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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
6
13.64%
Later in the year; I feel my best chance to kill him is during the rut or later in the year
6
13.64%
I don't favor early or late; I hunt him until he is dirt napping
32
72.73%
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

Hunting early season deer VS waiting until the rut

Old 09-06-2011, 09:01 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Hunting early season deer VS waiting until the rut

I'm curious about this. I know a lot of us will get pictures of some great deer on our properties and are itching to get after them. I have known a lot of very successful deer hunters who will get pictures early in the year, but will not pursue an animal until later on towards the rut when they feel their chances of taking their targeted buck are the highest. Personally, and I hunt predominantly in the Southeast, I feel that early season is the best opportunity on harvesting a trophy deer in my area. The rut does not come in very hard where I am at and the buck to doe ratio is hard to keep in check. What are your opinions? How many of you guys will hit your best spot early when you know a big buck is in the area versus waiting until later in the year?

Last edited by Bigeasy08; 09-06-2011 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:51 AM
  #2  
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last year on my first evening hunt opening day of archery i had a 170" 14pt buck 15 yards in front of me. so it really doesn't matter what part of the season it is. early season i will stick more in the woods then as it gets cooler and later on in the season when the deer are moving more in the day light hours i will start hunting all of the stands with still being in the woods to being on field edges. with my job i have half the year off i am married but no kids so once deer season comes around i will hunt every day i have off witch is from 2 too 5 days week from opening day to until i tag out.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:24 AM
  #3  
Nontypical Buck
 
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If season is open, I am heading to the woods! I couldn't care less if it is September or January or anywhere in between. The rut can be fun, but doesn't have to be the rut to put some meat and bone on the ground!
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:39 AM
  #4  
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I would hit the hot spot all season - when the time is right. That might only be 3 or 4 times in 3 months depending on the wind, temperature, food sources, rut, ability to get in and out undetected and so on. I'd be much more worried about burning an area out by hunting it to often early and so on. But if you're in there when the conditions are right and not overhunting it, it doesn't matter when you hunt it within season. That said, some guys and gals hunt later because buck travel along the popular routes will be increased later in the year and therefore their chances at a bruiiser increase.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:53 AM
  #5  
Typical Buck
 
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like the others, if the season is in im going to prob be hunting. Like minnesota deer said, id wait to hit the spots around where i thought a trophy lurked until it was the perfect conditions, where as i might try something new or different if i was hunting another spot.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:29 PM
  #6  
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Been bow hunting 40+ years. Have had about as much luck in early archery season as late. I go whenever I can.

For me early archery season (mid Oct.) finds me hunting at or near food. In my case I look for a white oak acorn crop, if there is one ... and I also occasionally along the edge of a cool weather food plot. Biggest bow kill buck was on Oct. 18, 1989, on a trail leading to a food plot along whose edge there were a dozen or so white oaks that were raining acorns. I have had very limited archery luck in later season. In my opinion because of the heavy pressure put on the deer by gun hunters. I gun almost exclusively once gun season comes in anyway .... but sometimes picked up the bow (now X-Bow). See very few big guys. Most very late or very early in the day. During estrus, I hunt where I ususlly find does. That works pretty good some years. Not so good others. Last decent buck that I killed with my bow was early November of 2008. He and another good buck came into the bottom marking territory. For whatever reason they split up and this guy happened to feed along the creek bank, and came into range. I do not recall killing ever killing a buck with my bow after Christmas-ish.
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:45 PM
  #7  
Nontypical Buck
 
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I hunt from when it freezes until the ice comes on the lakes. Can't get them if you aren't out there.
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:41 PM
  #8  
Spike
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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
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:37 PM
  #9  
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I would agree. Can't kill em if you're not out there but you also can't kill em if you spook everything out of the woods and fields. Again, you can hunt your best spot with success all year if there's a good chance the bucks will be there but you have to tread lightly so it stays hot all season.
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:04 PM
  #10  
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I just love being out in the woods. I move around alot so I don't scare everything away. Hunt the wind and be as careful as I can.
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