best lesson learned from 2017

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
  • Advertisement

HB Store

Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:55 pm
Status: Offline

Re: best lesson learned from 2017

Postby BAS4109 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:03 pm

Having young kids has left me with less time to hunt. I used to do 35-40 sits a year now I do half that.

Over the past 5 years I have learned that less = more. Now I need to really plan out my sits. It has forced me to not over hunt my spots and that has worked out well.

My lesson last year was to hunt when it's "go time". That might mean the first week of bow season or the peak of the rut.

My goal for this year is to pick out 3 new beast type spots and learn them inside and out. I already have one scouted and few more picked out to scout.
Last edited by BAS4109 on Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Posts: 150
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 4:08 pm
Status: Offline

Re: best lesson learned from 2017

Postby jbone23 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:06 pm

1. Biggest lesson how much more versatile the LW lock is on than climber total game changer
2. Close second make sure you place your tree stand so that you can shoot the thickest cover in that area from it- thats where the buck is going to go through
3. Scrape areas get attention year round. More for intel on bucks on the area rather than hunting. Had a cam on a scrape found in oct bucks on it till today
User avatar
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 7:51 am
Location: PA
Status: Offline

Re: best lesson learned from 2017

Postby comeback_kid » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:39 pm

1. I need to pull some all day sits Nov 4-10. I caught one of my target bucks walking right near a stand was at 1:11 pm Nov. 7th. Yours truly was not in the tree that day b/c I was at home sick as a dog. But had I been in the tree I likely would have had a shot at him.

2. I gotta do a lot more scouting. I got access to a new farm this year so spent the season still learning the property, but I need to pound the scouting from Feb-March and find more beds.

3. Hunting is a heck of a lot of fun. What other hobby or sport can you participate in as a kid and actually get BETTER as you age as an adult? As opposed to athletics where you pretty much are going downhill after 35-40ish, if you're lucky.
User avatar
500 Club
Posts: 4234
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:16 pm
Location: MN
Status: Offline

Re: best lesson learned from 2017

Postby Lockdown » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:00 pm

I learned that most of my areas don't get pressured as much during gun season as I thought they did. There are guys out there hunting, but they aren't pushing the bedding much. I think the spots I viewed as pressure bedding get inhabited much later in the year than I originally thought. So I will make some adjustments for next year.

I have settled on the fact that deer around here are most predictable during late season. Too many crops in the fields and not enough pressure before the guns come out...
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:40 am
Location: Central WI
Status: Offline

Re: best lesson learned from 2017

Postby WISCOANDY » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:06 pm

Three keys:

1. I need a lot more set-up, pre scouted. I ran out, and that won't happen again.

2. I need to hunt earlier in the season. My drive limits how often I can go, and I manage wife a young kids. It's hard, but I miss out on some good hunting time.

3. See #1 and #2, and scout some public close to home to fix both of these issues.

This was my first year applying these tactics. I was loud, I wasn't good at setting up quietly, but I improved. I saw good deer, just didn't seal the deal. Looking forward to scouting and connecting the pieces for next yr.
User avatar
OH nontypical
Posts: 348
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:32 am
Location: Northeast Ohio
Status: Offline

Re: best lesson learned from 2017

Postby OH nontypical » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:14 pm

Stay on stand till the last minute of shooting light. Cost me a 150 plus this year. I knew better.

Find some places close to home on public as I can’t always get away anymore due to health and work constraints.
500 Club
Posts: 515
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:04 am
Status: Offline

Re: best lesson learned from 2017

Postby 9pt » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:50 pm

Cherish the people you hunt with. They will be gone someday. Uncle with cancer barely made it to 2018 and is now in hospice but we shared some great times pursuing deer and pheasants together this fall.

Hunt deer midday in November.
User avatar
Posts: 1962
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:52 pm
Location: Michigan
Status: Offline

Re: best lesson learned from 2017

Postby Ack » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:35 pm

I learned........

- Overlooked areas can and will hold the biggest bucks
- Don't take marginal shots, even if you think you can do it. More often than not, it won't end up well.
- In season scouting is a good thing....for awhile I've been afraid to step into the woods outside of hunting hours, thinking I'm going to screw things up. Not true.
User avatar
500 Club
Posts: 1574
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:18 am
Status: Offline

Re: best lesson learned from 2017

Postby Boogieman1 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:32 am

Lessons Learned

1.) If u set up in a tree and look around and no u r not in the right spot, don't be a lazy butt and set there anyway. Get down and move! I already knew this lesson, apparently I'm the type who doesn't make the same mistake twice. I make it 5 or 6 times to really soak it in.

2.) Leave yourself plenty of options. It is not wise to spend 95% of your scouting time on just one buck. A lot of things can happen.

3.) In ain't over until the final buzzer sounds. Keep chippin away and giving yourself a chance and anything can happen.
Just remember if we get caught, you’re deaf and I don’t speak English.
Rich M
500 Club
Posts: 1283
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2016 3:29 pm
Location: Sunny Florida
Status: Offline

Re: best lesson learned from 2017

Postby Rich M » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:45 am

Bedbug wrote:Strategy wise My number 1 lesson
~entrance and exits~....always been a top priority for me but every year I seem to find more flaws in it. Usually sent impact this year the ahah was the first step, parking.
Mid October I watched THE buck flee from the very area I thought predicted hed be bed that wind. Simply because I slowed down on the gravel road and stopped where I normally park....
A real who's hunting who moment :think: was eye opening.

Coming in very close 2nd
The realization that I need to bring the wife with more and wondering why I hadn't in years past.
She tagged along 4 times total this season. Just to see what it was about. Let me tell you guys it was an absolute blast!!!! Normally a quiet, lone hunter I was personally surprised at how much I actually had to teach someone thats green too it. On top of that the memories. There was moments we were laughing until we were crying!
The 4 times she came with were by far the my most memorable and enjoyable hunts of my 17' season.
Until the kids are old enough I'll be capitalizing on it.

I need to scout more and set my cams.

It is a lot of fun to bring little momma hunting - they enjoy the peace & quiet and seeing deer. My wife always sees more deer than I do.
500 Club
Posts: 1207
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:11 pm
Status: Offline

Re: best lesson learned from 2017

Postby mauser06 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:43 am

For me, don't give up following up on a shot that you were confident in.

I can VERY close to leaving the woods without my best buck to date.

Hunting with my flintlock...took a quartering away shot. Lined up to crush the far front shoulder. 50yd shot or so. I've killed a small groundhog with that rifle at a lasered 87yds. I had a good quick ignition. I felt confident in the shot. I liked the deers reaction.

After a quick look in the snow, I didn't find what I expected. I didn't find anything. Followed tracks 50yds or so and didn't find anything.

Played the shot over. I looked back at it several times. I was still confident he was hit.

Reworked the POI. Found 2 hairs that could have been from anything. The POI was more "kicked up" than I'd expect from a miss. The way the deer ran looked like he was hit hard..not running away from a miss. He ran off from the other deer. He plowed into stuff he shouldn't have if he were just running off..

But where is the sign?? Why isn't there blood?

I was literally about to start heading for the truck when I saw he crossed a pretty good little wet weather run off ditch. I was looking for a place to cross it and realized he was piled up 30yds away up the other side.

There was blood up where he started to crash.

I thought the hit was bad and I got lucky and hit an artery. Gutting him it was hard to figure it out. It was like -15 with the wind chill and digging around wasn't an option. If he wasn't so big I would have gutted him at the farm where I could clean up and warm my hands up. Only hole appeared on the front edge of the left ham. But there was huge blood in the chest and body cavities. Lungs looked hit but weren't blown apart..weird from a Barnes.

After butchering, it was a perfect hit. Just a steeper angle than I thought. Went in the hole I saw. A tipped bullet didn't leave hair on the entrance. The bullet didn't exit. It lodged somewhere in the far shoulder. From black powder velocities, a 300gr expanding bullet isn't going through a ton of stuff. I knew it'd penetrate well..but the expansion certainly hinders that some with the lower velocity.

Had there not been snow, I'm not sure I would have recovered him and it makes me sick. No snow, I may not take a hard quartering away shot like that in the future. I probably wouldn't have searched over that side of the ditch. I saw a few buck cross that ditch..but wasn't certain mine did. I didn't see a deer fall over there. Mine ran away from me initially..not to my left where he fell.

Lots of lessons from that one. The gun and bullet did the job. But I gotta realize the limitations of black powder..

I was confident in the shot and stuck with the track long enough to get within sight of him.
User avatar
Posts: 3872
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:32 am
Location: USA
Status: Offline

Re: best lesson learned from 2017

Postby oldrank » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:03 am

Learn your woods.... So , so important.

Make big areas small. A couple square miles is not that big.

Hunt bucks with a time line. Bucks do things different every week as the season moves along. Be ahead of them when patterns change... not behind them and chasing old patterns.

When you find a buck , hunt him. He will not leave his home range.

Rely on my information more than anything else. Websites, DVDs, podcast, books n stuff only get me so far.... The rest is what MY eyes see.
User avatar
Posts: 184
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:10 am
Location: Central NY
Status: Offline

Re: best lesson learned from 2017

Postby Mathewshooter » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:18 am

A couple things I learned were that when you get picked off in a tree by a mature buck, move your treestand and if you are in his core area and he picks you off, theres a good chance he will be back. I had a big 10 spot me in my stand on October 24th. I contemplated moving my stand about 20 yards to a different tree but figured that deer wouldnt be back so I left it where it was. The next time I went in there was November 6th and he came back at 2:30 in the afternoon. He was looking for my stand and picked me off again. I knew better and should start going with my gut feeling more often. If I was in the tree I wanted to move my stand to, he would have come by at 15 yards broadside!

I also learned that I need to pay more attention to Bill Vales moon theory. I made my own calendar based off of his book and most of the deer movement that me and the few guys I camp with saw was during the major and minor moon times. We saw movement outside of these times but, to my amazement. a vast majority of movement was during these times. I'll have to pay some more attention to that next fall and see if it holds true. Both times I had the big 10 bust me were during major moon times.
I take my Bowhunting seriously
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:43 am
Location: Michigan
Status: Offline

Re: best lesson learned from 2017

Postby d_rek » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:13 am

Couple of good lessons for me this year...

Opportunity to get access to new properties can come anytime and anywhere.
Through luck and networking I was able to get access two more pieces of private land in Michigan in the middle of the season. The first was 20 acres literally across the road from my house by randomly meeting the property owner, who hadn't visited the property in years, because he came out to bury his cat there.

Then again later in the season my uncle gave me permission to deer hunt on property I already have permission to turkey hunt on, adding another 100 acres to the properties I have available around me to hunt.

What goes up must come down
This was the first year I ever experienced anything like this but after I shot my best bow buck in October I was flying high on cloud 9 for a few days. After the initial euphoria wore off and about the time i finished processing my deer I had sunk into what I recognized was a mild hunting depression. I simply had no desire to hunt and didn't hunt again for two more weeks. I missed arguably the best two weeks of Michigan's bow season - the first two weeks of November - because I had no motivation or drive to get out and hunt again. After I killed that buck I simply lost my desire to hunt which was an incredibly odd feeling. I wasn't discouraged or demoralized but had no drive to get out and hunt again. It took me the better part of November to find my motivation again, and I didn't start hitting the woods hard again until December. So that's something I will try to be much more mindful of in seasons to come.

Public land is awesome

I had some great hunts (didn't kill anything) on public land this year. Great learning experiences and some really interesting terrain for my part of Michigan. I'll definitely be hitting up more public land in the future. Super thankful to have such a great resource within an hour of my home.
"When a human being willfully takes the life of a wild sentient creature, in my opinion, they are then separated forever from those who have not." -Shane Mahoney
User avatar
500 Club
Posts: 1535
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:44 pm
Location: NE IL
Status: Offline

Re: best lesson learned from 2017

Postby Kraftd » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:31 am

Always like this kind of thread from a group like this. Few things for me, that are more just support for some of the obvious things that we talk about.

1. If you think you're in the wrong spot, move immediately and trust your gut. This got me my second buck, and cost me a last minute doe twice last weekend. Moved based on observation during my sit and killed a buck ten minutes later in November. Last weekend, wanted to get one more deer for the freezer, but tried to make a stand I knew was wrong for conditions work and got busted twice getting in position to shoot (ladder stand in the wide open and creaky in the brutal cold. Should have hunkered in on the ground), then the next day overthought the wind from where I sort of knew I should be and watched 15 walk by at 80 yards.

2. Try and maintain a positive attitude and stay in kill mode. Felt very dialed in during many of my sits this year. On both bucks I killed things happened quick and close and being tuned in absolutely helped me execute two heart shots instead of spooking the deer or making bad shots. On the doe sits over the weekend, I think I was suffering from a little full freezer syndrome and just wasn't quite where I needed to be mentally, which lead to what I noted in point 1.

3. I'm still perfectly content killing two year olds. I suspect both of my deer this year were two and may have gone 180" total. I love the challenge of hunting mature bucks with a bow and having three archery buck tags between two states every year helps with this, but I'm not yet at the point where it is the end all be all for me. I like venison too much, and some of my spots can much better handle loosing a younger buck than a doe (one kill spot I saw 15 different bucks this year and two does), and it still makes me happy, so i shouldn't apologize for it or qualify my kills. Kind of thinking if one or more of my girls get into hunting, may take the leap when they can fill the freezer on smaller deer. We shall see.

4. Don't get burned out by the rut. The last couple of years I've killed pretty early and then backed off a little during prime time. This year I kind of used work as an excuse, but after killing 11/10 for my second deer, took two weeks off for the most part. Retrospectively, a lot of guys in my area dropped slobs in that period and they seemed to be coming off of lockdown hard and I probably blew my chance to have a real good chance to fill my third tag on a big boy, as there were a couple on my area based on sign and seeing a borderline booner 11/4. Still evaluating how to fix this one. Don't necessarily want to hunt less early, but perhaps need to push harder to keep on top of work and probably more prevent burnout with the wife more than anything.

5. I need to scout more. Not sure this will ever not be a lesson.

Return to “Deer Hunting”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests