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Hunting early season deer VS waiting until the rut

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View Poll Results: What time of year will you target a deer?
Early season; I have pictures of a shooter and know his typical patterns
Later in the year; I feel my best chance to kill him is during the rut or later in the year
I don't favor early or late; I hunt him until he is dirt napping
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

Hunting early season deer VS waiting until the rut

Old 09-06-2011, 06:08 PM
Giant Nontypical
BigDaddy12t's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 5,062

I am in my stands as much as possible from the start of archery season, right up to the point that I have one on the ground.
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:36 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Southern TN
Posts: 1,018

Originally Posted by Bigeasy08 View Post
I understand spending time to hunt when you can, but its a difference between a hunter and a SUCCESSFUL hunter...ie, someone who consistently takes large, old deer...you can only go in the woods so many times before you spook something
Every time you go in the woods you run the risk of spooking critters. However, being careful and paying attention to the environment around you can greatly reduce the chances of spooking game. As for what a successful hunter is, if a hunter goes hunting, has a good time and is ethical, it is a success. Matters not if there is a kill at all or the size of the kill. Everyone likes a big deer, but that shouldn't be the only thing we care about. This, my opinion, is worth about as much as yours though, I suppose.
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:57 AM
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Location: WI
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couldnt agree more with bible man.
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:19 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Damascus MD
Posts: 2,751

Thats a tough call. A big property that deer can live on year round I like early season, a small property thats a few acres etc, the rut could bring bucks from neighboring properties in. Ive scored on lots of targetted bucks early season, but usually its within the first 2 weeks of the season "if" its going to happen. Targetting a buck early season can sometimes be incredibly predictable especially when bucks are still in velvet, or just out of velvet. But once they shed, the game changes quick, testosterone starts to build up, they no longer tolerate bachelor groups or other bucks quite as much, they start to become more nocturnal, and they start establishing a territory around their bedding areas.
Hunting the rut can be incredible, or heartbreaking. A doe comes walking in with a stud in tow, woohoo, easy cheesy. A hot doe getting chased under your tree or accross a field offering you no shot can be frustrating, but, still cool to see.

For me, I like early season better personally for targetting a specific buck. Bucks arent as pressured, and if you did your homework you should be able to get in close to their bedding areas where they will start making rubs and moving around some in daylight. The rut can also have that buck you are targetting miles away from where you watched him all summer.
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:16 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 17

i understand that an overall successful hunt involves having fun and enjoying yourself...but thats not exactly what I am talking about. I always enjoy being in the woods but I am specifically talking about killing big deer and big deer only. I understand your reasoning though
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