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Good counsel please?
What’s happened to all the deer ? In upper zone 8, woods of 30 acres or more. I have seen lots of sign and tracks. I know that the shotgun season pushes them nocturnal but I have seen nothing and i have been out every day, before sunrise, playing the wind and either very slowly still hunting or getting g up a tree. What am I doing wrong here? I would figure with this much time in I would at least see something. The closest thi g I have seen in the last week and a half is a deer of some sort bounding through the woods at 7 am about 100 yards away. Bow season I had two buck in shooting range and a handful of encounters. Advice anyone on how to hunt the rest of the season. I will be switching back to bow next week and hoping for some snow. Im definitely getting a little discouraged. I have been holding on to a zone 10 doe tag and was thinking of hitting up Delaney wma as a last ditch. It’s about an hour away though.
Best advice is,.. it is normal many a good hunter can go without getting a deer,..
Best advice is don't get too hung up on "I must Kill a deer" Enjoy getting out, scouting, seeing nature, exercise, hunting buddies. Sometimes I think we focus too much on the goal and not the journey of how to get there.
If you don't do the above,.. ya you will get discouraged,.. then you have lost it.
Not being a super successful hunter I will let others give you advice for late season strategies,..
You got the nocturnal bit right. My advice, based on My limited experience hunting in MA, abandon the woods outright. Unless it abuts a field of salt hay, you’re wasting your time.
There’s no food in the woods right now. It’s a dietary desert. They’re onto grass, bramble, and whatever other green they can find.
Get on Bing Maps, I like them because all of their aerial and “birds eye” map views are taken during the winter.
Go find yourself a nasty thicket; something cold and dark. Make sure it’s something that abuts a grassy field. Find a lane, they’re in there, and set up at the edge, about 10 yds from the lane.
Early season is great for nuts. After that, hunt grass and bedding. When the barometer swings big, be out there. Look for the barometric swing to really identify the most successful days.
Where are you in Z10? Which town? GL man.
Thanks B.B. you are right to encourage me to focus on what I am grateful for as opposed to what I haven’t yet received.
i second soso, my sighting went down considerably towards the end of november so i became more mobile and started hunting a swamp edge 100 yards from a large green field and killed a buck that first sit. I would try to find spots with green forage that dont get too much pressure, dont be afraid to try out some new spots!
As to what B.B. wrote. I agree. Sometimes I play a mind game with myself. Here’s how the conversation with myself goes (yes I’m certifiable).
“Would you sit in the woods hours a day, all week, if I told you you’ll get a nice deer at the end?”
- Yes, I would.
“Ok, than do it. You’ll get your deer, but you have to sit here now in order to get it later. It may not be today or tomorrow, but you have to sit to get it....and you’ll get it.”
Anyhow, GL man!
Sosso. I’m in zone 8 but my only doe tag is in zone 10
Oh, and when in doubt, consult the book Bambi.
First line “Bambi was a roe deer, born in a THICKET.”
....best hunting advice....ever.
BB is right. This time of year I have a hard time getting up to go out. In nice warm days I am happy to be in the woods. Why, because it is December and it's 45 degrees out. Soon the season will be over. How do you want to remember the season? Damn it I didn't get a deer in December!!! Or I had some really nice days and I am happy to be in the woods. Take this years failures and successes and apply them to next year. You might actually be able to put together the puzzle and have a successful late season next year. Life is too short to worry about what I you are going to see or shoot. Enjoy the woods for what they are and what they can bring to your piece of mind especially in late February when it's 8 degrees with a 20 mph wind and you're stuck in the house. Lol
Good stuff guys thank you so one of my options is a decent size hayfield about 10 acres bordered on three sides by deep woods Should I sit in a tree stand on the edge or get in on the ground by the way most everything around here is pressured there’s just not enough deer to go around What time of day do you all suggest I have been typically hunting early and late
Getting on google maps, look at the deep woods and find a thicket or softwoods that aren’t tightly packed. They won’t bed in tightly packed softwoods, so find an area in those woods on the three sides where it looks like sunlight can reach the ground through and between the pines. It’s a fair bet that’s where they bed.
Now go out and scout the field edge nearest those softwoods for deer lanes (do not walk on the deer lanes and be sure to put some doe calm/raccoon piss, or something on your boots).
Once you’ve found the lanes, make note, get out of there, then go sit in your car/truck and watch the field. Where are they coming out at? It doesn’t hurt to verify if you can. I mean, you’re out scouting, the day is basically a hunting bust. May as well sit tight until 4:50 PM.
Once you’ve found a lane, or established where they’re coming in at, take your climber and get up 20’ or more and wait.
If it’s getting pressure, late afternoon is your best bet. GL man.
Dog , Find where you see deer entering the field and be there in shooting distance when the light comes on. They are not far away and likely near the 100 yard sightings .
Setting up a stand is noisy but maybe a climber. No need to go high up if you can sit in the tops of the brush cover. I like to gather some evergreen branches like Holly or pine for a little more cover. Be there at 2:30 before the light goes off and get down wind of that trail or area and try to get behind something that gives you some cover but get in close and make a little nest. Maybe go in early at 1:00 so you can clip a few lanes and make a nest quietly. Then sit and wait.
Push right in to the place they come out of and be clean as can be so if it doesn't happen the first night , it will not be blown out for the next try . Milk crate or something lite like that to sit or stand on.
Go find them and get up close . Keep pushing in until you find em.
Junkdog. I am in z8 as well and have had a similar experience. I am happy to connect and talk shop about the area if you PM me.
Same boat here zone 8 with doe tag. No deer seen 2 bucks all year. Hmmmm our daily after work can’t find them