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Old November 24, 2009, 11:50 AM   #1
johnwilliamson062
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Deer Drives- I had to think a few days before posting this

Went out to my hunting club to help with youth deer drives last weekend.
3/9 shooters got deer in about 5 hours and I think everyone saw something, so pretty successful by that measure.

Kids had to have licensed parents/adult hunter with them and as it worked out only one of the parents had ever participated in drives with us before.
I have driven other places with other groups and I like the way this group does it. There is a lot of though as to how to set things up to minimize danger even if shooters don't follow the rules or make a mistake. Push deer over a hill and then have the shooters shoot into the hill, push the deer into a guy or two behind big trees who then turn them, etc. Probably one of the most dangerous things I do, but we do it as safely as possible.

Well, on our first driver some of the parents decided they didn't like their shooting position halfway up a hill because they would have to shoot through woods on the deer, so they moved to the bottom of the hill. As they were told to set up they would have been shooting down on deer that were coming out of the woods at a position lower then them on a hill which extended up and shielded the drivers pretty well. As they set up they were shooting up the hill/straight across from the bottom of the other hill.

At the end of the drive, just moments before we got up close to the top of the hill shielding us and called a cease fire a deer popped out towards the shooters, turned around when they opened up and ran back up the hill shielding us.

Slugs don't snap when they pass you. I guess that is because they are sub sonic, I am pretty sure it was close enough I should have heard a snap if it made one. Maybe not, I figure they were about 25 feet over my head. They do make a horrific sound when they hit trees behind you.

As scary as it was, I think I was relatively safe where I was at that moment as the hill was between me and the shooters, but earlier in the drive the slugs sent at the same trajectory could have come down on top of us. I won't go into the fact that the shooters slugs were going up over the hill top was a shot that should not have been taken in the first place even if hunting alone. Even from the lowered shooting position the shots had to be ten degrees or more higher than the deer, which is terrifying. The slugs should have come down on our property even if they were fired at max distance angle, so I am not too worried about it after the fact.

Needless to say, we had a second safety briefing and tried to drill it into all of the parents heads that they had to sit where we told them and make sure they were firing into the backstops we set up and not over a hill or something.

Nothing more eventful that day.
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Old November 24, 2009, 12:10 PM   #2
simonkenton
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I have hunted extensively in central Georgia. There are a lot of deer down there, and there are a lot of deer hunters.
We always hunted from tree stands. Pretty boring, but pretty safe.

One time we did a drive.
We had 200 acres that only we had the hunting rights to.
Gary and Charlie were upwind, they just walked slowly through the woods and made noise. I was at the other end of the woods.
They were supposed to drive the deer to me, but it was Gary who made the kill!
He shot a nice doe.

That was a successful hunt, 3 hunters, 2 hours, one deer.

We quit while we were ahead. That was the first, and last, drive I ever did. Just too many things to go wrong doing a drive, including, some hunter trespassing and shooting at "movement in the brush."
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Old November 24, 2009, 12:27 PM   #3
Brian Pfleuger
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I'm always amazed when I hear of a deer drive that is successful at all. Here in NY alot of the "old school" guys hunt exclusively with drives.... and alot of the old school guys don't shoot any deer. I've participated in drives myself, though not in a long time, and never shot (or seen) a deer. I did find out some interesting things.

One: Yes, you're right. Slugs don't "snap" on the way by. They do, however, make the same "Zing" sound as other bullets when they hit something and are spinning when they go by.

Two: Deer are very uncooperative, and very resourceful. Calling it a "drive" is a bit of a misnomer IMO, "drive" implies some sort of control to me. What these "drives" are is deer "scare". Hell, they don't even scare all they well. I've seen them slink right back out of the woods from the end that the "drivers" STARTED ON.

Three: Driving deer sucks. There are two jobs. One, sit in a stand and wait, hoping for a shot at a deer that will probably never appear and will be going Mach 6 if it does. Two, walk your arse off, and don't see any deer and hope that the "standers" don't shoot you as they lob shells at the deer doing Mach 6.

Anywhoo, deer drives are not for me.
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Old November 24, 2009, 12:52 PM   #4
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Peetza...Driving deer doesn't suck. The ability of alot of hunters that drive suck. I hunted in Upstate NY with rifles for several years driving deer and most of our drives were successful. To each his own!
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Old November 24, 2009, 01:04 PM   #5
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my first little doe was shot on a deer drive when i was 11. dropped her with an old bolt stevens .410
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Old November 24, 2009, 01:19 PM   #6
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i'm from western ny too and saw alot of deer drives. i guess the success rate depends on the amount of deer (if any) are on the land. where i came from blaze orange was the rule for clothing for both hunters and drivers. the drivers were usually women, children and older men. often the drivers beat old pots and pans and yelled to drive the deer. from a distance you could see the deer moving ahead of the drivers but they didn't always head towards the hunters. alot depended on the lay of the land, escape routes, weather and other things but usually success was high. it was always fun and you could drive thru the countryside and see "hunter breakfasts" at schools and churches as early as 4am, free coffee or hot chocolate and sometimes donuts for hunters were on signs outside stores and restaurants. many schools closed for opening day or children were excused for the hunt. it seemed almost every boy and girl between the age of 5 and 15 took part in the drives, in the rural areas anyway. i think all the deer drives i saw were on farm land, most had some wooded plots but i can't ever remember seeing a drive on thickly wooded public land. i live in az now, i've never seen a deer drive here but it brought back some nice memories.
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Old November 24, 2009, 01:45 PM   #7
johnwilliamson062
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The success of the drive depends on the property and other factors listed. I have done about 10 individual drives on this one 350 acre property and there was only one where no one saw a deer. 3 deer in 5 hours was pretty good I thought. Last year we drove a few more hours and worked a bit faster and we only got two. In both cases there were deer that should have been taken but weren't.

The speed the drivers are moving and how much noise they make has a big effect on the deers speed. If you move slowly and make a lot of noise you slowly and much more controllably push the deer farther ahead of you. If you are moving fast or somehow sneak up on one it will bolt and not stop until it is outside your drive for sure. Obviously less predictable than I made it sound there, but slow and loud is reasonably effective.
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Old November 24, 2009, 02:20 PM   #8
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Most western states call it "Party Hunting". The fines and penalties are usually equal to trophy poaching.
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Old November 24, 2009, 03:11 PM   #9
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Here in the Midwest, deer drives or party hunting, if you wish, is probably the most productive in the terms or deer to shooter ration and given time span. I'd say 80 to 90 percent or even 100. In my area, there are three large groups that on a weekend, vary from 12 to 18 hunters and this number declines to about six during the work week. It might suck to some folks but around here, it's a yearly event/adventure and as noted, can be very dangerous. That is why all three groups have a "strong" Hunt-Leader. The rules are established, understood and when broken, that guy is out and never invited back. Might add that "Party Hunting" is legal and I leave the ethics to your measure. I don't participate in the these groups anymore for I do not care for some of hunter's ethics and would only cause discord in the groups. I do however, assist in the processing and hide/rack care. It's quite common to have between 20+ deer hanging at any one time.

I can tell you from personal experience that slugs do not snap, I would say they make a spiraling or hissing noise. Once you hear them flying past you, you won't forget.

Two years ago, one young hunter broke the plan or rule about hunting a ditch and wound up being shot by his father. Words fall short on any experience like this.

Always Be Safe !!!

Last edited by Pahoo; November 24, 2009 at 07:46 PM.
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Old November 24, 2009, 03:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Most western states call it "Party Hunting". The fines and penalties are usually equal to trophy poaching.
Might want to expound on what exactly you mean by this Franken..
Party hunting doesn't equate to much of anything here in Wyo except that several people have decided to go hunting. We put in on "party permit" application methods as well.
We do set our elders and or accompanied kids at the ends of wooded patches, etc, hoping that they get a shot.
We also set up on crossing routes that are established w/ the express intention of catching what other hunters are pushing around.
Neither of these are illegal. Nor immoral if you ask me. Of course we may be talking about much larger land areas out here as compared to back east, etc.
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Old November 24, 2009, 04:12 PM   #11
johnwilliamson062
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When i am in drives we get does or young bucks almost exclusively. The older bucks seem to sneak out somewhere or something. Not exactly trophy hunting. Ranges are short, almost always under 50 yards and 30 is pretty normal. If you get a less than perfect hit on a deer it is either going to get a second hit from you or walk into someone else's field of fire.

Things I have heard while driving
"If it's brown shoot it down"-On shot selection
"Coyotes have to eat too"- On the ones who get away injured(not all that abnormal, at least compared to hunting from stands).

It is more of an ambush than real hunting.
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Old November 24, 2009, 04:21 PM   #12
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"Coyotes have to eat too"- On the ones who get away injured(not all that abnormal, at least compared to hunting from stands).

See, now that's crap. I wouldn't be in the same woods with people who hunt like that. If you can't kill it, don't shoot at it. Major pet-peeve right there.
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Old November 24, 2009, 04:55 PM   #13
johnwilliamson062
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peetza, outside of deer drives I would agree. So would almost everyone I drive with, but for some reason when it comes to driving almost everyone is ok with, even if not entirely comfortable with a broad side shot at a deer hauling ass. If it is coming right at you the speed doesn't have much of an effect. When I am not driving I don't like to hunt with a shotgun b/c I don't like its lack of accuracy.

With 12 gauges firing an ounce or ounce and a quarter the deer usually go down fast no matter where you hit them, and like I said, if they don't go down in front of you they are almost always headed into someone else's field of fire.

It isn't pretty, it isn't sporting, it is utility hunting.
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Old November 24, 2009, 07:31 PM   #14
Art Eatman
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I've never worked a multiple-hunter deal where we choused deer toward another hunter or two. It was common for four or five of us to work upwind in a brushy valley, in a sort of U-shaped formation and everybody holding position. The forward guys (not over fifty yards out, at most) were most likely to get a shot, particularly on the more upwind hillside. The guys in the very bottom might as well have not bothered to carry a gun.

Of course, the big fun was when a small buck would jump and everybody started yelling, "Shoot 'im! Shoot 'im!"

After somebody suckered in and killed the poor little critter, we'd stand around and ask, "Now, why did you go and shoot that poor little old thing?"

Some folks just aren't trustworthy...
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Old November 24, 2009, 07:45 PM   #15
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"Coyotes have to eat too"- On the ones who get away injured(not all that abnormal, at least compared to hunting from stands).

I agree, I wouldn't go into the woods with guys who think like this.

Fine, you make a lung shot and the deer goes 200 yards and is dead in a minute, you can't find it, yes let the coyotes eat venison.
But, you might just as well have made a gut shot, and the poor deer suffers in the forest for days.
You might blow the poor deer's jaw off, and it starves to death.

That kind of crap makes me sick to my stomach.
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Old November 24, 2009, 09:16 PM   #16
johnwilliamson062
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So, what about bow hunters. It is quite common for bow hunters to fail to kill the deer or knock it down so it can be retrieved. Do you think that arrow just falls out and the deer heals? If so that isn't exactly how it works. Most guys arrows/bolts are far from sterile. That puncture wound gets infected, then festers, and the deer days over days, a week, or maybe two. Do you still hang out with bow hunters?

One of the properties adjacent to our hunting property has hay grown on it. We wanted to approach one of our woods from their property. In talking to the owner it came out that even after doing heaps of paper work for the state program to compensate for deer damage he had $4000 of uncompensated losses after maxing out the state payments. I didn't even know Ohio had such a program, let alone that farmers were getting thousands for hay damage under it. I can only imagine what some of the farmers around me are getting for corn and soybeans. Then you have the auto collisions caused by the extreme over population of deer. Millions a year in Ohio. Did you know there are more deer in Ohio now than when Christopher Columbus landed in 1492?

Rumor has it nuisance permits are going to get very easy to acquire in the next few years.

I am not in total disagreement with you. If it were trophy hunting I would probably be in total agreement with you, but it is a combination of put meat on the table with a little pest control mixed in. I don't like everything I hear about hunting with dogs in the south.

Beyond that these guys are hunters not shooters,and they are using the most brute force tool available on the market thanks to state regulations. I am not positive the ones who take bad shots in the first place would take any better shots from a stand.
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Old November 24, 2009, 09:30 PM   #17
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We did deer drives a few years ago.The farmer was hoping we could get rid of a them. I don't think anybody ever used slugs, just buckshot. We killed a lot of deer that way. Problem is that you really need to trust all the people involved. Some of them I didn't, and it's not particularly interesting after a time or two. So, I got out of it. Luckily they never had an accident.
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Old November 24, 2009, 09:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Might want to expound on what exactly you mean by this Franken..
Party hunting doesn't equate to much of anything here in Wyo except that several people have decided to go hunting. We put in on "party permit" application methods as well.
Organizing a group with the intent to herd or push a group of animals to another hunter or group of hunters. (Whether or not the 'drivers'/'pushers' have licenses.)

It is illegal in Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and last time I checked - Oregon, Arizona, and New Mexico. (With some states making exceptions for species like antelope, mountain lion, or javelina.)

In no way, am I saying the concept is unethical or illegal in other states (or those that may have changed the law since I checked).
I simply wanted to point out that it is illegal here. Many hunters have no idea that a very common technique in their neck-of-the-woods is highly illegal in some one else's.


Elkman-
I apply in a group ("party") in Wyoming for Pronghorn every year. Their draw system is about as fair as it gets, with a little bonus to guarantee the whole party a permit if the numbers are drawn at all. (Some states issue permits to only those members of a party that draw... kind of defeats the whole purpose...)
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Old November 24, 2009, 10:01 PM   #19
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Putting someone else's tag on an animal that you shot is also considered "party hunting". This is also illegal in most states.
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Old November 24, 2009, 10:07 PM   #20
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Not sure of the need for the drivers to make alot of noise. Idealy drivers should have the wind to their backs while the hunters on stands have the wind in their face. A slow controled walk with drivers staying in line and the drivers scent going towards deer should be enough to slowly push deer towards standers. The objects to push the deer ahead of you. Not scare it to the point of it running at full speed to the next county. If a driver would see a flag,he`d holler 'deer up'. Drivers would stop for a minute or two to let running deer get ahead to the point of slowing down so standers could get a shot at. It was always very controled with standers going to stand about an hour before drivers started driving. We only did drives on opening day cause the deer were just to fidgity after opening day. We had a rule to never shoot a deer if he was running. Some guys didn`t like that rule but thats the way it was.
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Old November 24, 2009, 10:15 PM   #21
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So, what about bow hunters. It is quite common for bow hunters to fail to kill the deer or knock it down so it can be retrieved. Do you think that arrow just falls out and the deer heals? If so that isn't exactly how it works. Most guys arrows/bolts are far from sterile. That puncture wound gets infected, then festers, and the deer days over days, a week, or maybe two. Do you still hang out with bow hunters?
The bowhunting excuse is always brought by gun hunters who choose to ignore ethical hunting practices. (I'm not saying you) Fact is, it's nonsense. Responsible Bow hunters are no more likely to wound or kill and not recover deer than are responsible gun hunters. In fact, in all my years of hunting, I have lost ZERO deer that I have hit with the bow and ONE that I hit with the gun.

I wonder how those irresponsible hunters would feel about the coyotes appetite if they were the ones laying in the forest with a deer slug through their intestines?!

If you can't kill it, don't shoot at it. The type of hunting is irrelevent.
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Old November 24, 2009, 10:28 PM   #22
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But, you might just as well have made a gut shot, and the poor deer suffers in the forest for days.
That is not entirely true. We would run dogs on accasion in NC and every running deer i've hit too far back (gut shots), never once had to track. Usually, don't know why, but never tracked a gut shot, when I've tracked double lung shots for almost 300 to 400 yards.
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Old November 24, 2009, 11:28 PM   #23
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Putting someone else's tag on an animal that you shot is also considered "party hunting". This is also illegal in most states.
Primarily true w/ exceptions. Wyo has a caveat that if a disabled hunter wounds an animal, his/her hunter companion may pursue and kill said animal and then put the disabled hunters tag upon it. I have been carrying a disabled companion card for a number of years for my parents who are disabled.

Franken, what reg book are you utilizing? I have yet to find the reference in the general regs.
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Old November 25, 2009, 10:08 AM   #24
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I go with Shortwave's definition of a drive, Dad and I been hunting that way for years and it works fine. You have to take your time and put in the hours scouting ahead of time. We knew where deer holed up and what funnel they'd head for when disturbed. Once participated in a drive in Conn. with wife's cousins hunt club. I was a stander, in a treestand, little hectic for my taste, only the drivers got shots. I do see the results, it was a big swamp and not a lot of options on how to hunt it. While productive I prefer smaller groups, easier to control. I do give the OP's club credit tho good way to give the youngsters greater odds. hopefully they're getting the whole course from dad (or mom)
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Old November 25, 2009, 11:42 AM   #25
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Hey I think I might have participated in a Drive, not for deer but for elk.

I hunt on horse back. I like to get in an area where I have a good view of possilble crossing points and set down with my coffee and wait. Down below me are people running around on 4 wheelers scattering elk all ove the place, and they end up going where the ATVs cant go. Where I'm setting drinking coffee and watching the world go by.

Oh did I mention I'm a lazy hunter.

A party hunt in wyoming is where a group, 2 or more, put in for a group hunt, where if one gets the permit, all do.

An example I took my wife and Grandaughter on a "party hunt" last month, meaning we applied for the permit for our chosen area in one package so we dont end up drawing tags all over the state. I think its a pretty good system.
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