Contributors to this thread:
Deer gone for the year
Does anyone else's deer disappear during rifle season? I own a half mile of creek, did timber stand improvement to create a bedding area which the deer use a lot. I see deer regularly on the property up until the second weekend of rifle season. By that time, rifle hunters have snuck through there at least once and the deer disappear until spring. Does anyone else have this problem...or am I just ...lucky? I assume they go wherever they go to yard up.
I’d probably try and put a stop to anyone sneaking onto your property...
Sounds like you put a lot of work into creating a sanctuary for those deer. Can’t be a Sanctuary if it’s walked through in the middle of rifle season.
Put up some cameras, catch them in there and call your local warden with the pics, just remember, wardens are swamped during the season so I know mine is tough to reach but they will get back to you, I had luck sending a pic of poacher to game warden face book and they posted it and caught them
One Arrow...I agree. This is a work in progress. My focus has changed over the years. I don't hunt as hard as I used to but spend more of my efforts on habitat improvement. I have a number of game cams set up and will likely have something besides deer and squirrels on the cards next week. I think the deer may always leave but would like to keep them around through December to get in some late season hunts.
Half a mile of creek isn't much. That's about what I own and my deer disappear all the time regardless of seasons. I'm not sure what your rifle pressure is like, but bowhunters and the end of the rut seems to send the deer elsewhere as well. If the locals know you don't live nearby, they probably are pushing it. They could do it in ten minutes and be gone. Wardens aren't reliable as they are spread thin. I called them a few times last year and nothing was done and I even had pics. Sometimes a local deputy can be more of a help. I called in a roadhunter in Greenwood Co. a few years ago and a deputy was there in less than ten minutes. I called in illegal shooters trespassing on private ground last year and a warden never showed or called but two deputies did. Deer have different grounds they prefer in different seasons. Right now, the bucks have ran all my does off but a few young ones come through everyday checking their old familiar spots still looking for does.
Like you, I enjoy the habitat work more. Gives me more time in the outdoors and it’s nice to be able to look back at what you’ve done and see the changes.
Ditto on the habitat work. Seems like I spend a lot of my tree stand time thinking about the next improvement.
Seeing more bucks the past week than at any time during season so far. I planted winter wheat and radishes in my plot in early September, the does are going crazy over the radishes. See 7 or 8 does every evening there and who knows what shows after dark. Have pictures of at least 9 different bucks cruising the area, just waiting. Taken two cull bucks so far, (by different hunters, just to make it clear so no one gets their panties in a twist) with plans for another or two.
Habitat work with the goal of deer movement predictability would be my goal. Has anyone, in the history of deer hunting, ever achieved that goal?
I hope you are tagging those "cull bucks". Leave a buck alone long enough in KS, and they will get big and heavy or grow extra points.
Jason: I can GUARANTEE you he is tagging these deer, stupid question.
It might not necessarily be just rifle hunters pushing them out. Crops being harvested, creeks drying up, and trees losing leaves can be a part of it, too.
I would do some post season scouting in the area to see where the deer are going and try to figure out why. Then, replicate some of that habitat if possible.
That being said. If I didn't want someone doing a quick drive, sunday midday I would be on site.
Thorton, what makes you think that every buck in kansas is going to get "heavy or have extra points" with age? I've got a 7 1/2 year old 7 pointer that scores 122" that might not support that theory. He was a typical 6 pointer the 4 years before that. The deer was so small that nobody would wrap their tag around him after he hit 5 1/2.... I also killed another clean 7 pointer last year that was 5 1/2 years old. Might score 125"...
I try to be on site as much as possible during rifle season but can't be there all the time. I did double up on cameras this year and expect to have some two leggedcritters on them. On the cull bucks- had a young one last year that had a swinging front leg and one antler went up and the other down. Anyway "Lucky" was that way all summer. I would see him in the fall about every day, crossing the creek, trashing little trees with his little antlers. Kind of enjoyed watching him. Had a great attitude for one bad leg- didn't seem to bother him much. I found him a few days after rifle season. Someone shot him well onto my property...probably thought they were doing him a favor. Didn't even tag him and left him lay. Still ticks me of when I think about it.
I've lived here long enough to know what you say can be true as often as it's not. Until you show actual aging documentation rather than guessing, I'd still say he would have gotten character in another year or two. Orlando, I too have a small buck and a doe with bum legs that visit my farm. As long as they can get around to feed, I will enjoy watching them thrive.
Jason, the cull I tagged was a 185# hanging on rail, "for those that don't know what that means, skinned, gutted and ready to cut up" 2 X 3 probably 4 year old.
I would invite you down, but pretty sure I'm doing everything wrong, according to some.
Thorton, I do not have aging documents for the 7 pointer.... I can also show you a buck I killed in 2014 that was 8 1/2 years old and had lost a considerable amount of mass and gross inches over the past 2 years. No aging document for that buck either but I do have 3 years worth of sheds and 5 years worth of trail camera photos. Fact is, they are all different and there is no "kansas norm"