Your thoughts on this

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by Duster, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Ginsenghunter

    Ginsenghunter 10 pointer

    Jul 5, 2010
    On the line
    I leased 950 acres in Christian County and there were a whopping 3 spots to hunt. You must have areas of refuge on properties or you are SOL without traveling bucks with the rut.
    elkaholic and carnivore like this.
  2. littlebear

    littlebear 12 pointer

    Aug 21, 2007
    the woods
    4-5 farms ranging from 100-200 acres each is nothing to a deers range. To a deer that is small. Deer cover lots of ground. Some of those bucks you say they let go can go a mile away where ole joe is at that wants to fill the freezer. When passing up younger bucks you are hoping for the best which is they make it thru season but not guaranting that buck will stay around on your place. Like stated deer don't get big by being stupid. Older bucks get old by surviving and part of that is by staying away from the end of a gun barrel. Older bucks can be more nocturnal. They don't like pressure. They find areas that they aren't. Lots of studies been done on deer ranges and age structures of bucks and there travel patterns. Very interesting reading.
    1wildcatfan likes this.
  3. JDMiller

    JDMiller 12 pointer

    Jun 12, 2005
    " Between the Rivers "
    Here's my take.... and I know a lot of people wont agree. Also apologize for being long winded here.... but bare with me.

    But we've owned our farm since the mid 80's.... were 287 acres. As populations grew and after we killed our share of dinks... we started being pretty selective on what we harvest by the mid 90's. All under the pretense from one season to the next were going to have bigger bucks. Which along with this we did some pretty intense habitat improvements. Managing timber, forestry programs( planted 8000 hardwoods), food plots and setting aside a portion for sanctuary. I'll also say we were running feeders, getting pretty serious about using cameras as well.

    Season after season clicked by and nothing changed.... we had a bunch of small bucks(1.5-2.5) and an occasional 3.5. But anything bigger was a serious hit & miss that might come along every 6-7 years if we were lucky. Which we were no doubt focused on doing things as an attempt to hold deer on our property. But no matter what we didn't seem to work. Which we had deer ... just not the bigger bucks that we all thought we were growing.

    Now fast forward to 2007 when we had the bad EHD outbreak..... it took a major toll on our place. Which as suggested by many of KDF&WR's biologist we sustained from running feeders as there was concern about bait sites congregating deer and making it easier to infect. So.... we did...and ultimately agreed to not run feeders for the remander of that year.

    The very next season (2008) as bleak as the previous one had made us think.... we had a 160" class buck hanging around. Which we had proceeded to run a few feeders that season. As such... I pulled my hair out on that buck and by early portion of October he was gone. It was only night pics I was getting of the buck and honestly was as nocturnal as they come. However I learned a lot from that buck and how elusive big deer can be in relation to pressure.

    Next season 2009 ...we stopped cold turkey on running feeders. Seems maybe we were starting to put pieces of the puzzle together but a bigger reason was my FIL liked to fall turkey hunt. Again ...just as in 2008...we started having bigger bucks show up and as season progressed this time they didn't disappear. Which to this day in 2017.. we have managed to maintain a few older age class bucks on the place consistently. Now not only are we seeing plenty of 1.5's to 3.5's but occasionally those 4.5's and up are into the mix. Which I'm not trying to make out like we have an abundance of 140 + class bucks or booners... but no doubt the larger bucks of this caliber were totally non-existent in terms of the norm prior to running feeders.

    Which I came to terms in 2008 that when you start dealing with a buck in the 4+ year old range or older... their just a different animal. They just wont tolerate much intrusion or pressure .... they will move elsewhere. Even if you got a portion in sanctuary, great habitat... just everything as perfect to hold deer to a particular property as you think. Which is important in the bigger scheme of things. But when your talking acreage amounts to successfully hold deer on a single contingent property.... were talking 5000 plus and I'm not sure that number would do it.

    In turn....the only common denominator to us suddenly having larger bucks.... we stopped feeding and will say minimized camera use in comparison. As most were constantly filling feeders...swapping cards on a routine basis prior to & during season. In nutshell... we were putting undue pressure and probably more-so than we ever realized. It just doesn't take much human presence to bump deer you never knew were there.

    Which I know and agree.. we all hear or know of a big deer killed on pile of corn or feeder.. it does occur. Same goes for ag practices or consistent activity where people report seeing big bucks while mowing, on an atv or horseback riding.... it happens and whitetails adjust to this type of "normal" human pressure. But I just believe the difference is when you start routinely pressuring areas that they consider comfort zones.

    Which I'm not saying this has any direct relation to the corn itself or a trail cam...but its the repeated human presence in maintaining bait or swapping cards that can cause these older age class deer to change patterns or properties. So...when you start questioning why ...after passing & passing on small bucks year after year...your not seeing the benefit of larger bucks.... it doesn't hurt to take a look at the things differently.
  4. forager

    forager 8 pointer

    Mar 5, 2017
    planet earth
    We see the big bucks at night or at dusk when you can just make out their silhouettes.

    However, here is what an "expert" thinks:

    Feedman likes this.
  5. elkaholic

    elkaholic 12 pointer

    Jan 12, 2012
    Pendleton County
    I have 86 acres and we pass small bucks. All around our farm is hunted heavily. We mostly see 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 year old bucks. We do occasionally see mature bucks but not often. My thoughts are that if a deer makes it past 2 1/2 he becomes almost strictly nocturnal and rarely slips up except for maybe during the rut.
    1wildcatfan likes this.
  6. Duster

    Duster 12 pointer

    So far to me JD has it down pat. I know my 110 acres has very little pressure and the state park on this end even less. I didn't run a camera this year but have put out a few bags of corn, quick in and out. And it gets ate up fast by doe and young. I know like years past it is just a matter of time until the big park boys will venture onto the 110 in search of doe's. Seems like late ML pays off well on mature deer sightings there over corn once the acorns get ate up. I get hung up on being after one special buck is my problem. That B&C that gave me the chances I passed on last year because I refused to take iffy shots just has to come back...LOL.

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