Sanctuaries

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Sam Ubl
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Sanctuaries

Unread postby Sam Ubl » Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:57 am

I read an article a few years ago about creating sanctuaries within your properties as a way to keep deer on the land and it really hit home. Such a simple concept, yet one that I hadn't come up with on my own.

I've not had land big enough to do such a thing until this year, but I can assure that with 125 acres all to myself with everything from Corn fields, to dogwood thickets, sage grass, marsh/cattails, hardwoods and a river flowing through it, that I created such a sanctuary and it worked!

I first visited the entirety of the property while shed hunting in March, and quickly returned in April to set stands on areas where I assumed deer to come and go from bedding to food, and visa-versa.

The season was wonderful to me, even if I did miss a toad with my bow on Halloween. I passed on a dozen different bucks that remained on the land the entire season.

Of the 125 acres, I only hunted 32 acres of it and left the rest alone - never even touched it. I shot a doe on October 4th that died 15 yards in, but that was it.

Has anyone else created a Sanctuary within their private acres to keep deer on the land? How has it panned out?


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Spysar
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Re: Sanctuaries

Unread postby Spysar » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:04 am

Sam, what did you "create"?

Was it simply an area free of human scent and activity? Or did you do something else?
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Re: Sanctuaries

Unread postby Bucky » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:25 am

Sam - I have seen personally/& read research articles that as a mature buck ages his "core" area shrinks. I think that is a fact...

But rarely will a whitetail buck's range be as small as 125 acres IMO
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Re: Sanctuaries

Unread postby huntinfool14 » Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:05 pm

some of my sanctuaries are the woods...when i bowhunt or even gun out..i never go inside the woods completely..i always hunt the edges on all 4 sides..it may hurt me by not going into the woods or their bedroom but i feel if i leave those woods alone..the deer will feel safe in there..i always try and kill the deer entering/leaving there bedroom instead of hunting inside there bed..because i hate nothing more than walking into a woods and watching 20 deer tails running away from me
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Re: Sanctuaries

Unread postby dan » Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:57 pm

I really don't agree with the "sanctuary" theory... The only way I would make a sanctuary on a property is if I had others hunting the property that I could not control, or it was for an outfitter that can't take new hunters into the bedding areas each week.
Mature bucks ( 4 1/2 or older ) reside all over the areas we hunt but rarely get shot. Don't believe that? Just put out a few trail cams and see what roams thru at night. Once bucks reach an age of 4 1/2 or older, the reason they rarely get shot is because they rarely leave the security of there bedding area and they seek out places people don't go. The sanctuary theory says thats a good thing cause you leave the sanctuary alone and the buck stays on your property. I say yep he stays there all right and stays in the area you don't hunt until its to dark to shoot.
I have watched many big bucks rise from there beds and move off to feed. The overall majority of the mature ones I have observed rarely get more than 200 yards from there bed before it is to dark to shoot...
Does this mean you should camp out in there bedding area? No.
If you do they will leave. It means occasionally when the timing is right, the weather is right, moon phase, etc.. Make your move.
Sanctuaries keep mature animals from being killed.
Another thing about sanctuaries, guys generally section off a big piece not knowing where the buck beds are. Some of the area would not even be effected if you passed thru or set up.
Remember, coyotes, dogs, trespassers, etc... occasionally go thru your sanctuaries. Is that it? A coyote went thru your sanctuary and now the bucks will never bed there again? Nope. They tolerate a certain amount of intrusion. Occasionally a hunter needs to slip in, or he is not even in the game for hunting "truly" mature animals.
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Re: Sanctuaries

Unread postby dan » Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:12 pm

Here is the proof... If I did not hunt bedding areas none of these would be on my wall. Timing and patience ;)

Shot him right in his bed.
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Opening day shot within 100 yards of his bed.
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80 yards from bed
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100 yards from bed
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100 yards from bed
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25 yards from bed
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less than 200 yards from bed...
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Less than 200 yards from bed
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I could post more... But you should get the point.
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Re: Sanctuaries

Unread postby dan » Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:17 pm

Sanctuaries are kind of traps in a way too... You will see more young deer and rut activity. Including some shooters, but the "truly" mature bucks will remain your target animals till the make a rare mistake, get hit by a car, or die of old age or some other illness.
I want to be in the game and actually be hunting for mature animals, sure I will shoot 3 1/2's on most of the properties I hunt, and 2 1/2s on some of the properties. But I don't want to limit myself to just that class...
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Re: Sanctuaries

Unread postby matt1336 » Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:22 pm

I agree Dan. Why own property and not hunt it? Like Dan said, you're just giving the deer on your property a free pass. A lot of what's read in mags and seen on tv doesn't apply to the average guy that hunt small peices of private and/or public. Go buy dan's videos and he'll show you how to hunt bedding areas, AKA sancuaries. Hunt them, but hunt them intelligently. It's not easy and you're gonna screw things up once in a while but it's gonna pay off for. At the end of the gun season, a drive through them is very productive as well.
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Re: Sanctuaries

Unread postby cwoods » Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:34 pm

Please post more ^^^^ Eye candy!
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Re: Sanctuaries

Unread postby cornfedkiller » Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:39 pm

I completely agree with Dan. To me, sanctuaries are to protect the people that do not have the scouting done to know exactly where their beds are. If you do not know where a buck is bedding, you risk hunting near his bed unintentionally, and bumping him out of there and possibly may not return (at least not for a long time). The sanctuaries dont allow this to happen, since you are always staying out of the area. But, as Dan said, how do you kill them then?

I would think you are better off doing your scouting, knowing where they bed, and hunting them there when the time is right..Besides how do you know they are going to bed in your sanctuary? Besides staying out of there, is it going to provide the right necessities the buck needs to feel safe there? Being able to see, smell, etc where he wants to? I would think if your goal is to keep deer on your property, you would be much better off finding their beds, then staying away from there, rather than trying to designate areas for them to stay.
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Re: Sanctuaries

Unread postby GRFox » Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:43 pm

Bucky wrote:Sam - I have seen personally/& read research articles that as a mature buck ages his "core" area shrinks. I think that is a fact...

But rarely will a whitetail buck's range be as small as 125 acres IMO

I agree with you 100% but I think the Idea is for the Sanctuary to be a place that a buck spends his daylight hours, bedding all day and then you can catch him on the outskirts just before dark.

I dont think the OP meant to imply that these 125 acres is where the buck spends all of his time. Just a place they feel safe to bed when the pressure is on.
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Re: Sanctuaries

Unread postby DropTyne » Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:34 pm

When I see a "Sanctuary" I am looking for an individual bed of a mature buck so I can learn his entry and exit routes and go kill him, I'm not chancing that if I leave that area alone he may wander by me. I used to try that and it doesn't work..........
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Dor
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Re: Sanctuaries

Unread postby Dor » Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:43 pm

Sanctuaries are great areas to grow bucks no doubt. However, at some point I would in fact hunt that sanctuary. It's a waste of good land otherwise, especially if you only own a 125 acres.

Love the idea of a sanctuary and limiting your hunting there. But to outright NOT hunt it I feel you are losing out in the end.
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Re: Sanctuaries

Unread postby muddy » Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:59 pm

Yeah, I have areas I only go in once or twice a year, but I don't have one single area I NEVER go in.

IF I had a big track of ground all to my own I'd have lots of very low impact areas that I'd shed hunt once a year and hunt only in perfect conditions. As it stands I don't so if I"m not hunting it some other assjack is.
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Re: Sanctuaries

Unread postby Dor » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:07 pm

muddy wrote:Yeah, I have areas I only go in once or twice a year, but I don't have one single area I NEVER go in.

IF I had a big track of ground all to my own I'd have lots of very low impact areas that I'd shed hunt once a year and hunt only in perfect conditions. As it stands I don't so if I"m not hunting it some other assjack is.

LOL :lol:
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