So I return from my hunt last weekend, Dec. 20th, which was the second Ohio gun season. I have made several conclusions based on this hunt which may affect my hunting of this area. I shot my first buck early in the morning, about two hours after shooting light. He appeared to still be rutting as he walked into my shooting lane; his mouth was open, huge neck, his hackles were raised, tarsal glands reeked of urine, and he was marching towards my regular doe urine scent - although i thought he was upwind of it. After gutting him, I opened his stomach to find it was FULL of corn. So I guess although all of the corn is cut in the area, the deer are still finding enough in the fields.
That afternoon, my buddies and I decided to do a small drive along a creek bed that bisects two fields, as it offered shelter to the wind, bedding area, etc. Although this drive of probably 1/2 mile (its a narrow area, we could see each other and the whole woods on each side of the creek the whole time, and we went slowly) proved unsuccessful, at the end there was a group of about 10 crazy hunters who drove up onto the land along the wooded areas and all around. Not feeling too safe, we ended our hunt and briefly talked to the hunters. We were pretty sure they didn't have permission, but didnt want to do anything to 10 crazys with guns. They proceeded to drive all of the areas, shooting at anything that moved - apparently they had shot at several deer, hitting some, but only killing one or two. ANYWAY, long story short, I have decided maybe the lack of seeing deer at this spot late season is both a combination of the hunting pressure during the gun seasons, as well as the abundant and non-focused access to food source that disperses the deer out over the area.
So I am thinking, although this hunt was highly successful, that maybe I should leave this place alone during the weeks before and after the gun seasons, and maybe in between the two seasons next year, scout for later season bedding areas - because I know they arent bedding in the same areas as early season.
Any comments, criticisms would be welcome. Thanks.