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casts_by_fly

Shooting the neighborhood game

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casts_by_fly

Hi Gents,

 

I want to pick the collective and see what everyone's thoughts are.  Some (many?) of us are blessed with living in places where you can hunt in the back yard.  Since we moved back to the US and bought this house we are certainly in that group.  I've got a couple acres out back that I could shoot deer, squirrels, and other game.  At the bottom of the road is a 2500 acre WMA, plus another 80 acres of nature preserve that borders our 4 acres where I could get a bow permit.  For being in NJ, that's not a bad setup except for one thing- I enjoy seeing the deer and squirrels around the house most evenings and don't think I could bring myself to shooting the 'regulars'.  That effectively takes away the back yard, the 80 acres, and the best part of the WMA for bow hunting since that's where they live before they come out in the evenings.  Anyone else struggle with this dilemma?  I think my solution will be the hunt the WMA further away and/or another property and just leave these deer alone until the rut (when the bucks who aren't my regulars start chasing all of the does that are).  But there is something very convenient about walking out the back door and being able to shoot deer.

 

Thanks

rick

 

 

 

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WPG Gizmo

I am just the opposite yes I like to see the wildlife come through the yard but they are not my pets.  If I had the spot like you do I would for sure have a stand or 2 to hunt from. Jjust because you dont want to shoot the regulars I promise that there are others out there that dont come in like the regulars do.  You do what feels right for you but if it was me I am hunting.

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Brad Eden

Great question. And something I’ve contemplated for over 30 years living rurally in Maine.
 

I only have 9.5 acres (a postage stamp in Maine) including a few acres of wetland/Marsh...surrounded by 100’s if not 1000’s of acres of private yet huntable land. I have squirrels, hare, grouse woodcock, chipmunks, ducks, geese and deer within my boundaries...and occasionally wild turkeys, a bear or bobcat or coyote will pass through.

 

Im not squirrel hunter so only kill or trap them if they become a nuisance. I occasionally hunt snowshoe hare with friends with beagles, but not on my land and only remove them when they become pests and destroy a garden trying to get started.

 

Im not a waterfowl hunter so they get a pass.

 

I am a ruffed grouse and Woodcock hunter, (duh...) but don’t hunt and try to kill them on my land, and not on close surrounding land either. Mainly because I like to use them to train dogs and frankly I have much better cover within a short drive or even walk. Or at my north woods camp. And I get a cheap thrill every time the dogs flush game birds out back on my land.

 

Now...deer...They are not safe on my property or anywhere close to my land. I’ve only shot one off my property with my bow, but that’s from my ineptitude, and the extreme wariness and challenge of Maine deer. I can’t just casually walk out back and kill deer whenever I want. I wish I could since we have come to rely on two deer a year for our red meat. (We can not bait deer in Maine) We enjoy immensely seeing them during the winter crossing our lawn and meandering through the frozen snow laden Marsh. I even share a slice of an established deer yard out back with a neighbor, where they stack up like cordwood during extreme winters. I set trail cams and relish the photos I get. But when spring arrives they disperse, like smoke, and I am extremely fortunate that for some reason they do not molest my large raised bed garden area. I don’t want to see deer on my property in spring or summer. Come fall I am after them with bow and rifle wherever I can find them.

 

 

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gunsrus

I'm with Brad on this one . All critters are safe on my property in Maine . We see grouse , wc , hare , bear , fox and deer . All get a pass but deer . Haven't shot one there yet but if the opportunity arises .... bang . 

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Mike Connally
1 hour ago, casts_by_fly said:

But there is something very convenient about walking out the back door and being able to shoot deer.

If it’s grocery shopping you want...I guess so. But I like to hunt and shooting something off my back porch doesn’t have much appeal to me. 
 

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OldSarge

I live in a cabin in the woods with the express purpose of being able to hunt out my back door. It’s not exactly off grid but easily could be. I put up with the crap ton of snow, mosquitoes, black flies, and inconvenience of being in the sticks just so I can hunt right out my door. Pretty much anything in the yard is safe except coyotes and red squirrels, but once I hit the wood line all bets are off. 

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quailguy
2 hours ago, casts_by_fly said:

Hi Gents,

 

I want to pick the collective and see what everyone's thoughts are.  Some (many?) of us are blessed with living in places where you can hunt in the back yard.  Since we moved back to the US and bought this house we are certainly in that group.  I've got a couple acres out back that I could shoot deer, squirrels, and other game.  At the bottom of the road is a 2500 acre WMA, plus another 80 acres of nature preserve that borders our 4 acres where I could get a bow permit.  For being in NJ, that's not a bad setup except for one thing- I enjoy seeing the deer and squirrels around the house most evenings and don't think I could bring myself to shooting the 'regulars'.  That effectively takes away the back yard, the 80 acres, and the best part of the WMA for bow hunting since that's where they live before they come out in the evenings.  Anyone else struggle with this dilemma?  I think my solution will be the hunt the WMA further away and/or another property and just leave these deer alone until the rut (when the bucks who aren't my regulars start chasing all of the does that are).  But there is something very convenient about walking out the back door and being able to shoot deer.

 

Thanks

rick

 

 

 

Personally I am not excited about shooting deer anymore. In South Texas we had deer in our yard unless we were outside. 1/4 ac of yard in the brush and we would have 7-8 deer in that little open area. They ate the potted roses on the porch. If I ever had seen a really big buck I think I would have shot him. Never really saw that big boy. We shot doves at my hunting partners place, sitting on dove stools out in his yard. That was fun. Pot shooting some deer 30 feet away is not fun. I had a pistol set aside if the big boy ever showed during deer season. if I managed to unlock the gun safe that day. 
But, if I were a deer hunter in a similar situation I would definitely set up on any deer nearby. The excellent habitat you describe should keep lots of deer around to look at whether you shoot a few or not. 
 

7 deer in the side yard, December 2016, Rio Medina

Not Ready when he showed up.  

The Big 10 Point, Rio Medina, December 2016 and no gun handy

 

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Samuel Hoggson

We're in the Maine farmland program.  Have laying hens.  Variety of critters end up in the crosshairs, on top of a front sight or bead.  Red squirrels like to take up residence and chew wires.  So we feed birds for the purpose of baiting them.  Barn rats, grays, porkies, nuisance fox, beaver, raccoons.  Took a rabid skunk last year.  Some years murder crows if they're pulling alot of corn.  Coyotes any time we see them. 

 

We have alot of deer by ME standards.  Soft spot for them, are very loath about giving permissions.  Sean and/or I usually take one each season for meat, but I'm just as happy to watch them.  Was ambivalent taking last year's patch deer on opening day.  Like being able to follow their development.  At this point ones we take are kinda big or special.....or bust.  Took a cripple couple years ago only cuz I hate giving coyotes an easy meal.  We would rather take a coyote during deer season.  

 

Over decades only a couple grouse and not one WC.  We have them, but like seeing them here.  Can't hear them anymore.      

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SelbyLowndes

My home's on a coupla acres with a 3/4 ac. fish pond in the backyard, but in a residential subdivision in town.  I see waterfowl in the pond, lots of aggravating squirrels on the bird feeders, but wouldn't want to shoot anything in the yard.  It'd be illegal anyway...SelbyLowndes

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Brad Eden

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This bruiser was crossing the tip of my land last fall. Within a few yards of a pop up blind. We never met up, but if I had ever gotten eyes on him in daylight it would have been looking through crosshairs or a string peep...

 

IMG_1293.JPG

 

IMG_0142.JPG
 

The doe and this small buck could be considered neighborhood critters. Both taken across the dirt road from house past a couple beaver ponds. 
 

 

 

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casts_by_fly

Had four similar bucks in the same morning drive chasing the same does last fall.  Also bear and turkey.

 

 

 

 

F201798C-1E4B-4434-BA5C-6C0EB19ABA6D.jpeg

BB18A15E-F6BD-40AD-B0A3-931DF7ED520C.jpeg

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max2
12 minutes ago, casts_by_fly said:

Had four similar bucks in the same morning drive chasing the same does last fall.  Also bear and turkey.

 

 

 

 

F201798C-1E4B-4434-BA5C-6C0EB19ABA6D.jpeg

BB18A15E-F6BD-40AD-B0A3-931DF7ED520C.jpeg

I'd shoot these two bucks 😁 That said I don't shoot the back yard deer . Shoot'n deer really doesn't do it for me anymore. I get a bigger thrill out of a grouse flushing on a good point. I do like hearing/reading about someone who is excited about croak'n  a deer though . Back yard or otherwise I'm all in. Love the energy given off by folks in their hunting stories.

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mccuha

I don’t deer hunt much any more but hunt In deer stands on food plots behind the house.  I sit on about 1500 acres directly behind the house. I do have a ground blind that I’ve shot deer from my back yard less than 50yds from the house. I called a big Tom up that was no more than 100 yds from my house.  I don’t shoot squirrels out of the yard unless.  They begin to try and start to get into the house. Then at that time I purge them all and start over.  I do have a covey of birds behind the house and always give them a pass.  I’ll let the dogs point them but then just flush them. I have hunted and shot wc in some swampy areas behind the house. When I was building the house, during deer season I started keeping my deer rifle clos by where I was working because before I had it near me a giant buck walked across the back yard.  I even kept a shotgun close during waterfowl season. Used to have geese fly right over coming and leaving roosts.  I did shoot a few of them. Working on the second floor made it a lot closer shot. 

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Snipeaholic

Our yard is more of a sanctuary. Amazing what comes around for a bit of corn. I’m more of a small bird hunter and give the yard animals a pass. That is except for squirrels and armadillos, they have trouble when I get opportunity.

95730EB7-24C1-4836-A732-AC12DD430555.thumb.jpeg.c3d204149aa290f425c696e4c3ce9ab1.jpeg

 

😉

309363BF-ABD5-49BE-8EBF-2BB393A58911.thumb.jpeg.0ff6c426f5f37180773ad774fd0a6888.jpeg

 

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quailguy
16 minutes ago, Snipeaholic said:

Our yard is more of a sanctuary. Amazing what comes around for a bit of corn. I’m more of a small bird hunter and give the yard animals a pass. That is except for squirrels and armadillos, they have trouble when I get opportunity.

95730EB7-24C1-4836-A732-AC12DD430555.thumb.jpeg.c3d204149aa290f425c696e4c3ce9ab1.jpeg

 

😉

309363BF-ABD5-49BE-8EBF-2BB393A58911.thumb.jpeg.0ff6c426f5f37180773ad774fd0a6888.jpeg

 

Tell me that armadillo size is photoshopped.  Or that is the biggest one that walked the earth the last 10,000 years. 

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