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2010 Northern Virginia Buck Photos

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2010 Northern Virginia Buck Photos

Old 09-27-2011, 08:56 AM
  #121  
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Good info and to add on; a lot of the times, as BIKEMAN said, oaks will have a tendency to produce in "clumps" of trees. If there are a lack of oaks producing search out the oaks that are close to water sources. Most of the time oaks that are closer to water sources will produce while others further away may not. Mother nature, water, and elevation have an impact on whether or not oaks will produce.

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Originally Posted by Bike man View Post
Quantico kid

When I gun hunted, I would see 10 deer on my first visit to a good spot and 3 deer on the second visit and 1 deer 50% of the time on my 3rd visit. Some spots are very sensitive and others are not. As a general rule deer sighting decrease after each visit. I have a three visit rule and this includes scouting, but you really can get away with 5 visits most of the time.

You can not get it right all of the time in choosing a good spot. Deer sightings carry a lot of weight. I found a very good gun spot because I saw deer on a hill top 3 times over several years while doing deer drives. I would have never known that it was good spot to look at it. This is not the norm for me to find spots. The norm for me that makes me successful is my skill to read the sign and pick the spots.

Lack of acorns: that is a tough one. In earlier posts I hinted that I do not do well when there are not acorns. This is one of my weak areas. Yes, looking for a different food source should be the key. The field hunters like it when there are no acorns. Field would be the best, but I can not relate to having a skill that gives me an advantage to finding trophies in the fields. Hunting without acorns is not my area of expertise so I may be wrong. As the leaves disappear look for anything green. Try creek bottoms where the deer can eat freshly fallen maple leaves and there is other green stuff to eat there. I have seen deer eat freshly fallen yellow/brown tulip popular leaves and I have seen these yellow Ĺ brown tulip popular leaver in the stomach of deer. Clear cuts have some good brows. Old home sites can be good as they offer a different food supply. One of the 17ís has more late season green stuff on the ground than any other area on the base. Honey suckle, autumn olive and even pine can be good food. Deer will not eat some of the pines. Pine is not there favorite and is only eaten when there is little food around. They will eat white pine and a pine that I call yellow pine. I do not know if it is really called yellow pine. There are mushrooms under the leaves in the hard woods and mushrooms grow in the pines.

To find acorns you need to search out differences in the trees. I spend almost as much time looking up at the canopy. Walk over to any exceptionally large tree. As these are the best, but sometimes it is a sick tree or a small tree that is producing. Look at the ridge tops and on the bottoms and even hill sides. Check out trees that are out of the norm. Sunlight has a big effect on acorn production so try looking where the canopy opens up. This includes the edge of fields. When you get a few acorns (5 acorns) under some trees then that is a hint that there may be a producer close by. Sometimes for no reason there will be a stand of 10-20 trees producing when no others are. Know the species of oaks that you are looking for. Do not go for chestnut oaks. Deer do not like chestnut oaks. Whites of course are good. Northern red is good and easy to identify. Pin oaks produce almost every year. Pin oaks are normally in swamp bottoms. The only large stands of pins that I know of are in the 17ís and east of 95. In all of 6C I have only found one pin oak and it is on my GPS. I GPS most of the pin oaks that I find. Do not be fooled by last tears acorns. Verify that the acorns are good. Listen for the sound of dropping acorns.

Expect the rut to be late if there are not acorns and if there are no fields.

Some average hunters have taken big bucks off of that lone producing oak tree. You need no special skills if you find that gold mind as it will pull in all of the deer. Trophies are not that much smarter. Itís just that they are nocturnal and stay near good cover and stay away from where man stomps around.
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:47 PM
  #122  
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Okay very good info BIKEMAN, I will take that info into my scouting next time I'm walways trying to find new good spots. maybe you can anser this question I have a spot that I found last year on the Stafford side of the base where it is in between two sections. one side is B and the other side is A I sit on the A side and I kinda fell upon this spot its mainly hardwoods but has a old grown up road down the middle and it has about 50 yards each way of standing pines (tall) and I sat there last year 5 times and the first sit I saw 8 deer the second sit I saw 15 and the third sit I saw 5 deer and the fourth I saw 1 deer and the last sit I killed a doe but also saw 5 deer it was late in the season and I was very suprised that I kept seeing so many deer each sitting .

I figured that I might have found a travel route or bedding area the fect that I kept seeing deer and I would always get in early and right at first light start seeing deer all the way through 1130 I never have had a spot like that before from your experiance what kinda spot does this sound like it is ? found it to late in the year but I have a feeling if the deer are there this year that a big buck will be using that area becuase there a tons of does there and I scouted it this past sunday and there was already a fresh rub right on the old road right under my stand site.
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:48 PM
  #123  
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I think I found a area where the deer feel safe and there is not much foot traffic I never see anyone back there most guys stay on the other side of "A" and whats funny is it's not even acres
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:49 PM
  #124  
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Yeah i have a feeling mainside will have some big bucks taken this year if the oaks are dropping over there when you climb the hill over there are some areas with oak flats I saw 26 deer one morning
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:26 PM
  #125  
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It’s hard to say if your spot will be good next year. Some time the food will cause the deer to change their pattern for a year or two and then it changes back. The hunters will think that the spot has forever died when in fact it was only bad for a year. Most likely your spot will be the same as last year. Sound like a very good spot. I have had spots like that , but only during the rut. In 6C 25 years ago before it got screwed up, I saw 24 deer on my best day and it was all morning up to 11:30 and then it picked up at 2:00.

So you need a game plan. Do you want to shot a doe or a lesser buck out of this spot. If you shoot a deer then you are educating the deer and your gun shot will advertizes your location to other hunters. If you must shoot a deer during the season as most hunters are driven to do then I would expect that you will take one there. If you want a big buck then you may want to pass on all deer. It can be tough going several seasons with out shooting a deer, but it can pay off. Your spot may last for 10 to 20 years or it could change in a year or two. Like the base could clear cut it or some one could find the spot and hammer it. It all depends on what you want. All of those deer could really pay off during the rut. About the rub: it’s hard to say. An early rub tells me that it is a most likely a more mature buck. I like to see many rubs more than one big rub. Bucks post a lot or rubs where they hang out . They also will post a lot of rubs in locations where they a forbidden to go in the day time. In 6C one year, it was loaded with rubs and scrapes where everyone parked and walked into the woods. These was night time activity. Day or night, deer post rubs in the openings. Since you are seeing lots of deer I would think that the bucks will be there in the daytime.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:23 PM
  #126  
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Yeah I don't shoot anything small in this spot becuase one it a real long walk and two I see to many deer and one day a big buck has to come through with does or strolling this spot is very secluded and you would never even imagine there is many deer there becuase it is not that many acres plus it boreders private property a big creek devide the areas I did not get a chance to hunt the spot during the rut last year but I first hunted it on Nov 27th and I saw 3 does and 2 bucks a 4 pointer and a nice young 6 pointer but I passed on both of them I use to shoot them but I want to take more mature bucks and I have to be patient plus this area for some reason everytime does come in there from one section to the other they bed down like 3 yards from me like I said I think this is like a doe "safe" zone and the buck sign I saw was from the rut last year when I first hunted it on Nov 27th the rub I saw this past weekend was a decsent size I'm sure it was a semi mature buck probably a 2 or 3 year old.

There was a rub on the old logging road last year that was on a pine tree about 9 inches around and it was torn up the buck that did that had to be big enuff to fit his rack around each side and it had two dustenctive brow marks in pine also I'm not really sure but I will see this year I'm going to bow hunt it a few times I would love to come across a big buck and be able to key in on him and harvest him this year
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Old 09-28-2011, 06:52 PM
  #127  
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Speaking of NOVA, have you guys hunted Merrimac Farm WMA? I drew there a couple years ago for muzzleloader and was impressed with the area. Took a coyote and a turkey just after sun-up, but none of the three of us saw a shooter buck that day. It backs up to Quantico, so I can see why you all like that area.
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:15 PM
  #128  
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No, I have not hunted Merrimac farms WMA. I scouted 9D today and found some good white oak acorns. They were patchy but there are some very good producing trees. Some of the trees were Ĺ mile apart. White oaks are king. Several of the trees had lots of deer droppings and a few rubs. I am hopeful that the 10’s, 7A, 11A and east of 95 will have white oak acorns.
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:34 PM
  #129  
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BikeMan, how did you do on opening day today ? I wasn't able to get out I like 9D especially the 7A/9D split 7A is one of my good areas been closed alot hopfully there will be some white oaks or atleast one "Gold Mind" tree I like 10A is a good area
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:28 AM
  #130  
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I went to 6C where I found a very good lone white oak producing many acorns. This is the best tree that I found with 3 hours of scouting. I ran into another hunter already in his tree at 4:45 am. I may have been a little rude and I would normally walk away, but I had to hunt the spot. And 6C has been hammered so much that there are few good spots left. I setup on my tree about 70-80 yards from this other hunter. I have mixed feeling about setting up so close. This was my area and I left it 2 years ago because so many hunters have moved in to my area in the last 3-4 years. I moved out and gave the hunters room so I do not feel too guilty for cutting in on one hunter one time. I guess that I am venting because I feel guilty.

In the morning I only saw a flock of about 8 tom turkeys. In the evening I had a small 6 pointer come in to feed. I had him at 20 yards. I will have to give this spot a try again. It might be an evening only spot.

Last edited by Bike man; 10-02-2011 at 05:49 AM.
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