How long to should you wait to hunt a spot after spooking a deer?

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Hunting Junky
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How long to should you wait to hunt a spot after spooking a deer?

Postby Hunting Junky » Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:05 am

I went hunting yesterday morning and setup in the woods off a field that I thought was a bedding area. Im facing the field and on other side of the field there is a small creek. Not long after daylight I had a crow land in the tree right above my head and this bird carried on for a good  15 or 20 mins. After it shut up a few mins later I heard a grunt right behind me. Then it grunted again, snorted and stomped or toke a couple more steps again its behind me and Im standing still as a rock. Then all of a sudden it goes crashing thru the woods. I know I was down wind, the only thing I can figure it seen me standing there. So how long would you guys wait to revist that site? This was on public land.

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RE: How long to should you wait to hunt a spot after spooking a deer?

Postby Squirrelhawker » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:58 am

There is no real pat answer here. There are too many variables, with regards to the scenario and what it is you're trying to accomplish.
In general, you can often fool a deers eyesight, hearing, and decision making ability. But you will never fool their nose. They may not believe you're that close or there right now, but they will detect you on some level given the wrong wind. But as you stated you were downwind.
So,what spooked the deer? Movement?, outline? Another animal?
If this was a mature deer, you may never see it there again if he gained enough information about what upset him. Or, he could be coming down that trail right now.
If my goal were that buck in particular, I might try and find out where else he travels. If the mission is to kill a deer it looks like you may be in the right place.
Leaning a tree is convenient, but a great way to get busted from behind depending on your routes of probable deer travel. Tree at your back, and you get to watch the fields and still maybe salvage something.

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RE: How long to should you wait to hunt a spot after spooking a deer?

Postby Hoytamania » Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:14 pm

Ive often pondered this myself. Ive missed and spooked deer more than ide like to count. Ill usually let the stand "cool off" for a couple weeks if your going after a certain deer, let em get their comfort level back (but they will be extremely wary of the spot for a while) but if your going out to just see and harvest just about any deer for meat, its pretty safe to head back to that stand, cause there is more deer in the woods than just the one you spooked, and if its a heavily used area, more deer will cross your path.

Good luck!

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RE: How long to should you wait to hunt a spot after spooking a deer?

Postby wolf60 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:55 am

I don't know how much property you have to hunt but I would either move the stand or put up another one in the same general area.I am sure that you did not spook him completely out of the area. He may just avoid that stand for awhile.If you put up another stand, you may be able to catch him off guard as he avoids your first stand. It is always good to have a couple of stands up so you don't burn out one area. Find another trail passing through your property and put a second stand up there. You just may catch him on that trail. Good luck and hunt safe.

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RE: How long to should you wait to hunt a spot after spooking a deer?

Postby scotman » Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:56 am

I spooked a nice buck three times out of the same area on consecutive days. Only to find out it was his bedding area, this was back when I first started hunting back in my teens. That was with the wind in my favor..but didn't see him for the rest of the season. I am sure he was on edge the 2nd time and the third time put him over the edge.

I think deer have different personalities and some are more tolerant than others but it really depends how bad you spooked the deer.. If the wind is in their favor twice is the maximum and then they will high tail it on that second time. Everyone's observations will be different all deer don't act in the exact same manner, time and time again. Like the rest of the guys in the article are saying it is really hard to pin down how bad you spooked a deer, to accurately determine if they will come back again.

The trick is to avoid spooking him after the first initial jump,which is easier said than done. Make sure the wind is right and hang a stand on the trail leading out of his bedding area. If you can not find the exact trail do not fret on it. If it is old forest timber or an area that gives high visibility of upto 300-500 yards or more, then hang the tree stand on that perimeter and see if you can spot him with the binoculars. That way you can pinpoint his patterns without spooking him out of the area altogether.
"The deerskin rug on our study floor, the buck's head over the fireplace, what are these after all but the keys which have unlocked enchanted doors, and granted us not only health and vigor, but a fresh and fairer vision of existence" -Paul. Brandreth

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