Do deer know whats going on?

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
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cornfedkiller
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Do deer know whats going on?

Unread postby cornfedkiller » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:23 pm

Ive wondered this now for a little while, so I decided Id post it now and see what you guys think about this.

Do deer know when I am at my hunting land, and would that cause them to leave their beds later and return earlier? Say a deer is a couple hundred yards away when I arrive and they hear me drive in or if a vehicle door slams or something, do they go into lock down mode and stay hidden?

What about if they are out in the fields when I pull up the driveway, and they see the truck driving in..do they associate that with being hunted, or do they not really worry about it until you get busted near a bedding area?

Im guessing when my family members go driving 4 wheelers and jeeps around the woods at all hours of the day and night, that puts the deer on a little bit of alert mode and keeps them hidden (I assume, but maybe not??), but what about just driving up the driveway or being at the cabin?


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Re: Do deer know whats going on?

Unread postby PLB » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:39 pm

I think they get used to all that if its consistent enough and they see no danger from it. Now if you are getting out of a vehicle and shooting at them, that would be a threat to their safety. Deer hear 4 wheelers, farm eqipment, and vehicles everyday.
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Re: Do deer know whats going on?

Unread postby huntinfool14 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:42 pm

Public Land Beast wrote:I think they get used to all that if its consistent enough and they see no danger from it. Now if you are getting out of a vehicle and shooting at them, that would be a threat to their safety. Deer hear 4 wheelers, farm eqipment, and vehicles everyday.


X2...when i drive a 4-wheeler into the woods, deer run off but only a 100 yds or so..then when i leave them come right back into the field..they get used to it
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Re: Do deer know whats going on?

Unread postby magicman54494 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:43 pm

I believe they act based on past experience. If everytime you drive in you walk thru the woods they will associate the drive in with an intrusion in the woods. If a farmer drives his tractor on the field again and again and doesn't do anything to spook the deer they will get used to the tractor and almost ignore it. When I built my cabin up north the deer got so used to me making noise that they basically ignored me after a while. hope this helps.
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Re: Do deer know whats going on?

Unread postby DropTyne » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:49 pm

First and foremost, I think it depends wether you're talking private or public land. For the sake of the your particular situation lets go with private.

I believe that if you become a creature of habit as a hunter the deer will recognize this and avoid it. Take the example of your uncle and his kids riding 4 wheelers, how often would you say they bump deer using the 4 wheelers? I would say it probably happens very rarely because the deer are used to the pattern and trails that they ride, so they avoid those areas while the wheelers are running.

Now take your Uncle and his kids and drive those same 4 wheelers through the middle of the woods and swamps and see how many deer are moved. See the picture?

What I try to do is act as if there is always a set of eyes and ears watching and listening whenever I'm near a hunting location. If every few days your truck pulls down a noisy gravel road, a door is slammed, and then that night a mature bucks cuts your scent trail in a sensitive area close to bedding or elsewhere in his core area, that will cause you problems. IMO.

Terrain is a deciding factor in how I try to counter this. Some of the areas I hunt are open farm country, I move the vehicle around a bit, obviously still playing the wind, but in most cases I still park a ways away from where I intend to hunt, using tall crops or ditches to disguise my approach from beds that have a sight advantage. I have crawled in ditches, I have walked around the block, I have even jumped out of a slow moving pickup bed. Call me crazy, but I think disguising the vehicle is in some cases as important as any other part of approach.

I would also like to add that three of my best known buck bedding areas that I have in farm country are elevated slightly and when used in their appropriate wind overlook the road and tractor trails going into the fields where most of the other hunters park/enter/exit when they are about to hunt. I'm not sure if this is consistent with others observations, but it is with mine.
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Re: Do deer know whats going on?

Unread postby Schultzy » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:46 am

magicman54494 wrote:I believe they act based on past experience. If everytime you drive in you walk thru the woods they will associate the drive in with an intrusion in the woods. If a farmer drives his tractor on the field again and again and doesn't do anything to spook the deer they will get used to the tractor and almost ignore it. When I built my cabin up north the deer got so used to me making noise that they basically ignored me after a while. hope this helps.
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Re: Do deer know whats going on?

Unread postby 76chevy » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:09 am

I agree with this post...

Schultzy wrote:
magicman54494 wrote:I believe they act based on past experience. If everytime you drive in you walk thru the woods they will associate the drive in with an intrusion in the woods. If a farmer drives his tractor on the field again and again and doesn't do anything to spook the deer they will get used to the tractor and almost ignore it. When I built my cabin up north the deer got so used to me making noise that they basically ignored me after a while. hope this helps.
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Re: Do deer know whats going on?

Unread postby dan » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:24 am

MAGIC AND DROPTYNE BOTH MADE SOME VERY VALID POINTS...
I would like to add a few things.
1st off, don't judge what what mature bucks do, or how they act based on what young deer or doe groups do..
I have seen on many propertys where mature buck beds overlook hunting cabins, and vehical access.
Yes, they do get used to, and acustomed to people, but many of the mature buck beds I know of over look public land parking lots and access watching the hunters come and go...

Do deer know when I am at my hunting land, and would that cause them to leave their beds later and return earlier?

I have observed mature bucks stay bedded until after dark when a hunter sets up nearby. Also, when I compare bucks out in daylight on pressured land vs minimal pressure land mature bucks come out earlier / go to bed later, where they have fewer run ins with people telling me that they do indeed associate nocturnalness with evading humans.
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Re: Do deer know whats going on?

Unread postby MOBIGBUCKS » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:32 am

DropTyne wrote:First and foremost, I think it depends wether you're talking private or public land. For the sake of the your particular situation lets go with private.

I believe that if you become a creature of habit as a hunter the deer will recognize this and avoid it. Take the example of your uncle and his kids riding 4 wheelers, how often would you say they bump deer using the 4 wheelers? I would say it probably happens very rarely because the deer are used to the pattern and trails that they ride, so they avoid those areas while the wheelers are running.

Now take your Uncle and his kids and drive those same 4 wheelers through the middle of the woods and swamps and see how many deer are moved. See the picture?

What I try to do is act as if there is always a set of eyes and ears watching and listening whenever I'm near a hunting location. If every few days your truck pulls down a noisy gravel road, a door is slammed, and then that night a mature bucks cuts your scent trail in a sensitive area close to bedding or elsewhere in his core area, that will cause you problems. IMO.

Terrain is a deciding factor in how I try to counter this. Some of the areas I hunt are open farm country, I move the vehicle around a bit, obviously still playing the wind, but in most cases I still park a ways away from where I intend to hunt, using tall crops or ditches to disguise my approach from beds that have a sight advantage. I have crawled in ditches, I have walked around the block, I have even jumped out of a slow moving pickup bed. Call me crazy, but I think disguising the vehicle is in some cases as important as any other part of approach.

I would also like to add that three of my best known buck bedding areas that I have in farm country are elevated slightly and when used in their appropriate wind overlook the road and tractor trails going into the fields where most of the other hunters park/enter/exit when they are about to hunt. I'm not sure if this is consistent with others observations, but it is with mine.



Dead on with my findings...
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Re: Do deer know whats going on?

Unread postby Indianahunter » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:32 am

Nothing more to say here other than a small suggestion. Do your scouting early and stay out until you are ready to hunt. Change up your access routes. If you always hunt mornings...start hunting evenings. If you always park in the same spot look for a different place a few hundred yards away. If possible skip a weekend and take a couple of week days off. Rotate properties or areas. Hope this is somewhat helpful.
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Re: Do deer know whats going on?

Unread postby huntinnurse » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:45 pm

I believe deer that make it thru 1-2 seasons learn to associate their breeding cycle to hunting time and they learn to pattern hunters maybe better than we can pattern them.
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Re: Do deer know whats going on?

Unread postby Zap » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:27 pm

IMO, mature deer, buck or doe pretty much know what's going on.

Daylight movement is pretty close to their bedroom's, and not too much human activity escape's them.

Normal day to day activity is differant than hunting activity, and I believe mature deer know the differance....
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Re: Do deer know whats going on?

Unread postby matt1336 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:04 pm

One thing to add. Deer will get use to your wheeler or truck. But you might not know what your neighbor does w/ his wheeler or truck. What I'm saying is that you know that you don't harrass deer w/ this stuff on your property. But the deer may associate your seemingly innocent behavior w/ danger for other reasons. Moral of the story: low key is the best policy. No wheeler joy rides stay outta your hunting area unless you're hunting close to (summer) and during season. I don't run cams for this reason. I scout in spring for this reason. I wish I could say I kill mature deer every season because of these reasons. But I still have a lot to learn.
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Re: Do deer know whats going on?

Unread postby cornfedkiller » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:22 pm

Im just thinkin, I have one food plot that runs along the driveway of our hunting land, and another food plot is back in the woods a couple hundred yards from the cabin. Reason I ask this is because I usually get to my land at night (or end up going into town for something in the evenings or whatever), and I usually see a few deer here and there on my way in. I was just wondering if you think deer see me coming through the woods at night (the driveway goes in through the woods as well - the cabin is a ways back in there), or hear me when I get out of the truck and shut the truck door or whatever and say to themselves "here we go again..time to lay low for a couple days" or if they dont associate that with "the hunters are here"
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Re: Do deer know whats going on?

Unread postby Tadmdad » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:23 pm

magicman54494 wrote:I believe they act based on past experience. If everytime you drive in you walk thru the woods they will associate the drive in with an intrusion in the woods. If a farmer drives his tractor on the field again and again and doesn't do anything to spook the deer they will get used to the tractor and almost ignore it. When I built my cabin up north the deer got so used to me making noise that they basically ignored me after a while. hope this helps.


I agree

Equates to Pavlov's dog theory...conditioned responce, aka reflex from a distance. The responce will vary on experience of danger (being shot at)..flee reflex. Passive interaction (normal human activity) ignore responce.


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