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Thread: Deer Hunting

  1. #21
    Boolit Master opos's Avatar
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    Grew up in Colorado many years ago and hunted the Colorado mountains when it was wide open and mostly unrestricted....we had a favorite way of elk hunting on opening day..and normally got an elk or two with our group of 4 or 5 friends..we hunted the high country north of Steamboat Springs almost to the Wyoming border...we'd go in a couple of days early and set up and go to a particular "saddle" above timberline..then move down the trail that wound it's way down through the trees and in to the lower country. It was a very difficult place to get to and to get set up in so we we usually pretty much alone.

    Opening day would come and early in the morning you could hear the muffled shots way down in the tree areas..we'd be sort of spread along the trail...sitting perfectly still leaning up against a tree or in a thicket of growth...after a while you could hear the noises of the elk moving up the hill away from the hunters down below...by the time they got up that high they had slowed down and just sort of wandered along...headed for that saddle to the other side of the mountain...we'd keep a sharp eye and usually a cow or young spike would show...then more and more....but the big bulls would be shadowing the herd out to the sides and being very stealthy....we often had one or more of the guys with a cow permit and it was awfully tempting to just take a cow and get it over with but we had a way of hunting that didn't take the first thing to come along.

    When we were sort of among the animals as they moved along if anyone had a line on a bull he'd take the first shot and hopefully fill his tag...that would spook the herd and we could normally count on someone with a cow tag getting one or maybe a young bull.....it worked that way for many years.....then we would move out of that area as the one "migration" over that saddle seemed to be an opening day occurrance only....Damn I miss those days...and the freedoms of being able to hunt some spectacular country with out some government agency or "private" club hunters over running everything.

    We loved to hunt deer the same way but with a bit less "stealth" and much lower...nothing like sitting quietly in a patch of quakies and hearing the deer move up ahead of the hunters pushing them from below..however the only time I ever had someone take a "sound shot" at me was when I was in the aspens and moving to a place to hunker down and 2 shots went crashing through the limbs above my head from below...I spent the next 10 minutes or so laying flat...pretty soon here came the 'hunters" and when I stood up it really scared the hell out of them.....after we finished the discussion I doubt they ever took another "sound shot"..one guy was actually crying...out of staters on their first hunt in that area. Not sure who was more scared but I do know they read it right that I was really angry and in those years probably a pretty imposing figure...
    Last edited by opos; 08-10-2017 at 02:34 PM.

  2. #22
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    Walk to the tree stand in the back field (200 yds) at 4 to 4:30. Bring a book (Kindle) to read while waiting and a couple of pieces of fruit to eat. If no deer walks out before 30 min after sunset climb down and walk back to house for supper. If I shoot one, go to house, drive truck to deer, put in back, drive to friends camp (3 miles), Hoist with electric hoist, skin and gut, put in walk in cooler for a week then process.
    There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism—by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide. Ayn Rand

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumbcocker View Post
    One reason you don't see as many trackers or stalkers is that East of the Mississippi you often have limited sized areas to hunt in. I can walk a few hundred yards and be on the neighbors land. I sit by a tree or in my tree stand on our land. IMO it takes several years to get to know the character of a piece of ground and the deer on it. I never hunt on any land but ours and very seldom pass a year without a couple in the freezer or canning jars.
    back when i was a stalker you had your choice, either a limited parcel of ground(mostly private) or you had big chunk of PA gamelands. i would do both. the most deer i ever shot was on private land (100's and 100's and 100's of acres) but you had to ask. i don't know the acreage, but it goes 7 or 8 miles lengthwise and 4 or 5 miles wide. its backed by 1000's and 1000's of acres that are PA gamelands. i hunted all of it(private land) but i only found 1/3 to be huntable(you could find 1/2 or 3/4 huntable). it took me about 2 years till found where the deer went, where it comes from, wind direction, ..... i've killed many deer and so have my son, brother and dad. there is also the limited parcel of ground(yours or mine). nowadays i hunt sitted in a blind/treestand(its more of a blind that goes up to 6 or 7') on limited land. yeah, i do get "my" deer. but i luv to stalk them. dang stroke, i would say alot more about my stroke, but there is litl-uns here.


  4. #24
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    Hickory- I'm offended! (not really) Our group has set up a 'elk style' tent camp for Nebraska's December muzzleloading deer season for 25+ years. The camping, cooking, and yes 'drinking, as well as card games(and practical jokes) are the best part! One year Dan placed hand-painted, cardboard deer, just visible from each of our stands during the middle of the night! Nobody shot one, but honestly could have happened. Very realistic- Dan was an art major in college. We stand hunt for about 3 hours at daybreak and sunset. We are mostly meat hunters, so a doe suits us just fine. Nobody ever plans a dinner menu, Friday night Steaks with baked sweet potatoes, Saturday night venison stew with fry bread. Brunch is always our version of breakfast burritos. Boys have 'grown up' there, daughters are welcome, starting to bring grandkids, lost a couple of Guys already, and we look forward to it for months! heck- now I am thinking about it! hc18flyer

  5. #25
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    Interesting opinion on drives. I have always used the push method with 2-3 others. "I will hunt the hill and you go set up near the saddle where they will cross if they are in there." The old drive of being 35-50 yards apart and walking is how I grew up hunting birds and rabbits, it seems to me as ethical on deer as it would be small game.
    I hunt mostly bu picking out an alflalfa field and waiting for deer to come in or out, depending on morning or afternoon. i may hide in a low spot or in an ancient camper drug out there for that purpose.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
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    I've done pretty much all types mentioned, even the hounds. That is a Southern Tradition, did it for many years. Personally don't think drives are unethical but to each there own. We walk up more deer mid day while squirrel hunting than most folks see all day. AS I get older and can't sit sit, I've built large elevated box blinds , most times I can kick off my boots and get comfy... Interesting to hear how others in the different parts of the Country hunt.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I always enjoyed a fresh snow to track in. I was familar with the routes they traveled and bucks in
    the area. They ate my crops all year so I knew their patterns which changed with feed and rut.
    I had a cabin in the woods that you could sit on the porch and shoot all the does and buttons
    you wanted.

  8. #28
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    I'm what you call a stump hunter, I love to scout an area several months before season. I'll fashion a ground blind with brush and limbs, sometimes I can hunt the same blind several years. My wife got me a pop up blind a few years back, its nice, but I think it spooks the deer off. I use it when I take my daughter on the youth hunt, cause she's a wiggle worm, we mostly just hang out and spend time together. When I'm by myself I enjoy a good book, or read my bible.

  9. #29
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    I thought I was a still hunter, but don't match the description. I start hunting from the moment I leave my vehicle. It can take me at least a half hour to cover 100 yards. I use binoculars constantly. I absolutely hate people using a scope for a monocular. Take them off the damn rifle before you point them in my direction.
    I have never found anyone else who knows how to hunt slow enough, to hunt with them. I can usually make a kill within a few hundred yards of the truck.
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  10. #30
    Boolit Master
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    I still hunt when I find a spot on the ground with cover and also stalker too. It all works for me ,I use no blind. I use the area around me for the blind.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  11. #31
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    Mostly a "still hunter". We seldom have or get snow on the ground during deer season where I live/hunt (roughly Columbus Day Weekend through Veteran's Day Weekend, CA D-14). I have had stalks from time to time, one of which 15+ years ago I wrote about here on the site. A sublime hunting experience, and I was unable to fire a humane shot. Mr. Deer Buck notched a win that day, final day of the season. I saw him just as the sun brightened the dawn, HUGE for this area--4x4 with heavy contours, close to 200#. I spent all day in his slip-stream, intermittent light snow showing him not more than a few minutes ahead, mostly heard him and only a few momentary patches of fur ahead that evaporated in an instant. I will not shoot at sounds or at fur patches, esp. not with RB in a front-stuffer. I'm not hunting to keep eating (not then, at least). A great day afield, nonetheless. It was dark, and the season over, when the hunt ended.
    I don't paint bullets. I like Black Rifle Coffee. Sacred cows are always fair game. California is to the United States what Syria is to Russia and North Korea is to China/South Korea/Japan--a Hermit Kingdom detached from the real world and led by delusional maniacs, an economic and social basket case sustained by "foreign" aid so as to not lose military bases.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    Now that sounds like a hunt of a lifetime to me! I think I remember the thread, if you have it handy could you post the link?
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  13. #33
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    Good post, Hickory, and a lot of good commentary to boot. One thing I'd like to add is that if the deer you see are "whole body" deer, you're missing a LOT of deer in the woods. Usually, all you'll see at first is an ear, an eye, those white patches on the nose and ears, and other "parts" of the deer. Spotting a standing, still deer is an art, and many folks can look right straight at a standing, motionless deer, and not "see" it. Literally, they can't see the trees for the forest! They're taking it ALL in, or trying to, instead of looking for the little things here and there. They're perusing the entire sceen, instead of breaking it down and discerning what each tidbit of it "means." These are the folks that get bored in the woods. Real woodsmen tend to notice knots on trees, woodpecker tracks on bark, leaves hanging at odd angles, and all sorts of things. A leaf hanging at an odd angle may indicate (at least possibly) a trail deer are using.

    Like with computers, the info you stash into your brain by your observations, determines what kind of results you can get out of that info. Notice more, and you'll start seeing more.

    One other thing I've noticed is that tree hunters in my area seem to think that deer are blind or stupid or both, and they're not. Many seem to think nothing of putting a big "treehouse" type stand right out in the middle of a field! They may see some does near sundown, but very few bucks will come out, and they'll almost always be the young ones, with smaller antlers. The more "natural" and unobtrusive your stand is, the more BIG deer you'll see.

    These same folks often sit up in these "penthouse" tree stands, and move constantly. It's be virtually impossible to NOT notice them! Deer and most other wild animals in the woods notice almost any movement instantly. However, move V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y, "like cold molasses in the winter time," and you can move quite a bit without drawing the least bit of attention from most wild game. The sly old biguns, though, often react to things most other deer don't, so they're a law unto themselves, really.

    Deer hunting, by any method, will always be a matter of great skill and knowledge and not a small amount of self control and agility, balance and stamina. I just wish I had more of those last 3 left in me these days!

    And too, with any method you use to hunt, the more thought and knowledge you put into your efforts, and planning ahead and preparation, the better the results you'll get, always. But then, what in life is NOT that way?

  14. #34
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    i remember when deer didn't look up and a tree stand and ladder was made outta 2x4' and some nails.

    i am glad that Blackwater posted "Usually, all you'll see at first is an ear, an eye, those white patches on the nose and ears, and other "parts" of the deer."
    i'll say that is true. i can pick out a deer when all i see is an ear moving or a patch of white.

    i have to agree with Blackwater, "One other thing I've noticed is that tree hunters in my area seem to think that deer are blind or stupid or both, and they're not."
    i will say "One other thing I've noticed is that tree hunters in my area seem to think that most of them (tree hunters) are blind or stupid or both." most guys go out to "hunt" and they'll spend a hour or two in the stand and then they go home. since i can no longer be a stalker, i sit and wait till i see ear moving, flash of white.

    i do (well my son does) a blind that consists of branches or i'll use camo burlap to do the same thing. i'll mention it in passing, i no longer douse myself with earth scent. deer(in my area) just don't care what i smell like. what they do care about is their eyesight. i use non-fragrant and UV killing laundry detergent. then you can make a small movement, like getting your gun up slowly... the UV killer works great. i still wouldn't stand up and flap my arm(s), but it does work.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master opos's Avatar
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    When I learned to hunt deer as a kid I was taught that there are not many things with horizontal lines in a wooded area...so if it's a horizontal line it may be a stomach or back, etc....maybe only a tiny bit of a tummy line or a back bone but don't ever look past a horizontal line...has served me well for many years before I had to give it up for health reasons.

  16. #36
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    I ride within 200 yards of my tree stand. Walk in with my rifle and coffee. Sit an average of 3 hours. By then, I'm cold, bored, or both. So I go back to the house. I repeat this in the evening, and for 2 days in a row, on average. And most years I take 3 deer. I could care less about antlers, because I enjoy eating deer.
    Story has remained the same for 20 years. Except I've been forced to move the stand, for one reason or another, almost every year. I guess I'm an 'oddball'.

  17. #37
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    I am a still hunter and after all these years I am still hunting
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  18. #38
    Boolit Mold hunteatfish's Avatar
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    im like a mix betwen a sitter and a still hunter here in ny we have old farm land some still farming not to flat not to step. we have small to large fields from abot 1 to say 30 aces kinda in a strip for about a 100 aces or so these fields are all diffrent shaps and most seem to kinda drop of like 5 to 10 feet they are all divided by rock walls man we worked all fall and spring moving these rocks they never stop coming from out the fields they are bigger then normal walls like ones for poroperty line anywhere from 5 up to 15 feet tall and about the same wide u can sit and wait for walk on the small laneway betwen the fields and pop your head the wall for deer i shot many deer just behind me

  19. #39
    Boolit Master randy_68's Avatar
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    when I bowhunt I almost always hunt from a tree stand, however I have shot a couple from the ground while still hunting. When I gun hunt I always sit in a stand on opening day just because there are a lot of hunters moving the deer around and it has paid off for me numerous times. After opening day I basically do the still hunt technique. Also I have stalked and shot a few deer in their beds. On back to back days a few years ago I watched some does bed down in a honeysuckle thicket. I climbed down from my tree stand and stalked to within 20 yards and shot a big doe. The next morning I watched a buck with a doe across a big field go into a creek bottom and not come out. About noon I worked my way about 200 yards downwind from them and then worked my way to about 20 yards from them. The buck and doe were laying flat on the ground in tall grass on the creek bank. The buck then raised his head up and looked around and I shot him in the neck. The doe layed there with him until I walked up on them then she got up and ran about 50 yards. As she stood there looking at me another smaller buck came up out of the creek and they took off together. That was a couple awesome days of hunting for me. Only two times I ever did that.
    Life member NRA since 1976

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hannibal View Post
    I ride within 200 yards of my tree stand. Walk in with my rifle and coffee. Sit an average of 3 hours. By then, I'm cold, bored, or both. So I go back to the house. I repeat this in the evening, and for 2 days in a row, on average. And most years I take 3 deer. I could care less about antlers, because I enjoy eating deer.
    Story has remained the same for 20 years. Except I've been forced to move the stand, for one reason or another, almost every year. I guess I'm an 'oddball'.
    This is almost me, though I deer hunt pretty much exclusively on public land. There is a big locust tree on a natural funnel between bedding and feeding areas and I've had a stand in it for about the past 15 years or so. Now that I'm hunting with the cross bow during archery, I see a lot of deer. I killed two does very early on last year, so didn't need the meat and antler hunted the rest of the season. We only get one buck tag a year, and as soon as I decided I wanted a bigger one, I had a parade of dink bucks pretty much every time I went out that I let walk.

    Last year was kind of an eye opener, though. I spent a lot of enjoyable time on a tree stand, but I would have enjoyed the time spent squirrel hunting, so I think this year, I'm going to take two meat deer a quickly as I can then spend the rest of Fall small game and bird hunting. Both my sons are back home now, so may spend some time getting them each a deer. Took #2 son out on rifle opening day and he got a doe after not having hunted for five years or so. Yeah, I did most of the leg work and knew the movement patterns well enough to set him up for success, but I was glad I did it. Felt weird being out without a rifle, though.

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