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I went out after work today. I saw a deer around 80 yards away. I gave out a doe bleet and it stopped to look around. I waited, gave a second and it took off running like I spooked it? I must have done something wrong, do you think I over called? Secondly, what do you guys do when a deer is 80 yards away, do try calling in or simply wait. I appreciate it. So much to learn.... My wife is starting to tease saying...you've been hunting deer a lot lately and can't kill one? You always killed ducks, why can't you kill a deer? Will be out a lot this week trying to get one...
Well if you are seeing deer you are in the right place, I have a few spots I hunt that have tight funnels. The deer have to come by my stand, other stands not so much so I might see deer but not always a shot, don't spook your deer cause you don't want them to alter their paths or avoid the area. it does not take much pressure for deer to alter their habits to avoid you. i know people will differ with me but I found less is more, my best hunts are no scents, decoys or calls. Just me and a bow and staying hidden and scent free as possible. I have spooked a lot of deer with calls so I only use them occasionally. Don't mistake bow hunting with gun hunting. Only take good shots that will be ethical clean kills. I have passed on so many deer cause the shot is just not there. You can get on their paths and they might still do something different. Just get out there.
I have had deer head in the other direction with a grunt call and some that came charging in. I think younger bucks and does that are not ready to breed may tend to avoid what they think is a mature buck during the rut. Older bucks may come to the grunt call looking for some action. If you see a buck cruising out of range, that's a good time to try and stop him and call him in - what have you got to lose? That has worked for me in the past.
Thanks I appreciate it. So used to setting up decoys for ducks and watching them come right to me!
I must have done something wrong, do you think I over called? Yes.
IMHO, once you caught her attention you could have left it to her curiosity to investigate the call. When the head is up and looking your way, shut up. When the deer is moving your way, shut up.
You might next time consider a challenge snort, to draw a big buck near. I've seen it in work between bucks and later tried it myself with great results. However, as with any call, you are creating expectations that alert deer, who will be looking more carefully as they approach your position. Which call you use is a choice based on your experience and assessment of the situation.
Remember this. You may sound like a deer from a distance, but never good enough to whisper in their ear.
Good timing on this post. I have not harvested a deer yet this season and I have spent a lot of time out there. Just been a weird year. Anyway, getting ready for work this morning, wife says "there's a deer in the back", (we have some woods behind us) It was a small doe so I wanted to experiment, I have been trying to get my calls down. I went out there and tried some soft grunt calls. She kept stopping but just for a minute then kept going, a few times. She wasn't interested. After this morning, I agree with Gene, smaller deer are not on board with calls.
I agree with the position of staying hidden, no calling, no decoys, no mock scrapes, etc. Watching where the deer are going is an education for your next hunt, so don't call at all is my approach. Seeing deer move in the same general direction, even if they're not close enough to your stand to shoot, gives you the advantage for your next hunt, so watch them move naturally. And it's not a rookie mistake, it's a cold hard fact that deer are smarter than hunters regardless of how good you think you are.
I also agree with Bigbuckbob, deer are smarter then hunters
just remember when you call they know where it came from....you have to sit still and have the wind right....if she started walking away then you hit it again
Most of the time, I find bleating works if I am blind calling, or if the deer I saw, just walked out of view into the distance. Grunting on the other hand seems to work when I can see the deer... but he cant see me. Ie, the buck is 60yds head behind a tree, grunt, no reaction, grunt again. If there was a reaction, DO NOT MOVE until the deer moves. If it wants to keep walking away and it heard you, it's likely not coming. But sometimes they will do weird things. I had one a few weeks ago look, then walk off, but hook around and come back in. it was like it needed to check something, then come back.
All that said, rarely have I called in does. Maybe a handful of times over the last 25~ years. I'm at the point where, if I see it's a doe, I dont even try.
Either winded or second call she saw you.was wind in your face or back? She will avoid tree now for a while. Move stand if possible. Closer to where you saw deer. I have found sounds are very hit or miss and mostly miss. As said if you are seeing deer your on the right track. Observe where she came from and where she was headed and understand why. Bedding, Food, travel route. Consider time of day for help with determination.
Thanks Wind was in my face. I am going out tomorrow again, lets see if she gives one more look....
Doe or buck? It's hard to call a doe this time of year. They are getting pushed around by a lot of bucks. Early season like Sep. Fawn calls work good for me for both
+1 for watching what they do and where they go unmolested.
I'm always glassing while on stand, and often see enough to figure out where I should set up the next time; matter of fact, if I am hunting someplace new or where I haven't been out since some changes in the landscape, I'll often set up the first time out about 50-80 yards from my first-choice location so that I can see if the deer are moving through where I expect them to...
The two big bucks I ever got both came in to grunts and rattles looking for a fight
She was probably on alert after the first call and may have spotted your movement when you called the second time. They have an amazing ability to determine the exact location where a sound is coming from. Good luck with the rest of your season!
Here's a tip. Have your bow in your hand ready to shoot before you call. Once they come in, they are on alert so minimal or no movement is essential. Also, aim low.