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Worst year yet...30+ hunts and zero deer down

Newhunter1

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SH Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2018
Messages
1,632
After almost 20 years hunting, I finally struck out this year. Not one deer...zip, zilch, nada. I passed up several small ones (2 point and spikes), but literally no does made an appearance for me to shoot. Leased small timber ground...found out why it went up for lease. The neighbors to the north kept riding their dirtbikes on the edge of the property. I actually missed a deer with my shotgun this year...150 yards and swing and a miss. I had hunted opening day Friday and actually left my magazine on my tonneau cover...did not realize I lost it till the next morning. Frustrated all day. I'm going out Friday for one last hail marry hunt. Wish me luck...
 

NMSbowhunter

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2022
Messages
93
Good luck and keep after them. I have been having to remind myself of what Coathanger15 said about it all changing in an instant. This season has been a grind for me too. I passed several early season does since I had plenty of venison in the freezer from last season. I have several decent bucks on camera from different areas that I have been after but have not connected. That is fine as long as I feel like I am in the game. I do feel like I should have "broken the ice" with an early season doe to set the stage.

I can say that overall deer sightings while hunting have gone down dramatically this season. I can't put my finger on the reason. I won't hunt a spot if I don't have fresh sign to back up the reason to be there. One reason I can point to is it was very warm early season, and this carried over into December. I think it was 70 here Christmas Day. But, then again, warm weather is not unusual here. Another possible explanation is the mast crop. This seemed to be an off year for red oaks. Last season they were dropping heavy. This year we had some white oak acorns but in some of the spots where the trees provided a great crop last season this year's drop sat on the ground untouched. Upon investigation the acorns were full of worms. Maybe it was hunting pressure...but not the usual kind. This is my second season to hunt public land and permission only and I have to say that the hunting pressure seemed LESS this year than it did last year. Last year a lot of people were off work due to covid and were in the woods. This season it seems to be back to what I would call normal and other than a few predictable days around Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's there were not too many people out. Maybe with fewer people out the deer were not driven back to areas where they would concentrate and stayed more spread out. Who knows? I have until January 31st when the sun goes down to make something good happen.

Good luck.
 

Petrichor

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SH Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2021
Messages
690
Location
Spring Hill, TN
Wow. I’d like to say congrats on not striking out till now in 20 years. I’d kill to be able to get out thirty times in a year or have a 20 year streak. All about perspective. Good luck on your hunt.
 
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Robert loper

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2017
Messages
816
Location
DE
After almost 20 years hunting, I finally struck out this year. Not one deer...zip, zilch, nada. I passed up several small ones (2 point and spikes), but literally no does made an appearance for me to shoot. Leased small timber ground...found out why it went up for lease. The neighbors to the north kept riding their dirtbikes on the edge of the property. I actually missed a deer with my shotgun this year...150 yards and swing and a miss. I had hunted opening day Friday and actually left my magazine on my tonneau cover...did not realize I lost it till the next morning. Frustrated all day. I'm going out Friday for one last hail marry hunt. Wish me luck...
30 plus hunts lmao rookie. Lol. Jk man. Couldnt resist.
 

Newhunter1

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Joined
Dec 20, 2018
Messages
1,632
30 plus hunts lmao rookie. Lol. Jk man. Couldnt resist.
I actually felt like a rookie this year. Forgot my magazine for my shotgun on top of my truck...was one...other things this year that I did not think of or just made stupid mistakes.

I'm quite conservative in my estimates. Did you see the "plus" in my description? More than likely 100 days of hunting....just don't my wife to know I spent that many days hunting. It's hard enough when she shows me the gas being spent going up to almost a truck payment. Shhhhh
;)
 
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Newhunter1

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Joined
Dec 20, 2018
Messages
1,632
Wow. I’d like to say congrats on not striking out till now in 20 years. I’d kill to be able to get out thirty times in a year or have a 20 year streak. All about perspective. Good luck on your hunt.
True...perspectives. I was however able to butcher three goats and four hogs so I have some meat in the freezer. Kept one of the hogs since it was my friend who I helped. Funny thing...someone dumped 7 hogs that each weighed over 250 lbs at my buddies property. I chose the smallest hogs and there was literally minimal fat on it. I guess some farmer decided to release the hogs due to not wanting to feed them and not having access to a processor. I digress...I should look at it that way. However, I take great pride in my ability to provide meat (hunting) for my family.
 

thedutchtouch

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SH Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
749
Location
Maryland
Sorry to hear, I'm a new hunter with one doe and almost two seasons under my belt, so can't speak to if this is accurate but I keep seeing people talking about how deer numbers/sightings are down this year compared to years past. We'll have to wait for some harvest data to see if this anecdotal evidence is true, but perhaps you're not alone?

I also just read a story about a guy shooting a buck within literally the last minutes of the last day of his season a week or so ago, so things can turn around at any time!

Hope your luck turns around, if not in the closing days of this season, you're due some good luck for next one.
 

Newhunter1

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SH Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2018
Messages
1,632
Well I tried again...and I'm done. Literally....you can't make this crap up. So my wife worked and I had to get my boys up for school...and speaking of school I had to go to my building to get an important item from my classroom...so I was late to the stand. No problem...right? Get to my tree and luckily I had set up a tree stand for a late season hunt. I got in my stand..I still use my saddle and move around the tree if needed. Put my gear strap from Latitude outdoors and my bow hanger from Genesis 3D printing. About two-three hours later I move my backpack to get something from in the pack and hear a thud. Anyone want to guess what fell to the ground? If you guessed my matthews bow then you'd be right. I was so dejected that I threw my pack to the ground and took all my stuff down...got down and found three of my nocks were snapped off, and my bottom cam was bent.

So no deer for me this year. Next year...If it's brown it's down.
 

Topdog

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Joined
Jun 5, 2020
Messages
1,295
Rest up, move on, take the off season to learn from this season and adjust accordingly, I know you have hunted a long time, so have I, these years still happen, flatten the first legal meat deer you see next year, something about watching one pile up gets the groove back lol, some years nothing goes right, been there done that!
 

DroptineKrazy

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Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Messages
1,524
Location
Brunswick, Maine
Put it behind you and move on. I had a decent year this year by taking three deer, 2 does and a button buck but I didn't get either of my 2 target bucks. The last 2 seasons were a complete bust for me as I had a pinched nerve in my neck not just once but both years (What are the odds of that?) and couldn't even hunt. Bout killed me sitting around doing nothing all hunting season for 2 years. I've been bow hunting for 44 years now and only had a couple of seasons where I didn't score. Sh*t happens and there's nothing you can do about it so don't let it get you down. There is another thread on here about a member that had his best year ever by taking 2 beautiful bucks (Congrats @Mitchellfarmer1982 ) so that could be you next year.
 

NMSbowhunter

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2022
Messages
93
That is a tough way to end a frustrating season. Thankfully it wasn't you that hit the ground. That is one thing to be positive about. Bows can be fixed and October will be here before we know it. Take a break for a while. Put this season in the rear-view mirror and relax.

You have been hunting for years and know what you are doing. The game hasn't changed. Maybe, after you have some time to rest, seek out a new place to hunt. From your first post it sounds like you have not had this lease for long. Maybe it is time to move on to better ground.
 

Mitchellfarmer1982

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Joined
Dec 31, 2018
Messages
203
Since I was mentioned I'll chime in lol. I am riding an all time high with hunting right now. I have had an incredible year and had a great year last year. I also know I can't have this kind of year every year. I hunt 100% public I know things will change and I'll have some bad years to come. Those years enjoy the chase and learn what you can from it.
 

Newhunter1

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Dec 20, 2018
Messages
1,632
Soooo …yesterday I went out to where I dropped my bow to grab my stand, sticks and camera. The landowner was cutting down and burning brush. I stop and talk to him for about 5 minutes. Walk up the trail and as I crest the hill the wind hits me in the face. I stop and smell deer…close! I look around and think… “naw, that’s just your imagination.” Walk another ten yard and not 15 yards from where I dropped my bow and my tree stand are not one but THREE huge does. They flip me their flags and take off. Get my stand down and go over to my camera… here’s what I found.


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Look between the gloves.
 

JDHoosier

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2020
Messages
48
Location
Central Indiana
Soooo …yesterday I went out to where I dropped my bow to grab my stand, sticks and camera. The landowner was cutting down and burning brush. I stop and talk to him for about 5 minutes. Walk up the trail and as I crest the hill the wind hits me in the face. I stop and smell deer…close! I look around and think… “naw, that’s just your imagination.” Walk another ten yard and not 15 yards from where I dropped my bow and my tree stand are not one but THREE huge does. They flip me their flags and take off. Get my stand down and go over to my camera… here’s what I found.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Look between the gloves.
When I first read this thread I was thinking we all have bad luck now and then and off years. But after seeing that pic I gotta admit that just plain sucks.
 

tarafrost

Active Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2021
Messages
187
Location
Ontario, Canada
If it makes you feel better, I never connected on a deer this season either. But all my hunting was ground level, since I've only just gotten my saddle hunting kit together. I hunted more than in prior years, but not as much as I would like to, so I'm looking forward to more hunting and using a saddle in 2022. Gonna be a loooooong wait till the Fall season though. In the meantime, lots of practicing to get proficient with saddles, climbing, rope work, safety, etc, along with topo-based scounting some new nearby areas that look really promising.

We did get a nice calf during the moose hunt so not like I was totally skunked.
 

ofor

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SH Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2019
Messages
852
Soooo …yesterday I went out to where I dropped my bow to grab my stand, sticks and camera. The landowner was cutting down and burning brush. I stop and talk to him for about 5 minutes. Walk up the trail and as I crest the hill the wind hits me in the face. I stop and smell deer…close! I look around and think… “naw, that’s just your imagination.” Walk another ten yard and not 15 yards from where I dropped my bow and my tree stand are not one but THREE huge does. They flip me their flags and take off. Get my stand down and go over to my camera… here’s what I found.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Look between the gloves.
That’s a real kick in the boys
 
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