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Realistic expectations for your deer.


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I hate to say it but I've only been out a couple times so far.

Weather hasn't helped and today I am trying to squirrel proof the ceiling of the back bedroom addition.  Maybe tomorrow I can get out.  There doesn't seem to be many deer around here anymore.   My rifle is out in the front porch and I intended to go today.  Would have been a nice day to go.

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  • Brad Eden

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  • lee sykes

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  • Michael Stenstrom

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Michael Stenstrom
Good luck Lee.  Sign has been very limited.  I think the lower deer numbers and bountiful summer has provided plenty of feed and the deer don't need to move much.
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Thanks Mike.  I definitely intend to get out tomorrow.

The season is slipping by and I'm not very motivated.

I think we need some snow or something.

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I'm seeing bucks around here (So. NH, Ne. MA) like never before (at least on trail cams).  I'm not sure why that is.  I've got more different bucks on trail cams this year than in the last thre years combined.  

PICT0056.jpg

PICT0052.jpg

Pretty much everyone I know but me has shot a nice buck the last few years.  Thankfully the seasons not over yet.

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Wow, that's a really high rack on that buck!

Here's a shot from last November and he should still be out there this year. We've got a lot of good sign around camp, keeping my optimism high.

MDGC0023.jpg

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I haven't sat on a stand for almost two weeks, but the last time I did was encouraging. I had a small buck chasing two does, and saw a total of ten deer that morning. The problem was, they came off the ridge, and went straight instead of taking a left and coming under my stand.

I dropped of pig food at the farm yesterday, and was told that the 8 pointer has been seen again, so he's still around. Planned on going today, but it was pouring rain in the morning so I went back to bed.

I'm planning to go Friday morning. The weather forecast shows a cold front coming back in Thursday night, so hopefully the deer will be active. Maybe I'll sit tomorrow afternoon if I get stuff done during the day.

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My expectations are looking up. The 8 pointer is still hanging around, and they guys weren't lying. He's big. Saw him this morning, but he was just a bit out of bow range. He is the largest buck I've seen yet. Wide and tall, and delicious looking. Headed out again tonight, then I'll let my stands rest until Monday.

Forgot to add; jumped a wide 6 on the trail on my way out, too.

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Kansas Big Dog
While in NW Kansas to bird hunt last week end, I took a few pictures of the deer.  The whitetails and mule deer were in full rut.  This was the nicest one I saw, a mule deer paired up.
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Kansas Big Dog
This is a picture I took last January of a group of  25 mule deer.  I normally harvest 2 mule deer and 2 whitetail antlerless deer to eat.  Most folks in Kansas appreciate hunters reducing the deer herd to reduce auto accidents.
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We don't have many mulies at the ranch anymore, pretty much just old whitetails.

Sometime I would like to put another mulie from the ranch on the wall. These were taken seventeen years ago.

DSCF8918.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Realistic expectations for deer where I hunt...

Judging by some of the others I think we have it pretty good here at the top of Southern Illinois.

It reasonable to assume that you will see deer pretty much every time you go out.  During shotgun season you will have a chance to shoot more days  than not.

There are real trophies out there I think if that is your thing.  I don't really have the patience ... ADHD and all that.

I hunted for about 20 minutes before class on opening day 2009 and shot this deer.

photoon20101201at1634.jpg

I don't know what the deer weighed.  Maybe 180

This year I didn't see anything on my traditional 20 minute opening day hunt.  (Did hear some coyotes though, that was pretty cool.)

I hunted about 30 minutes the next day and shot this deer.

photoon20101201at16362.jpg

Unfortunately I shot the right antler right off.   I guess that is fine since you can't eat the antlers anyway.

photoon20101201at1640.jpg

In 2008 I shot a doe that walked right up to me as I sat on the ground getting ready to take a nap.

Even after a virus wiped out a bunch of our deer, we still have a lot of them I think.  

"Harvest" is pretty much the correct word for the type of deer hunting I do.    Some guys really get into it and pursue the really big ones,  They would pass on any deer that I have ever shot.

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Pheasants Forever
Man, you whitetail guys have it made... out here, it's slim pickins on public land. You take what you can get... and at most you can only get two per person... it's hard enough to fill one.
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Is that two in combination of all seasons?  Or two with a bow,  or ?

Here you can get one antlered and one antlerless shotgun permit.

You can also buy as many bow tags as you want.  However I think you can only shoot two antlered deer total per season, no matter how the method.

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Michael Stenstrom
Well after hunting as often as I could get out after school (at least 2 days a week) and on Saturdays since Sept. 15th I have seen a total of 5 deer.  All were jumped while doing pushes on opening day of rifle season and never presented an ethical shot.  I have not seen a single deer while on stand.  I have until the 11th with muzzleloader or longbow in no firearms zones.  I don't hold much hope.  Thanks for sharing all the picts of deer around he country so I can at least remember what they look like.
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