Deer habits?

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RE: Deer habits?

Postby OHhunter » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:18 am

Everyone has posted good answers and covered alot of areas.  One thing to keep in mind is that deer will tend to follow the path of least resistance.  Look for holes or downed fences, chances are they will cross where they don't have to jump to cross a fence.  If your hunting steep ridges or hills find a area where it is the least sloped and chances are deer will be traveling them.  Ditches, streams and creeks are the same way find an area that is shallow with out steep banks.  If you can find areas like these situated between bedding and feeding areas it may help.  Like most said earlier nothing is absolute and just when think you got'em all figured out murphy's law jumps up and grabs you.



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RE: Deer habits?

Postby deerhunter713 » Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:05 am

Deer are "edge" animals.  They like to travel along the edges of fields, woods, etc.  A deer will much rather travel through cover than out in the open.  If you can locate a natural funnel, in my case it is 200+ acres of woods that funnel down to about 140 yds wide due to a field on one side and house and barn property on the other and then opens back up again, the deer traveling from one piece of property to the other will be concentrated due to the funnel.  Another finding that I've had is if you are hunting hilly type terrain, when a deer tops out the hill from one side going to the other side, they will invariably travel across the "saddle" portion of the peak...the portion that dips down the lowest on the hill crest.  Your best bet for stand locations:  find the heaviest used deer trails in your area and if you can find spots that multiple trails converge, set your stand there.  If you sit in that spot long enough, eventually a deer will come by your stand.

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RE: Deer habits?

Postby 69Viking » Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:31 am

I started hunting deer less than 5 years ago and I've been successful ever year but only because I read a lot of magazines on the subject.  I would go to a book store and look at the different deer magazines and pick out a few that you like and go home and read them.  I've settled on a subscription to Deer and Deer Hunting, overall I think they are the best magazine on the subject.  Every magazine though has different subjects and before you know you'll understand a lot more about hunting deer than you did before. 
After that take what you have learned and get out there in the woods.  Time in the woods will help you understand the different things the magazines are telling you.  I honestly think you learn something new about deer hunting every year no matter how long you've been hunting.  Welcome to the sport and good luck! 

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RE: Deer habits?

Postby DeanoZ » Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:06 am

Hi again all...thank you soooo much for all your replies.  A lot of good stuff here that I will surely take and apply!  After my first post I realized I forgot to add more specifics about the area I'm hunting.  I'm in New Jersey and as you might surmise we don't have a lot of "open" land or wooded parcels.  The parcel i am hunting though shows a lot of promise...there are fresh sign (deer crap, tracks, and some trails) in there.  I should also qualify my "Newbie" status, i'm probably more of a novice, I used to hunt as a teenager with my friend at his father's place in the Catskills, but they knew where to place me so I'd see deer.  Many years later I've decided to get back into it so here I am.  I have some basic knowledge of their habits but was rusty and many of you confirmed what i had suspected...with one caveat that now "There are no steadfast rules" and that "They are where they're at, when they're there" that statement!  JPH, thank you especially, that was exactly the info I was looking for...I know they generally move from beeding to feeding and vice versa...just needed to understand the timing of it.  So basically, in the moring they are returning from their feeding areas and heading to bed..and vice versa in the afternoon.  I think my difficulty is in trying to figure out where they are bedding and where the feeding area is so i can ensure I'm downwind from their approach.
My current stand is about 20 feet inside the edge of the woods where a powerline clear cut field runs.  I noticed a lot of deer crossing the road up further where the powerlines crossed over the road, so i followed the power lines up futher, cut into the woods and saw a lot of sign where the deer were browsing the edges and taking advantage of the acorns falling off the white oaks on the edges of the field.  There is a nice 8 pointer hanging out there so I'm really looking for him.  I was in that stand yesterday morning and had two doe approach within 10 feet of my stand, but no bucks.  Both does approached from different directions so I'm not sure if they were following thedge or came from the other side of the powerline cut.  I'm also trying to figure out where the bedding/feeding area is so i have the wind in my favor.  As for scent control, I wash all my garb in the scent neutralizing detergent, athen spray it down with more scent eliminator, store it in plastic bags, and change just before entering the woods...I also use the "Dead downwind" body soap and antipersperant.  When i get to my stand I spray some buck bomb around the area (Dominent buck scent), then climb my stand and get settled in, staying as still and quiet as I can.
I am also going to get the book "Mapping Trophy Books", I read the previews where the author discusses the terrain features and topography to look for as many of you mentioned here, and from what little I know he seems to make a lot fo sense and many of you have confirmed what he wrote.  I know I'm goign to have a bunch more questions after this weekend so i appreciate ya'lls patience...its been a while and a long time comign for the time this weekend is over I will have been hunting more times than I have in the last 20 years...yikes...but its great and exciting to be back in it!  Thanks again all.

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RE: Deer habits?

Postby JPH » Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:42 am

I should have told you before, welcome aboard!
think my difficulty is in trying to figure out where they are bedding and where the feeding area is so i can ensure I'm downwind from their approach.

I think the best way to answer your question is for you to hunt...a lot. Don't be so afraid to make a mistake or spook a deer that you'd rather read about where they "should" be, than sit in the woods and actually watch them.
As for you experience with does at 10 feet, but waiting for the big 8-point. Don't make that mistake again. Kill a deer! Nothing speeds the learning curve like shooting a deer.
There are no shortcuts.

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RE: Deer habits?

Postby vipermann7 » Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:08 am

The most important thing you can do is spend as much time as possible hunting and scouting in the off season. Spend a couple seasons hunting, and you'll figure things out real fast. there really is no "rule" or "magic key" to finding how the deer behave in your area. obviously there will be some general things, like the rut is later in the fall, and they probably wont bed in the open hay fields. but they will bed in tall marshy type grass, they will bed in little patches of woods or large thick woods. they will bed anywhere they feel concealed but can still watch for danger. you really dont have any idea until you spend some time hunting and walking trails in the off season. get a trail camera or two, you would be surprised how much even one camera can help you. i have two, but one of them doesnt work well, so i basically have one, and i make due just fine.
i could type on and on about all the little things you should do and read about, but im sure its not anything that hasnt already been said. get out in the property as much as you can, that's the best thing you can do at this point. read some magazines, read stuff on line, you'll learn a lot real fast.

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RE: Deer habits?

Postby JOEL » Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:32 pm

.dont let "newbie" or crap like that cloud your vision.we asked for more info to better help ya.everyone here has made mistakes,the better ones have made em all,sometimes twice.remember this the deer live there 24/7/365 we attempt to "patteren  'them a few weeks.hahahah the spot your hunting sounds like one of my faves.the does love that clear cut/piled up trees from the powerline.the bucks trying to save energy run along the line "scent checking" it which way are the rubs going?follow there a ridge nearby ?like behind the powerlines? the bucks like to lay ther and wait for the scent stream come to them.Buy a cheap wind checker you'll be amazed at how the wind swirls and shifts in that one spot,plus in the morning the scent rises up from the clearcut to the top .this is one of my favorite spots to hunt,if your in northern NJ near Ny, pm me
"Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forest and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person." - Fred Bear

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RE: Deer habits?

Postby msbadger » Sat Oct 11, 2008 2:36 am

Smart hunters here  DeanoZ....they'll stear you rt.....All I can say is what I know ...I hunt two very differant parcels of land...60 miles apart that have one thing in common. They both are in hill country and have most of the land on steep west facing slopes with a saddle in the middle.....29yrs on one 15 on the other and the deer always travel down hill in the morning and up hill in the evening....perhaps it's the cold....frost and very cold in low areas at night ...tad warmer in the on top...also they follow the sun it rises over the top on the east and sets in the west

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RE: Deer habits?

Postby JOEL » Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:36 pm

msb makes a good point,when we get snow deep freeze the bucks are almost always are beded on eastern facing slopes to catch the very first warming rays of the sun
"Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forest and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person." - Fred Bear

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RE: Deer habits?

Postby Goose » Sat Oct 11, 2008 3:52 pm

All great advice and I dont have anything to add except be patient and be a student of the deer! Take notes, and when you see deer do stuff try to figure out why they are doing it. Also I dont know what stage your deer are in but you might want to lay off on the dominent buck spray. I use natural doe urine on my boots on the way in. The buck spray might spook some deer right now. Good luck with the hunting and keep us updated.

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....


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