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Newbie help

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Newbie help

Post by trapperjay on Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:16 am

I'm new here but think this forum is really neat--watched a lot of youtube videos of folks on here. I do not have private ground to hunt and bait deer so I do things the "hard" way!

I'm hunting an area with lots of tracks, rubs, scrapes but I am not seeing the deer. Some tracks show sign of small deer, others, big deer. On large tracts of land, how do I begin to determine where to begin seeing these deer during daylight hours? I know the deer are surely somewhere close, but I can't figure out the "tricks." any help is much-appreciated!

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Re: Newbie help

Post by Waiting4Fall on Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:47 am

Welcome, and thanks for joining us. There's alot of factors to consider, and I believe that others here will contribute to helping you out.

I don't know your skill/experience level, so I'm not trying to insult your intelligence. You have to look at the big picture. Tracks are great, but why, how, where do they fit into the big picture? Big picture meaning terrain features, food sources, time of year, human pressure, All of these are very important.

You may want to consider COVERTLY putting out a couple of game cameras. Best thing you can do is scout, scout, and scout some more. However, you have to do it intelligently, and covertly. Remember, on public land your not only the hunter, but the hunted as well. That's the mindset I maintain, so I minimize detection/interaction by/with other hunters.

Online scouting is a great tool, and first step. Also, are you doing everything you can to manage scent control? How long are you sitting in an area?

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Re: Newbie help

Post by trapperjay on Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:19 pm

Thanks for the welcome Dave!

. . . "I'm not trying to insult your intelligence." No worries about that, I'm trying to learn all I can. I've hunted for several years with a recurve and longbow and have killed some but only on my father in laws private land. Baiting is legal and on his land, that's where I hunt.

The big picture is overwhelming to me--it's miles and miles of oak and pine with a bunch of areas with thick underbrush. It's hilly and in some places very steep.

Additional questions are raised after reading your post:

1. Food sources: how does food preference change as winter approaches? Right now, deer have been feeding on acorns but I know they will be gone before too long.

2. Terrain features: like I said above, there's tons of hills, valleys, bushy gullies, etc. I just don't know how to start eliminating ground??

3. Online scouting: I'm definitely open to that. What's the "best" online tool y'all have found?

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Re: Newbie help

Post by trapperjay on Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:24 pm

I failed to address the scent control question. I'm washing my hair and body in Wildlife Research Center soap, clothes in straight borax (has worked on my coyote trapping clothes for years so I thought I'd try with deer). I hunt certain areas only when the wind is right--always want it in my face overlooking the anticipated approach.

I sit on stand for about 3 hours.




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Re: Newbie help

Post by Waiting4Fall on Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:43 pm

1- 3 hours is cool early season, but last week of October thru the end of November you need to be prepared to sit sunrise to sunset.

2- Read ALL of this.
http://www.deertrail.us/minnesotawildlife/minnesotawildlife/whitetaildeer.html

3- Start scouting here.
http://mapper.acme.com/

4- Read ALL of these.
http://wiredtohunt.com/2011/02/28/understanding-terrain-for-deer-hunting-success-how-i-got-my-first-buck/

http://www.grandviewoutdoors.com/deer-hunting/articlecontent/7/2011/2612/Top-10-Sites-For-Deer-Stands

http://www.midwestwhitetail.com/faqs/38/topo-maps-and-aerial-photos.html

This is from our very own BowhunterGA, and an excellent resource.
http://www.simplytraditional.net/2012/07/04/going-public-with-your-deer-hunting-part-i-hunt-the-food/

Alright, that's enough for now. I took the time to find this stuff for ya, "Knowledge is power!"

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Re: Newbie help

Post by trapperjay on Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:52 am

WOW! Thank you very much for all the links. Very informative to say the least.

Question: I can't find a way to convert the coordinates to UTMs on the acme site. Do you know if it's possible?

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Re: Newbie help

Post by recurveit on Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:56 pm

I understand what you mean trapperjay. I found tracks rubs and scrapes but few deer. My problem is the wind. It cant make up Its mind what direction to go. My best spot i found was a bench at the top of a holler. Topos are priceless.
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Re: Newbie help

Post by illianabowhnter67 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:45 am

T.J. where I hunt public ground in Il.deer pattern hunters like Dave said be willing to hunt all day.

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Re: Newbie help

Post by bowonly on Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:09 pm

I'd like to touch a little bit on your food source question. Like I tell a lot of people that say they want to get into deer hunting....you not only need to be educated in deer habits and movement, but you must know trees!! Throughout the season a deer's food source preferences will change as new and more palatable masts become available. They can be tearing up the acorns under one tree this week and next week.....no activity at all. This is usually indicative of a new food source, maybe even another type of oak or even the same variety of oak that has started dropping. I'm sure in your area, all those oaks aren't of the same variety and even those of the same variety my drop at different times during the fall. These are things you will need to find out.....at what point during the season are the deer feeding under certain varieties of oaks. And I'm only mentioning oaks because you stated they were in abundance in your hunting area.

Here's a for instance.....in the WMA I hunt, the dominant oak species is Nuttall Oak. Even though it is the most common variety of oak in the woods they do not all drop at the same time. There are individual trees I have found over the years that drop their acorns at different times during the fall. Some of these Nuttall's begin dropping in late October, most in early to mid November, but there are a select few that will hold onto their acorns until December. Knowing when this is happening in your area and which individual trees are being hit by deer at their time of dropping mast will go a long way in helping you be successful with intercepting deer making their way to the food source that is popular at the time.
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Re: Newbie help

Post by trapperjay on Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:34 pm

I appreciate everyone's response . . . LOTS of things to think about.

I spent all day in the woods today . . . noticed a few things today and now I'm asking "what" the observations are saying.

1. There's a stand a persimmons that are dropping adjacent to the parking areas. They are getting hit by the coons and some deer. I assume the deer are hitting this at night.

2. I didn't realize acorns fell at different times. I honestly thought most of them had fallen and were gone by Thanksgiving!

3. I was under the impression that if you have does, you have bucks this time of year. . . strange thing is, I see lots of doe tracks but don't see a single animal during the hunt.

4. The timber, it's mostly young growth--very few stands of mature oaks. There's a lot of brushy/thick areas but when the woods opens up, the timber is really not that great.


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Re: Newbie help

Post by Les Welch on Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:05 pm

If you understand deer, essentially they act the same everywhere, with minor differences. If you understand deer the next thing to do is learn maps....I don't mean just N, E, S, W, etc. I mean look at and understand maps, topographical and aerial. When I see maps, it's like reading a 3-d picture. 25 years of public land hunting has taught me what deer do in pressured areas. Now for the most part I can look at a map break it down to quadrants and have multiple stand locations picked per quadrant. Yes these will have to be fine tuned to the "spots", but I can be close quick. A friend and I killed two P&Y bucks in 5 sits on an out of state DIY, public land, archery hunt in early November..in a state I had never set foot in prior to that trip. Leading up to that hunt I picked the area via internet research and LOTS of map study. Once I picked the area, I broke it down into quadrants. Then I broke each quadrant down and labeled food sources, travel routes, bedding areas, adjacent private lands that would funnel deer movement back and forth between the two, and I identified areas that I knew other hunters would be. This allowed me to go in the dark the first morning and be close enough to have a stand set and hung within 20 minutes of daylight. I printed all these maps and preloaded all of the waypoints into my GPS. I also sent all this information to my hunting partner and he did the same. Nope I didn't even see a deer the first morning, but my partner did pass a young buck and two does. He also tagged a nice 11 point that night less than 200 yards from that spot. I ended up tagging a nice 8 point 4 sits later on the other side of the property also very close to a pre-deteremined spot on the map! So if you haven't guessed it yet, IMO the most important factor in public land DIY hunting is map study. Good luck!


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Re: Newbie help

Post by Waiting4Fall on Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:52 pm

Les, welcome to the forum. I meant to give you a + "cool post prop",
Regarding your very informative reply. I'm using my phone & I hit
The - accidently.

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