Anyone getting any good trail cam pics yet? - Page 2 - Chicago Illinois Fishing Forum, Information & Reports
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I agree with you about your greatest chance patterning a buck and killing it comes on the first sit. I guess I should have stated, I only have public land to hunt. My stand sites are not permanent. And it doesn't matter if I don't go there, other people will. If I had some private property maybe I would use similar tactics, but I don't. My only chance for a big buck is to stay on the doe and wait for a chasing buck come November. That being said, I am not a trophy hunter. I hunt for meat and a love of the outdoors. Something I think more people need to get back in touch with, instead of being obsessed with how many inches of antlers a buck has, or who can kill the biggest buck. Don't get me wrong I'd like to have a nice one on the wall, but not for status, I just think it would look cool in my home. And I'm not beating anything to death, I go to different spots nearly every single time I hunt. I suppose checking cameras leaves no scent anywhere? You can send me pics of the big bucks you kill this year and I'll send you stories of the hundreds of hours I've logged doing what I love, hunting and enjoying the outdoors. BTW-Friday October 18th I saw the biggest buck of my life from the stand, entering the field half hour before dark. I guess we can at least agree to disagree in our approaches, best of luck to you this year. I did have plans of targeting mature bucks this year for a wall hanger but those were thrown out the window when i lost my private ground. Maybe in the future my approach will change but for now I'm content spending time out there and just watching some deer. Can always get lucky during the chase phase I suppose
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Here's a nice trail cam pic from last year... I sat on the little road where this camera was (2nd pic) about 1/2 of the time I was out and never once saw this guy. I wonder where some of these deer go... you catch them on camera once or twice early on and then they just become ghosts. I'm sure some of them are harvested by other hunters, but it can't be all of them. One thing I would like to do this season is actually pick out a buck we have on camera, pattern him, and harvest him. I never done that successfully. For as much as I've read about stand placement, I think I'm still doing it wrong. I look for the areas with the most signs... well worn trail, scrapes/rubs, and poop piles, and setup. I've had some luck hunting near scrapes, but I've never really been able to pick out a buck and then take him. Of course, in 15 years of hunting, I've only taken one mature buck, and he was more of a "management" buck...



And here's last year's dream.....

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Old 10-26-2013, 03:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Those are usually the bucks just passing thru, that prolly live somewhere else most of the time. Also during the rut are easier to kill on your property since they are not familiar with it if you can catch em passing thru then. The bucks my brother and I killed last year were never caught on our cams, but the neighbors had 100's of pix. Nearly the flip side for the neighbor, they killed the buck we were targeting, and had his sheds but no pix. Crazy how it works out some times. Nice bucks you have there.
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Old 10-26-2013, 04:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by huntnfish79 View Post
Those are usually the bucks just passing thru, that prolly live somewhere else most of the time. Also during the rut are easier to kill on your property since they are not familiar with it if you can catch em passing thru then. The bucks my brother and I killed last year were never caught on our cams, but the neighbors had 100's of pix. Nearly the flip side for the neighbor, they killed the buck we were targeting, and had his sheds but no pix. Crazy how it works out some times. Nice bucks you have there.
Plus, the really smart older bucks get out of Dodge as soon as they sense any pressure. We have a tough spot to hunt - ridges and valley's. The swirling winds make things near impossible to pattern any good deer. This year has been weak as far as quality bucks on cameras goes - only a couple. Whereas last year we had a good dozen or so caught on cameras. Some only at night though. But, we rarely see any good bucks once we start getting in tree stands for the bow season. And pickins are also lean come gun season except for a few quality bucks never seen on cameras. We're convinced that we're spooking them when going in and our presence and scent runs them off our property. It's just impossible to get to any stands w/o intruding on bedding areas. Your property looks approachable. So, I'd look at how often you're hunting the property and which direction the wind is on which stands. Basically look at all possible reasons those bigger bucks are leaving your area once you start hunting. It could be crop changes/food sources on adjacent properties as well. Lots of variables - does your property hold good bedding areas or is it a funnel en route to a food or water source? Deer are as much as individuals as you and I. Some will travel more during the rut and some will be confined to a relatively small core area. Those living on your property - again especially wise old bucks and does, will leave that area when they're pressured. If any of the adjacent properties aren't being hunted, why would they stay? Personally, I think your best chance at patterning a good buck is first setting up your stands LONG before the bow season. And two, staying outta there until opening day. And hunt only with the wind in your favor and have a good plan how you're going to get to your stand undetected. Once spooked, I have never seen an older buck again in the same area. And just think about all the ones we spook that we never see!!! Second best chance at patterning a quality deer IMO is late season/cold weather when there's limited food sources. Of course hunting the rut is great for quality bucks. But, as far as patterning deer goes, not so much. The rut is usually the time most big bucks are seen for the first time!
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks FishArt and Huntfish, all good pointers. I think I get things right generally... we set our stands in March and cut all of the shooting lanes. Then we go back in April/May to turkey hunt. And we're out again in June/July to mow the 4x4 roads and the food plots. In August we do some final cleanup on the roads, check the stands, clear out any more growth in our shooting lanes and that's it until 10/1.

We have a good mix of grassy fields, tillable acreage, and timber as well as a creek (though it did run dry for the first time this year) and hunt a variety areas. And I know most of our neighbors and with only one exception, they all hunt their land too. One of them probably kills it a little for us as he has a lot of hunters on his property and a lot of them seem inexperienced. They're walking around at 7:30am looking for arrows and doing other dumb things... cruising the 4-wheelers right at dusk.

And I'm not sure how much of a difference our presence makes during a good part of the season. The farmer is in and out of there most of October and early November getting his work done, so I kind of feel like how would the deer know if it's him coming in to work or us there to hunt? Or maybe both are ruining it. We used to camp there for 10 days a year. We would bow hunt the whole week before shotgun opener and then stay right through shotgun. It only took 2 very below average seasons for us to realize that was a terrible idea. Who'd a thunk 5 guys sitting up all night burning fires and drinking would ruin it for deer hunting.

Anyway, I guess it just takes time in the stand to gain that experience and figure it out.
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:52 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Actually, deer do become pretty accustomed to having humans around. And I don't know how they can tell the difference, but it seems the big boys just know the difference between a farmer in his field tilling and you and I walking to our tree stands!

Another thing after your last post. Other hunters on adjacent properties - and heavy pressure isn't necessarily a bad thing. Especially during gun season. With a topo map and some general ideas of which directions other hunters are entering THEIR properties, you can gain an understanding of which way they're going to bump deer. It works both with bow and gun, but especially during gun season where once the big boys know they're being hunted they tend to sit tight wherever they're safe. I make it a point to stay on stand as long as I can - especially late morning when other hunters are tired and leaving the woods to go for some coffee and a snack. And I make sure my breaks are quick IF I take any breaks off stand. Opening day especially with both bow and gun I try to stay on stand as long as I can. That noon to 2pm window (gun) is another good time when other hunters are coming back to their stands moving deer around. You wanna be first at everything and be in your stand before everybody else to increase your odds. I've killed more deer both with bow and gun by using other hunters moreso than any patterning of the deer. It doesn't take much to turn them nocturnal and you can throw anything you think you know about a deer's habits once they go nocturnal. But, then again I should mention that I hunted for many years on public land and then semi-pressured private land. It's actually the years when other hunters on adjacent properties were thin is when we've done worse...
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