Seeing deer doesn't always equate to shooting deer
10/23/15 @ 8:26 AM
As I was on stand last night wondering why some folks state they see TONS of deer on a regular basis and some don't see many or any, I got to thinking about creating this forum. The stand locations I have are almost all in areas that have 20 to 30 yard shooting opportunities. I don't even have a 40 yard pin. In most cases, the visibility beyond those distances isn't much. I prefer to set up on heavily used trails vs. on field edges. Since the land I hunt is bordered by fields on some sides but the fields do not belong to me, I don't find a reason to set up on them. I do have one chair that I have in a treelined field edge as a "fun to watch the rut in action" place to go but do not hunt that spot as I don't want to have to fight with my decision to plug that Big Buck that is 20 yards out in the field. What are your thoughts. If you hunt field edges and see deer "all over the place" but nowhere near your stand, out/across the field, etc. do you count those as sightings in reports? Does some of the reports that make us feel like we are in deserted areas provide some false sense of sightings? I see very few deer on a regular sit but with a range of 20 - 30 yards, that isn't too unlikely. As the season heats up, I don't have too much concern that I will see some quality bucks that I would be proud to put on my wall. However, unless I am sitting in my field edge chair watching, I never see 20 deer in a day. Theres a new topic, discuss...
10/31/15 @ 2:06 PM
This is an excellent thread. To answer your question. Your morning sit was more successful imo. I also don't hunt allot of field edges. I hunt funnels bottlenecks and staging areas. Bowhunting for me is my way of relaxing.... Being out in the woods is my place of zen. Seeing deer is a reward. I see more deer then all of my friends and they can't figure why I like to just sit and watch deer.
10/26/15 @ 7:42 AM
I'm probably about 50/50. I don't see many deer but when I do see one, I typically can shoot it. I don't have any type of field where I hunt, just woods. I sit thicker edges and creek bottoms where I can only see maybe 50 yards. Once in a while I get those 'movement' deer where I see something moving through but can't really see the whole thing.
10/25/15 @ 9:26 PM
Today was a perfect reason why I asked this post question. I went out this am. At 5:45 jumped a buck (sounded big) right as I hit the woods. I could smell the stink on that guy for about 50 yards. I proceeded to see 2 more bucks and 5 does, no fawns in the am sit. None close enough to shoot (or during legal light) but in the afternoon sit, I saw one deer. He mulled around me for about 14 minutes as close as 8 yards. So I saw 8 in the am with no shot, and 1 in the afternoon where I could have closed my eyes and hit him. Which is the better hunt? He has no idea how easily he could have become food, lucky I don't need more venison and his rack was little.
10/23/15 @ 2:18 PM
I hunt where I think I will be able to kill a deer. Most of the deer I see are not within bow range because the land I hunt is pretty open now. We have a lot of deer in the area so I generally see quite a few deer. My main land was almost fully clear cut in 1999 or 2000 and the first 10 years it was so thick with briars and brush and small trees that visibility was pretty low overall. Our land at that time was probably the main bedding area for the deer in the area. Once the small trees started growing into big trees most of the briars and brush died off and fewer deer used the land as bedding. Now the land is mainly open forest with a few scattered thicker spots still used for bedding, but the deer mainly use it to travel from our neighbor's recent clear cut to the crop fields on the edge of our property and across the street. Because of all this change I've had to adapt and basically I set up where I think the deer are going to travel. Most of the days I sit I will see deer, but they are either immature or taking a different trail that I don't have a stand set up on. It basically a guessing game because there are so many trail that the our area deer use on a regular basis. Having said that though, the days I don't see deer drag on so I will take any day with deer seen over the slow sightless days. Every once and I while I get lucky and the deer walk within range. Last year I bowhunted all early season without a mature buck in range only to shoot one during rifle season that would have been in bow range.
10/23/15 @ 1:46 PM
I hunt area's that have deer first of all. My friends like to be on field edges...well I know deer eat so that's not headline news. I couldn't care less about seeing 30 deer and they are all 400 yards away in the middle of the beans. I hunt in thick cover, funnels, bedding.... if a deer comes through it's dead. I don't need to see 20 deer a night, one is all I need. Eventually it's the right one.
10/23/15 @ 10:47 AM
I do both. This is on my own land , so I realize that it it doesn't apply to all situations. I place my stands in very thick or geographical pinch points. Once I choose the site, I cut lanes/trails that funnel the deer where I want them to travel. They don't follow them exactly but even if they aren't on the trails, they have to cross them. I can also see deer at much greater distances on these lanes. If you see them, sometimes you can call them closer. Works for me. Mrt.
10/23/15 @ 9:30 AM
10/23/15 @ 9:19 AM
I would count any deer seen while out even if it's well out of range or isn't presenting any kind of shot opportunity. Most of the spots where I hunt on public land are thick with trees, so my field/range of view is also limited. I may see one 75-100 yards away, but it would be more the movement that I'd notice instead of the actual deer. But I'd count that as a sighting for sure.
Now...saying "within range" or "had a shot opportunity" as opposed to just "saw" is completely different.