I hear you hunt NH. and I am weary of that cliche as well. no one goes deer hunting with the intent to not kill a deer. I have seen exactly what you are describing the last 4 outings and I thought I was sitting in a potential slaughter house this year. Im not seeing anything while in the stand and very little on trail cam, and what is, will never get shot during it activity time.
you have to have the occasional rewards to fuel the fire.
with all due respect. this is not what im facing. i could stand getting skunked for a year or two. and only seeing a deer once every 4 or 5 outings. but this year i went out opening day (wich was a wednesday) end gone out bolth saterday and sundays each weekend sence. yesterday i saw what i thought might have been a deer, but am not shure. last year i hunted just as activly, but through bolth muzzel loader and rifle season. i saw one doe durring shooting hrs, but could not shoot it leagley with a gun. and i saw a few bucks chaising her after legal shooting hrs had ended. the season before that i hunted bow, muzzle loader, and rifle. (again just as activly throughout all three seasons) and saw nothing all season. season before that............ ya its been a wile. my brother inlaw is also an avid hunter. its been three years sence his last kill. a friend of mine got his first deer this year after hunting for 6 years. and o got alot of firends who hunt, and only one of them got one last year. none besides the guy mentioned above got any this year. only one of them last year, and none the year before. i work with several hunters, none have got any this year, none last year. iv been hunting sence the season of 1999, and have only killed 2 deer. one in 2000, and one 4 years back (and i wasent even hunting at the time i shot it). i was out wheeling my bronco, saw one and just happened to have a gun with me. dont worry i broke no laws doing so, and it was an ethical shot, and a clean kill. (just pointing out that i wasent "hunting" at the time.) so ya last time i killed a deer wile hunting was 11 years ago. and this is not from being too selective. this is hunting wiith the mentality that if its leagle, and i am offered an ethical shot, that i will take it. a few times, and i do mean only a few times in the last 11 years i have seen shootable deer wile out hunting and passed only because i was not offered an ethical shot. its brutal hear. so i hate to sound like im complaining but ya sitting in the woods, day after day, year after year and not seeing deer is getting old. and im tired.