FIXING THE NOCTURNAL DEER PROBLEM

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KULBETH08
 
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FIXING THE NOCTURNAL DEER PROBLEM

Postby KULBETH08 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:45 am

Two years ago we puchased 400 acres of woods in Louisiana. The previous owners did no kind of deer management and ran dogs on a regular basis. We've hunted the land for two seasons and haven't seen much activity except for a few does here and there but there are tracks and signs every where. We put up camera's around the whole property to get an idea of what we've got. we got a lot of pictures of does and a number of really nice bucks, but their all at night. the rut also seems to be nonexistent we've seen a lot of rubs and a few scrapes but the scrapes get abandoned after a few days. I've hunted all my life and i've never seen deer behave this way. What is causing this problem and how can we fix it?

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69Viking
 
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RE: FIXING THE NOCTURNAL DEER PROBLEM

Postby 69Viking » Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:28 am

Hmm, what you're describing is very similar to what I observed in SW Alabama this weekend.  Lots of scrapes around but the only buck pictures at night.  I actually found a trail where I can get pictures of bucks entering the property at night to feed and then exiting the property in the early morning to bed down in the pines on the adjacent property.  One spike mistaken for a doe was shot and definitely had stinky tarsal glands.  They just don't seem interested in the does yet.  Maybe in another week or two now that the cold weather has set in.  Our season ends Jan. 31 though so not much time left.  We have a trip planned for Jan. 29, 30, & 31, hopefully we'll see some movement (chasing) during daylight hours then.  It's my last chance to get a buck so I'll be sitting all day no matter how cold. 

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JPH
 
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RE: FIXING THE NOCTURNAL DEER PROBLEM

Postby JPH » Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:10 am

Don't know if this is really an issue QDM can solve. Sounds like it has something to do with heavy hunting pressure over the years and possibly the way the rut is running in your area. If I were to have this problem here in the north, I would do three things.
 
One, I would examine the impact of all my hunting habits (scent control, noise control, vehicles, number of hunters, etc.). I would attempt to remove as much of the human footprint as possible, year round.
 
Two, I would try to time my hunting with the rut. Deer must move in order to get the job done. From what I have read, we enjoy a more intense rut in the North, but i would guess that they still move during daylight during your peak.
 
Three, try to grow dense cover and hunt close to it.
 
Good luck.

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69Viking
 
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RE: FIXING THE NOCTURNAL DEER PROBLEM

Postby 69Viking » Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:18 am

JPH thanks for the input.  Your recommendations are exactly what I've been thinking is a problem in the area I hunt.  The guys I hunt with don't always take hunting as serious as I do.  Example, they aren't seeing any deer so they take the .22 to the damn deer stand and shoot it at squirrels and armadillos.  Not to mention taking shots at the beaver in the pond back at the house.  We only have 110 acres to hunt on so noise should be kept to a minimum in my mind.  As far as the thick cover on our property we are working on that, it just takes time to grow after you clear cut sections.  Really good input JPH, it pretty much confirms what I've suspected for a while now.  Now if I can just make my point to the other guys that hunt where I hunt.

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JPH
 
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RE: FIXING THE NOCTURNAL DEER PROBLEM

Postby JPH » Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:31 am

ORIGINAL: 69Viking
Now if I can just make my point to the other guys that hunt where I hunt.

 
That is the tricky part!
 
 

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69Viking
 
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RE: FIXING THE NOCTURNAL DEER PROBLEM

Postby 69Viking » Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:55 am

LOL JPH, I just sent them an email and copied your blog input, can't wait to see the responses I'll get.  I'm so frustrated with it I got out of work early yesterday and scouted some public land on the Air Force base near my house.  I might consider hunting there too to give myself a better chance.  I can't be too bad at scouting either, my son and I saw 3 deer while out scouting an area that I think has potential. 

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QDMAMAN
 
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RE: FIXING THE NOCTURNAL DEER PROBLEM

Postby QDMAMAN » Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:58 am

I'll concur with what JPH recommended and add a note or 2.
Deer need 3 things, food, water, and cover.  If you have these 3 things the deer really have no reason to leave your property...although they will.
I would concentrate on creating prefered food sources (destination plots) in the interior of the property to direct daylight deer movement within your property boundries.  Establish your bedding areas closer to your perimeters and then pay close attention to wind and scent control and hunt the transition areas (closer to cover if targeting bucks).
One thing that will get bucks on their feet and moving is their need to procreate.  By intensely managing your doe population you can entice bucks to move more and rut more ie: rub and scrape. You can manipulate where they do this by recreaing the things they seek when doing it, such as tieing down prefered species of trees or creating mock scrapes.
Your deer population has been programed to seek cover during daylite hours for generations.  The good news is that once the pressure decreases and they get use to moving during daylite hours to feed and breed, they will.
Because deer are ruminates they can't stay on their bellies more than 3-4 hours without standing up.  If you have some small food sources adjacent to bedding cover they will feed during daylight giving the opportunistic hunter a shot.
Good luck!
Big [font=arial]T[/font]

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Goose
 
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RE: FIXING THE NOCTURNAL DEER PROBLEM

Postby Goose » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:41 am

I agree with the above posts. Your number one influence will be low impact all year round. Do what needs to be done and thats it. Hang your sets early and leave them alone. Do your scouting in the spring and if you must do it near or in the season do it midday and take the same scent precautions you do while hunting.Don't go checking your camera's every other day, leave them up for a week or so and then pull them and move them.Keep the vehicle traffic to a minimum.
 
I think if you start practicing low impact tactics you'll see a difference sooner rather than later.
Jake

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

coach
 
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RE: FIXING THE NOCTURNAL DEER PROBLEM

Postby coach » Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:59 pm

400 acres is pretty big.  Have you walked the whole property ?
If you did ...make sure you know where the beds are.  There might be alot so take notes.
 
I bought  150 acres last September.  We didn't know the property that well.  So we made
a big sacrifice and walked the property almost every weekend.  We had different spot to hunt meanwhile.  But it was a short time sacrafice to some good future hunts.
 
Now we know where they bed...where they eat...we saw 1 big sign post.  Although we didn't shoot anything from that location this year but 1 doe....we are going to be more prepared for next fall.
 
It may take 3-4 years to get everything quiet down in your area.  Bucks who had been pressured for the last 3-4 years....may always stay nocturnal for the rest of their lives.  While a buck fawn or a 1.5 year old....you may get a chance to turn it around since he is still young.
 
Good luck
Cheers
Ottawa, Ontario

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passin through
 
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RE: FIXING THE NOCTURNAL DEER PROBLEM

Postby passin through » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:45 pm

K-- Welcome!  Where bouts are you in LA?  I hunt in North Union Parish up on the AR state line.  We experience some of the same issues you describe.  We also run hounds on the property but even the stand only (still hunter) sections experience what you describe.  Rut as far as I can tell is about as erratic in our state as any where else in the country.  Even LDWF doesn't do a great job of pinning it down.  On the delta its close to Christmas and here in the pine thickets its around the 15th of November...Ours gets kinda squashed into night time some years by some pretty erratic temp jumps.  & South of Alexandria I have no idea when it hits.  All the advice given so far on this thread is very sound.  My suggestions from the pine hills area is : Shoe leather burning in the 1st quarter...walk alot right now!  Find trails, rubs, beds, ect and plan to be there next fall.  Don't go scouting around too much right before season.  Do your homework now when the leaves are off and the stuff you are looking for is easy to see.  One of the things about living here is it is so much like a green jungle until thanksgiving.  That key trail may be totally covered until the leaves fall off, but you can see it now.  My other suggestion is get most of your stands in and prep done as early as possible then get out.  Minimize your pressure and impact.  Those nice bucks may or may not be living on your place but you want them coming back.  (we've killed about 10 in the past 2 years we have solid proof thanks to cameras and google earth that have traveled a mile or more from photo to kill site)  We always cut our lanes out about May and round up them in June.  then you can either leave as is with 6-12 inches of growth in the fall or cut again in september with minimal impact.  One of our states biggest problems (IMO) with the deer going nocturnal is the long season and the prep time before it  4 months of shooting projectiles at them and 2 months of yayhoos whupping it up through the woods is enough to make any animal nervous.  Other than that shoot does if you got too many and develop your habitat to hold your deer on your piece of land.  Remember a BB or a 1.5 year old is probably the most transient member of your herd.  He will walk clean out of the country to find a niche.  Shoot his sister and give him some extra browse and he might hang around.  Sorry about the long post but just wanted to throw in 2 cents worth for another hunter from the Bayou State.

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