The big woods deer don't use trails? Am I reading that right?
I don't have experience hunting whitetail in big woods. My experience is in ag land with wooded lots and watercoarses. I can't image not hunting trails, funnels, or pockets. Hats off to you.
I do have experience with elk in big woods. If deer are anything like them, you will not get them accustomed to you. You will only diplace them.
My suggestion would be to do your homework early and work on enhancing natural funnels with felled trees and cleared brush. I do that all the time and it works like a charm. Some funnels are just too broad for a trad bow. Hang, or build a stand early. "Lay the trap then leave it be". Sneak in during the rut and don't do the same thing twice in a row.
Another problem IMO is: regardless of what we all think or say, there's probably no way to really know without trail cameras. How do quantify movement in relation to your own? There are just so many variables.
Posts: 459 | From: Manhattan Montana | Registered: Nov 2008
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My experience in hunting suburban deer is that in general they are way more tolerant of human scent then when they are big woods deer or when they are away from the houses. They even tolerated dogs to a degree. I have seen them stop and watch my neighbors get groceries from their cars and make several trips to their houses. The deer just held their place and continued about their feeding after the door to the house closed. The best thing about being busted in a suburban area is that there is so much human scent it doesn't necessarily mean that they won't be back. Run ins with humans in such situations is probably fairly common and while they may not tolerate someone getting "too close" it seems to me that they don't associate such situations as dangerous and usually don't travel too far.
-------------------- The best things in life....aren't things!
I work in the woods that I hunt. Often running a power saw and skidder for most of the day. A power saw is an attractant, they know some food is hitting the ground. In the winter they feed along side me when the saw is running, but heads pop up and they get pretty skittish when it's shut off.
I agree with the comments about the deer seemingly knowing what you're doing. We DO know how sharp they are. When we're hunting our body language SHOULD be giving us away. Bunch of sneaky snakes! The deer's age is involved also, with the older ones being harder to fool. The rut being the best leveler of the field we have. I don't believe their nose is ever fooled.
WHAT EACH OF US DOES IS OF ULTIMATE IMPORTANCE. Wendell Berry Posts: 1379 | From: Nova Scotia, Canada | Registered: Mar 2010
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Do it.... Where I used to live and hunt I would go in to my hunting woods and do some clearing year round. In the spring, summer and just before Fall bow season started I would leave a sticky/sweaty shirt hang on a tree limb over night in My area..
I still shot deer in that area every year I hunted it. The ones that get spooked from the smells are mostly the one in high pressured areas and the ones that don't see humans all year, til hunting season..
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I will have to go against the grain on this one. My family has eighty acres of mixed open and timbered ground. My dad can just about walk up to deer and steps off the tractor to shoot them every deer season at short range. Me, they run like jackrabbits as soon as they catch my scent.
I think context matters as much as scent, though. The deer are accustomed to dad riding around on that tractor. If he steps off and walks towards them, they get very spooky because that's predator behavior.
-------------------- "Teach him horsemanship and archery, and teach him to despise all lies" -Herodotus Posts: 3484 | From: Linn, MO | Registered: Oct 2004
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They'll be alerted to any "foreign" scent. Once they've indentified a smell as the human they saw or heard leaving it, it's locked into their brain. Now what that scent is associated with is a learned thing. Pops riding by on the tractor is associated as a non-threat, until he proves otherwise by approaching them or doing something out of the norm. The ones who survive, tend not to make that mistake again. I prefer to refer to older "smart" deer as experienced in their field. (pun intended) If you came home to find some stranger in your dining room, eating a juicy steak; even though you like the smell of steak, I don't think you'd be o.k. with that.
-------------------- Got wood? - Tom Posts: 4823 | From: Illinois | Registered: Mar 2003
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