Contributors to this thread:
I tend to hunt morning and evening during bow season. I sometimes spend the whole day but I seldom sit in one place all day. What do others do? The deer density where I hunt is not high. Last year I averaged seeing one deer in ten days. Rifle season tends to result in more sightings as there are a lot of folks in the woods then.
Thought this was about me. 8^)
I would shoot myself if I only saw one deer in 10 days of hunting. I rarely hunt mornings until late Oct. than I start doing more mornings. I will also sit mid-day early season if the moon is directly overhead or under foot. I hunt evenings most anytime and once Nov. hits I am in the woods as much as possible, doing quite a few all day sits once the chasing is going on. Shawn
I only sit mornings and usually only Saturday mornings, due to family commitments. Soccer games, Xcountry, ROTC. But family is understanding and come Halloween to just after Veterans day it is all out as much as I can.
I can only hunt evenings and saturdays morning/evening. I average a deer every 10-12 hunts too... My longest streak has been 21 days without a deer sighting... That makes a six week season very long... LOL..
You said you seldom sit in one spot all day?
How many different spots are you hunting a day, what hours of the day are you moving?
I'm in bad need of a fix...
I have to give you guys that are only seeing 1 deer every "x" number of days a lot of credit for sicking it out! Don't think I could go that long!
Fortunately I don't have to. I could count on 1 hand the number of times in the last 8-10 years that I haven't seen at least 1 deer per outing.
Pre rut (Oct 1-Oct. 25th) i will usually set from pre dawn till 10am Then in the evenings for about 2.5hrs till its dark thirty. I don't hunt this period very often due to work.
Rut (Oct. 25th thru mid to late Nov.) I will do a lot of all day sits in or near doe bedding areas. It's hard to sneak out of those without spooking deer plus I oftentimes see bucks cruising all hours of the day. Evening only hunts I like to set up at the edge of a food plot or just inside of cover.
Green mountain, I can't quite relate to that low of numbers but I grew up in the Catskills in ny . Very tough hunting!!! We did a lot of very slow walking through the woods to find deer. Way too much terrain to be able to pattern them . Luckily I had a place to hunt across the Hudson river that was the polar opposite. Tons of farm country and tons of deer in the area.
I know this is going to sound like the typical, "When I was your age we used to...", from some cranky old man, but then again I am an old man, and I have been known on occasion to be somewhat cranky, so here goes.....
Greenmountain's comment about "one deer in ten days", is just about what we were experiencing here in northern Illinois 30+ years ago. One of my buddies hunted the same area I did, and if we SAW a deer we'd call each other after we got home (this was WAAAY back in the day when phones were actually attached to a wall, and if you talked about having "an app", it meant you had a horse with brown spots)and talk about it for an hour.
That's why today I have to shake my head when I hear about bowhunters talking about whether a deer was a "shooter" or not. Our "shooters" were just about any deer that walked within range and offered a decent shot.
I sometimes wonder just how many of today's spoiled "die hard hunters" would still be hunting if they only saw a deer even every 5 days.
Not too many I bet.
Woods walker, I can remember similar hunting in iowa. I was just a kid heel kicking the old man, but deer were scarce. Lucky if you saw one. This would have been late 70s early 80s. Rotary dial phone days. :) I keep hearing how down our deer population is, and compared to the mid 90s it is, but still way better than it was. I see more on the drive home from work every day than I did in a whole season back then.
I hunt in some pretty remote areas and have gone two to three days without seeing a deer.
This said there have been instances where this occurred that I have some real bruisers.
I still think that with adequate scouting that you could green briar thickets which hold does and watch to increase your odds. This was a common technique in the hills of West Virginia in areas of low density.
I've gone 50 hunting days without seeing a buck in Southern Cal more than once.
Bow season here is not good for much unless you've patterned bucks as they're all nocturnal. I used to hunt local deer 50+ days a year, but now elk season takes the archery season and I work till the end of rifle because the last 7 days of the general season is the only time to see anything - I hunt every morning and evening then and all day if the weather's right.
I finally had a full day to hunt. I went to a new spot and found some good trails. The hunter who usually hunts the spot had taken a deer earlier in the season. I waited from about a half hour before daylight until 10:00 when another hunter happened through. We chatted briefly then he went to set his tree stand. Today is the last day of season and I have the afternoon to hunt. The other hunter came to an agreement on where we would set up. I left the spot while he was moving about. When I did I caught a doe in her bed. She and I watched each other for a bit then she disappeared in one bound. It was a fun morning.
Greenmountain, Im with you there. In MA it is not uncommon to go days without a sighting. This year so far it took my third sit for sightings which is above normal lol.
Hunting public land I often go for several days without seeing any deer. It makes for some tough hunting. And its easy to pick up bad habits when you sit for hours, days, weeks without seeing anything like that. You start to lose hope. You stop caring about things like wind direction, getting out of bed at 4am, or being quiet and still.
Sometimes I wonder why I keep at it? Am I really enjoying it? More often than not it seems like the answer to that question is no. To make matters worse no one else understands my frustration. If I complain they don't want to hear it. I even get the impression from some people that they think I should just give up. Like they don't even want me to be part of this community. I feel extremely alone in that respect. And it is the most frustrating of all!
Truth is, and believe me when I say it, I can't not hunt. Seriously! If I could quit I would. It's been almost nothing but frustration for me for so long now I can barely remember the "good ole days" at all anymore. But I can't quit. I don't know any other way of life!
I am the wretched refuse. And I will die trying!!!