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Our woods has gone silent.....

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Our woods has gone silent.....

Old 11-06-2004, 09:45 AM
  #1  
Dominant Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Blossvale, New York
Posts: 21,199
Default Our woods has gone silent.....

Something strange going on in our woods. We aren't seeing deer. We figured they were all holed up in the uncut corn. Well that's been down a couple weeks. We still aren't seeing the deer we used to.... I mean it was a sudden total drop off this year. Not sure what's going on. I wonder if we didn't have a big die off or something. We're not even seeing the does and fawns we used to. Where we used to see herds of 8 or 10 daily and sometimes herds of 30.... we now see one or two and feel like we've had a big day. The people are hunting the property next to us which usually helps... but they just aren't there. Take last night. I decided to just sit way off looking into a hidden corner where there were always 12-20 deer come out. Last night...2. When Rick and I left the woods well after dark I run the lights out across two other cut corn fields.... ZILCH. We didn't see the deer in crop damage or anything. The nearest big sorce of water is not on our property or I'd cruise the big brambles along it checking for bodies. I did see 6 different bucks in the past week 3 across the line..... but I only saw 4 or 5 does. Something strange going on. Even during the muzzleloader days I only heard 2 or 3 shots around us.
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Old 11-06-2004, 10:05 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Chenango County, NY
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Default RE: Our woods has gone silent.....

What you are describing sure sounds familiar...

Normally, there are deer galore in the cut corn accross the street. I mean, close to 10 or so can usually be seen if you watch. The neighbors hunt every year and this is the first year they've only gotten ONE deer all bow season, and they have 3 people hunting almost every day. And from what they've said, it's not cause the deer are staying out of range, it's because they just don't see very many deer. It's kinda weird. They saw them all year until about a month and a half ago. We had very heavy rains here, and after that, the deer seemed to have disappeared during daylight hours.

But on the flip side, we are seeing prints on trails and other deer signs. No rubs or scrapes, but lots of tracks. It just seems that the deer have got completely nocturnal. Sure is making hunting difficult.

I was out yesterday and saw fresh tracks all over the few trails that join where I hunt. Stayed out for 3 hours, and saw nothing. Went back out this morning, more tracks. All over in fact. I'll go this afternoon and confirm my theory that they are moving only at night. One of the neighbors actually heard what sounded like a couple of bucks fighting about 45 minutes after dark. Very weird. I always thought the deer would bed down at night.

Anyway, Hang in there. Hope we both have better luck now the rut is in full swing.
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Old 11-06-2004, 10:08 AM
  #3  
Dominant Buck
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Location: Blossvale, New York
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Default RE: Our woods has gone silent.....

We've only found a couple scraps and a couple short rub lines. The trails that used to be highways you can't tell a deer has walked on them. I walked the edge of a corn field the day after a big rain that quit about dark the day before.... ONE.... ONE deer track in an area that used to have thousands. We haven't seen the deer all summer that we usually do.
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Old 11-06-2004, 10:14 AM
  #4  
Boone & Crockett
 
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Default RE: Our woods has gone silent.....

David in a lot of places here in Pa. it is the same. there is a few places that guys say it is normal,but I spend alot of time conversing with Pa. hunters on the puter and they are generally disgusted. But we expected it since a million doe tags were given out the past couple years. The PGC. I heard is now wanting to get the heard down to 5 per square mile.
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Old 11-06-2004, 10:16 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Chenango County, NY
Posts: 224
Default RE: Our woods has gone silent.....

Maybe we live in the Twilight Zone... [X(]

Very strange. Was there any major development in the area around where you hunt? We've sat over many meals and discussed the neighborhood deer population. We can't figure out anything. Usually, it seems farms hold deer consistantly due to the available food source and usually a good deal of acreage which keeps away unwanted human activity. We're totally stumped. I really think that the deer are fewer around here than previously and I think that they are moving only at night. But during the rut!!! They should be out during the day too.

Good luck! And if you figure anything out, let me know!!!
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Old 11-06-2004, 10:26 AM
  #6  
Giant Nontypical
 
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Gambrills Md US
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Default RE: Our woods has gone silent.....

Sounds exactly like what happened in Southern Maryland when blue tongue decimated the herdt, only I haven't heard any reports of it in the area over the last few years.
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Old 11-06-2004, 10:29 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Shreveport, LA
Posts: 305
Default RE: Our woods has gone silent.....

The same thing happened 4 years ago in south Arkansas. We saw nothing. It was like all the deer left or died off. It was unbelieveable! We weren't finding any carcasses so we ruled out a die off. I scaned the internet for several months after the season closed to see if I could find any explanations but none ever turned up. Never did find a cause.
We still dont see the amount of deer we once had although it seems to be getting better each year.

I feel your concern cause I've been there.
Good Luck
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Old 11-06-2004, 11:28 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Default RE: Our woods has gone silent.....

Seems it is true in my neck of NH. Area I have hunted where there was always sign seem to have dried up. We are having a good deal of small houseing developments popping up all over the place. There have been very few shots last weekend and today. I figured since last weekend was opening of muzzleloader and the weather was terrible( Rain Sat and Hot Sun) we'd hear plenty of shooting today. I had a few small does Appear during early bow season but haven't seen them since. Haven't seen any scrapes in my area or to many rubs either. Even the can and the doe in heat pee thats the rave of this site hasn't produced. I know I'm sitting plenty still wether I am in the stand bow hunting or on the ground with the muzzleloader I've had squirrels come within 5 or 10 feet of me feed and walk away, without chattering at me! I'm about to give up here in NH and concentrate out of State where the deer herds are stronger. At least elsewhere the chance of a few strolling by keep your interest up. Sunday afternoon I'm hooking up with fellow board member Adams for an afternoon hunt on his property. Hopefully things will get better.
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Old 11-06-2004, 12:00 PM
  #9  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Location: De Witt, Iowa
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Default RE: Our woods has gone silent.....

IMO i would have to say that the deer are moving at night...... Last night me and my girlfriend were going to some friends and i had a doe run out in front of me and a buck about 4 feet behind her. Later in the night, we were out on 4 wheelers in his field and i saw a monster of a 10 point just standing there and staring at me.... This morning, I was in the woods by 5:10 AM. Around 5:25 i heard footsteps crashing about 50 yards away and then I heard them crossing the creek over to the bedding area in the neighbors property... Stayed out till 10:30 AM and saw absolutely nothing... I saw plenty of tracks on the way back to the truck, but not a single deer... I havn't seen a deer in my last 4 outings... I'm heading back out tonight in hopes of getting a shot on one....
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Old 11-06-2004, 12:44 PM
  #10  
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Location: Cheasapeke and Delaware Bay Region
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Default RE: Our woods has gone silent.....

In adding to Davids statement, yes we have seen a couple bucks but never the same buck twice. Len put on a drive the other day and jumped 2 bucks (included in the six we have seen) running together past me and David, now bucks don't run together during the rut, speaking of which we have seen very little evidence of it being ongoing but that could be due to the lack of deer. I did find one dead spike but it wasn't in good enough shape to determine cause of death, to far off road to have been hit but the possability of it being an unrecovered harvest from the neighboring hunters does exist. I hunted this property the last 4 days in sesession and can count the number of sightings on one hand.
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