The hunt for a mature whitetail.

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by kyhunter99, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. Big Snuff

    Big Snuff Fawn

    Nov 25, 2018
    North central ky
    Most people on here have no idea what you are talking about in regards to "thermal bedding". It took me a long time to figure it out, but once I did I have had big deer in front of my tree more times than not.

    The other thing a lot of hunters do wrong is they go deer hunting on Saturday because they are off work. They do not pay attention to the wind and where their "target buck" is coming from. If you study your trail camera pictures there is a reason a big deer was only on film Monday and Tuesday and then was gone for 4 days. Go back and look at the historical weather apps. I bet you anything the wind direction changed. A mature deer will generally approach an area with only 1 wind direction that he feels safe on. Any other wind and he wont show up. He is literally risking his life by approaching on a bad wind. Mature deer won't do it.
  2. ribsplitter

    ribsplitter Cyber-Hunter

    Jan 19, 2004
    rush, ky, USA.
    I would love to have enough deer roaming the woods around my farm that I didn't feel guilty about killing one . I realize there not going extinct because I kill a couple of does but that is just adding to the problem . The last two seasons have been terrible as I'm sure they have for several others on here. I've seen a few but geeze I just can't pull the trigger on anything the way the population stands here right now . We have pretty much lived from deer meat for alot of years and no deer in the freezer for a couple years has gotten old quick. Next season we are back to the public lands of Ohio until we get a few deer back around our property.
    kyhunter99 likes this.
  3. rlb165

    rlb165 10 pointer

    Dec 10, 2001
    ribsplitter, we had really low numbers a few years ago, now we’ve actually got a few more deer than I’d like. A few weeks ago, we had 8 does eating acorns and 7 does in the food plots, all at the same time.

    I believe that one of the main reasons our numbers have increased is all the hingecutting and making individual deer beds that I did. It’s a LOT of work, but it has really paid off.
  4. Dan99

    Dan99 6 pointer

    Oct 11, 2015
    A big 5.5 year old buck. In the snow. With a bow.
  5. 1wildcatfan

    1wildcatfan 12 pointer

    Jan 2, 2009
    raised n Bullitt Co.
    what did the scale say? that's what separates fact from fiction.
  6. 1wildcatfan

    1wildcatfan 12 pointer

    Jan 2, 2009
    raised n Bullitt Co.
    i've been in deer camps in Alberta 12 years and each week anywhere from 4-8 deer come in. the largest i have personally seen was one with live weight of 305lbs. looked like a horse. field dressed 255lbs. the majority of the deer live were 240-270, field dressing around 200-215, and these all look like big deer compared to what i have taken in Ky.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
    rockhousehunter likes this.
  7. rockhousehunter

    rockhousehunter 8 pointer

    Oct 18, 2013
    West Liberty, Ky
    That's exactly what my experience has been. I'm not sure most people realize what a 200lb. field dressed deer looks like.
  8. kyhunter99

    kyhunter99 10 pointer

    My question is are they just super fat or is it generally a larger built deer?
  9. ribsplitter

    ribsplitter Cyber-Hunter

    Jan 19, 2004
    rush, ky, USA.
    I know what you mean I've done alot of work here also . I have a really good bedding area with some hinge cuts and thickets that has created a great safe zone . I also have about 6 acres of food plots in 4 areas two of which have gravity feeders on them in non hunted areas . 3 years ago it was perfect ,the ratio was really clicking several different bucks and the doe population was as close to perfect as I've seen . This season as far as I can honestly say there is a population of 4 does and one small buck that visits here at all. Three years ago I had 4 different shooters on camera . This year we have gotten one 4 point . All I know to do right now is just keep the plots going and the habitat there and wait .
  10. 1wildcatfan

    1wildcatfan 12 pointer

    Jan 2, 2009
    raised n Bullitt Co.
    both in my experience. some deer have had a 2-3" fat layer on their back. their hair is much thicker/longer. bodies are thicker
  11. Bone_Chaser

    Bone_Chaser 8 pointer

    Sep 12, 2014
    Whitley Co
    I have killed 3 150+" net deer but never a 160" net. 3,that grossed 160+ and 1 170+. So my dream achievement is to top that. The last 3 seasons I have hunted 10 or less days and killed mediocre 3 year old deer due to lack of time and effort. It's still a load of fun and that is why I hunt.
    rockhousehunter likes this.
  12. mac0492

    mac0492 6 pointer

    Oct 15, 2013
    Just curious as to what you would consider true thermal bedding. We have almost the same problem on the new property I’m hunting. Looking to make some changes.
  13. Drahts

    Drahts 10 pointer

    Apr 7, 2015
    To me, winter thermal cover will consist of areas that are thick, tight and dense. CRP fields, pine thickets, or cedar thickets all provide winter time thermal cover. Areas of thick cedars, shrubs, and grasses help to keep body heat from escaping, while at the same time provide excellent protection from the wind and any blowing snow that the deer might deal with during winter. Even an area you hinge cut, if ground regrowth was thick it could be used by the deer as thermal cover. If it's thin it'll be less likely used for winter thermal bedding. White cedar or Arborvitae are good options, white pines or hemlock or spruce also work well.
    mac0492, kyhunter99 and Genesis 27:3 like this.

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