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How early is early?

Old 12-03-2007, 01:54 PM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Illinois
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Default How early is early?

The last weekend I bowhunted I crept in towards my stand 10 feet into the woods at the bottom of an open field at the edge of our campground. It was 45 minutes before legal shooting light and as I neared the bottom the woods erupted going away from me by what sounded like 4-5 deer running flat out.

This weekend I plan to be in at least an hour and a half before legal time, hoping I can catch these deer as they either bed down, or stage to cross the open field.

How early do most of you go in?

Good Hunting,
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Old 12-03-2007, 01:59 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: How early is early?

20 - 30 minutes. Deer travel at different times during the day you could bust them 45 minutes before light today and 1:30 next week its just a risk you take.
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Old 12-03-2007, 02:27 PM
Typical Buck
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Location: Columbus, Ohio
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Default RE: How early is early?

ditto... about 30 minutes is my norm... but I wouldn't be at all concerned if it was only 15 minutes.
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Old 12-03-2007, 03:22 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Default RE: How early is early?

I get to my stand 20 - 30 min before shooting light.
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Old 12-03-2007, 03:35 PM
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Location: Port Neches, Texas
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Default RE: How early is early?

30 minutes before shooting time! As said, you can spook deer at any time. If you get there too early, odds are you'll feel like leaving too early!
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Old 12-03-2007, 04:38 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Iowa (Heartland USA)
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Default RE: How early is early?

I look at the lunar tables and avoid going to the stand at the peak. Instead, I'll got an hour before peak or an hour after. Then for the midday mill, I am in my stand by 11:00 AM unless it is the lunar peak. If it is, then I go 30 minutes before. For the evening hunt (once again taking the peak into consideration), I go to the stand 2 hours before sunset. But the best thing for you to do is find a system that works for you. You'll never get to or from your stand every time without getting busted once in a while.
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:53 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: cazenovia, NY USA
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Default RE: How early is early?

If I bust a spot at predawn, sometimes I'll come back again when its just light enough to see. Deer see the worst when dawn turns to day and day turns to dark.

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Old 12-03-2007, 11:14 PM
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Location: Saskatchewan Canada
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Default RE: How early is early?

I agree with the other 1/2hour before. Though I plan my routes to avoid bumping deer, which means no fields, meadows, food source or the fringes around these. Deer being nocturnal are in these areas so the likely hood is high you will bump something. They can see, hear and smell much better then we can, especially with no light! If I can't get into my spot withgout crossing such spots I wait till I can see and then walk in. I would rather wait for another day then blow off a buck I had been scouting for several months prior. Been there done that and try not to repeat it if possible.

Good Luck
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:29 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Illinois
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Default RE: How early is early?

I get in my stand as early as 45 minutes to no later than 20 minutes before legal shooting time. I enjoy that time in my stand almost as much as first light. It's quite, when the tree rats start moving it gets my blood pumping, and I'm always amazed how early I hear the first shot......can't even see my hand in front of my face alot of times.

The same thing happens to me my very first time deer hunting. Took off down the side of a hill in Southern Illinois. Half way down I had a deer blow at me and it sounded like a bomb went off. There had to be atleast 3-4 deer take off. Pitch black out and scared the livin hell out of me.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:34 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Default RE: How early is early?

Don't hunt stands you know you might bump deer in the morning. I always get in an hour before light.
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