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Strategies for hunting " nocturnal" deer??

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Strategies for hunting " nocturnal" deer??

Old 12-01-2003, 12:33 PM
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Default Strategies for hunting " nocturnal" deer??

Hey I' m a new hunter and killed my first buck on opening day this year but have had little luck since. The problem seems to be that the deer have gone " nocturnal" because they are leaving lots of signs (counted 6 rubs and 5 sets of fresh droppings last week when I put out corn) and I have encountered them coming in and going out of my stand before/after dark. So I know they are there, but I haven' t seen any (except the 1 I killed who walked straight to my corn pile) during shooting hours. I am using scent killer spray and covering scent going in and during the hunt. Noise could be an issue because the stand is located in some hardwoods and it is dead silent at night. I have had deer " blow" at me on 2 different occasions as I tried to ease in. It' s impossible not to make some noise because of the leaves. I' m also walking in without a light because I can see well enough and it' s pretty clear of sticks/bushes. Also to note, I hunted the afternoon last Sat. and it was about 10 min. after complete dark (couldn' t even see thru my scope). I lowered my gun and was putting on my pack when I heard the leaves rustle near my right corn pile. I froze, waited, deer (I assume) blew at me then ran (had to be at least 2). Frustrated I waited till they were gone, started down the tree, as soon as I hit the ground, ANOTHER deer had come in on my left side and blew at me. It couldn' t have been more than 20 yards away. I froze, it kept blowing and pawing the ground, then finally left. I' m feeling very frustrated, does anyone have some ideas for how I might bag some of those deer?? Thanks in advance

Charles
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Old 12-01-2003, 12:36 PM
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Default RE: Strategies for hunting " nocturnal" deer??

SPOTLIGHT, JUST KIDDING, give the place a rest and let your scent go away, most the time the deer blowing are does anyways, bucks smell you and hall the mail,
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Old 12-01-2003, 12:38 PM
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Default RE: Strategies for hunting " nocturnal" deer??

Walk to your stand like a deer, not a human - take your time getting there. This can help. As for the midnight raiders, well, wait til after gun and get them with a bow after they' ve calmed down a bit. They' ll eventually go back to October/pre-gun patterns, but not likely any time soon sorry to say.
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Old 12-01-2003, 01:28 PM
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Default RE: Strategies for hunting " nocturnal" deer??

freeman, our deer disappear about the opening of gun season. Between the trespassers and dogs running deers, I just about give up hunting the last of november and first of december. I have found that about mid december, the deer get back to patterns and that' s usually when I kill my best deer.
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Old 12-01-2003, 08:30 PM
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Default RE: Strategies for hunting " nocturnal" deer??

I have to agree, approach your stand like a deer, I walk on my toe' s so it has the sound of a small hoof crunching leaves , not the long drawn out sound on a foot that contacts the ground with the toes first and then the rest of the foot to heel , your hole foot dosent sound like a deer walking. Take one step at a time and look around after each step, TAKE YOUR TIME like a deer, dont go rushing in there. When hunting an area that is extremely close to bedding or on the fringes get in there at night while the deer are gone and feeding and take a rake and rake a clear path to the stand and get a path clear of most leaves, twigs, branches etc.
If you are getting constantly busted at the stand then you are educating the deer as to the stands where abouts, I would move the stand or let it rest for a week.
Another thing to try is to get back in there farther try to find where they are approaching the corn from and you can ambush them during sunset before dark on their way to the corn,Have you tried hunting this stand at sunrise when they are returning to their bedding area?
Good Luck
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Old 12-02-2003, 09:55 PM
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Default RE: Strategies for hunting " nocturnal" deer??

Another thing you can try that I have heard helps is to bring a turkey call and when your walking threw the woods and make some clucks. Deer feel more confident when turkeys are around due to there amazing eye sight. If you are really getting desperate I would try catch them leaving and going to there beds. I hope this can help and good luck.
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Old 12-02-2003, 10:30 PM
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Default RE: Strategies for hunting " nocturnal" deer??

It sounds like the deer know where you are. You might try moving your stand to a new location. Look for a funnel area on the property you hunt, if there is one. This is an area where several stands of trees or draws meet. Scout the sign in the area and set your stand off the trails so you will not be busted or leave scent for them while going in. Find where they are going for water and check the sign around that area as well. If all fails, than as suggested, leave it be for a week or more.
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Old 12-03-2003, 04:54 AM
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Default RE: Strategies for hunting " nocturnal" deer??

Although I have never hunted over bait I can tell you that the big boys are not going to feed on it during legal shooting hours, what I would do is continue the feeding exactly where you are doing it now, but set my stands as close to their bedding areas as possible keeping the wind in mind the whole time.
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Old 12-03-2003, 06:53 AM
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Default RE: Strategies for hunting " nocturnal" deer??

but set my stands as close to their bedding areas as possible keeping the wind in mind the whole time.
Thats good advice.

I don't buy the completely nocturnal thing myself - big bucks move during light - they are just no moving in the locations that you are hunting. Get as close to the beds as you dare, stay out of the open woods and set up in thicker areas. These are the areas mature bucks may move during light.

If you convince yourself these bucks are unhuntable - they will be just that - Unhuntable. Have confidence that they will move - and set up close to there beds.

Good Luck[8D]
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Old 12-03-2003, 07:08 AM
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Default RE: Strategies for hunting " nocturnal" deer??

I agree get close to the beds. Those deer are moving before dark it sounds like. Just by the time they get to you it IS dark. Get closer. Heck get in their beds. I am this time of year. As far as getting to your stand, go slow and when you think you're going too slow, slow down a little bit. good luck.
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