Why are you on edge all the time?

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DeerDylan
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby DeerDylan » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:30 pm

Great thread revival. One of my favorites!


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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby Jonny » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:59 am

Bump. IMO one of the best threads on this site, and there is some stiff competition
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby magicman54494 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:27 pm

I was reading thru the thread and I noticed something that I think needs to be added.
A few guys related stories of trying to use the tactics I discussed. Thank you for adding real life stories. it really helps to see success and how you went about it. The one thing I would suggest doing a bit different is to stick it out much longer once you finally find a hot area. These bucks don't seem too bothered by human scent and it takes a lot to burn out a spot. Also, if you are rifle hunting you should be able to set up so you are not bothering the does. this is key because once the does move away you also lose the bucks.
A story of how I did this:
I found a good spot. there was a doe and a fawn hanging out in a swampy area near some old clear cuts. I knew it was only a matter of time until the doe was ready so I waited from dark to dark.....for 5 days. I saw them every day. On the 5th day all heck broke loose. There were multiple bucks chasing her around and around. Alas, she never led them out in the open and all I could do was sit there and listen to the show. I didn't shoot a buck that day but the tactic did work to perfection.
I will add that I knew where they were bedding and I came in from the back side and watched from across the swamp. I do not think that the doe ever knew I was there. Be patient when you find a good spot and plan your entry and exit and play the wind.
kyrie eleison



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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby magicman54494 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:34 pm

To add to my previous post:
I have noticed that if the doe is older she will most likely stay in the area and circle around. The older does seem to want to stay put. If you are set up on an older doe you stand a pretty good chance of getting a shot when she comes in heat. On the other hand, young does (first timers) will run like the wind. they will run for miles trying to get relief from the bucks especially if there are more than one buck or if the buck is young. Young bucks tend to pressure the does a lot more. An older buck will give her space so she will stay relaxed and not run.
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby tim » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:49 pm

magic, you hit a very good point on this one. no matter what tactic it relates to with the old does. this is why I wont kill the old does anymore as they are homebodies and they will attract those big bucks. old does are safe with me
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby Jonny » Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:37 am

That is a great observation of how deer act during the rut with relation to their age. Just something I wouldn't have ever considered, but looking back, I know I have seen some does that act exactly as you explained. Just never put two and two together
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby Ghost Pointer » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:34 am

Been a great thread to read back over. I am trying to figure out a property that I hunt (mountains of VA) while applying different information gained here and a couple of questions come to mind...
1. If you all find several edges that come together a bigger hot spot that concentrates deer? (ex. woods and field coming together along with an elevation change at the same point?

2. Anyone apply this information with the 1/3 elevation rule and find that this increases deer activity/sightings? Let's say you have an edge running along what would be the thermal wind tunnel.

The property I hunt has some promising edges but has some significant elevation changes. One spot drops 800 feet of elevation from top of mtn to creek in the bottom. It flattens out into a small field about midway down.
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby KLEMZ » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:40 am

Time for a five year report...




Magicman created this thread 5 years ago. I have listened to his advice and completely changed how I rut hunt the Wisconsin north woods. I have done a week long travel trip to the Wisconsin big woods for 28 seasons now. The first 23 seasons, I hunted the standard funnels, pinch points, travel corridors that everyone else hunts during early November. My kill rate was 5 bucks in 23 seasons...or a 21% success rate. Now, over the last 5 seasons, I have done my best to follow these basic principles that magicman shared...


- a funnel is worthless if there is no reason for a buck to go thru there.
-the woods changes every year, so scout until you find the active pockets of does and then set up on an edge within that active area.
-once you find an active area...WORK IT! (this last one was added by magic just prior to the 2017 rut hunt, and boy am I glad he added it!)


In the past, I would have left the active area after my second hunt thinking I had "burned the bridge". This season I would have hunted a fourth day if needed!!...happily it wasn't needed!! I killed this buck on my third hunt in the active area (different tree each day based on observations, each move was within a 150 yard circle). It is one of my best big woods bow kills.








Image



So, since changing my strategy to hunting active doe bedding area based on in season scouting I have killed 3 bucks in 5 seasons for a 60% kill rate. To me, this is a stunning improvement VS the 21% kill rate hunting funnels in the big woods!

Some additional thoughts.....

- the 21% success rate occurred during the glory years of high deer population of the 90's and the early 2000's. The new 60% success rate has occurred during much lower deer densities.
- finding and hunting where the does are actively bedding makes it seem like there is a high deer density!
- it is super important to have the lightest, most mobile set up you can, otherwise, you will be tempted not to walk with all your gear, ready to hunt. I have walked all day with my whole set up on some days.
- "pockets of does" is a little misleading. My experience shows me that there are terrain features to look for doe bedding, and it isn't much different than buck bedding sometimes. So, I'm not just wandering edges looking for sign, I walk edges and connect the dots between the known or likely bedding terrain.
- dry, warm years can be a lot tougher to find the active doe areas in a low deer density situation. The leaves are fluffy and trails, tracks, droppings, are difficult to see. A couple things I look for under these conditions...(A) the first 2-3 hours of daylight I walk a lot of edges and hope to see some tails bounding near bedding terrain. The does don't get back to bed until 8:30--9:00am so if I can kick them up then I know I am close to their bedding. (B) scrapes!.. every active doe bedding area I have found in the big woods in the last 5 years has had multiple scrapes in the area just outside the actual bedding (i.e. where I set up) it is an easy to see sign in dry warm years. However, I do not rely on finding fresh rubs as a go to sign for locating doe bedding. They are practically non existent near doe bedding in my area (probably due to low deer density)
- I use to spend my annual spring scouting mission to this area trimming shooting lanes on pre selected kill trees and blazing miles of trails with reflector tacks etc. Now, I spend the WHOLE time finding bedding areas, and use GPS along with high rez aerials to make and save my access trails. No tacks needed, no wasted time trimming shooting lanes from trees that probably are not the best place to kill a buck. Now, I simply hunt the best tree based on current sign and natural shooting lanes. I may never hunt this exact tree again! Such freedom! Long live the Beast!
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby RidgeGhost » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:14 pm

KLEMZ wrote:Time for a five year report...




Magicman created this thread 5 years ago. I have listened to his advice and completely changed how I rut hunt the Wisconsin north woods. I have done a week long travel trip to the Wisconsin big woods for 28 seasons now. The first 23 seasons, I hunted the standard funnels, pinch points, travel corridors that everyone else hunts during early November. My kill rate was 5 bucks in 23 seasons...or a 21% success rate. Now, over the last 5 seasons, I have done my best to follow these basic principles that magicman shared...


- a funnel is worthless if there is no reason for a buck to go thru there.
-the woods changes every year, so scout until you find the active pockets of does and then set up on an edge within that active area.
-once you find an active area...WORK IT! (this last one was added by magic just prior to the 2017 rut hunt, and boy am I glad he added it!)


In the past, I would have left the active area after my second hunt thinking I had "burned the bridge". This season I would have hunted a fourth day if needed!!...happily it wasn't needed!! I killed this buck on my third hunt in the active area (different tree each day based on observations, each move was within a 150 yard circle). It is one of my best big woods bow kills.








Image



So, since changing my strategy to hunting active doe bedding area based on in season scouting I have killed 3 bucks in 5 seasons for a 60% kill rate. To me, this is a stunning improvement VS the 21% kill rate hunting funnels in the big woods!

Some additional thoughts.....

- the 21% success rate occurred during the glory years of high deer population of the 90's and the early 2000's. The new 60% success rate has occurred during much lower deer densities.
- finding and hunting where the does are actively bedding makes it seem like there is a high deer density!
- it is super important to have the lightest, most mobile set up you can, otherwise, you will be tempted not to walk with all your gear, ready to hunt. I have walked all day with my whole set up on some days.
- "pockets of does" is a little misleading. My experience shows me that there are terrain features to look for doe bedding, and it isn't much different than buck bedding sometimes. So, I'm not just wandering edges looking for sign, I walk edges and connect the dots between the known or likely bedding terrain.
- dry, warm years can be a lot tougher to find the active doe areas in a low deer density situation. The leaves are fluffy and trails, tracks, droppings, are difficult to see. A couple things I look for under these conditions...(A) the first 2-3 hours of daylight I walk a lot of edges and hope to see some tails bounding near bedding terrain. The does don't get back to bed until 8:30--9:00am so if I can kick them up then I know I am close to their bedding. (B) scrapes!.. every active doe bedding area I have found in the big woods in the last 5 years has had multiple scrapes in the area just outside the actual bedding (i.e. where I set up) it is an easy to see sign in dry warm years. However, I do not rely on finding fresh rubs as a go to sign for locating doe bedding. They are practically non existent near doe bedding in my area (probably due to low deer density)
- I use to spend my annual spring scouting mission to this area trimming shooting lanes on pre selected kill trees and blazing miles of trails with reflector tacks etc. Now, I spend the WHOLE time finding bedding areas, and use GPS along with high rez aerials to make and save my access trails. No tacks needed, no wasted time trimming shooting lanes from trees that probably are not the best place to kill a buck. Now, I simply hunt the best tree based on current sign and natural shooting lanes. I may never hunt this exact tree again! Such freedom! Long live the Beast!


Cool update KLEMZ. That's an impressive turnaround after switching up hunting tactics. I hope that trend continues for you!
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby mnswamphunter » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:49 pm

magicman54494 wrote:I was reading thru the thread and I noticed something that I think needs to be added.
A few guys related stories of trying to use the tactics I discussed. Thank you for adding real life stories. it really helps to see success and how you went about it. The one thing I would suggest doing a bit different is to stick it out much longer once you finally find a hot area. These bucks don't seem too bothered by human scent and it takes a lot to burn out a spot. Also, if you are rifle hunting you should be able to set up so you are not bothering the does. this is key because once the does move away you also lose the bucks.
A story of how I did this:
I found a good spot. there was a doe and a fawn hanging out in a swampy area near some old clear cuts. I knew it was only a matter of time until the doe was ready so I waited from dark to dark.....for 5 days. I saw them every day. On the 5th day all heck broke loose. There were multiple bucks chasing her around and around. Alas, she never led them out in the open and all I could do was sit there and listen to the show. I didn't shoot a buck that day but the tactic did work to perfection.
I will add that I knew where they were bedding and I came in from the back side and watched from across the swamp. I do not think that the doe ever knew I was there. Be patient when you find a good spot and plan your entry and exit and play the wind.


Great thread! I use the same tacit were I hunt. One thing I want to add is If I take a management doe I do not kill it out of our rut stands. I kill the does in a low impact stand. By doing this I do not chase the does off my property. My son shot this buck 2 years ago as a product of this tacit.
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby Dpierce72 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:35 am

Well I'm 5 years late to the party but as the saying goes ..."better late than never".

I've really enjoyed reading this thread (and others on The Beast) - couple thoughts/questions from this one:

1. Thought: In the past, when I would see folks wandering through the woods past first light with their stands still on their back I assumed "they don't know what they're doing". Wrong assumption! At least in some instances. While I've done this in the afternoon, in the mornings I always try to be in the stand before first light (old habits die hard) but I'm learning this isn't necessary.

2. Question: When you refer to "big woods" is it big from a geography or timber perspective? Big trees or Big land mass? I'm assuming 'mass' and if so, are we talking tracts that are 1x1 ...3x5 ...or larger (in miles)? Just trying to relate certain properties in my mind to the discussion here.

3. Question: I also hear the term "cedar swamp". In AR, the swamps have cypress, but Arkansas cedar are drier land trees. Just curious if cypress is interchangeable (at least similar) with cedar in this reference.

My interest lies in the fact that I'm about to dramatically change my hunting style/tactics moving from private cattle farm (hill country) to public bottomland (and what I think are big woods). The primary reason is that there are many larger deer (although lower density and more pressure) in the bottomlands of AR vs the hills of AR. As I tell my son ..."If you want to catch big fish, you have to go where there are big fish".

Thanks!
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby Hodag Hunter » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:38 am

Great buck Klemz, congrats.

Good year for nice racks in my areas this year, you see the same? Must be because of all the water/ rain we got.

Mature buck population still scary low but what is out there at least grew some nice antlers.
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby Bonehead » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:01 pm

Outstanding thread
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby ghoasthunter » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:10 pm

magicman54494 wrote:I was reading thru the thread and I noticed something that I think needs to be added.
A few guys related stories of trying to use the tactics I discussed. Thank you for adding real life stories. it really helps to see success and how you went about it. The one thing I would suggest doing a bit different is to stick it out much longer once you finally find a hot area. These bucks don't seem too bothered by human scent and it takes a lot to burn out a spot. Also, if you are rifle hunting you should be able to set up so you are not bothering the does. this is key because once the does move away you also lose the bucks.
A story of how I did this:
I found a good spot. there was a doe and a fawn hanging out in a swampy area near some old clear cuts. I knew it was only a matter of time until the doe was ready so I waited from dark to dark.....for 5 days. I saw them every day. On the 5th day all heck broke loose. There were multiple bucks chasing her around and around. Alas, she never led them out in the open and all I could do was sit there and listen to the show. I didn't shoot a buck that day but the tactic did work to perfection.
I will add that I knew where they were bedding and I came in from the back side and watched from across the swamp. I do not think that the doe ever knew I was there. Be patient when you find a good spot and plan your entry and exit and play the wind.

I have done similar if I see young bucks hounding a doe I'm familiar with I will hunt her bedding area the next morning even if I stunk it up because every day the bucks following her get bigger till she is bred
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby KLEMZ » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:28 pm

Dpierce72 wrote:1. Thought: In the past, when I would see folks wandering through the woods past first light with their stands still on their back I assumed "they don't know what they're doing". Wrong assumption! At least in some instances. While I've done this in the afternoon, in the mornings I always try to be in the stand before first light (old habits die hard) but I'm learning this isn't necessary.


I will still get in my tree before first light if I know the exact tree I want to get in. Usually though, I know the general area I want to be and I need some daylight to select the proper set up once I get there.


Dpierce72 wrote:2. Question: When you refer to "big woods" is it big from a geography or timber perspective? Big trees or Big land mass? I'm assuming 'mass' and if so, are we talking tracts that are 1x1 ...3x5 ...or larger (in miles)? Just trying to relate certain properties in my mind to the discussion here.


Well, my area in northern Wisconsin is miles and miles of woods. 5 miles between roads (so 2.5miles is the farthest off road I can get). I have always considered big woods as deer not feeding in ag fields.

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