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What did you learn this hunting season?

GeoFish

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
2,529
Location
Kentucky
Every year I find myself learning something new or relearning something I forgot.
Post what you got!

For me my .75 is too small for me in conventional treestand mode. Time to grab the saddle.
 
It is possible to get shots at deer off the ground inside of 20 yards with a bow. I already knew this, but I am learning how to do this more efficiently. I don't need to climb a tree to be in the game (unless I want to).
 
It is possible to get shots at deer off the ground inside of 20 yards with a bow. I already knew this, but I am learning how to do this more efficiently. I don't need to climb a tree to be in the game (unless I want to).

I had a big buck within 15 yards last season walk right by me. I was watching a big rub and several scrapes on a logging trail leading up to it. All of a sudden I heard something and he was coming toward me I tried to just be really still and not look at him. So I was side eyeing him waiting for him to clear the thick stuff for a shot. He hit my trail in and stopped and looked dead at me but I was still and not looking his way I thought he was gonna run but he didn’t. So I thought just be still don’t make eye contact…after a minute I had to glance over he was gone I never heard a foot step in leaves…I headed out it was last light and he had hit every scrape on the trail on the way out ..that SOB just walked out I never heard him so I didn’t look over I thought he was still froze looking at me.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
I learned that most scent control products are non sense. Instead of spraying, using wafers, ozone, clothing brand or anything else I just hunted the wind this year. I killed 6 deer and a coyote with my bow. No shot I took was longer than 21 yards.
 
Sign isn’t the end all be all that it is hyped up to be. I hunted a spot that held five scrapes all within a 50 yard circle. I saw lots of deer and some legal bucks, no shooters. few days later I see a hot doe in an area I had wanted to check out during the rut. Hung in a tree right next to where she ran, which led to observing a funnel less than a hundred yards from where I was and I saw lots of bucks using it. Hung by funnel, killed nice buck. No sign in the area. No rubs, no scrapes. Lots of deer. It’s not always about the “hot sign”.
 
Maybe didn’t learn but got reminded:

Don’t pass on the first day what you’d be happy with on the last.
BUT/OR:
Once you punch that tag you’re done (one archery tag state).

Tighter to cover will stick with me for a long time though to stay on topic.
 
So I actually learned this a couple years ago but it’s been driven home hard this season. Every year I spend more time taking other people hunting that I actually take time to hunt for myself. I’m speaking of actually in the blind hunting time and not so much the time spent in preparation. I’ve taken five people this season and four of them were successful. We only have a 10 day gun season here and I wasn’t able to hunt but 1/2 a day on my own. Last season it was four people and this year it was five. I have a hard time saying no to people who ask, especially the kids and veterans. I do, more so this season, find myself wanting to be a little resentful of them because I’m yet to fill a tag. Don’t misunderstand, I wouldn’t trade that time with them for anything. My inner selfish nature wants to fill a tag for myself though. I absolutely love deer hunting and everything about it. I love the quiet, the smells, the cold, the rush of adrenaline, everything. I guess my desire to share that has eclipsed my desire to experience it for “me.” But the negative energy always creeps in on me.
 
Rifle Season: you’re hunting the moment you leave the parking lot.

Uncle stumbled on what he called the biggest buck he’s ever seen some 50 yards from the parking lot tending a doe in a dip in the field that you couldn’t see from the truck/road.

Caught him totally unprepared and he was never able to get a shot. Why would there ever be a deer there? Turns out that thinking can burn you on occasion.
 
I’m constantly reminded that to be effective you have to hunt where the deer are, not where you want them to be, or where they once were. Hunting in the “big woods” it’s so easy to get stymied by former hot spots or places where cameras got pics of big bucks. And on a related note:

I’m reminded that deer are constantly changing certain elements of their behavior. Todays hot feeding and Bedding area may not be tomorrows. Particularly as gun season storms the landscape, the deer respond so quickly to the influx of pressure.
 
1. I benefit from hunting 2 weeks of vacation days vs a patchwork of 20-30 after work/early or weekend hunts.
bonus if an out of state trip to up sightings and look forward to. I question everything when I am trying to find time with family and work
2. I see more deer from height, better line of sight and I have an upped chance of seeing deer before they see me. Love the ground but it’s more enjoyable with a punched tag.
3. I struggle to bounce back from misses or unrecovered deer. Releasing a shot is my final exam and mentally I failed .
4. cold weather system, need to get more efficient , climb /layer up/ set up time is bananas . Acceptable in preset , awful for hang and hunt.
5. I am fidgety early season , I practice from height but need to spend time being a statue.


since committing to the recurve during archery I have gotten compound close to some good bucks in two consecutive seasons. it’s been humbling and it is only a matter of time
but both seasons I haven’t adapted to rut/ cold weather / late seasons . rarely have I seen cruising/ chasing
my sightings decrease , not counting still hunting or kicking up deer during firearm.

the deer woods are random , more so on public and to paraphrase Kyle’r - I’m bad at math.
 
* It doesn't matter what you shoot first....buck or doe. Shoot the first sizable animal that you want and stick with that program. Waiting to shoot a doe, to keep a buck in the area is nutz!
* Get some small game kills with the bow I intend to use for hunting deer, as a confidence builder in the weapon.
* Marrying into a non-hunting family is just plain stupid! o_O
 
So I actually learned this a couple years ago but it’s been driven home hard this season. Every year I spend more time taking other people hunting that I actually take time to hunt for myself. I’m speaking of actually in the blind hunting time and not so much the time spent in preparation. I’ve taken five people this season and four of them were successful. We only have a 10 day gun season here and I wasn’t able to hunt but 1/2 a day on my own. Last season it was four people and this year it was five. I have a hard time saying no to people who ask, especially the kids and veterans. I do, more so this season, find myself wanting to be a little resentful of them because I’m yet to fill a tag. Don’t misunderstand, I wouldn’t trade that time with them for anything. My inner selfish nature wants to fill a tag for myself though. I absolutely love deer hunting and everything about it. I love the quiet, the smells, the cold, the rush of adrenaline, everything. I guess my desire to share that has eclipsed my desire to experience it for “me.” But the negative energy always creeps in on me.
Ckwilli
I couldn't agree with you more with the love of hunting and everything associated with it. I too put in time scouting, hunting and sharing my love of the outdoors with others in putting them in position to learn, succeed and enjoy the Great Outdoors!
I as you enjoy sharing those experiences with others. Never question what you are doing or that you may be missing out as you giving back the way you do is something that can never be equalled. Besides you are sharing and enjoying your love of the outdoors with others and growing the sport of hunting which is quite admirable.....
Keep up the Great work n Good Luck huntin'...
 
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