The biggest thing you learned this season

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
naternate
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Re: The biggest thing you learned this season

Unread postby naternate » Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:22 pm

2 things really solidified for me this season

1. You don’t hurt yourself setting your stand lower in the tree. I use full length LW sticks with a 22in cable aider. I set 4 sticks once this year, 3 sticks 4 times, about 15 sets with 2 sticks, and 2 sets with only one stick. The tree with the best cover isn’t usually the tallest.

2. This one is said all the time but really got hammered home....”big bucks don’t act like all the other deer.” I set up in a pinch point I have hunted before, and always set up on the very downwind edge. This year a fallen down tree funneled a lot of deer activity more towards the upwind edge. I set up there and missed an opportunity at what would have been my biggest buck that still traveled the very downwind edge.


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szwampdonkey
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Re: The biggest thing you learned this season

Unread postby szwampdonkey » Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:27 am

When setting up pull my bow up before i do anything else once you’re on your stand/platform!

Big Bucks can and will move at any time you’re in the woods. Even within minutes of you climbing the tree, setting up, and your bow is still on the ground.

Ask me how i know :doh:
mikear
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Re: The biggest thing you learned this season

Unread postby mikear » Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:54 am

1) Glassing from a distance, and often from the truck, has helped me learn more about deer movements and patterns. I document wind direction, food source type, temperature, etc. each time I see a deer I’d like to target. Sat up based on these observations and had some close calls.

2) Take the long way in. I have permission on some private where there is a road right through the middle. Makes for easy access. Well after glassing from afar, I found that my usual easy access routes would have alerted these deer almost every time. No wonder I wasn’t killing anything!
Jdw
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Re: The biggest thing you learned this season

Unread postby Jdw » Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:49 am

szwampdonkey wrote:When setting up pull my bow up before i do anything else once you’re on your stand/platform!

Big Bucks can and will move at any time you’re in the woods. Even within minutes of you climbing the tree, setting up, and your bow is still on the ground.

Ask me how i know :doh:


I learned that one last year.
Drich
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Re: The biggest thing you learned this season

Unread postby Drich » Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:02 am

Nothing but praise in the woods. Hunting for my group is for fun not survival, and no one enjoys being at.
Usi05
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Re: The biggest thing you learned this season

Unread postby Usi05 » Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:45 pm

My biggest lesson was one in balance. I spent so much time focusing on killing my first bull after failing in year one that I didn’t put forth much effort into scouting.

Another one is not to pass something on day one you’d shoot on last days. I let a lot of 2.5 year olds live and I’m cool with it. But I went buckless this year as a result of the 2 things mentioned above.

Really trying to keep focusing on scouting on whitetail while slowly balancing my western hunting priorities.

Last but maybe most important is to enjoy it with friends and family. My 6 and 8 year old girls asked me last year to take them and I didn’t. Did this year on trips to shoot does and we had a blast. Regret not doing it last year.
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thwack16
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Re: The biggest thing you learned this season

Unread postby thwack16 » Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:16 am

Relearned a lesson: there’s more big bucks alive on day one of the season than it is day 2, more on day 2 than day 3, and so on.

Waited til the third week of November to take my Midwest trip thinking the big boys would be on their feet then. That theory likely works much better on private than public. Ended up passing a ton of 2 & 3 year olds.

Here at home, slow played it in October and November with intentions of hitting it hard for the rut in December and January (still learning how to play the dad game and this seemed to be the best approach). Well, buck after buck died on cold fronts with neighbors over feeders and by the peak of the rut all of the targets were known to be dead or awol.
sagDE
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Re: The biggest thing you learned this season

Unread postby sagDE » Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:17 am

I learned that I cannot skip scouting because I did it last year. But me pretty good this year.
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Tufrthnails
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Re: The biggest thing you learned this season

Unread postby Tufrthnails » Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:32 am

I learned that normal people work schedule sucks for hunting season and I was very blessed with my previous jobs work schedule. I’ve got a quarter of the days in the woods I did over the last few years. I do seem to be putting a lot more thought into where and when I hunt now. Only two hunting trips left this year. Got four buck tags left I can fill. Hoping all the off season combined with boots on the ground scout hunting can pay off on public land. Things would have to go really really bad not to fill a tag at the farm.
Tuf- The below average hunting beast
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live2hunt
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Re: The biggest thing you learned this season

Unread postby live2hunt » Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:58 am

I’m not as young as I once was. I stay busy and had only 4 days off in 2020 before season. When I started my vacation my herniated disks became unbearable and I was down for most of my vacation.

I knew my days were limited so this year my strategy was different. I went right for the throat every chance I had. So I guess I can say I learned my strategy was working I just didn’t see a buck I wanted but I was on bucks most of my hunts.

Being more aggressive was a pre season goal and I achieved that. So back to scouting when I have time and planning a similar strategy next season.
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szwampdonkey
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Re: The biggest thing you learned this season

Unread postby szwampdonkey » Tue Jan 19, 2021 1:41 am

live2hunt wrote:I’m not as young as I once was. I stay busy and had only 4 days off in 2020 before season. When I started my vacation my herniated disks became unbearable and I was down for most of my vacation.

I knew my days were limited so this year my strategy was different. Iwent right for the throat every chance I had. So I guess I can say I learned my strategy was working I just didn’t see a buck I wanted but I was on bucks most of my hunts.

Being more aggressive was a pre season goal and I achieved that. So back to scouting when I have time and planning a similar strategy next season.


I learned this is a MUST on public around me a few years ago. With the wealth of information on Youtube and such there are no unmolested “secret” spots on public anymore.

I find a good buck bedding area i’m going in aggressive in Sept or someone else will beat me to it.
WVArcher32
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Re: The biggest thing you learned this season

Unread postby WVArcher32 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 1:51 am

Thermals, thermals, thermals. In hill country, it's tough stuff to learn but this is the first year that I really tried to put the pieces of the puzzle together regarding thermals. I always played the wind, but the thermals will get you. Still learning.
Befo
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Re: The biggest thing you learned this season

Unread postby Befo » Tue Jan 19, 2021 3:32 am

Biggest thing I learned was that carrying one stick and wearing a saddle let me focus less on good trees and more on good hunting. I always had the option of hunting from the ground or from the stand. It let me be significantly more mobile and to find where I wanted to hunt and make the cover work for me.

Second biggest thing (as I'm new to Beast style) is dropping the scent control regimen. Part of me still wonders if the scent control freaks have a point when they say it just increases the odds even if it doesn't entirely eliminate scent. But the bottom line is that dropping the scent control has made hunting way more enjoyable (I don't get paranoid everytime I hunt) and taking away the safety net means I'm more disciplined paying attention to wind, thermals, ground scent. Even if scent lok had some effect, the illusion of safety made me a worse hunter. I saw more bucks and bigger bucks this year by taking off the training wheels.
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pa_archery_nut
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Re: The biggest thing you learned this season

Unread postby pa_archery_nut » Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:01 am

I learned many lessons this year. I went hard from early October thru mid November. Sparingly in December. I used up all my hunting 'credits' allotted by my wife quite quickly. I spent a lot of time scouting late last winter and believed I had a bead on buck bedding and travel corridors. I was convinced that I could hammer my target buck early on in archery. I was wrong. I hunt a doe factory. Of all the buck I had on camera throughout the late winter, spring, summer and early fall I am now convinced that none of them spend oct/nov on the ground i hunt.

That said. The biggest buck I've ever seen showed up during the rut this fall. From late October through Mid November I had 9 encounters and I was unable to seal the deal. I learned much throughout those encounters and hope I get another chance at him this coming fall. I'm slowly narrowing down where his bedroom is. I believe I almost have it nailed. I'm just trying to learn everything I can about this particular buck. I'm not sure I can get permission to hunt the area I believe he spends the majority of his time.

Anyway. Lessons learned. This fall my goal is improving the quality of my hunts.
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G-Patt
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Re: The biggest thing you learned this season

Unread postby G-Patt » Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:37 am

Jdw wrote:
szwampdonkey wrote:When setting up pull my bow up before i do anything else once you’re on your stand/platform!

Big Bucks can and will move at any time you’re in the woods. Even within minutes of you climbing the tree, setting up, and your bow is still on the ground.

Ask me how i know :doh:


I learned that one last year.


Also, after letting down your bow, don't detach your pull string when coming down the tree. Learned that one this year...and the second I detached the rope, I thought "that was dumb." And sure enough....big bucky comes walking down the trail. doh! :doh:
On my deathbed, I will receive total consciousness. So I have that going for me, which is nice!


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