Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by DaveO, Dec 24, 2018.

  1. luckychucky

    luckychucky 6 pointer

    Aug 5, 2008
    Manchester ky
    I own 100 acres where I live in the mountains of KY and also hunt a family farm that is a 700 + tract. I talk to a lot of hunters locally and here is my history of the area where I live. My 100 acres is located amongst additional farms that have food and cover. I get early pictures every year of wall hangers, some over 150+ deer. When October rolls around, those deer are gone year after year and don't ever come back. If you looked at my farm on a map vs others based on the secluded area you think it would hold a bruiser all year round. I have been keeping track of this since around 2000. I call it a early season spot. Its the same every year. So hunt early here. On the 700+ acre farm, I usually get pictures all year round of the same deer. Also other deer that show up during the rut. On this farm I can hunt year round. I have bow only hunted for 20+ years and have some very nice buck bow harvest. I think a lot of hunters assume all property holds big deer but in reality you got to figure out when the hot time for your property is and that's just from experience and history of your own property. Your trail cams will give you a lot of information year round. I love the challenge of hunting these mountain bucks. I know of a local buck right now that is around 180 inches. I don't hunt the area where its at but know the locals there. I keep up with it just hoping a good hunter will harvest him. I have taken the time out to look at the maps just seeing where all he has been seen. He has a circle that on the on x hunt app takes in about 4 big farms of 300 plus acres and 20 small areas of 20 acres or less. So these deer travel based on time of year, food, and pressure. Good Luck and base your hunts based on your trail cams information. Like anywhere, a big deer can show up at anytime.
    DaveO likes this.
  2. DaveO

    DaveO Spike

    Dec 30, 2017
    Got a head start on this last year. Stands I set this year are based on in intell from last year. Now that I have food, things have changed a bit and I’ve have had to adjust. I had originally placed 6 lock on stands during spring turkey season based on intell from last year. During September, I was seeing multiple deer on every sit. Since about mid October they have really given me the slip ( big boys anyway) I’m guessing it will take another 2-3 more years to really figure them out but I really appreciate everyone’s input. Sometimes fresh new thoughts helps you re-focus and take the blinders off. I’m really thought that late season would be prime time for me to take advantage of my plots but so far it really hasn’t been the case. They have barely touched it! At the end of the day, I’ve had an absolute blast just enjoying the process. Thanks again!
    hickslawns likes this.
  3. 1wildcatfan

    1wildcatfan 12 pointer

    Jan 2, 2009
    raised n Bullitt Co.
    excellent suggestions. we did this one post season, amazing what you find.
  4. DaveO

    DaveO Spike

    Dec 30, 2017
    Oh my goodness!!! This was exactly the type of information I was looking for. I think you have hit the nail on the head as to what I’m experiencing on my farm. 2 years in a row (only 2 years I’ve owned it lol) I’ve gotten an absolute GIANT just to have them disappear come mid October and never show back up. Man have you gotten the gears turning in my head right now lol. Like a light bulb just went off. Can’t tell you guys how much I appreciate the info. The crazy thing is back home I’ve killed my 3 best deer on 27 acres. Guess I was being naive that it would work like that here. Really excited to get back after it!
  5. supergoat80

    supergoat80 10 pointer

    Aug 31, 2012
    Exactly. Great post.
  6. ancienthunter

    ancienthunter 6 pointer

    Dec 25, 2011
    Over the Hill
    Some good information already been given and I’ll give you a couple more things to consider. Last year there weren’t many acorns in most areas so the deer stayed around the food plots better, I sow 3-6 acres of soybeans every year on my place last year I would see 12-15 deer every time I hunted. this year was a better acorn crop in most areas, I was seeing 12-15 deer again until about mid October and then just like someone threw a switch and they disappeared. They found some acorns somewhere else and changed food sources, they are just now starting to come back to the beans.
    Also every summer I’ll have 4 or 5 mature bucks on my mineral sites everyday, about mid September they will leave except for one or two the others have gone to another area to find their own does. I have another farm that has a lot of does but I hardly ever get a picture or see a mature buck until November, I can usually count on seeing one on this farm the week before gun season. So as someone said if you can attract the does the bucks will be close by.
    DaveO likes this.
  7. Duster

    Duster 12 pointer

    I have to ask was the place in Indiana flat crop land with scattered woodlots or a large tract of timber. FWIW I spent a lot of years up near NW Indiana and found those scattered woodlot deer were easyer to pattern over large wooded tracts. Spent a lot of hours just tuck back in a fencerow with bino's just watching before I ever set foot in one of those small woodlots. And found that first sit in the right place paid off more often than not. Couple of my best Indiana spots were between 10 and 20 acres, it's not so much about total acres but the location of those acres.
    DaveO likes this.
  8. DaveO

    DaveO Spike

    Dec 30, 2017
    Southeastern Indiana... large tracts of rolling hills with pockets of AG everywhere. I also have a couple 90 acre farms to hunt as you described and you are 100% correct. Way easier to pattern deer. Once fields are harvested, there’s only so many places for them to go. Bottlenecks are non stop action in November. PLUS bedding areas are much more defined.
  9. Monster01

    Monster01 8 pointer

    Dec 9, 2013
    Im afraid your land has ky mountain buvks on it.
    Allow me to explain how this works . u get pictures all summer including seeing them eat in green fields in the daylight until the end of august . the day before bow season comes in they turn into rocks and dont change back into deer until after dark in some areas in others it may be january to march. Then it all happens again.
    Seriously in the hills especially hunting 150" plus deer it straight up takes luck but your best chance is plan your strategy around the opening week of archery season. After that wait till last week of october and key in on doe bedding. And cross your fingers ! Good luck.
    DaveO likes this.
  10. JDMiller

    JDMiller 12 pointer

    Jun 12, 2005
    " Between the Rivers "

    Which I’m not bashing you nor do I believe he was concerning trophy buck hunting.... but there’s a lot to be said concerning expectations.

    Being we own close to 300 acres in a prime location here in west KY. We’ve owned it since the mid 80’s and have worked through the years on habitat improvements with our PLB and forrestry programs. Our habitat even includes about 50 acres no one hunts as sanctuary which in my opinion is a key piece to the puzzle.

    Out of 30 plus years hunting this property has produced one true B&C class buck at 194-5/8. In turn we’ve taken 2 bucks in the 140 range and maybe half dozen 130 class bucks. Which I’ve had numerous pictures of good bucks every year... but a picture and killing them are two different things.,

    So..... to put that in your terms and class deer your expecting to see on your 100 acres .....that’s 3 deer above 140 inches in 30 years of hunting on a zone 1 highly managed property.

    Which there’s been good advice given ... and I fully agree now is the time to begin scouting for next season...and you may rethink checking cams & supplemental feeding.

    But .... regardless of hunting ky’s mountains of the east or flat ground in the west ...the reality is there’s not a 150 or even a 140 behind every tree.

    Which nothing wrong with high expectations ... but I too suggest to relax and let things come together. Being two seasons is not much time in the bigger picture of things.
  11. DaveO

    DaveO Spike

    Dec 30, 2017
    30 years of experience here and ZERO High expectations!!! Funny how these threads turn from asking for simple advice / pointers from local experienced hunters to me needing life lessons on what to expect. I have 2 different bucks that will score MINIMUM 170” on camera the last to years. I have passed 2-130”-140” deer this year on this land but the ones I’m interested in have more than eluded me. They have simply disappeared, left , gone , whatever. Could be what they do and could be 100% mistakes I have made. Either way I absolutely love hearing opinions, tactics, options other hunters use ( especially from local hunters ) use to put odds in their favor. It’s 90% of the fun for me anymore. I have a buddy that lives in Morehead area and he told me from day one. “ Not very many guys around here really know how to get it done in these mountains” Man he couldn’t have said it any better. Thanks to all on the advice!
  12. Teach Deer

    Teach Deer 6 pointer

    Aug 4, 2013
    The word is ACORNS...
    You are seeing deer around your food plots consistently until the acorns drop... Acorns are deer's preferred food and they will abandon food plots and corn piles to munch on juicy white oak acorns... This year's acorn crop was a good one with a lot of mast on the ground...most hunters sitting on food plots saw the same thing you did... The trouble is not every white oak tree produces acorns every year...the key is finding the tree that is dropping (maybe only for a few days) acorns-deer do this and move along to the next tree...this can be extremely frustrating to a hunter who places tree stands out well in advanced...a light-weight climbing stand that you can go up when you find the spot in October makes all the difference...

    That said, I always consider topography to be the most important trait in general...deer are not actually very complicated...the require food, water and shelter...find the food sources (early season sounds like your food plots-October sounds like acorns) and then find the bedding areas (or make some bedding cover for them) and focus on the travel corridor between them, especially pinch points, funnels, saddles, etc (these can be identified fairly easy on a map with some winter/snow scouting)...
    DaveO likes this.
  13. hickslawns

    hickslawns Fawn

    Dec 2, 2018
    I'm following more than offering advice but want to say this is a GREAT thread! In NW Ohio the terrain features are very subtle. Where I can look on a topo map and pick out saddles, pinch points, funnels, etc., in mountain terrain, it might only be a slight dip in a field up here. I think Feb-Mar scouting is amazing no matter where you hunt. Post season, no leaves, heaviest travel corridors tell so much to us. I feel you have gotten some great advice for the most part.

    Only thing I haven't seen mentioned and truly don't know if it will hold true (but look forward to following along and seeing the outcome) is: cold weather. We have had a cold November with milder December in Ohio. I'd think KY wouldn't be too much different. We have not truly seen an extended period of bitterly cold weather. I'm curious if your plots get hammered once we see a week or two of bitter cold temps. Please keep me posted if you do. I'm curious. I'm shopping for KY land and trying to learn as I read along here.
    DaveO likes this.
  14. littlebear

    littlebear 12 pointer

    Aug 21, 2007
    the woods
    One farm I hunt I will always for years have the most bucks and always a few dandy bucks all summer. It never fails a few weeks before bow opens most disappear. On some occasions one or two show back up during rut but most return late season after rut is over. This farm has ag on it, good bedding and oaks. This farm seems to be a great summer spot for deer.
    Another farm I have is totally opposite. I’m lucky to get hardly any buck pics till late October. Come rut there is lots of bucks. Most years bucks from the year before show up. It has no ag close, mostly thickets and oaks plus a few hay fields. This farm is a great rut farm but no good for early season.
    Another farm is middle ground between both the other ones. It has some good bucks ever year that stay around all season and a few that come around during rut. It’s good early, during the rut and late. It’s more like the first farm as far as ag and cover. All these farms have about the same pressure and cams are ran and checked the same amount. Just shows some property holds deer differently and at different times.
    DaveO likes this.
  15. dabassking

    dabassking 6 pointer

    Sep 16, 2015
    Central KY
    It’s been said a couple times already, but I’ll say it again. ACORNS.

    I’m seeing the same thing in central KY. Had a small soybean field out last year and this year. The amount of deer hitting it this year pales in comparison to last year. I’m pretty sure it’s because the acorn crop was better this year. The deer are probably bedding within 100 yards of good acorns and that 100 yards is all they travel. I would guess that before the season is over, your corn will start to get harder since the acorns should be gone.

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