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Old July 7, 2006, 07:36 PM   #1
Join Date: July 7, 2006
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I have been deer hunting for about 5 years now,all gun hunting.I have hunted in a stand,on the ground and with dogs,but have been unable to kill or see any deer.I am very quiet while on the stand,could doing something like opening a Coke scare a deer.
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Old July 7, 2006, 07:45 PM   #2
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you've never even seen a dear? where do you live LA? i was walking in my backyard today and had a lost fawn rush out onto the lawn, i stood still and she got within 30ft of me before she froze and looked my way for at least 30 secs before she took off, If anything id say there probably arnt dear where youre hunting, couldnt imagine the patience you have to still go hunting each year after all that, do you see their tracks? if thats the case than maybe you need to sit out longer, or find better spots?

where are you hunting? farm lands, woods, suburbs :P?

oh and id tend to say yeah a coke can would scare the poo outa a dear, depends on how thick the brush is but during hunting season the dear are very acute to any sound, breaking branches or specialy the high pitch crack of a beer er coke can! jp, make sure you dont mix those two sports :P
got me a little lady, the gun buying has come to an end, sigh
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Old July 7, 2006, 08:57 PM   #3
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Have you ever watched an owl sit in a tree? He doesn't move anything but his eyes.

Find a mentor. You'll learn more in a couple of outings with an experienced hunter than years worth of watching the outdoor channel.

Don't open soda cans. If you open one, you'll drink it. To drink it you have to move. Moving is bad. Quick movements are worse, so if you have to move, move very slowly. Strange sounds like soda cans opening, you hood rubbing on the tree, your gun hitting the stand, etc, will cause deer to avoid your location.

Deer are hard to see. Their coloration is excellent camoflage. Usually, I'll hear a deer first, or a flicking ear or other movement will draw my eye. Deer find you the same way. You're just looking for dinner, the deer is looking for his life. Who do you think is paying the most attention?

If you hunt public land it might be hard to get your first one. Heavily pressured deer are educated. 20 years ago you almost never saw a deer looking in trees for hunters. They sure do now. You have to hunt where the deer are. Look for trails, try to figure out where the deer are going and where they are coming from.

Find a mentor who has access to some private land. Learn all you can about deer's habits. Set up a stand between where the deer are bedding and were they are eating, downwind from their trail. Sit very still. Aim carefully, squeeze the trigger.

The first one is always the hardest.

If you're hunting with hunt clubs and their dogs, find a way (bribery always worked for me) to convince the hunt master to put you on a good stand. If they are hunting the same sections, they know where the escape routes are. Dating the club president's sister can backfire on you, btw.

Spend time in the woods other than in season. Scout out your hunting areas pre-season. Get a good climbing stand and practice getting up a tree silently before opening morning. Get a bow and go bow hunting. You might not get one, but I bet you see some. Deer are much more laid back in bow season.

If all else fails, pay a guide. Once you get your first one, it's all over. Knowing that you "can" kill a deer will do wonders for your confidence. You'll set still that extra 10 minutes, you'll creep that much more slowly.

Never quit. You'll see very few deer sitting on your couch watching NFL or NASCAR.

Take up squirrel hunting, it's great practice. There're less people out, they're easier to hunt, the seasons are longer and the lessons you learn will help you in your deer hunting. Squirrel and dumplings is pretty good eating, too.

Never pee in the deer woods. If you have to, do it in an empty soda bottle or ziplock bag. Human urine is a definite turnoff for deer.

Good Luck, and don't give up. We need every hunter we can get.
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Old July 7, 2006, 10:24 PM   #4
Dave R
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If all else fails, pay a guide.
That's what I just recently did for my first big-game hunt. It was definitely worth the $$ to have a successful first hunt.
I am Pro-Rights (on gun issues).
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Old July 9, 2006, 11:08 AM   #5
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Don't feel bad. I hate to admit it, but I hunted deer for 10+ years, when I was younger, and never got a deer (although I did see some). We have to use shotguns here, and deer were too far away for clean shot. Decided to try again last year (after many years of not hunting) and never saw one..Even though I'm hunting my own property, and routinely see 2-5 deer in my BACK YARD throughout the summer. I was in a tree stand, just far enough away to make it legal (500 ft from occupied dwelling) for me to hunt there. But, around here, once the first gun goes off, the deer seem to "disappear" until the season is over.

This year, I may try archery, as it's before gun season, and my friend just opened an archery shop. The weather is usually better (I hate freezing my butt off) and the deer haven't yet been spooked by gun shots.

As has already been mentioned, location makes a difference. Areas with alot of hunting pressure can be tough. Finding a successful mentor is good idea, if you can. And once the deer are in "spook" mode, any noise whatsoever will send them into the next county.
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Old July 9, 2006, 03:32 PM   #6
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My suggestion is to start hunting now...for a stand sight that is. Deer will change their routes, but it's not early to spend some time in the woods. Don't just hop in a tree and think you're going to see deer. It won't work that way, especially if you hunt public lands. Best way to find them is to locate the poop first. The more concentrated the poop, the more deer. If you can't find poop, you won't see any deer. What part of the country are you hunting in?
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Old July 9, 2006, 11:35 PM   #7
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I would second the question, where are and where do you hunt?

In minnesota there is the Mn deer hunters Assoc and some other local groups that have mentoring programs. See if there is something like that around where you are. You might find someone who can take you under the wing.

Other wise, call your local F&W or DNR or who ever manages hunting in your area. You would be surprised at how helpful these people can be to you. They want hunters to be successful, they go out of their way to be helpful, our local agent has even provided us with free seeds and plants for our feed plots with the idea of seeing if they are hardy in our zone and what the deer and game like... they may teach seminars or know of others running seminars for deer hunting.

Are you hunting from a tree stand? Can you recognise used deer trails? Can you spot plants that deer like? Scrapes and rubs ? There are some books out that will really help, just try your local library first, but remember it is the authors opinion and you may find your deer did not read the book, but usually you can find the basics about sitting still, noise control, wind, etc from one of these books. It will help you see what you should be looking for in the field. With both my kids, they have been spotting deer since they were old enough to see out the car windows, When we would drive the country roads around their grandfathers farm, they were being taught to look for deer. later when older, they were sent to the tree stands at dusk to look armed with a camera. (800 speed film no flash) that taught them to look long and carefully.

It is a skill you can learn fairly fast, We have a "new guy" who has married into my sister in laws family and he never held a gun four years ago. Now he is learning but at least he gets a deer or so a year. But he wanted to learn. spent his time up there in the spring and summer working and learning what has to be done.

There are places where you can pop a tree stand just about anywhere adn you will get a shot. if you know what you are doing, but learning where and when deer move etc, makes it a lot more fun.

PM me if you need some more help.
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Old July 10, 2006, 08:38 AM   #8
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I'd agree that finding a mentor is priority number 1. They will help you with the following.

As for actual tactics, picking the right spot to be is far and away the most important thing you can do, by scouting on foot and arial maps, finding rubs, scrapes, trails, bottlenecks, food sources, bedding areas, etc. Oh, you may be on land that has too much human activity and/or poachers - you MAY need to change hunting areas.

But, the best scouting in the world, putting you in the perfect spot, is completely useless unless you control your scent, movement, and noise, especially your scent. Read up on scent control and using the wind to your advantage, which is primarily taken care of and decided upon BEFORE the hunt, and will strongly influence you spot choice and/or walking direction. And, then stay still and quiet DURING the hunt. The more like a rock you are, the more wildlife you will see. You also have to really keep your eyes peeled for any movement. Deer will walk slowly and quietly, and they are very well camoflaged in the fall and winter (brown on brown). Movements that I was sure were nothing more than a squirrel or something at first, turned out to be small does after watching the movement for awhile. You have to move very slowly or none at all, while using their movement against them. Once you've got your scent under control and the wind in your favor, controlling your movement is the most crucial thing, more important than noise. And when you see movement but aren't sure what it is, look for things like antlers, legs, and the white of the belly and neck spot of the deer - also look for flopping ears, as mentioned.

Good luck. I did not get a single deer the whole first season I hunted, and all deer that I saw except for one were gump deer. Gump deer = When you see them, *they are run-ning!*
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Old July 10, 2006, 12:36 PM   #9
Wild Bill Bucks
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I agree with FF and the others, a mentor will do you a world of good, hard to learn the art by yourself. Pay particular attention to scent ( always hunt the wind) and Veeeeeery slow movement.(only when necessary) and eliminate noise all together. Opening a can of pop, or tearing open a candy bar, (Or opening those damn Vel Cro tabs ) is the equivilant to banging on a #2 washtub with a hammer. Remember you are in the deers house, and he knows everything about it, so ANY thing out of the ordinary, will make him harder to hunt. STEALTH is the key, If he can't SEE you, SMELL you, HEAR you, ( He may still SENSE you) then you will be successful.

Good Luck
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Old July 10, 2006, 01:08 PM   #10
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Limbaughfan, feel free to contact me/email. I'll be glad to get on the phone w/ you & discuss. I've been hunting since I could walk. I love sharing the knowledge I've gained over the years w/ others. Also, you NEVERquit learning. I learn stuff every year. And each year, I learn something new about deer movement I never noticed before.
VEGETARIAN...old indian word for bad hunter
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Old July 10, 2006, 03:05 PM   #11
john in jax
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me too

I too can't seem to find any legal bucks when it is legal to take them. I've seen plenty of does, some of them right underneath me, but no legal-to-take bucks.

But there are plenty of reasons why, amoung the top 3 are:

#1 I live and hunt in heavily populated/hunted NE FL. the public lands around here are crowded w/hunters, so the bucks get skitish early.

#2 Life, children, family obligations, yard work, home projects, etc... really seem to be cutting into my hunting time.

#3 Too much other stuff distracting me, I just can't seem to get as motivated as I used to.

The others are correct:
Be as still as possible.
If you must drink use the quieter, screw-cap plastic bottles. Beware, carbonated beverages can make those bottles go "pop" if you are not careful.
Scouting is good, bribery (paying for scouting) is faster.
If you are hunting a path/trail, you do NOT want to set up your stand right on or by the trail, look for a spot off the trail and a way to that spot that does not have you contaminating the buck's path.
America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards. Claire Wolfe
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Old July 10, 2006, 03:24 PM   #12
Harley Quinn
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Many things to consider

Clothes, odor when washing, what soap do you use. Cig smoke, pop of any kind has an odor. Noise in stand keep from moving.
Gun, well oiled and smelly.
To much to mention just a few.
Look up wind not down.

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Old July 10, 2006, 03:41 PM   #13
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I also hunted for about 5 years before getting my first deer. Dont feel bad or quit some people go a lot longer with out any luck and some people get a deer every year. For me the first few years were a learning process. Trial and error. I kind of taught myself from books and advise from other hunters. Even when I didnt get anything I always saw does though. Maby you should consider a different area. Conections dont hurt either. I have had awsome luck going with one buddy in particular. He introduced me to a great area. We hike quite a ways in and put some work into it. But move slow take your time. That seems to really help. I think succesful hunting is a combination of luck and skill. Dont give up and maby consider a guided hunt this year if you have the money. That would be a great experience for you.
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Old July 10, 2006, 04:10 PM   #14
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Good advice here. WHy dont you try and ad in your local gun shop, or join a hunting club and hook up with an old timer? I got reallly frustrated years ago learning how to fly fish, until a Major I was serving with t ook me under his wing and taught me all I ever needed to know. It cost me a few dozen beers, but worth it!
"Beware of the Man with one gun...he probably isnt into guns enough to be safe with it".
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Old July 10, 2006, 05:20 PM   #15
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It's amazing to me how often you can look right at a deer and not see it. It really takes practice to be able to find the animals. If I can't see one, I then use my binoculars(a good set is crucial) to scan the underbrush looking for movement.

You do not have to be 200 yards away to use your binoculars. Even 25 yards away they will open up the cover so you can peer right in. Look for flickering flashes of white(tails and ears) and horizontal shaped images(logs,rocks,deer).
Oh and of course antlers.
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Old July 13, 2006, 01:50 AM   #16
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im sitting in a stand 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening, other then that im stalking but if your opening cans of coke ,your far from being able to stalk deer.You should have no food or drinks other then possibly water.You should be decented and your background should break up your body's outline,moving as little as possible.
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Old July 13, 2006, 04:04 AM   #17
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John in Jax. Just a little tid bit to make your time in the woods more productive for bucks.
In northern Fla. the rut is usually spread out over a couple weeks during the season. If you must only harvest mature bucks, your task is difficult but, the days following a full moon in Oct., Nov., and Dec. will trigger the estrogen rut in does. They will come into heat the following 3 days alot of the time. Lunar pull, etc. Ask any animal breeder, the full moon is a good bet.
You stand a better chance of seeing ole wylie buck chasing does in heat during that first week after the full moon.
You say you already see does under your stand. You are doing something right! Just optimize what you are already doing by timing your trips by the moon if you can't spend more time in the woods. The ladies are already coming thru your stand area. When the time is right the bucks will come to call.
Teach a kid to respect wildlife, then teach a kid to hunt and fish.
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Old July 13, 2006, 11:32 AM   #18
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The biggest problem with timing your hunts, is trying to time them into the LEGAL hunting days. If you Bow hunt and muzzle loader hunt as well as rifle hunt, you will stand a much better chance of getting the timing right during at least on of the legal seasons.
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Old July 13, 2006, 09:25 PM   #19
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guided hunt

I have my guide pick my stand for the hunt. Lead me to it. Sit beside me on the big cushioned bench in the blind. Wake me up when a likely candidate comes thru. She usually pokes me and whispers ' Daddy, what about that one? '.
I tend to see more deer here in NC just before bad weather comes in. We usually put our stands near trails between the bedding areas and food/water with different stands for morning and evening. Scouting, scouting, scouting, hunting.
Good luck
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Old July 14, 2006, 02:04 PM   #20
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im sitting in a stand 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening, other then that im stalking but if your opening cans of coke ,your far from being able to stalk deer.You should have no food or drinks other then possibly water.You should be decented and your background should break up your body's outline,moving as little as possible.
Wow, you have more self-control than I do. I am out there from dark to dark and I just can't go that long without eating or drinking something, though if I were stalking I wouldn't be eating. When I am sitting in a blind, I try to minimize movement and keep it lower than the windows. This has worked over the years as I still see plenty of deer.
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Old July 14, 2006, 02:54 PM   #21
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If u wanna see some deer just come to nj there are deer everywhere
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Old July 14, 2006, 05:21 PM   #22
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Saw a kid hunting once and he asked me what the secret was. For this kid it was take one bullet. He was always shooting during the evening. He denied shooting, but all in the area knew he was.

Deer see movement very well. Deer hear very well. Deer smell very well. If you don't let them see, smell, or hear you and you are where they want to be it will happen.

Here in Upper Michigan everything breaks loose opening morning. All the preseason scouting and baiting in the world goes right out the window as the war starts. You need to figure out where deer go when the action starts and bush whack them on the way. I suspect most northern states with a short season are the same. I know eastern PA and northern WI are.
Use enough gun.
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