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Old December 20, 2013, 09:19 PM   #1
Bigfatts
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Late Start on the Season and a Little Superstition

Thanks to some family problems, tomorrow is my first day of hunting season this year. Can't wait to get back in the woods. Anybody else have a late start on the season?

I've got kind of a funny feeling this year. Since I started hunting I've always carried the same knife. With that knife I've cleaned every animal I've ever killed- hog, squirrel, you name it. I was young and knew nothing about knives at the time so I left Wal Mart with a $20-something Gerber. And it's a terrible knife. Soft unknown steel, terrible sheath, etc. So the last few years my obsession has been knives. I have acquired dozens of knives and a few months ago I decided to replace the old Gerber with something that wouldn't go dull when I pointed it at a hog. So I ended up with 2 knives: A WRKT Knucklehead for the skinning and a Muela Rhino for the butchering and general purpose things. The S30V on the WRKT should hold its edge long enough to skin a hog and the Muela is Sandvik which is a good compromise between edge retention and ease of sharpening. It is also an incredibly comfortable knife.

Anyways, I'm not usually superstitious but I kind of have a funny feeling about ditching the Gerber, kind of like I'm jinxing myself. But I will keep it in the hunting pack as a backup/spare.

Getting all packed up and ready to go Winchester 1894 Big Bore .375 Win and High Standard Model 29 .22lr:
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Old December 20, 2013, 09:40 PM   #2
Gunplummer
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I get a bad feeling when I forget my "Lucky sweatshirt". It is almost colorless from washing it for years. Sometimes if I see nothing for two days I get a different rifle out. Seems to work. I guess I am superstitious.
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Old December 22, 2013, 11:36 PM   #3
DennisCA
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I'm not superstitious

I just take this and it's game over (as long as I do my part):

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Old December 23, 2013, 06:51 AM   #4
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Don't forget to pack that rabbits foot too

I behave much in the same way. Just got too carry a certain knife along too for my luck. And I believe it helps otherwise I wouldn't do it.
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Old December 23, 2013, 09:04 AM   #5
Panfisher
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I have lots of silly little superstitions, like wearing the right lucky hat (have several lucky hats), same with knives, have convinced my wife that if she doesn't see a deer within a couple days to rotate her ammo, amazing how often she sees a deer afterward, now working on convincing here that since its mating season for deer there are other superstitions that should be observed, purely for good luck of course.
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Old December 23, 2013, 04:17 PM   #6
SPEMack618
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I have an old fraternity t-shirt that I refuse to go duck hunting without wearing it as a base layer.

Works sometimes, other times not so much.
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Old December 23, 2013, 06:21 PM   #7
shortwave
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I just feel lucky if I get up the morning of the hunt and my back lets me go.

But rest assured...by days end I know that luck has run out.
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Old December 23, 2013, 07:38 PM   #8
buck460XVR
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I'm with Shortwave........anymore, I feel the God of hunting has smiled on me each and every time I get out and get back.

Years ago I would have half a dozen spots or so to hunt/fish regardless of what/how I was hunting/fishing. If there was no clear choice as to where to go, I would draw a card to see which spot to hit. That way I didn't spend the whole time second guessing myself and kicking myself when I didn't see/catch anything. Success was dependent on "luck of the draw".
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Old December 24, 2013, 07:31 PM   #9
BerdanSS
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I didn't get a late start, but I am pretty superstitious about a couple things ( not lucky item related)


One. My hunting partner is a packaday + smoker. We hunt in an area that on average, doesn't have a single human walk through it but once or twice a year between seasons. I've had VERY serious discussions with him about his smoking. And I put a stop to him smoking in the truck on the way to the woods.

But he is forever lighting up on the way in and while in the stand. I can always find him in the early morning, he looks like glowing red beacon. My stand was over 150 yards from his this year, and I could smell the smoke as soon as he lit up. He swears that not only does it not bother deer, it attracts them In the two years I've hunted these woods with him, I've only had a shot on one. and haven't seen many more.

He shot one last year, and yelled out "See! I shot it with a lit smoke in mey mouth!" It was a very young doe, (100# on the hoof maybe?) and from the way it acted winding in....dumb. It was the only deer seen in the woods the whole season.


TWO
Same guy. ALWAYS drags his deer to the power line right of way that runs smack dab through the middle of the property, backs his truck up there...and guts them leaving the gut pile right out in the open. I'm superstitious about this and believe it should always be buried. BOTH times he's done that it has been 1st or 2nd week of firearms. Not another single deer seen the rest of the seasons.

Am I crazy?
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Old December 24, 2013, 09:09 PM   #10
shortwave
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Quote:
Same guy. ALWAYS drags his deer to the power line right of way that runs smack dab through the middle of the property, backs his truck up there...and guts them leaving the gut pile right out in the open. I'm superstitious about this and believe it should always be buried. BOTH times he's done that it has been 1st or 2nd week of firearms. Not another single deer seen the rest of the seasons.

Am I crazy?
I've never found a gut pile to distract deer. Animals die all the time in the wild and other scavengers rip them open leaving the dead animals innards exposed. Actually, I've gutted deer on a morning hunt, went back out the same evening only to watch deer come out to sniff and even nibble a little out of the pile. Course if the hunter is leaving a lot of human scent (IE cig. smoke) in the area of the gut pile and the deer are not accustom to smelling it then that may present a problem for an 'ole weary buck'.

Strange smells of any kind affect deer if they are not accustomed to smelling them. If you hunt a large area that is not hunted or very seldom has human activity and the deer are not used to smelling cig. smoke, exhaust fumes etc. it's been my experience that you are probably not doing yourself any favor by stinking the place up with these odors.

On the contrary, deer around most suburban parks that smell these same odors on a regular basis don't think a thing about them.
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Old December 24, 2013, 10:06 PM   #11
Hawg
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Quote:
But he is forever lighting up on the way in and while in the stand. I can always find him in the early morning, he looks like glowing red beacon. My stand was over 150 yards from his this year, and I could smell the smoke as soon as he lit up. He swears that not only does it not bother deer, it attracts them In the two years I've hunted these woods with him, I've only had a shot on one. and haven't seen
I've killed many deer with a cig in my mouth. When I quit I was wondering how I was going to manage to get one. It does seem to be harder to do now but I manage. Now if it would dry up enough to get in the woods I could try to get one this year.
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Old December 26, 2013, 09:54 AM   #12
mwal
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I have also shot deer over gut piles that I have left and others I have found. Did not seem to bother the deer at all. I have also shot a deer early then gutted taged it and left it lay went back in stand and had a buck wind it mosey over for a closer look got him also. Death is part of there natural world they do not run away. I have friends that have shot a deer nearly every year with a smoke hanging out of there mouth. I have also witnessed old timers that had small fires burning that shot deer while staying warm didn't seem to bother the deer either. I know when you have a campfire put it out go fishing and come back hours later its common to have deer track all thru camp and into the fire ring.

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Old December 26, 2013, 10:01 AM   #13
ChasingWhitetail91
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I've been wearing the same faded MossyOak sweatshirt my dad gave me when I was twelve on every deer hunt since.
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Old December 26, 2013, 08:32 PM   #14
BerdanSS
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The property where we hunt is VERY seldom walked by humans. Its also quite narrow, I just had the feeling that maybe the gut piles attracted predator animals or wandering dogs. The smoking is something that I'd wager the deer have only smelled when he's hunting there. So defiantly NOT a familiar sent.

Just seems funny to me, I've never even spotted a really good size or mature deer anywhere on the property. See lots of them in the fields along the road on the way out.

Just me being superstitious I guess. I guess I can call my new Rossi a good luck charm though. I bagged my first deer of the year on opening day, after buying the rifle the day before

The deer I got out there this year on opening day of firearms was accompanied by another doe. I passed on shooting that one due to it being about the size of a German Shepard. I got a good head shot on mine. When I turned to get out of my stand, I saw the little one I passed on just staring at me about 25 yards away. Didn't seem to care at all that I was there, or had just fired a .44 magnum. It stood there forever till I heard a bang and it's neck exploded from where my hunting partner had shot it.
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One day, Men in tall hats will thump their chests and proclaim..."oh, what a great sea of mud we lived in"--The unalterable fate of billy creek ....
"Smoke.....it's what's for dinner"

Last edited by BerdanSS; December 26, 2013 at 08:46 PM.
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Old December 26, 2013, 09:56 PM   #15
Keg
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Never been superstitious....I've regretted hunting with a particular caliber or rifle....
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Old December 27, 2013, 10:56 AM   #16
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally posted by BerdanSS: The property where we hunt is VERY seldom walked by humans. Its also quite narrow, I just had the feeling that maybe the gut piles attracted predator animals or wandering dogs. The smoking is something that I'd wager the deer have only smelled when he's hunting there. So defiantly NOT a familiar sent.

Just seems funny to me, I've never even spotted a really good size or mature deer anywhere on the property. See lots of them in the fields along the road on the way out.
I too have hunted with folks that smoke. Their success rate seems about the same as others with similar hunting/shooting skills. Scent control is not that much of an issue when hunting with a firearm. In one the areas I hunt deer, the area is full of small hunting cabins and farm houses. Most of which heat with wood. On calm days early in the morning, the smell of smoke is everywhere, with smoke itself as thick as fog in the valleys. This is a case where the smell of smoke may be an effective cover scent.

My son has a small parcel of property that we hunt both with gun and bow. Over the years we have taken several 150-160 class and larger bucks off it with bow and have seen many others. During the same time period, we have yet to take a trophy buck during the firearms seasons. The reason being, it is not big enough, nor thick enough to offer the cover or sanctuary that big bucks prefer when pressured. The nicer bucks we have shot off it during the rifle season were all on the move from being pressured somewhere else and not moving naturally. All have been later in the season when hunters are pushing deer that have sought out areas of sanctuary somewhere else. This includes large fields of unpicked corn. This may be the same reason you have never seen mature bucks on the parcel you hunt, and has nuttin' to do with your partners smoking habit.

Gut piles are something I've yet to see disturb deer. As others have stated, I've watched deer munch on the undigested contents of a stomach opened up in a gut pile by predators or crows. While deer will alert to 'yotes and dogs actively feeding on a guy pile, old scent by either does not disturb them. Old scent tells deer they are no longer there.
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