Where's the beef?...I mean venison?
Hello from Indiana
New bow hunter here, and I need some advise, tips, or whatever you've got. Iv'e been planning on hunting this year since last winter. Done the research...when, where, and how kinda stuff. Practiced shooting all summer long. I can get it in the kill zone easily up to about 40 yards now. Scouted a public FWA a couple of times late fall. In my mind it looked like a deer paradise. Lots of large heavily wooded areas, several food plots, and several small watering holes. Found several scrapes and rubs, so I picked out a couple of places that I thought would be good to set up a stand and a few more for a ground blind that were not good for a stand. Talked to the Ranger, he indicated that there was very little pressure during bow season. Sounded great to me. (Last time out only 5 hunters signed in that day) Set up my stand 3 weeks before opening day. Washed all of my clothes in scent eliminating detergent, showered in scent eliminating soaps,got to the FWA, sprayed scent eliminating spray on my gear, put cover scent on my boots, slipped into my stand or ground blind about an hour before legal hunting time and waited.:ph34r: I've done this once or twice a week for the past 4 weeks and I haven't even seen a deer, let alone get a clean shot. I knew it wasn't gonna be easy, but how about a "visual". I've tried attracting scents, calls, rattles,... nothing. What am I doing wrong here? Are the deer here completely nocturnal? I know that they are here, I've seen fresh tracks every time out. And I've heard them running off as I sneak into the woods but it's too dark to see them. Any advise, support or whatever you've got would be appreciated. I don't want to be one of those guy's that go 6 or 7 years before getting my first deer.
Sounds to me like you're doing most everything correctly...
my suggestion would be to leave the call's, rattling bags/ Horns and all that sort of stuff home and focus on YOU, your location and covering your scent.
you said "And I've heard them running off as I sneak into the woods but it's too dark to see them."
that's a big problem right there, once the deer know your approx. location you can bet it'll be a rare sight to see them in those spots until they know it's safe to head back in there. they may not have even know what ity was that spooked them out but they know it shouldn't have been there so they go into a Caution mode,, after that their noses go on full alert... SO by you using grunts, bleats, rattlers and whatever that just gives them more things to hone in on you and your location it's just a metter of time before they get wind of your scent so now what you have to do is, GO in a little later, at least so you can see as you make your way in that way you might be able to move a little quieter and sneak on in past them un-noticed OR you may be able to get one going into your stand, can't shoot em if you can't see em. ONCE you make it into your stand spray down with some Scent-A-Way or similar product then just wait it out to see what happens make sure you have little or NO movements (Slow movements only) and always move your eyes first.
Hopefully this will get you seeing some Deer, if after 2 or 3 days you're still not seeing anything try moving to a Different area , a couple hundred yards may make a big difference....
As a Newbie you may not have success during your first year or 2 or maybe more it all depends on your determination and self discipline... But over time you'll gain greater hunting skills and future hunts won't seem to be so hard...
Good Luck to you
If you need any more advice or have questions don't hesitate to ask...
All good advice. I would think about why the deer are in there waiting for you. Is it a feeding area or a bedding area? It may be that you want to try it as an evening spot.
If you are seeing or hearing the deer in the area I would keep after it. Many times they will run off and come back later.
Something else I would consider is how high are you are in the tree. I have found that 20 feet is my best hieght.
I would wait about using the calls and rattles until you have heard the deer do the same then you can better replicate. Very little goes a long way.
Leave all the scents at home.
Wash clothes in a hunting wash often and use the UV treatment once. The rest of the cover scent I would do without.
Just my 2cents
thanks for the info. But don't get the wrong idea, I'm not out in the woods blowing my horn and rattling away like a lunatic trying to get the dog back in the house.:ranting: Just nice and mellow, only once every 30-45 minutes. Then I sit and wait as quietly and motionless as possible. One thing I forgot to mention was that it has been unseasonably warm, like in the 70's when it's normaly in the 40's and 50's. Hoping that has a little to do with it. I will definitely take your advise next time out though, scents and rattles stay at home. As far as timing, I've sat up in the tree all day from dark til dark.Which reminds me, what's the best practice as far as relieving those bodily functions. For some reason you never read or hear anything about that. I've got 15' stand, don't really want to go any higher than that.
NEXT! GOOD STUFF! Keep it coming
No, I wasn't implying you were out there being foolish with the calls and rattlers... IF the Deer aren't in that mode than neither should you be.
Like buckshot says, " I would wait about using the calls and rattles until you have heard the deer do the same then you can better replicate. "
The warm temperatures are most likely playing a role in this as well, Deer tend to be lazy as heck when it's warm/hot out... BUT as soon as sun sets and the cooler night air moves in they come right back to life and go on about their normal routines...
How far is your stand?
Do you go to your stand from your vehicle or from your house?
How long does it take you to walk to your stand?
Bodily Functions??? IF you're the type that just can't hold it I would suggest a Hunters toilet.
It would be ok to walk way away from your hunting area and use a tree if you only have to go #1 just make sure you're NOT in an area where you want to hunt or where the deer travel thru to get to where you hunt...
BUT if you have to go #2 Don't do it in the woods... keep a hunters toilet at the car if you drive to your hunting spot, if you walk into the woods from home just go back home and ake care of it there...
Click here to see the Hunters Toilet
Good Luck and Happy Safe hunting ....
Deer are generally active for a few hours in the morning, and the last couple of hours of the day, during warm weather. It souds to me that you need to find a primary trail. Then focus on am and pm hours.
Deer will be heading to their bedding areas in the morning, and feeding areas in the evening. Try to determine where your stands are in relation to the bedding and feeding areas.
Then ambush them between the two.
The primary trail that they are using on a regular basis, will be about 6 inches wide, and will be full of tracks. Once you find the primary trail set up your stand 20 yards or so downwind, hopefully the sun will be on your left or right shoulder.
Deer will spook if they see your shadow movements, so remember this, when the time comes.
Don't try to set up to close to the bedding areas, stay 300 or 400 yards or so away, and you should start to see deer.
All the advice above is also very relevant to your success.
Hope this helps.
i would say from my experiences that it has almost everything to do with the temperature. Someone mentioned earlier that the warm weather makes them lazy, very true, deer hate warm weather. when it cools they will start moving. I also think it will help with other hunters getting in there and making them move. Try to get in the woods before they do, maybe they will scare them to you! As far as scent eliminators, well they couldnt hurt. Rattling and attracting scents you should probly hold off till it gets cold bc with the warm weather they probly arent into rut bc the cold sort of activates the rut.
But as far as location, if you know they are there, its just a matter of time. They are most likely just moving at night when its cooler out. Sounds like you have a pretty good handle on everything.
all right, sounds good,
thanks for all the input. I'll take all of the advise here and try to put it to good use. Hopefully something will happen for me, but it will have to wait til next week when I can get out again. As far as bedding areas are concerned, I haven't got a clue. I've read look for the thickest, nastiest pile of brush that you would never try and walk through, and thats probably it, but I haven't really gone out looking for them. My stand is about 50-60 yds in the woods from the corn field and a couple hundred yards from where I park. I thought about putting it right on the edge of the corn field , but I'm afraid it might get stolen being very visible. I hear alot of that happens these days. They're not worth a whole lot, in my opinion, so why would somebody go out in the middle of the night to steal somthing worth a hundred bucks or so. IDIOTS! but thats a whole other subject.
Which reminds me, this evening I headed out to do some running around, and guess what I saw in the corner of a newly harvested corn field? a dozen or so deer, just mocking me, standing right out in the open. AARRGGG...lol
I'll keep watching this site and keep you posted on how it goes for me next week.
Daylight to dark is a long hunt, good for you if you are able. During the rut that would be the time to do it.
A plastic coke bottle works fine if you have to go.
Keep in mind that deer travel is influenced by food, cover and terrain. They are creatures that like to move on the edges. Try to set up in areas that tend to concentrate the deer like the corners of a field, the convergence of different habitats; like where the corner of a field meets hardwoods and a clear cut, in TN gaps and saddles in the ridges, sometimes itís just an area that is a little thicker than the rest of the woods, or a slight depression. Anything that funnels the deer like a wood line between fields is great.
Bedding areas can be anywhere from open woods to thick cover. I don't know if deer return to the same bedding area or if they just plop down where they are. I guess I've seen evidence of both. If you keep an eye out for them you can see where they have bedded down by the way the leaves or grass is flattened. An abundance of droppings has always indicated a bedding area is close by to me.
I guess you are using a ladder stand. If possible and you have the trees for it I would get a climbing stand. I feel if you hunt the same tree all the time the deer will get wise to your location.
sounds like you have your stuff together. just hang in there and the deer will come. in tennessee the deer have moved alot less also which we also blame on the weather. heed the advice of the postings above me. it all sounded pretty good to me. not alot i can add to that. deer do not always bed down in the thickest of stuff. now they will bed down in a location were they are fairly well hidden but it will not always be in a place to thick for us humans to walk through. behind my house ive had them bedding down for days in a row on the edge of a cornfield in grass that was about waist high.
good luck, hang in there, and welcome to the site. keep us posted.
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