Contributors to this thread:
A small group of us have been hunting "Spav" for a good many years with good to great success. Starting last year and continuing deeply into this year, a pattern has been noticed, fewer and fewer encounters. In recent years hogs moved in and a concerted effort to eliminate them was put into action. Along with a deer we now could sharpen our shooting skills on hogs. Hardly a hunt would pass without at least hearing those noisy pests. Starting this year not a hint (visually or audibly) of a hog and worse yet very few deer, in my case not a single sighting. The manager has stated the hogs have been dealt with, which begs the question "How" and maybe he should be selling that technique used to accomplish that feat. That doesn't explain the deer low deer density issues, unless there has been a cross species effect which is why we as a group aren't seeing much action, I rather doubt that's the problem. He tells us that the spring and summer surveys should normal numbers. Whatever the case might be my group of 5 accomplished hunters have but a handful of deer encounters and -0- bucks sighted, and on numerous sits. Food for thought. There are rumblings of moving on, which might mean splitting up, not a pleasant notion. Fire away.
Well I will say this, if the hogs are sticking around it means you aren't seeing much pressure! Hogs don't stick around for pressure.
I have also noticed with relative dependability that if I see hogs during a sit I won't see much if any deer movement. If I'm seeing hogs in the area I moved to another stand. Also, I think that the hog plague is common to every bow only area that I have hunted so far including spavinaw, Cookson, Cherokee, and Osage. I think it's just something we are going to have to deal with on public.
Also, keep in mind that mast was incredible this year so the deer aren't going to be moving quite as much. I saw this pattern to with fewer encounters overall on public land. Private land of course was typical because human encroachment tends to pattern the animals.
Best of luck! Oklahoma public land is tough hunting so if you guys are having any luck at all or have in the past you are doing better than 90%
I know that in at least one WMA I hunt a serious hog trapping effort is in place during the summer months. The last I talked to the biologist for the area he said over a hundred had been trapped. Good ridence I say
I agree Mike, However that's the point, neither hogs nor deer are being seen. I've seen few if any signs of hogs rooting, with a limited amount of deer sign. yes I agree the last two seasons produced a bumper crop of mast for the deer and hogs to forage on, which restricts movement. Another small indicator something has changed is the lack of hunting pressure. The camp grounds has always held a good number of season long residents that hunt daily. This season there may be just a couple at best. I was told Octobers opening week the place wall to wall campers and tents, only to thin out with a handful of regulars over the next 3 weeks till muzzleloader opener. What do they know, suspect or have experienced that has soured so many? In years past inside the gate would get plenty of use once the rifle season close, and archery picked back up. This late season albeit still early, it is as though we have it ourselves, save just a few. Half of my group are retired, we hunt exclusively mid week , seldom on the weekends. Those that do hunt the weekends hardly complain about being crowded. Personally on the 8 or 10 sits that I have had, I've seen 0 deer, actually I've seen more coyotes. At the same token my partner has only see 6, all does, and 3 coyotes. I know its totally anecdotal evidence, after all its only 5 hunters in 9000 acres, but something isn't added up and we are at a lose as to what that might be..... Just curious!!! Happy Hunting
That does sounds very interesting? Not Fun to hear about. The crossbow crowd is making a difference to public land. My favorite NE Oklahoma haunt was really really crowded opening weekend...I've seen it busy but never as bad as this year. The crossbow guys haven't learned how to hunt yet though which is a good thing for now
I remembered that one of my buddies hunts up there a lot (he initially got me interested) and shot a nice one I and he hunted with 2 buddies who hunt it every year. 2 of the 3 shot P&Y bucks. They have hunted it for years though I am not very familiar with it but will be hunting it later this year if I have a chance
My buddy and I hunted there again yesterday, a combined 12 hours on stand. One mangy coyote for our efforts. Although we did see a lone doe before daylight on the drive in. We moved to another area we know for the afternoon set and did find some rubs and that coyote. I was informed yesterday by one of our buddies that knows the place the best of us all, that he is finished with Spavinaw Hills for the time being until things change. He has had it. I've reached a point in my life where the company is just as important as the hunt itself. I chose hunting there to be with friends, now that's in jeopardy.
Well there are other spots, i hope you can find them. I had to pull out of my favorite place the Osage western wall unit this year because of crowds. Busted balls hunting it last year as a last ditch effort and just had to give up this year. I still visit for nostalgia (I hunted it with family) and bird hunting. Been hunting around Kaw lake with good success in areas that are tucked away. I've also been checking out deep fork and getting some good Intel for next year though you might check it out.