I'm no expert, but I've noticed the deer I've seen act like nothing happened. Gut pile there, quite soon after the shot deer are back there. After my dad shot one this season, he had just pulled the guts out, and looks up to see a big doe watching him. My thoughts have been that the big bucks are smarter though. Maybe that's why they've lived to be old enough to be big.
Again, I don't know anything for sure, just speaking from my thoughts and little bit of experience.
Unless the deer are just all out totally spooked, they MIGHT stay away for a few days, but I think they will soon get back to their normal schedule. As for the bucks, you may get another big one to come in, b/c he wasn't there when it happend so....to answer you question, a week at the most, but I don't think it will be very long if they wern't spooked too bad.
3 things affect them; 1) How much did you disturb the area? It is always best to remove the animal as quickly and quietly as possible. 2) Did you leave a gut pile? This is not good practise if you care to return. This answer is really 2 and 3. a) If the pile is not cleaned up by scavengers quickly it of coarse it begins to rot and stink. Do you like the smell of rotting flesh? Guess what deer don't either. b)Scavengers such as coyotes and foxes will urinate all around that area marking their kill and territory. Coyotes go without saying that deer do not like them. Fox's urine, any deer hunter that has been hunting for awhile will tell you that it too will make some deer nervous especially young ones. I know it is used as a cover scent by some but try it sometime and you will see for yourself. Deer at the very least will become alerted and a alerted deer is more difficult to harvest than one completely relaxed.
All of this above will diminish deer movement in the area even though it may not completely stop them it will slow it down in some cases. I have seen it stop it all together in some more heavily hunted areas. It is always best to remove the animal from the area and place your gut pile in open view so all scavengers can find it quickly including crows, buzzards, hawks, etc...
That's some sound advice. When I can I try to get the deer out of the woods without leaving a gut pile or disturbing things too much. However there are times when I cannot do it and have to field dress the deer first. I haven't found it to be too much of a problem as there are many coyotes in the area that make short work of it, and haven't seen any negative action from deer concerning the area, but keep in mind the "negative deer activity" is often there but not seen. Generally speaking every mark you make on the deer woods is something to be picked up on by a deer. Try to leave as little impact on your hunting area as you can...you will then have the best chance of finding a monster prowling around.:biggrin:
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