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deer behavior

Old 08-31-2010, 05:22 AM
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Default deer behavior

I'm looking for some opinions on whitetail behavior. I live on a 7 acre lot and have a stand set up in the back with a security camera over my bait area. I lay out a small pile of corn every morning and have a salt lick sitting there as well (legal in NC). During the summer, the only deer to show up most of the time (about 3 times a day) are a doe, a fawn and 2 point buck.

(The square in the middle of the pic is the salt lick)

Those three show up a number of times a day - morning, afternoon, just before dusk and in the late night.

This will be my third season hunting - 1st two years were with a bow and I didn't get anything. This year I have a Winchester 94 .30-30 and expect to tag at least one. Being that I still have to get a single deer yet, I would take either the doe or the buck in the above pic. But then yesterday these guys showed up...

They arrived sort of out of the blue, since I have been reviewing the cam footage for a while now and the largest I've seen was a six pointer who showed up about a month ago in the middle of the night (I think he was in this group - there were about 4 or 5 of them roaming around). This shot was taken around 5:20am.

I know that deer cross my property all the time - there is also a small spring on the corner of it. I set up the stand just off of the main trail they use. I'm hoping this isn't just a fluke and that they will come back.

So - please tell me that in the fall and during the rut that these deer will change their patterns and show up during daylight hours. I wouldn't mind taking one of these guys as my first.

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Old 08-31-2010, 05:37 AM
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As long as you have does comming in, the bucks will be following them.
After all they will have Love on their minds lol.
Good Luck.

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Old 09-02-2010, 05:12 AM
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phew ... took me a while to get through all those responses! Thanks guys

OK, I'm just excited - and its gonna drive me crazy that I have to wait until mid November when gun season starts (I'm not going back to bow until I have a few kills under my belt - even tho the season starts in 9 days!!!)

So, the group of bucks showed up again this morning. This time they had corn so they hung out for almost an hour. The largest buck definitely has asserted itself as the one not to screw with, I guess. He kept bumping the other deer away from the corn pile if they came in to get some. He's an eight pointer, there is another 8 pointer, a six pointer and a smaller four pointer.

Will these bucks break their alliances sometime this fall and start being loners or will they still travel in a small group?

There are number of does that come by - so that's good. Would any of you suggest using a doe scent attractant? And if so, do you only put it out while you are in stand or do you put it there a week or so in advance?

thanks all
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:37 AM
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Not sure why you are waiting until gun season? If you have a bow tag then get out there during bow season if you are confident you can make the shot. To me it makes better sense to get after them while they are not getting as much hunting pressure, at which point they will change their patterns. Once they do that, you'll have to wait for them to make a mistake.

Once the pre-rut starts, the bucks are going to break out of their groups. If you want that 8 point, I suggest getting in your stand with your bow.

Last edited by *twodogs*; 09-02-2010 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:40 AM
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These deer will be out during daylight hours. And yes, these deer are in "bachelor" groups and typically run with other bucks from spring through early fall. Around here they break out of these groups the around the second week of October.

I do not use any scent until I'm hunting a particular area, and I suggest you do the same
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:53 AM
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there really is no tellin.....everyone could assume whats gonna happen.
keep the cam out and runnin and continue to follow them(look at the pics)
if yer lookin fer a good buck, you'll probably have to let bow season go and wait fer the rut....
like you, i was sooooo unsuccessful my 1st 3 years with a bow..but after that everything started comin together, and now sneakin up on critters seems to be easy...
i'd say give the bow another round, and if all else fails, go back to shotgun.
by the way, that 1st bow kill woops the crap outta any rifle kill....even my 2 in 1
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:53 PM
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I've let my bow sit for too long now to pick it up and get my limited skills back in time for the season. Last season I took a shot on a deer - turns out I didn't clear my lane as well as I should have - the arrow hit a the one small branch that was in the lane and deflected. The buck ran about 20 yards away and stopped - after a bunch of sniffing and looking it edged back in another 10 yards. I got another arrow out and shot again - that time I hit it. I'm not sure how far it went in - I saw it sticking out as it ran away. Problem was the shot hit high since it crouched down before leaping away.

I went to look for him but could not find any blood at all. I got my daughter out there the next day with me and she was like a blood hound - found the smallest drops of blood and we followed the trail for a good half mile until it stopped in a pile of downed trees. Found a small pool of blood there - found the arrow a short distance from there along the approaching blood trail. I'm thinking the wound clotted and stopped bleeding because we looked another 2 days and could not find anything after the final blot spot.

Long story short - I'm not too confident with the bow in bringing down a deer - maybe after Ive rifle hunted for a while I'll go back. I've been practicing with my .30-30 and I feel very good about taking one down with that.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:30 PM
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There is a good chance that if the does stick around the bucks will come!!!
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Old 09-03-2010, 04:55 AM
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thanks for the advice everyone - looks like i need to try to keep the does coming in. it seems, though, that the bachelor group likes the free corn and the salt lick - they've shown up three times this week - just about the same time in the morning, too.
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