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Great survival rate / pumpkin season
On the 15th I hung three cameras to see what was “still around”. Six bucks in five days so all is well and looking good for next season. I was really surprised as only one had a busted up rack. I tape over the low glow flash so I can only see daylight pics. Of the six bucks all but one looked to be 3 1/2 yrs old with the other estimated at 4 1/2. Tons of after dark triggers so I’m fairly confident there are some older class bucks in the survivor pool. Time to get a few does removed and then start in on this years habitat improvements.
10 months until the pre-rut....
Curious as to why you tape over the low glow flash?
I have 1 Browning that has inferred / no glow flash that very rarely do I have deer look at when set at 5 second delay. The other five are Tasco low glow which the lowest delay is 3 second delay. More times than not deer will look directly into them when triggered at night. During the day, deer do not tend to look into either. I didn’t get it done this year but plan to move all my cameras up to a height of 10’ to see what happens. I’m sure a number of people will say deer don’t see red, based on my experience, they do notice something when these cameras flash. My preference is to minimize anything that appears noticeable . Besides, you can’t hunt night movement anyways...
Couple of those are the same buck.
Yes, I believe the second and the last. Not sure if it’s the same one in the 3rd pic or not. 3rd one appears to have more mass but it can be deceiving... The other pics don’t show up when I take a photo of the card reader with my IPad. Just not enough clarity/light in the viewer. I’ll have some quality trail cameras one day but I have stands to upgrade first. Getting to where a little bigger stands (use a number of the small hunter view hang ons now) are a necessity. Did concrete work to make a living for 9 years, my back doesn’t fair well after a few hours in a low end stand! Oh to be 30 again!!! I’ll be 49 come February.
2nd, 3rd, and 5th are same buck, he'll be cool next year!
He should be a pretty good one. Definitely looking forward to looking for sheds come late February!!
Sandman......buy yourself some Millenium M-150 stands. So comfy, I sit in mine all day from sunup to sundown no problem. Kind of pricey but well worth it and easy to hang. You’re back will thank you.
Do squirrels chew on those seats?
Nope. Nothing has chewed on any of the millenniums seats that I have. They have been out for 3 straight years now. Holding up great to sun and weather too but I also keep the seat in the folded up position when I climb down each time. I do take the top and btm. straps off at the end of the season each year and tie them in place with rope. That way if the tree grows a bunch over summer it doesn’t break or grow into the straps.
My #1 and #2 have made it and about 6 others. However i still have a buddy coming around Christmas who is not a horn hunter and never got a chance during rifle season. Does are off limits but anything else is fairgame.
Thankfully, all of the mature bucks I’ve been watching survived the rifle season.
I pulled 10 cards in the last week...zero mature bucks
Thats about how it was for me all season Kyle.
If I can get a doe with the recurve I’m going to remove the tape from the flash on the cameras. Really curious to see what’s moving after dark. Looks like I’ll be pulling the rifle out in January to increase the efficiency of so doe thinning. I really would like to see anywhere from 4 to 6 taken off. The guy that rifle hunts took 3. I’m not near as worried about the deer being extra cautious with the range a rifle provides...
Winter herd of 33 deer. They will disperse soon when the corn is gone.
Winter herd of 33 deer. They will disperse soon when the corn is gone.
I've hunted more this season and learned more than I have in several years. Part of this is due to me participating in the rifle season through it's entirety in mostly an observation mode. I hunted quite a bit on public in the first few days and the last. I also watched bucks on my properties and had close to 40 different deer visit in 3 days post rifle season. I discovered the bucks would visit and disappear and new ones would arrive. Almost all were bucks I passed during bow season. I also found them chasing does as recently as 2 evenings ago. The bigger bucks are in bachelor groups again and are very unpredictable, moving long distances to get food. The younger bucks I've seen are traveling with big herds of does. I saw over a dozen bucks on public, and none were shot by the hunters I spoke to hunting the area. I watched the same guy miss bucks on two different evenings with a rifle. All bucks save one seen on public were 3 years old or less and most were 8 points or less. Also, the Kansas Deer Tracking page has had a 90% decrease in requests for trackers since rifle season. Several of the requests were due to poor muzzleloader shots. Hopefully, chances are, your bucks are simply somewhere else and you may very well see them again
Sounds crazy I know, but I think mature deer in general avoid cameras to some extent. I still have 8 cams running, and have captured zero mature bucks since the end of rifle, but saw two on the hoof when up at the farm last weekend.
Not Crazy Frank. Thats why I spend so much time scouting. The big ones I see, I never get on camera.
No, it is in fact crazy. Mature deer, or any deer for that matter, don't have some secret special radar that tells them where trail cameras are...surely you realize how silly that sounds right? Now the cameras may not be in areas they frequent, or trails, or crop fields, or scrapes...but they can not detect trail cameras sorry.
I agree with Kyle, big deer don't walk the same trails that does and smaller bucks do. They stick to the cover! If you want to get pictures of them you have to put your camera on a community scrape. It will more than likely be night time pictures , but that's the best chance. About the only time I have had a mature buck on camera on the trail, he is chasing a doe.
I’m not the debating type (at least I try). I have mixed feelings about deer not noticing a camera. Physically (seeing it) I think depends on how it’s placed. Flash, I think white light & low glow they do. Inferred/no glow I haven’t seen any reaction. Poor scent control, they smell your scent on a poor placed camera and I feel they will get nervous by simply seeing another one. Of course, these are all debatable. That’s the great part about being a hunter and not a shooter of game. Each of us have to observe, process, and plan to put things in our favor. There are reasons why the market will be flooded with used archery equipment shortly. Those folks that find it is nothing like the hunting shows they watch, they are unable/unwilling to do one, two, or all three. I’ve been archery hunting for 34 seasons. Every time I’m in one of my stands I pass the time looking around making decisions and plans of what I will be doing around that spot to create a higher percentage odd of influencing a mature buck to step inside a 4’ circle. It’s not uncommon for me to move a stand 2’ higher/lower, to a tree 6’ or 60’ one way or another, and the manipulation of the habitat....too many things to even list. It took a lot of years for me to realize and take advantage of the year round joy and challenge this lifestyle has to offer. I think back on all the missed opportunities and potential great deer I would have had a chance at over the years, not with regrets, but thankful that I’ve had the capacity and willingness to change in a way that builds confidence, success, and provides purpose and joy to my life. Little deep? You bet! I have two parts to my life, one in nature, one in society. Applying what I learn in either one to the other...wouldn’t change it for anything!!! I’m finding my way, my way to DREAM BIG, AIM SMALL, MISS SMALL.
That’s all I got to say ‘bout that!
I don't hunt much cover Cracken, and I found dozens of bucks this year. Kyle- the bucks I hunt often have a way of patterning the hunter. Probably why I dont get too many on camera in the open country I hunt.
Not a huge buck, but smart nonetheless. I watched him skirt a timbered piece of public. He stayed up high in the grass, away from hunters, and entered private land a mile away.
I posted plenty of big bucks before rifle, haven’t changed the camera locations.
I think mature bucks do avoid areas that they have encountered human scent before. I check the cameras and leave scent. Like I said I saw them live but no pictures while getting plenty of others. It may just be me though.
That's part of them patterning us. I had a pair of 160" class bucks bedding regularly on my back 20 acres of tall bluestem about 5 years ago. I moved cameras trying to get them and they kept changing their travel routes. Only saw them in person a couple times until the neighbor crippled one during archery and we never saw him again. The other I found dead behind my new pond the following year. A few years later, two bucks showed up in summer that would score in the 170"s. Rather than make the same mistakes again, I never tried putting out a camera and watched them though the spotting scope from the road. Same thing happened again though. A different neighbor from Arkansas let his young boy take a poke at the biggest with a crossbow. He crippled it, and nobody ever saw the pair again.
Speaking of pumpkins, this one couldn't hit anything. Opening evening he missed a buck that chased a doe up to him at about 100 yards. The third evening, a herd of 4 young bucks and a doe came out of a ravine in front of him and mill around when the saw him. He shot and missed after they took off running.
Hey! That's me dang it! I gave it my best shot.
Of course they avoid human scent, and activity, and yes they can learn where those things occur. They cannot, however, tell where a trail camera is or sense a camera by itself...that's just silly.
What is the ultimate predator? A human right? Do you think humans can sense trail cameras or have some "special sense"? We see trespasser's caught on camera all the time, I caught one last week and have many many pics of folks that had no idea a camera was capturing them.
Maybe those bucks recognized you were thinking about placing a camera in their area because they're also clairvoyant, and never waive at a deer because they can read palms too ;?)
Hold on a minute, I have to look up "clairvoyant"... Yes SITO I am certain they are. They see the chevy drive up, and they're like "holy crap, I bet this redneck Is try'in to kill us again. We'll just sit here in the timber and watch what he does...
That being said, I left my hill in a hurry the other night, racing around the section to try and get a photo of my new neighbor doing some spectacular, low level turn approaches on his new runway on the 86 foot hill behind my place. I had ran from my stand to my truck in full view of the corn field. By the time I got in position for some photos, his Piper Cub was already headed back to Benton. 5 minutes lapsed and I drove back by the corn field to find 18 deer feeding where there were none before. More times than I can count, they 'stage' in the woods for up to 30 minutes to decide where they will enter the field. I've seen them watch me and turn and sometimes completely circle the property only to appear on the neighbor. I knew an outfitter once who routinely shot 180" + bucks every year - over feeders of course, but he said you have to place the camera a certain way or the really big ones will start to avoid it. I think he mentioned placing the camera high, out of the line of sight.
Got this one that showed up. He was close enough to the camera with the tape over the flash to still have enough light. All though he resembles the first deer pictured above it is not the same deer. More points/bigger frame...I have the tape off of all my cameras now, should be some good ones on the next round if I’m correct in my thinking.
Watched this young buck chase this doe across a ridge top this morning. He had his head down and mouth open most of the time until she turned to face him.
Thornton, do you have a high doe to buck ratio?
A lot of places I hunt seem to be 1:1. Lots of young bucks though, and mostly 8 pointers.
To grow a garden, you have to have seed:)
Working on the habitat improvements. Carrying capacity and sex ratio. Too many deer = little late season browse. Four more to go, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of deer fill the “empty slots” come next fall.
Well, looks like the boys are hanging out together again. The older class bucks I’m sure are back in their core areas scratching out a living. Don’t seem to be missing any of the “regulars” so I’m confident the very few pumpkin heads didn’t do any detriment to next year’s potential. All the pics were taken in the last week over the community scrape (mock) that was “installed the end of August. Kinda need to see a little sparing yet.
Had a bunch of dinks and does on camera as well. 3 does taken off the area with 2 more tags left. Planning on taking one more with the rifle then the rest of January will be time spent with the recurve in an attempt to get for first traditional deer.
2020 hunting season...it was a heck of a ride! Pre rut will be kicking off in another 10 1/2 months, time to start prepping!!!
Like your thinking Kyle. Will be out in April to check my cameras.
The bucks are recovering from the rut and stress of the season. Looking healthier than they were a few weeks back. Lots of activity all through the night. Lots of waste beans on the ground and the farmer will not be disking the main feed field under for some time. If he works them before green up I’ll supply a good quality bean/corn feed mix to make sure they are sustained and not surviving. Plenty of dawn/dusk doe movement, the herd management continues.
Sandman....great pics. but wondering why the deer need to be fed in order to sustain them if areas around you are tilled up before spring green up? They are wild critters and been sustaining themselves for eons. Even if fields around you are tilled before spring green up they will migrate to another food source nearby. The strong shall survive, right?
I believe making sure that they have built up body mass prior to spring green up assures that they aren’t lacking at the onset of antler growth. Are antlers everything? No. Do I want the bucks to reach their highest potential? Absolutely. If a buck is not lacking in anything during the “lean times”, I feel they are weeks ahead physically of other deer. I had bucks last March that still had full racks. I believe “holding racks” longer into the spring is a sign of good nutrition and lower recovery stress. Not to mention, if they are staying in the area I have a better chance of finder their sheds.. this is all personal precipitation. I’m happy to see the way things have improved that last few years. Is it something I’m doing? I would like to think so...
When the winds wrong for any stand you have but the does are feeding in the beans...
Gotta make it work....
If I can get 1 more doe off things will be where I’d like to see them going into the spring...
How many acres you trying to manage?
Pretty cool set up, you're a sniper!
Man Sand Man I thought I cared for the deer herd but you’re 24/7 365...I like it. You put a lot into it.
I have access to around 340 acres. I hunt around 40 acres of that. I don’t worry to much about managing all that ground, I try to create selected areas for different doe family groups to take up ownership without feeling social stress within the property boundaries. I work hard to provide exit and entrance routes for these areas. I then further influence the line of DAYLIGHT MOVEMENT between these areas by providing adequate browse and side screening/cover. Stands that I can enter and exit where I’m looking into, but just off the transition areas... IMO it should be more the norm than the exception to be able to see 2, 3, or 4 stands within bow range once up and settled. There is a difference between playing the wind and playing JUST OFF the wind. Nothing better than putting a deer you’re after into a 4’ circle. IMO, few stands should stand alone...observation stands. Not having any is a significant loss of opportunity to gain knowledge of what is REALLY going on.
Keep up the doe management sandman... most around here don’t seem to want to put in the “work”.
Will do. And it’s been really nice to not have to buy meat since the 11 lb Thanksgiving turkey...
Last week S of Augusta outside my friend’s window
Don't see any horns...must be Lebonese?
I thought it was a dromedary at first glance!! ;-)
Shed buck breeding a doe?
?? already shedding their full racks... I’ve been pulling cards ever few days and have yet to see any that have lost a side, yet alone a full set. Still getting most the boys on the regular. I guess different deer, different circumstances. I’d be nervous to shoot does on the property I hunt if I started seeing them drop. Right now the only thing dropping in this area is the over abundant doe population... and the grocery bill.
I’ve got 4 bucks on camera that have lost both sides. One of them had lost in December
Are you still hunting does?
Yes... I’ve got some good glass, take my time and won’t shoot beyond 100 yards or when it’s close to dark. Only got one more to kill and my tags are filled.
Nice. Couldn’t agree more, a person sure doesn’t want to rush anything during the late extended season. Processing... it’s great when , you can hang a couple and don’t have to scramble like you do when the temps are up. You seem like one of us that process our own.
Sand man... somewhat. I’ve completely processed one full deer in my life. I’ve partially processed a few and quartered several. I realized after the one I fully processed I was not set up correctly to do that. Hopefully that’ll change this year... walk-in cooler, completed at the end of 2020 summer, was my first major step. We are going to start raising hogs, for butcher and for 4H... the walk-in was built with that in mind. We garden also and the cooler will help with some of our produce as well.
I just don’t have time, depending on the weather, to get it done in a timely fashion. During Fall harvest 16-18 hour days are normal. I will be able to extend the processing over time thanks to the walk-in. I also like to get the family involved... the one I completely processed my 6 and 3 year old (at the time) were helping... had a lot of fun.
Sandman....do you happen to take advantage of the Oct. pre-rut antler-less season too for your doe management strategy? Just don’t recall you posting on Bowsite back then making it known like now?
I wish they'd get rid of late doe season. They're all pregnant and too many bucks get shot.
I do not hunt during the early pre rut (firearms). I’m usually sitting somewhere watching. If the weather and wind is favorable, I’ll sit in an observation stand. If it’s not, I have two spots I can sit and observe where the does are feeding in preparation for my 2 weeks of vacation starting early November. I also do some midday camera monitoring. The only time I will get serious about a sit before October 31st is if a good cold front pushes through. And that’s only if I’m sure I can do so based on camera and scouting results lean towards seeing a mature buck during shooting light. I also feel like I have more of a game plan as to how many does to take off and what age class to pull from based on what is there after rifle season. Sometimes taking nothing is my plan, hate to shoot them only to find out there are others missing later...not saying any of this is the correct way to do things, just what I feel has been working.
To a degree, I agree with you Jason.
Deer populations are too high in this area. Late does season isn’t going to help either... seems that very few actively participate.
KDWPT, There’s a better way... find it!
Cookie cutter management should not be our path.
I might take my neighbor out this week to look for one. He has a family that enjoys the game I give them. It will be his first deer and he'll have to shoot the one I point out- a young doe with no fawns. The big old does still have last years fawns tagging along and they're more likely to have twins or triplets.
Pulled cards yesterday. All bucks still have full racks here. There are two that have recently broken tines. Watching closely.....
Well, very disappointed. Shot a doe at 5:30pm last night that I was unable to recover. 1st deer I’ve ever lost while shooting a rifle. She was quartered away and I could tell the off shoulder was blown out by the way she responded. Good blood trail that was followed 35mins later. Reached a thicket and could hear her expiring. Backed out and went and got the frame pack. She was about 100 yards down through a deep ravine. Figured I’d quarter her and pull the back straps. No way would I be able to drag her out. Returned 30 mins later. Upon return she had gotten up and must have clotted the exit / entrance wounds. Looked diligently, no dice. Makes me absolutely sick to loose one. I’ve had some great highs this year and hate to end the season this way! 1 week of archery season (doe) left, don’t even know if I’ll get out. Needed to thin the does, but not like this!!!
Don’t beat yourself up too much about it Kyle. You’re an ethical hunter, and did the best you could to put her down quickly and humanely. Sometimes these things happen, even to the best. I pray that she passed swiftly, and that she feeds lots of hungry critters.
Ouch...Kyle I know exactly how you’re feeling and yes it doesn’t tickle. But you got to remember you especially do so much for the deer herd to let this one doe bother you too much. Get on back there and let nature heal you back.