Where the deer aren't!

What's the hunt looking like this year in your area? Share!
DeanoZ
 
Posts: 1114
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:06 am

Where the deer aren't!

Postby DeanoZ » Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:31 am

Don't ya just love it when you spot map the right piece of terrain, then walk the ground which is littered with sign...you place a trail cam on it and 5 days later you get ZIPPO, NADA, NOTHING!!!  Came across this great saddle and sure enough there are 4 trails all intersecting at the saddle between the two ridges...a text book saddle.  So I set up my trail cam right where the 4 trails intersect.  i check it almost a week later and the only thing on it are two pics of does.  This is probably the most prominent terrain feature in the area so I'm stumped.  Same thing happened with a classic draw /stream bed...tracks, rubs, deer scat, a scrape or two.  I caught a nice buck on the cam the day I set it up..a couple does, and thats it.  I've hunted it 3 times and with the exception of one small doe, nothing!  Its like you KNOW their coming through there...but its just not happening right now.  I guess I should be thankful for the cam alertign me to the fact that i should move on, there are other spots.  Sure as hell is frustrating though! :-/

User avatar
PrairieShadow
 
Posts: 642
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:48 pm

RE: Where the deer aren't!

Postby PrairieShadow » Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:02 am

I think this is a frusturating time of the year for everyone, The rut is winding down and deer simply arent moving much. They are in recovery mode now. Is there a good food source close by that you could hunt?
Hunting isn't a matter of Life or Death
Its MUCH more important than that!

User avatar
JPH
 
Posts: 3419
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:28 am

RE: Where the deer aren't!

Postby JPH » Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:06 am

I'm with PS. Post rut is tough. I'd scope out a high carb food source and hunt it early afternoon to sunset on cold days.

User avatar
JPH
 
Posts: 3419
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:28 am

RE: Where the deer aren't!

Postby JPH » Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:16 am

By the way DeonZ, I think you post some of the best questions on the forum. I re-read your "bio" on another thread and I see that you are really just getting started as a serious deer hunter. I hope you are learning as much from your season as many of us are through your posts and questions.

I guess what I am trying to say is, don't get discouraged! Being a fanatic deer hunter means being a lifetime learner, but the freshman season is often the hardest. you are going to have ups and downs, but if you hang in there you will have moer and more success. Just think of how much you are going to know going into next season as compared to September of this year!

DeanoZ
 
Posts: 1114
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:06 am

RE: Where the deer aren't!

Postby DeanoZ » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:31 am

Prairie/JPH..thanks for the feedback...that was actually goign to be my next question...If the postrut is all about food (and that makes sense to me) what food sources can identify in the area I hunt?  Well ebing that I hunt ona military reservation as far as I can tell there are only two: Oak Acorn Mast (which for the most part is gone now) and grasses.  This reservation has old ammo bunkers throughout with grass fields which the deer seem to liek to graze on.  No agricultural crops to speak of so thats not an option.  Is there any other kind of mast they could be feeding on.  there are pine trees and pine cones..don't know fi they feed on these??  My best guess will be to go to the tactics I used prior to the rut and set-up along the trails they use to get to the fields at night and in the morning, but because these bunkers are all over the place its like a maze of trails runnignthroughout..and at times hard to predict which way they are moving.  JPH you mjentioned hnting early afternoon to sunset...why not the mornings?
 
JPH thanks for the compliment, and I have to be honest what success I've had this year I owe to you and the many others here.  I always look forward to your threads as well as Prairies, Shamins, Woodswalker, Joel, Goose and many of the other regulars here...to say i have learned a lot would be an understatement...I have a buddy whose been hunting seriously and longer than I have and he now askes ME for advice...go figure huh?  I have indeed learned much, and while at times i get discouraged I often remind myself of the opportuntities I had this season and how fortunate I was to be able to get that close to "shooters" and does..thats only happened a few other times in my early hunting experience.  For sure I have learned much and I'm honored that I've been able to contribute as well.  Thanks again guys...you are indeed a band of brothers, and I'm grateful to call all of you brothers (and the few sistas we got out there as well, lol)!  The season ain't over yet...I've got till the end of January to find that shooter...I'm hot on his trail!
 
 

User avatar
JPH
 
Posts: 3419
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:28 am

RE: Where the deer aren't!

Postby JPH » Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:29 pm

ORIGINAL: DeanoZ
...what food sources can identify in the area I hunt? as far as I can tell there are only two: Oak Acorn Mast (which for the most part is gone now) and grasses. 

...JPH you mjentioned hnting early afternoon to sunset...why not the mornings?



I have to qualify my answers with two important points. One, hunting where I do, food sources are easy to find and identify. Acorns, ag. crops and the occasional food plot. Two, I am not much of a late season hunter. But I'll take a stab.

You may be surprised at how many acorns are still out there. They may not be lying in piles like in October, but the deer still visit those trees that produced earlier looking for left-overs. And depending on what kind of weather you've had, the grasses may still produce. If it is still green, I'd hunt over it. One other option may be areas of woody browse. If you have an area of young growth (recovering clear-cut for example) that can also be a good late season food source. If there is snow cover, you can put some miles on and actually find where they are feeding.

As for why afternoon? In the warm months deer move best during the coolest times of day. But in winter, they will often conserve body heat by bedding down in the mornings, but feed during mid-late afternoon.

All this is biased off of what I see around here, so my apologies if this dos not help in NJ.

User avatar
JOEL
 
Posts: 1099
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:05 am

RE: Where the deer aren't!

Postby JOEL » Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:44 pm

those tips work well in NY[:D] deer can locate an acorn under a foot of snow
"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

User avatar
fasteddie
 
Posts: 1284
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 1:38 am
Location: Western NY

RE: Where the deer aren't!

Postby fasteddie » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:22 am

The sign you see in September & October changes in November & December after food crops are processed . Once hunters start entering the woods ,fields , etc and leaving scent , the deer will probably avoid that .
Do you wear gloves when handling the camera as to not leave scent ? Do you take the same precautions of placing cameras and checking them out as you do with your hunting ?
Semper Fi !

User avatar
ranwin33
 
Posts: 2110
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 2:12 pm
Location: Kansas and Missouri

RE: Where the deer aren't!

Postby ranwin33 » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:32 am

Through hard learned experience I would not necessarily trust your camera is showing you everything going on.  We've set two cameras up over the same site and get different pictures from both.  I've hunted over cameras, and what I see in a plot is not the same thing the camera takes pictures of, so just because the deer aren't on your camera, they may still be there.
 
 
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
Aldo Leopold

DeanoZ
 
Posts: 1114
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:06 am

RE: Where the deer aren't!

Postby DeanoZ » Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:05 am

ok thanks all again for the feedback...I have a few more questions:
 
1.  This may seem obvious to all of you, but I'll presume that they won't feed on non-green or dried out grasses?  This would make sense to me, but the few fields we have are around old ammo bunkers and I imagine in the next few weeks the grass will turn yellow...will they still feed on that?
 
2.  Yes, I'm quite certain there are still acorns on the ground so i will go back to the hardwoods areas
 
3.  I heard something about deer liking pine buds or something like that...i see the deer nudging their nose through the pine needle growth on the ground..their looking for something..can't be acorns becuase in that area there are no oaks..any idea what they are looking for?
 
4.  I do not wear gloves while handling the camera, but I do my best to ensure my hands are scent free and spray down before I enter the wood with the camera...I'll start wearing gloves
 
5.  your absolutely right and it did occur to me that perhaps the camera is not picking up all the activity...I'm also chalking up the deers scarcity to it being muzzeloader season...more humans in the woods and I sense the deer are starting to hunker down
 
6.  JPH thanks for the insight on the afternoon hunts for post season...that makes sense to me so during the late season I'll shift my hunting to the afternoon...besides its slightly warmer and I won't have to get up at 0' dark-thirty...did enough of that on active duty, lol
 
Again all thanks for the advice!

Next

Return to General Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 9 guests