A great Growing Season

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A great Growing Season

Postby DEER30 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:47 am

I grew up in Maryland at the base of the Blue Ridge. I now live in GA so I rely on scouting reports and trail cam photos from my friends and family to let me know how this year's season is looking. I return to hunt every year and this year looks to be awesome! The word is that the farm I hunt has been planted in corn and alphalpha this year. The rain and weather has been perfect for growing crops and the corn is 6' tall and lush and the alphalpha is thick and green. Deer sign is unbelievable! Lots on animals on the move. I hope my fellow Marylanders are seeing the same promising sign and good luck this year!

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Re: A great Growing Season

Postby teej79 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:31 am

I'm going to have to agree with you, I'm new to the area, grew up hunting in Pennsylvania, I've hunted in Md a couple of times but not for like the last 6 years. However I'm living in Bethesda this year and I'm fairly convinced of the quality of bucks Maryland produces (my dad has always told me Md is a sleeper state for big deer), the images attached are with my camera phone less than a half mile from my house. I'm thinking about giving Seneca a try and hunt their bow hunting only regions.

If you have any other advice on hunting in MD I'd be interested in hearing what you know.
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Re: A great Growing Season

Postby kellory » Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:12 pm

And what is the name of that street for my GPS.... ;)
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.

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Re: A great Growing Season

Postby DEER30 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:39 pm

Those are some good looking deer. I have some of my trail cam pix posted at www.deer30outdoors.com/hunting/deer/trail-cam-gallery/ Check them out if you get the chance. Are you in town limits in Bethesda? I hunt urban deer basically the same but with a few wrinkles. I wrote an article about Urban Archery that can be found on our website. My friends who have hunted with me, compare my area in MD as being similar to the midwest. Its dominated by ag fields and hardwood creek bottoms with dense briar thickets mixed throughout.

Early season: (Sept 6-Oct 20) I hunt the trails to and from food sources. I get close to bedding areas in the morning to catch them going to bed and closer to the fields to catch them coming out in the evenings. I sometimes use social, non-aggressive calls to get deer moving in my direction. But i use them sparingly unless I can see the deer to which I am calling. Since the season starts in sept., its still warm. I am usually out of the tree by 9:30am and not back in until 4pm.

Pre-Rut & Rut: (Oct 21-Dec 7) MD's rut usually peaks the week of Thanksgiving. But starting around Halloween, the bucks get antcy. I have never had any luck with using scents. My trail cameras actually showed where the deer were not attracted to the scent, but actually avoided the area for several days. I have had minimal success rattling. It has worked, but maybe 3 times in 20 yrs. Which is strange because I have seen many sparing matches and fights. But aggressive calling and buck grunt/estrus bleat combo has worked very well. I tend to stay in the creek bottoms and thickets. The bucks will chase and travel through these areas all day. If the weather and wind is right, hunt all day.

Late Season: (Dec 8- Jan 4) Back on the food sources. By December the bucks are run down and need to restock on the groceries before winter. Since MD's winters are becoming more unpredictable (blizzard one year and nothing the next) the cold is essential. Cold late season days, find the food whether its beans, corn, alphalpha, acorns, etc. and you'll find the bucks. But becareful as they sometimes will start to shed by Christmas.

I am a scent control freak! So always use good scent control practices. Hunt when the weather shifts. Cold fronts really get the deer moving. Windy days tend to keep the deer out of the open fields and down in the creek bottoms and thickets.

Your dad is right on the money about MD's big buck potential. I let a 170" deer get away a few years ago when my arrow hit high in "no man's land" and the deer was later shot in muzzleloader season by a neighbor with my broadhead stuck in his shoulder. I was sick. I have personally seen 180" deer killed on farms in the surrounding area. Now don't get me wrong. MD is not Iowa. But those deer are here. Does are extremely plentiful, so you will have no shortage of targets. MD has changed the regs this year, reducing your buck harvest by half (in Region B). This should make folks more selective and allow the young bucks a better chance to survive. The food is there, the genetics for producing consistent 140-150" deer is there, all they really need is age.

I hope you have a successful year! I'd like to invite you to check us out on Facebook and or to comment or e-mail us at our website. I would love to hear of any hunting stories from the MD woods and definately like seeing the big buck photos! Good Luck!

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