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What am I doing wrong?

Old 11-24-2005, 07:34 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 55
Default What am I doing wrong?

I've made it out to the woods about seven times this year, and I've only seen three deer--two of which I jumped while heading back to the truck, and one way to far away to shoot.

I'm hunting on public gamelands. I've tried still-hunting and simply sitting up against a tree or behind some vines. I've rattled and lured, I've tried paths and clearings and dense thickets, I've stayed overnight so as not to spook deer by coming in the morning, and still nothing. Everybody around me is firing away, but each time I get back, I fill my box of slugs right back up with unused shells.

Any suggestions? I'd really appreciate some at this point.

Oh, and an interesting story:

Today I headed back around 9 am, cold, bored, and somewhat disgusted with my luck. On the way back, I met three ladies who were taking a hike. "Good morning," they called out in unison, in an overly-friendly tone. (They were nervous.) I wished them good morning, and one of them stopped me. "Are there many more of you hunters out here?" Yes ma'am, I said. I've been hearing shots all morning. "Uh oh! Do you think it's safe for us to be out here?" Well ma'am, nobody's going to be shooting at you, but I really, really wouldn't recommend it." "Oh dear! We need to go back. Have you seen any pinecones?"

"Pinecones? I wasn't exactly looking."

"Oh well. That ruined our morning. D--n you hunters!"

I chose to take it as a joke, and laughed. But we all walked back up the path together, and one of the ladies gave me her views on hunting. "I'm not opposed to it like my daughter is, as long as you use the meat. You do use the meat, don't you?"

"Well, of course!"

"Oh good. Hunting is so spiritual, isn't it?"


"It's like being in church, really."

"Uh, heh. Well, it's nice, but not quite on the same level as church. It's a good opportunity to enjoy creation, that's all."

"Oh, I do like ythe rebel flag on your truck."


"I'm from Tennessee. Happy Thanksgiving!"

Certainly one of the odder encounters I've had while hunting...

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Old 11-24-2005, 08:01 AM
Dominant Buck
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Location: WC FL
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Default RE: What am I doing wrong?

Maybe them there old gals were there for other reasons, like spooking the deer, sort of speaking!
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Old 11-24-2005, 08:27 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Livonia,new york
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Default RE: What am I doing wrong?

if i was you i'd either go over by those fellow hunters and have a chat or take a look-see as to why the deer are over by them and not you. maybe food, weather/wind, maybeyou've hunted the same spot to much. could be a bunch of things. i hunt public land for two years now and have learned a lot from other hunters. find out were they make the kills and what type of deer was it. the bucks by me tend to hang on moderate high ground in bow season but drop down when the rut is on. but then come gun the tactics change. they hit the thickets and stay put. it's really not untill the late season when things lighten up that i feel they go back to there normal schedual. right now i'm conncentrating on food. it's cold, they need calories to stay warm and the colder it gets the more they'll be forced to move around and feed. hope my ideas help you out bro, good luck and hope you nail a slob
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Old 11-24-2005, 11:34 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Big Sky Country
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Default RE: What am I doing wrong?

This is one way the anti's disrupt deer hunts where it is illegal to do so. I had one lady and her big boy toy walk up and start taking pictures right next to me. I whipped out my camera and started taking pictures of them which made them very uncomfortable. Who goes in a known hunting area without orange during hunting season to take pictures? We never spoke a word and they left after about 30 minutes. MV out!
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Old 11-24-2005, 05:50 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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Default RE: What am I doing wrong?

I don't think they were trying to disrupt hunting; they just didn't have a clue, and they wanted to pick up the pretty pinecones. ;-)
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Old 11-24-2005, 06:21 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 37
Default RE: What am I doing wrong?

wish I were there to help you, jimmy the foot knows what he is talking about take his advice. Good Luck!

People Eating Tasty Animals...lol
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Old 11-25-2005, 11:00 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Nokesville, VA
Posts: 89
Default RE: What am I doing wrong?

"Today I headed back around 9 am, cold, bored, and somewhat disgusted with my luck."

A the P, I will tell you something. I understand the statement that you made, I used to do it a long time ago, leave out only after a couple of hours because I was frustrated. Let me tell you this, with anything else in life, you must work HARD to enjoy success. Next time you have that feeling to leave, bring in some good food, a book, whatever to stay on stand, all day if possible. Try to develop an inexhaustable work ethic, that is something that will take you a long way in your development as a hunter in general.

Here are some basic things I learned on my own over the years from trial and error....especially in heavily hunted areas:

1) Get in early, like 1.5 hours before sunrise
2) Find entrance routes that don't cause you to bump deer
3)If you have to walk in a mile to hunt to get 400-500 yards from other hunters, do it, even if you have to deveop a physical fitness plan to get in better shape
4)Scent control is a must
5)Play the wind correctly
6)Keep a positive mentality at all time
7)If you feel like you are hunting a wide open spot with huge shooting lanes, the deer probably feel vulnerable as well and generally will not be in that location...if that causes you to hunt in a spot where you can only see 30 yards all around, then hunt it, the deer feel more secure
8)make sure you have a good background if you are hunting in a tree, especially when the leaves have fallen off

I can think of a lot more, but I think those things I just mentioned can help you right away...keep asking questions on this thread and we will help you as best as we can.


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Old 11-25-2005, 12:13 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: ohio
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Default RE: What am I doing wrong?

"Today I headed back around 9 am, cold, bored, and somewhat disgusted with my luck."
Stay thats what i can tell you, every deer i have killed has been around noon. And alot of hunters leave there stands around that time which = movement= spooked deer = deer come to your part of the woods. Just play your cards right and you will get one. Took me 3 years to get my first deer.
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Old 11-25-2005, 02:57 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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Default RE: What am I doing wrong?

Thanks a lot for the help, folks. I'll definitely take most of this advice.

Just so you know, though, as a student I'm pretty much limited to a few hours at a time. I usually hit the woods an hour before shootin' light, andI sometimes hike a mile or two out of the beaten track. Last year, when I had a little more time, I spent 11 hours at a time in the stand before I got my first buck.

I daresay a good deal of the trouble is, my only scouting opportunities come when I'm already out there hunting. Once I've decided to head back, I browse around for awhile, looking for a likely spot to hunt next time I'm out. Maybe I should spend one day just scouting for tracks, trails, etc, instead of hunting?
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Old 11-25-2005, 03:02 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 55
Default RE: What am I doing wrong?

Question: what are good feeding areas for deer? (I'm a rookie hunter, just so you know.) My last spot I thought was great: it was a small field, about 20' by 100', facing a deep valley with a ton of oak and beech, and plenty of ground cover.
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