Am I pressuring the deer to much
I have a plot of land that I hunt it is actually 2-80 acre tracts in a basic L shape. about 40 acres wooded the rest CRP fields. The deer bed up in the area and travel through pretty regularly, usually. This is my 3rd year hunting the property. I saw several but took none the firs year, Took 2 last year after getting out of the Trees and building a box blind on a crp field to catch them in travel. This year I cut a shooting lane across the tall grass 150 yds long and 30 yds wide and put a feeder (Corn) in the middle of the lane 75 yds from blind. My two sons got their first deer on the property and 2 weeks later I got my first Bow kill (I've shared those stories and pics in other forums here). The next few hunts the deer were always out of range for my Bow so I decided (on impulse) to move the feeder closer to the stand to bring them in. I got two shots at a group of four does and missed and after that I am seeing less deer that before 2 or three per unt as opposed to 7 or 8 and the last two hunts saw 0 and 1 deer respectively. The one ran from the back of my field to ther feeder sniffed the ground and left. I thought she may have been being chased she acted strange. but nothing else ever appeared. Question Am I hunting this small plot to often 9 hunts since Sept. 8 (3 deer taken 2 missed shots) should I move the feeder back out to 75 or 100 yds. I am thinkiing I may not hunt this ploat again until rifle season with my boys Nov. 28- Dec 9. I will include a layout pic of the land (note there is a stream that runs through the woods also so I think every thing the deer need is on this plot food,water, and cover.
Is the wooded area a place that is yours? Or does the property you hunt/own stop at the creek? The reason I ask is if I were bow hunting the area, I would be finding me a nice tree at one of those bottle necks of woods and putting a stand there. The set up you are talking about sounds perfect for rifle hunting. I've always said, it's hard to bow hunt if you aren't in a tree. That's just my opinion, but for me it is. If I'm in one of my box blinds up high, I'm typically never close enough to the deer. If I'm in a ground blind,, same problem.
It also sounds to me like you are messing with the feeder too much. You need to leave it in one place and if you want to move it, do that next year for next season. Once you are established a place, the deer remember it- hence, the does smelling the ground (because it's NEW area than where the feeder was at before) and leaving. I built a box blind that sits on top of a home-made wooden stand and it's 6'x4' and it's 8' in the the air. I have it in the middle of a hayfield, that is considerably hilly. BUT, I put it in an area where I can see all directions at least 300 yds or more. My point is, I put that stand out early september and haven't been back sense. The deer have to get used to it. Depending on the location and situation, it may take deer a week to get used to something or it may take a month. Heck some deer may not notice something new at all.
Do I think you are hunting that area too much? NO. I don't believe that's possible unless you are hunting it morning and evening every single day,,, then I'd say, give it a rest and hunt somewhere else. From looking at your land, you don't have alot of cover or woods, but if you can access that wooded area for hunting, I would and especially during the rut. Now, I realize this is probably their bedroom or "sanctuary" but I would maybe use a climber and hunt the area lightly - probably would not go TOO deep in the woods.
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