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Deer entering fields
I started hunting near a field edge for the first time Friday and then again yesterday afternoon. The field is basically one large hill with lots of grasses and weeds growing, it slopes downward to its lowest point in the NE corner. I have observed deer staging in thick cover near the NE corner and then entering the field at the lowest spot right around closing time. They have entered the field shortly after the thermals have shifted both evenings, giving them the ability to smell any danger that might lie ahead, because all scent is dropping down to that low point in the field. I'm not sure I've observed this enough to say for certain that's what's happening, but it's my best guess right now. Has anyone else seen deer acting this way?
Deer live by there nose they use thermals all the time there is usually a spot that they use to get every sent they can before going any further they will hang there till there satisfied with what they smell over the 40 years I have hunted I have killed many bucks by finding that spot just make sure you get high enough
For sure. I don't really hunt fields but they definitely do that. Especially this time of year after dealing with a lot of pressure.
Over the edge of a field gives them some cover . It may also be air flow but even the best space for air movement with no cover will not hold deer.
I think they work with what they have and respond to pressure by keeping safe as a priority.
In my hunting field / woods the local deer (Early season) work their way down wind along the inside of the woods and then feed quartering into it when they enter the field. They left after the acorns were done so that food is likely part of their influence. Moving down wind gives them the advantage of checking their back side first.
Right now there are a few that are moving downwind like early does did but they are younger deer . There are a few older deer also that are hanging upwind near less pressured cover. I believe the does are in there too.
I don’t believe deer are that strategic or thoughtful. They don’t understand the “big picture” like we do. They have strong instincts in the moment.
There may be other reasons, like proximity to bedding that is making them enter a field from a specific area. I don’t think they anticipate the advantage they will have as the thermals change after sunset. I just don’t think they are that smart.
We overthink everything.
GED, its simple evolution... if u imagine a scenario where deer bed randomly, move randomly, feed randomly, you could start with a hypothetical where a deer could have an equal chance of being anywhere on a property... BUT, the deer who are in the open, not bedded with a wind and thermal or sight advantage, the deer who show up 45 min before dark to feed... well they don't survive very long. extrapolate that over centuries and you end up with pattern-able, "wise" behavior. Whether it's their smarts or their instincts is irrelevant. thats just semantics.... deer act certain ways because it is evolutionarily advantageous and lets them live longer and breed more. the deer who act a certain way live linger and produce more deer that act that way because of the genetics and behavioral traits they pass down
I agree Cougar. I've really begun paying attention to deer behavior based on wind this year both observations from the stand and back dating trail cam photo's, particularly those close to bedding, and when the wind is coming from a direction that is advantageous to them I see them and get pics of them, when the wind is not to their advantage they just aren't there. But again I've seen that only in certain places near bedding or in this case when entering a large field, which also happens to be loaded with yotes (I saw 3 yesterday on a short hunt).
hunting a just off wind with a mobile set up is as good as it gets... the deer are confident to move in day light if theyve been smelling nothing dangerous where theyre headed all day... sure you can get busted but if you know the bedding, and play the wind right, it's deadly
There are some posts here that i would to hear other experieced hunters contribute too
I have walked past deer in a field just before legal light and arrowed them minutes into legal light as they left the field.
These are not sophisticated animals. If it makes you feel better to think they are really smart that is fine.
During the breeding season a bucks normally good instincts can disappear as he looks for love.
I think there are a lot of great points here.
As for the field, could be wind, could be many other things. That said, if you know they are entering there... I'd try to figure where they are 30' earlier and hunt there. Ill admit, I'm not super experienced with hunting deer near fields, I'm mostly a big woods guy... But it just seems you have better odds of hunting daylight available encounters when you get back 100-400yds from the field towards where they come from. If they bed right there... well... That's a very tough situation.