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Newbie deer hunter book?


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25 minutes ago, topdog1961 said:

Typically they will run a ways while leaving a blood trail and if mortally wounded, seek heavy cover to lay down in. Bump them to soon and off they go leaving no blood trail and you're screwed. You'll find what's left of them dead on another hunt days later. But given time to lay there and bleed out internally, the blood will take you to them. I'm not talking risking overnight due to yotes and heat, but a few hours in some case when flow is light, or dark like a liver wound.

 

I think that was Johns point, don't let them lay down at all, a few hours can be time enough to stop bleeding and for them to recover enough to run off again but die with no blood trail to them.  His suggestion is if you push them hard they will keep bleeding and if its a mortal wound, you'll get them, if not, you'll never catch up to them and the deer will live.  But its always a guessing game and you're right, it is experience that will help you make the best guesses.

 

I'm glad I have a dog who likes to track.  My tracking skills are not much better than average.  Nothing beats a K9 nose and Garmin Alpha. 

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It can get very real. Which is awesome.                    

A .308 Win bolt gun topped with a Leupold VX3 2.5-8 pretty much checks all the boxes.

You could get everything you need as far as advice and experience right here. Just ask away.

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12 hours ago, Brad Eden said:

Explain in as much detail as possible where you will be hunting. Public land, private land, types of woods, fields, etc.,etc.

 

In Maine deer get up, yawn, stretch, and browse all day. This isn't an agricultural state so determining actual bedding and feeding areas and hunting accordingly isn't always an option...like it is on other states.

 

 

Well most of the areas that I’ve either seen deer sign (well worn trails, droppings, rubs and or scrapes) were in relatively small 40 acre-ish pocket grouse covers. Either maturing clear cuts or cover bordering tag alder swamps and the like. I would occasionally jump a deer in these areas and see the occasional bedding area I’m guessing for just a few deer. Bow season goes from 10/1-11/14, then  on to firearms deer for 2 weeks.  I’ve yet to encounter a bow hunter in these covers fwiw.  None of these areas border or are even near crop lands, fwiw.

 

I’ll apply for a doe permit but as I understand they can be hard to come by on public land in MI. Some might find this a buzz kill but I don’t really care about big racks etc.  I’m in it for the hunting experience and table fair. Maybe I’ll feel differently if a big fella wanders by in range lol!  I assume the does and younger bucks are better eating anyway, but that could be a poor assumption.

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11 minutes ago, Dogwood said:

 

Well most of the areas that I’ve either seen deer sign (well worn trails, droppings, rubs and or scrapes) were in relatively small 40 acre-ish pocket grouse covers. Either maturing clear cuts or cover bordering tag alder swamps and the like. I would occasionally jump a deer in these areas and see the occasional bedding area I’m guessing for just a few deer. Bow season goes from 10/1-11/14, then  on to firearms deer for 2 weeks.  I’ve yet to encounter a bow hunter in these covers fwiw.  None of these areas border or are even near crop lands, fwiw.

 

I’ll apply for a doe permit but as I understand they can be hard to come by on public land in MI. Some might find this a buzz kill but I don’t really care about big racks etc.  I’m in it for the hunting experience and table fair. Maybe I’ll feel differently if a big fella wanders by in range lol!  I assume the does and younger bucks are better eating anyway, but that could be a poor assumption.

They all taste great but generally I've found the younger ones to taste better.  Out of curiosity I just looked online and if your hunting around Sutton Bay it looks like you can only shoot a buck with at least three points on one side during firearms season so I'd suggest using a scope and/or binoculars.  https://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/deer_apr_chart_469528_7.pdf That must make things a lot harder, I'm guessing a lot of deer get away while someone struggles to count points and determine if they are all over an inch or not.  The timing of gun season might be a little funky too, I'd study up on the phases of the rut and how its typically timed in your area.  Part of gun season they may be in "lock down" where they do less chasing and more actual breeding.  

 

I'd seriously consider taking up archery.  The deer are most patternable during the early bow season when they are still on summer food sources and you can shoot a doe.  And wear camo (I find it hard to commune with nature while I'm dressed like a neon sign).  

 

Looks like your on the wrong side of the state for deer hunting, if you were over on the east coast you could shoot a  doe or buck without restriction.  Might be worth the couple hour drive?  

 

There are "special deer hunts" on the islands that might be worth looking into?

 

You have good deer density though.  Check this website out: http://maps.adventuremapping.com/whitetail_map/deer_density_map_1.asp

My area has about 4 deer per square mile harvested and we have high deer density.  Your area is almost 7 deer harvested per square mile!  Poor Brad up in northern Maine has like 2.  I'm betting you both have a lot more grouse per square mile than I have though.😪   The deer density is way off on that website though, its showing just a couple deer per square mile in my area (south eastern NH) but I know that along the NH coast its up over 30 deer per square mile and after you figure half that square mile is pavement and houses, there's a lot of deer crammed into what's left.

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Copied form a Message stream with Dr Dogwood about scouting, stands, etc.

 

image.jpeg

 

I scout year round. I'm always on the look out for deer sign, tracks, rubs on trees, scrapes on ground, poop, trails etc., etc. These days I set out trail cameras, as many as 3-4 in mid to late summer. I set these in areas where I may want to bow or rifle hunt in fall. I want to get an inventory on deer in that area, specifically bucks. Those areas are almost always pinch points between ponds, or roads, or houses or streams or power lines etc. These are areas that a deer needs to travel through, and they funnel the deer. They can be 40 yards wide or 200 yards, but still funnel the deer movement.

 

I'm assuming you will be using a rifle so will have more flexibility than with a bow. I'm claustrophobic after sitting in tight quarters with bow so when rifle season begins I want to be able to see further, so my stands are often in more open woods or over fields or power lines or blueberry barrens. Come the actual rut when bucks are stupid and horny all bets are off, they can be cruising looking to get laid anywhere. 

 

I use treestands almost exclusively with a bow. Mostly ladderstands that I already have set up in good spots. I sometimes use a set of ladder steps and a hang-on stand, if I want to try a new area or spot. I don't use a climber any more. I'm too old. I typically set on the ground or carry a light simple stool with me if stand hunting with a rifle. A comfortable stool with or without a separate butt pad or even a 5 gallon bucket with a pad gets you in a sitting position and you can sit for a long while. I will sit in treestands with a rifle but not religiously. I rarely ever sit in a pop up blind or even a natural set up blind. If you are still, and the wind is right a deer won't detect you, or not until you have a bead on his shoulder. Wind is paramount. If the wind is moving from you to any deer, forget it, no matter how scent free. (I spray down and wash my clothes for bow, but don't go to the trouble with rifle)

 

Stalking or "still hunting" deer is romantic but is ridiculously hard and you mostly see white tails flagging away. Some can do it, I can and do, but if I want to see and get a chance to kill deer I stand hunt. Tracking in snow is another story and fodder for another installment.

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If I've got a doe tag, a rifle, and all day I will usually be successful.  I've been successful with a flintlock a couple times as well.  Wouldn't even try it with a bow.  

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sharptail grouse

When in doubt sit downwind of a trail. Get comfortable. Keep sitting. It'll happen.

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Oh, another thing. Deer are on their feet and move at first light and at last light. There are those who swear by late morning through afternoon success. But you increase your chances ten fold if you get up early, set up in the dark, let woods settle and wait. Same in afternoon. Get to stand an hour or more before last legal light, which is typically 1/2 hr after sunset. Wait. The three biggest bucks I've killed were at first light and at the last smidgeon of legal light.  

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Do you have bird hunting friends?  I bet a great way to kill a deer is for you to get comfortable at one end of one of your 50 acre grouse spots while your hunting buddies start bird hunting at the other end.  The best part is your friends can't tell you they're too busy to come help drag because they're already right there.    

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On 3/11/2019 at 12:07 PM, bobman said:

get there very early and sit all day opening day. 

And if you don't get one at first light 10AM to 1 PM is probably the best window when guys start going to their cars to eat lunch/warm up. Wear whatever you need to sit still all day no matter what. Before I acquired more gear I would take an old army surplus sleeping bag with me to sit in. 

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1 hour ago, Dogwood said:

What is everyone's favorite rifle/caliber and why?

 

.280Rem, .35Rem, .308Win, 30-06, 7mm-08... Depends on the day. 

 

If you're asking because you are unsure of what to get, IMO the 7mm-08 is about the ideal choice for whitetail. I should use mine more but I always seem to grab my .308. 

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8 hours ago, Dogwood said:

What is everyone's favorite rifle/caliber and why?

An arrow..... Bow season is much more enjoyable -for me. 

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9 hours ago, Dogwood said:

What is everyone's favorite rifle/caliber and why?

You know what mine is. Maybe mention the target animals you plan to possibly pursue. That would be a factor in a good caliber to choose. In my opinion the actual rifle, size, weight action, and scope are also an important element in choosing a rifle caliber.

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I aspire to be a one gun big game hunter; primarily deer, occasional antelope, and maybe maybe maybe an elk.  It would be nice to practice without getting the snot kicked out of my shoulder.  So I gather, not unlike shotguns, for a given caliber one can vary the bullet weight/shot charge relative to the gun weight for different game etc etc?  I am not interested in reloading at all, so an ample supply of various factory loads would be a consideration also.  

In that regard include scope recommendations please.  Specific rifle make/model/scope combos very welcome! Used/new whatever. Own a Model 52 Japanese repro 22 with a Leupold scope fwiw; hefty rifle-like, very accurate, real purty.

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