Scratching My Head

highridgehunter
 
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Scratching My Head

Postby highridgehunter » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:47 am

 I hunted quite a few days on my lease (Catt. Co.)during the bow season.  Saw a 3-4  small bucks 1 1/2 YO and 2 that I figured to be 2 1/2 but no big shooters.  Gun season seen 2 small bucks and 1 Shooter (too thick for a good shot in the tree tops).  Last year was totally different story I shot a good management buck 3 1/2 YO 6PT with 4 on 1 side and a long spike and a browe on the other.  My brother shot a 140" 11 pt and my cousin shot a 120" 10pt.  Last year saw a ton of 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 YO.  Didn't mess with them at all and kept seeing them all season.  They love our lease.  It was timbered 2 years ago.  I'm left this year so far scratching my head wondering where they are.  Gun opener was slow and Sun was not much better.  We have had some issues with a couple of guys sneaking on to the property with no regard for our
posted signs.  I'm wondering if they could have something to do with it.

LaCatahoula
 
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RE: Scratching my head

Postby LaCatahoula » Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:22 pm

I don't know if this is whats happening w/ you but we have a simular situation on our lease. We would kill several nice bucks every year. When we started hunting we shot any legal deer. We would shoot spikes 4 points anything legal and every year we would kill some big bucks. We went to 4 point or better for a season then 6 point or better for a season and eventually went to if your aren't going to mount it don't shoot it. Now we have pictures of several 120"-160" deer but we haven't killed any good bucks in about three years. All we seem to see is small bucks. I can only guess its because we now have so many 4 1/2-6 1/2 year olds that are just too smart for the average hunter too kill.

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Mac
 
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RE: Scratching my head

Postby Mac » Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:32 pm

We had an extremely early rut this year and the bucks are now in lockdown and are holding the doe in the thick brush while breeding.

This could be a theory as well.
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SwampLife
 
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RE: Scratching my head

Postby SwampLife » Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:17 pm

I have read about this problem on leases, you cannot hunt old bucks like you hunt young bucks, they just are not the same animals.

Also is you're perception of 'Good Buck' elevating as well.

I don't care how many bucks you let walk it is nearly impossible to have an area over run with mature bucks. They need space.

just my opinion.
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pickleguy
 
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RE: Scratching my head

Postby pickleguy » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:03 pm

I go to Kansas every year & we see all kinds of 1 1/2 & 2 1/2 year old bucks so one would believe that next year you will see a bunch of big bucks but it never happens. I think the shooters move to areas that they may be top dog to get some breeding in & there is only one big buck left behind in a area. I am leaving Friday to see if it holds true for another year.
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highridgehunter
 
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RE: Scratching my head

Postby highridgehunter » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:02 am

I do understand that you cannot keep every buck on 120 acres but maybe a few from last year would make their home.  The only thing that keeps me thinking they are there is that 2-15 acre parcels we don't touch for them as sanctuary is where they may be hanging and having a little later of a Rut this year as well.  I guess only time will tell and some hard Huntin.  The property adjacent to us is a 400 acre farm and 5 other guys from our camp hunt that and they have seen only a few bucks too.

CB on the run
 
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RE: Scratching My Head

Postby CB on the run » Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:32 am

I have property in the southern tier.  Last year we had no, and I mean no acorns.  This year we had the best crop in at least a decade.  The bears are back, we got into fall turkeys and we all seen deer including several decent bucks.  Nothing super but there is virtually no QDMA in NY.  Without starting an argument, unless you can control 1200+ acres you are at the mercy of all the surrounding landowners/hunters.  Try and find the website for Cuba,NY high school deer tracking program.  A mature rutting whitetail buck will range 4000 acres and all deer will move near food sources even though a lot of their diet is browse.
 
CB

habitatmanager
 
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RE: Scratching My Head

Postby habitatmanager » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:37 pm

You said your lease was logged 2 years ago so it would of been the first fall after it was logged when you had your sucess hunting, it was also a bad year for mast. You most likely had the best food available to the deer in you area (leftover buds on tree tops,and new growth in the understory. This year was a good year for mast and the deer are most likely in surrounding oak/hickory woods. You didn't mention if the tops were there or cut out for firewood this past year? Human intrusion is a huge factor for deer movement. So there are a large variety of reason the deer might not be there this year, food source some where else, tops removed creating less cover, tresspassers. Do you use game cameras? Were the deer there earlier this year? Even activity on the property next to you can effect the movement on your piece! Did the farmer down the road change location or change crops? Unfortunaltly we in western ny don't have the luxury of large(to us ) farms the at we can manage 50 acres here is a big piece,400 acres is small in the mid west.. But the understory will grow back,and you might think about a clover/alfalfa plot. The deer are around you just need to make your piece the most attractive you can! Best of luck the rest of the season!!

highridgehunter
 
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RE: Scratching My Head

Postby highridgehunter » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:08 am

The tree tops were left except for a few of them we pulled out for firewood but there are at least 500-600 left.  That opened up the forest floor and the under grow really came up giving them a ton of new forage.  Our oaks produced well this year and we have 4 food plots on the property, 3 feed plots and 1 hunting plot.  To answer the question about the farmer down the road well he hasn't done crops in some time he logged his 400  acres 5 years ago and pulled almost every tree top out for firewood.  Not much cover which leads me to think we have the cover and the food.  This 400 is hunted by 5 other guys from our camp and they haven't seen much either.  The farm (probably 200 acres)below us on the other side always has a couple of fields with corn and winter wheat but that has been going on for the past 5 years we have had the lease.   

highridgehunter
 
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RE: Scratching My Head

Postby highridgehunter » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:10 am

It was the second year we  did well after the property was logged.

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