ^^^
Not knowing but what you've told us, I would only add that for this part of November, you'd want to be in the woods ALL DAY.
I would also maybe not even enter the woods until I could see, and then stillhunt my way into the stand, depending on the situation. With snow cover, your woods vison is improved dramatically, and I love to stillhunt more on those days...."They can run, but they can't HIDE!"
deer also tend to move after a strom has passed, especially if it's been unseasonably cool.
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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RE: What tactic would you use in this situation?

Postby ILBowhunter » Sun Sep 14, 2008 5:08 pm

JPH ... of course you can do the same.  Why not just go ahead and post another thread and let people weigh in on it?   There can be more than one of these sorts of "what would you have done" threads at the same time. 
If I get the time (been pretty busy since my original post), I'll post what I did and a photo of the outcome sometime tomorrow or the next day at the latest.

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RE: What tactic would you use in this situation?

Postby DeerCamp » Sun Sep 14, 2008 5:53 pm

First I would have done some major scouting to make sure this was the best spot to be hunting. I would look at topo maps and feild notes before heading to the stand as well. I would have also talked to the owner of the land to see how the deer act in the winter, more than likely weeks before the 1st snow hits. I would try to get in stand about an hour before daylight. I would sit as long as I could IE: If I didnt have to work, Id sit all day. Deer seem to move when snow first hits. If there is a corn feild or any food sources near by you can bet your butt that the deer will come your way. If it is super windy I would again try to stay out as long as I could applying scent killer every 20-30 mins.  If the wind is dead I would apply scent killer every 10-15 mins. This is seems like a good stand because it hasnt been hunted hard. I would do a lot of still looking wouldnt recommend getting up to go to the bathroom unless its a MUST. I would stay ready at all times, that magic moment could happen at anytime. I wish I had a little more info. But that's what I would do, there's always deer moving, they are just like people. People move at all hours of the day and so do deer. Just because you arnt or havent been seeing any deer doesnt mean your not going to this time. Stay ready and make the shot count.  How high in the tree are you by the way?
"If I pull the hammer and shoot this young buck, he's dead. But if I pass on him, the next hunter might not shoot so straight."

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RE: What tactic would you use in this situation?

Postby ILBowhunter » Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:45 pm

[font="times new roman"]Here is the rest of the story… I apologize that it took so long to post it, but I've been pretty busy.[/font]
[font="times new roman"]When I left to go to the stand, my plan was to sit as long as possible that day.  Being early November, I assumed chasing had to start soon.  The sky was fairly clear when I left and no more snow was expected, so I left my rain-gear in the truck.  When the squall blew through I got covered from head-to-foot pretty quickly, and it was wet enough that I couldn't easily brush or shake it off.  I sat for another 10 minutes or so, but knew that being in wet clothes was not conducive to sitting for a long time.  The choice was to sit until I was miserable and leave for a couple of hours to warm up, or to waste 20-30 minutes of prime time to change out my clothes.  I chose to change, and I got down from the stand.[/font]
[font="times new roman"]As I was retracing my steps to the truck, I realized that the tracks in the snow I had made earlier were now pretty much covered by the effects of the squall that blew through.  The truck was about 300-350 yards down a logging road and about halfway back I saw tracks of two deer that crossed the road heading north.  But, it wasn't until after I passed another set of tracks crossing the road that I realized there had been deer in the road just a few minutes before, well after legal shooting light.  By the time I got back to the truck and changed out my clothes, I had decided to spend an hour or so "still hunting" the roads for fresh deer tracks.  I say still hunting, but I really was less concerned with seeing deer than seeing their tracks; in a sense I quit hunting and started scouting.[/font]
[font="times new roman"]I walked east, back down the logging road toward the stand, turned north, and crossed a creek to another road that started in the far northwest corner of the property.  Going at a faster than "still hunting pace," I followed the road westerly through the woods.  I continued down the road, which pretty much paralleled the creek, until it made a jog, going north then back west.  At that point, just north of the road was an overgrown fence line and beyond that a 100 yard wide cut bean field on the adjoining property.  I hadn't cut a single track in the 10-12 minutes it took to get there, but shortly after making the jog, two sets of track exited the bean field, crossed the road into the property, and headed into the woods moving in a southeasterly direction.  Forty yards further up the road a set came out of the bean field, crossed the road, and went into the woods moving in a southwesterly direction.  After moving down the road another 60-80 yards, I noticed a doe crossing the bean field from the north to the south.  She jumped the fence, crossed the road, and went southeasterly into the woods.  I went back and found her tracks and it was at the same place as the other I had just seen.  Following the tracks into the woods, I eventually found where these two sets going toward the southeast intersected with the two sets I had seen that indicating deer moving toward the southwest.  It was clear that four deer at been at that point in the woods within the last 50 minutes or so.[/font]
[font="times new roman"]I checked some other locations on that property as well as some places on a separate property in our lease, but by 12:30 PM had relocated a stand in a large oak, 18 yards to the northeast of the intersection of the two trails I had found.  I was back to the stand by about 1:30 PM.  At about 3:55 PM, I noticed what was clearly a very large deer slowly crossing the bean field.  He jumped the fence at the same location as the doe had that morning, stood in the logging road for a bit, and then came into the woods on the same trail the doe had used.  By 4:05 PM he was standing at the intersection of the two trails, and a second later I sent a 125-grain Thunderhead into his heart.  Ninety minutes later, with the help of a couple of hunting buddies, the buck was out of the woods and hanging on the meat pole.  The next day his field-dressed weight was 213 lbs.  The net Pope & Young score was 136 6/8 inches, with a 19 inch inside spread.[/font]
[font="times new roman"]Any successful deer hunt contains an element of luck.  I admit, when I went to the stand the plan was to sit, and sit, and sit.  Was it lucky the squall blew through to cover me in wet snow, and more importantly to cover the existing tracks?  Yes.  Was I lucky to have not worn my rain-gear? Yes, but at the time I was feeling the wetness soaking through my clothes you wouldn't have been able to convince it was lucky.  Of course, it might be that had I worn my rain-gear, remained dry, and stayed on stand that an even bigger buck would have come by that morning.  So, those people who indicated they would have sat all day might have been right.  Who knows what might have happened?  But the fact is, I know what I did and what actually did happen, and I was pleased with the outcome.[/font]
[font="times new roman"]It's also true that had that season been going better, I might have done something different.  Had I been seeing lots of deer earlier, and been more optimistic about sitting on a stand I was confident in, I might have gone back after changing clothes.  But, the fact of the matter is that I had not been having a good season and was not terribly optimistic about sitting on stand, and after finding the second set of tracks on the walk back to the truck, I decided it was time to change tactics.  Of course, had my scouting been more thorough, I might have located the area near the jog in the road before the season.  However, this was the first year that I had done much bowhunting on this property, having done most on a separate, larger piece in our lease.  [/font]
[font="times new roman"]Since that year I have always had a stand in that area of the woods.  Currently, there are three stands within 40-50 yards of the tree I first selected; each placed for somewhat different wind conditions.  I have killed at least one deer in that patch of woods every year for the last five years.  Sometimes I take an early season doe to replenish an empty freezer, but two years ago it was a 137 2/8 P&Y buck.[/font]
[font="times new roman"]I hope others are interested in two part posts like this.  I think it can be both entertaining and educational.  The first post can describe the range of circumstances surrounding an actual hunt as a means of prompting others to say what they would do in the situation.  Then, the second post can describe the strategy the hunter used and the nature of the outcome.   JPH has already done this; if you haven't seen it take a look in this forum (Best Practices) for his post.[/font]


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RE: What tactic would you use in this situation?

Postby JPH » Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:24 am

Great story and congrats on an awesome deer!
I've killed more deer on the ground in the last few seasons than ever before. Sometimes you just have to scratch that itch and get down and wander.

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RE: What tactic would you use in this situation?

Postby Panman1949 » Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:52 pm

Awesome post.  Hope more will follow like this one.  Also hope to have one to post someday.  Thanks, Panman
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