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Strategy Change??

Old 10-16-2017, 07:08 AM
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Default Strategy Change??

OK, looking for ideas from the more experienced hunters here.

Last 3 weekends have had good winds for one particular stand site. First weekend opening of muzzle got in and set up, no issues. Took a shot at a buck, missed, don't ask how.

Next weekend on way in under dark, taking my usual slow, quiet pace. I jumped one deer not 10 yards into the woodline, seemed the deer didn't mind me coming in. Her issue was when I stopped and listened for anything and then moved again is when she bolted from about 15 yards away. Ran down into a drainage and up the other side and then started doing an alarm call from about 50 yards away. Typical doe activity but she just called, called, ran a few steps, stopped and called, called again. At same time heard another deer off to my right further away bound away. No other issues on my way to site, still saw some deer including 2 doe fawns still with mama. Had the bow with me this time and no clear shot.

This past Sat, on way in, this time 30 minutes earlier, I get to woodline, stop, listen and before even stepping in I hear a deer possibly same as before bound off. No calling, get in further, about 50 yards from site, hear another deer bound off.

So here is my question, these deer don't seem to like the slow, quiet entry where you stop listen, pick your path and then move again when you think all is good. They seem jumpy to this approach. I will add I use no light on entry on most entries and have not used any on these entries.

How should I address this, this area is on Base and pretty much M-F has Marines in these fields working. Many times as with those in the field the Marines will head into the woods to relieve themselves and the deer here are very used to flashlights and people moving around in the field and the woodlines. So should I change my strategy from walking slow and quietly and start walking straight in regularly with my flashlight on, giving them the feel that I am just another human they are used to seeing in the area?
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Old 10-16-2017, 09:37 PM
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I do have a buddy that just runs and crashes through the woods to his stand. I think he is crazy but he is quite a successful hunter.

Thats a unique situation to me where you have regular interaction between people and deer but they still seem to always have a knack for knowing the difference between dangerous and not.

Personally I'd hunt it like I'd hunt any other property(make sure I avoid deer upon entry) but you would probably know more than me as Ive never really hunted that kind of property but I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents anyway sense you weren't getting much response so thats my advice for what its worth. Just hunt them like deer that don't often encounter people because somehow they obviously know the difference.

I do mushroom hunt a state college campus(no deer hunting) and the deer act the same way there. Sometimes they it seems they couldn't care less and other times they care a lot. If I could hunt deer there I would assume the deer cared.

Or you could try my buddies approach and break your leg running through the woods in the dark and have to explain to people what you were doing out there running through the woods in the dark.

Last edited by rockport; 10-16-2017 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 10-17-2017, 03:54 AM
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LOL, I will try to refrain from breaking anything making my way through the woods.

It is a unique situation and deer do seem to know the difference in intent. We have had live fire exercises here on the ranges and you will see deer just mosey on by down range without a care that there are 30 Marines firing full auto. But the first time you intentionally shoot at the deer they seem to understand intent if you will. Think the same is said about people walking, have walked in fields with other jobs being required and the deer just stand there and stare at you but if you did something like that during season they will disappear in a heartbeat.

Think it is along the lines of a farmer working his field vs hunting.
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Old 10-17-2017, 11:54 AM
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Is there another way to get to the stand location? Look on the map and see if there is another way. Obviously you're current entry is spooking the deer, with that in mind, I would try a different route of getting there....or possibly even an hour earlier (sucks but well worth it to not spook the deer.)

Just my .02
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Old 10-17-2017, 12:27 PM
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I've used both approaches. I watch how a Deer moves from cover into a meadow or field and try to copy the cadence, they rarely take more than a few steps before a pause, then they step out again and repeat. I've also tried slow and steady with no pauses. I try to make like another Deer and not a predator. If there is a irregular breeze, i move when the wind is blowing and stop when it dies down. A lot of background noise, it is often the unnatural noises combined with a faint scent or movement that sets them off. It really doesn't take much sound if it is the wrong sound, like two halves of a zipper rubbing together, keys jingling etc.

Often it is a subtle noise and a faint odor that sets them off, scent more than sound. Walking the wood line, forest heats up slower than the open in the morning and stays warmer after the open cools down in the evening. If there is no breeze, the air moves subtly into the woods after the open areas cool down. Not much you can do about it, other than try to minimize your scent. And remember they can see out of the woods much better than you can see in.

Often I've spooked a Deer and had them return to nearly the same spot half an hour or three quarters of an hour later. Not always, but often enough I keep it in mind. Doe with fawn tend to spook easy and huff or bark more, part of the plan to lure a predator away. They park the fawn and then run off barking and return after awhile to pick up junior. If a Deer hears another Deer eating, they come into the open a lot less carefully.
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Old 10-17-2017, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Mountain_Hunter View Post
Is there another way to get to the stand location? Look on the map and see if there is another way. Obviously you're current entry is spooking the deer, with that in mind, I would try a different route of getting there....or possibly even an hour earlier (sucks but well worth it to not spook the deer.)

Just my .02
Not really, part of the problem with hunting on base is the entire base is broken down into sections designated by letters. Each area has a set amount of hunter that can be in these areas and which method of hunting is allowed IE archery only etc. You can only be signed out for one area at a time and while you can drive through one area to get to another, you cannot walk or at least it is gonna lead you to a day with a game warden and possibly a sit down with base command to explain why you are in an area your not signed out for. Other entries require you to approach upwind of the deer and we are avoiding that. I'll try getting a map of the area to give most an idea.
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Old 10-17-2017, 02:15 PM
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What are these deer that are busting you doing? Feeding,bedding,passing through?
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Old 10-17-2017, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by rockport View Post
What are these deer that are busting you doing? Feeding,bedding,passing through?
Feeding and or passing through. About every 5th oak has been dropping acorns for about the surrounding 2 square miles. Most dropped early and rotted due to the storms which was good for me in that what is left focuses them. Other than that most are passing through heading back to bedding.
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Old 10-17-2017, 03:30 PM
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Yeah acorns are always tough...good huntin but tough to hunt.
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Old 10-17-2017, 10:16 PM
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Give it a try. You've been busting them out of there anyway. So walk in at a regular walking place and see what happens. If on busts you, don't even stop or look at it. Just keep walking towards your stand. Maybe it'll decide you're nothing to worry about.


I'd try to find a different approach if possible. Always try to avoid pushing deer out of your area on the way in/out.


-Jake
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