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Urban Deer Hunting

Old 09-09-2009, 07:22 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Chicago, IL
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Default Urban Deer Hunting

Got a question for everyone and want to get some opinions. I'd really like to hear from people who have urban deer hunted before.

I have permission from a family friend to bow hunt their backyard if I would like too. The house is a fairly big house in the northen suburbs of Chicago that sits on a one acre lot. To the left of him is 4 other houses, all with about the same size lots and houses. All have big yards and many large trees. To the immediate right of him is a large flood plain that is owned by the county, maybe 60 acres or so, all tall grass with some spots of tress. This area is no trespassing/no hunting and no one really goes in there, all bordered by high fences. Behind the house and his lot is an area around 50 feet wide that backs up to a tall fence that deer cant jump that runs behind all the houses and a wierd piece of public property that no one can access because it is landlocked. All the area in the town around him (Everywhere within 1 mile or so) in incorporated so there is no hunting allowed. For some reason, his house and the four next to him are still unincorporated and no one really knows why, but they still are. In our area (and Im sure most others) you can hunt in any area that is unincorporated but not incorporated.

In a nut shell, there are 4 houses next to him, all about an acre, a 150 yard track of woods/brush that runs behind all the properties that is about 50 ft wide and the flood plain immediately next to him on the other side. He recently asked me if I wanted to hunt it because the deer are destroying his plants and he wants some taken out because there is no other way to get rid of them. I have the OK from the city police (Know the chief) and the OK from the County police (know some high end officers) I also have permission to get the deer out of the flood plain if they go in there from the city. The only worry I have is if the deer don't run into the flood plain after hit and run into someones backyard and croak is getting them out. There are houses across the street (all mansions on large lots) and would hope the deer wouldn't run through someones yard across a street where there are more houses. In a perfect word they would run into the flood plain or down the the 50 ft wide track and die, but what if they don't? Granted I could go around the neighborhood and ask permission from the neighboring houses (I already have permission from his nextdoor neighbor) but this would also let people know that I would be hunting and start some controversy. This is kind of a upperclass neighborhood where people most likely don't hunt.

What do you guys think I should do? Im very good with my bow and shots won't be more than 15 yards 10 yards more likely. There is a 10 ft gap in the fence where the deer come through into his yard from the flood plain and its just ideal for hunting. Perfect funnel, plus there are some monster bucks. I mean, these deer don't know what hunting is and have never seen anything remotely like a hunter before. My hunting spots are gone this year (except one in MI) so I need to be in the woods. Let me know your opinions. Thanks!
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:19 AM
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Hunt the property. The deer are most likely to run to where they think it's safe - back onto the flood plain and not the neighboring yards.

I can certainly understand the awkwardness of the situation though. We have some deer in our neighborhood that live in a strip of woods that's only about 300 yards wide and 600 yards long. You can often walk to within 10 feet of them. I have no doubt it would draw the ire of some of the neighbors if a hunter was seen taking one.
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:34 AM
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What you pointed out is the MAIN reason I would NEVER hunt in these types of environments. Sure people take some huge bucks in these types of areas, but I have NO desire to have any deer drop in someone urban/suburban backyard next to their swimming pools or barbecues. Especially with bowhunting, it is not likely that the deer will drop right at the spot it is hit and bows are typically the only weapons allowed in these kind of environments. I hear about people hunting in two acre lots, just how do they pull off not having to knock on someone's door to ask if they could track or retrieve their deer? In many of these places there is NO place for the deer to go other than to someone elses property that you probably don't have rights to. I would much rather take only a small buck and have the peace and solitude compared to a chance at a big one in the type of environment you mention.
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Old 09-10-2009, 07:18 AM
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I would go for it. Talk to the immediate neighbors where the deer might also likely run to make sure you could retrieve it and so that they know what you're up to and your hunt doesnt get interupted by law enforcement when they place an intruder call, etc. Chances many of the neighbors view the deer as a nuisance and others are logical enough to realize you're not going to eradicate all of "their pets," though you will run into the occassional environmental goofball with lots of dough.

In terms of a bow not being as lethal a weapon as a rifle in dropping power, I beg to differ. I've had deer drop instantly with a well-placed heart shot and all but a few have dropped within 50-100 yard of where I placed the arrow through them. I've also witnessed deer plugged with a high-powered rifle in the wrong spot go missing. In one instance, I was hunting within 150 yards of my neighbors house in the woods and the doe collapsed right in front of his shed. He was cool with that, though and helped me drag her back to our house.

My home hunting grounds are a cross between suburb, farmland, woods and a lake. What I've found is that most of September and October it's a futile effort to hunt all day. The hour after first light and a couple of hours before sundown when things are quieter is the time to hunt. But that late October through November, anytime is the time to be out there in the suburbs.

Last edited by minnesotadeer; 09-10-2009 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 09-10-2009, 07:37 AM
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My own experience finds that even a well placed bow shot is a far cry in lethality compared to a well placed rifle shot. Sure some might drop instantly, but I don't think it's stretching the truth to say that most bow shots don't result in instant drops. A deer running up to 100 yards could be 3 properties away in the type of environment being described here. To each their own, but one of the biggest reasons I enjoy hunting is to get away from civilization so hunting in this fashion is surely not my cup of tea. I even think many hunters who only hunt in these type of environments never get to fully appreciate how hard hunting can be in other more rural and remote areas where one may not see any game for days at a time. We shouldn't forget that deer in an urban/suburban setting aren't exactly in the type of environment nature intended them to be in.
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:29 AM
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I had the same situation. My buddy's property backs up to Valley Forge National Park. Tons of deer. He has a wooded lot of a couple acres. The neighbors on one side are kind of animal lovers. It's a tough one. You have a small sliver of opportunity and you need to make that shot count.

Just make sure you shoot the deer on his property and get permission to rertrieve it if it runs off the property.

I'd be choosey, too. Not worth the hassle for a little buck.

You could very possibly shoot a monster. But it's a trade-off. Not quite as much the hunting experience as a big farm or the forest.
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:40 AM
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Spine Em! They don't go far then. Being serious now, I would hunt it and actually will be hunting property similar to what you described next year. More big buck in those average urban areas compared to an average mountain or farm. While some are going to not like seeing someone hunting that area just as many will be thankful that you took out a flower and expensive shrub eater. Just do it tastefully and with common sense. Spine em if possible!
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Old 09-10-2009, 10:15 AM
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Location: Wisconsin
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I hunt 2 different spots that are similar to yours. It is a unique oppurtunity that not many people have. A well placed shot is the key in these places. I have hunted one of these spots for 7 years and have taken deer every year with no issues. With surrounding houses and a school within hearing distance i have never once had an issue with the deer running into areas that i dont want them. These deer are a different breed. They are usally used to people and are not as skidish. So it dose take some of the fun out of it. I use these spots to take people that new to hunting to get them hooked. Anyway go for it and good luck!
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Old 09-10-2009, 10:27 AM
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Go for it,just try and make the shot count.
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Old 09-10-2009, 11:23 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: charles county,md
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it's tough on either side of the coin.......as said above , do it 'tastefully' and you should be ok --- kinda similar situation behind alot of homes i'm sure{mine included but not a mansion - lol}.....i would hunt carefully and get permission to recover!
as a side note you might want to check out the guys from team-overkill..............they have a dvd out about their suburban hunting{some with mansions around} - or contact them for further advice / i know those guys could shed some light in the delicate areas --- good luck
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