What did YOU learn in 2020?

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
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isitseasonyet?
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What did YOU learn in 2020?

Unread postby isitseasonyet? » Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:36 pm

What is your #1 lesson from the 2020 season?

Please keep it to what you learned about hunting big bucks. I'd love to hear how you learned it and invite discussion aroun the topics as well.

I will go first!

I learned what a big buck's sign actually looks like. Nearly a full seasons worth. Up to now I would see a track, or a rub, or a scrape, and see it was from a buck, but not really have an idea of what to look for next.

This season I got to follow around a specific buck, and see how he used and area, the sign he left, and why & when he left it there and did the things he did. In a woods that I know extrememly well. I believe that seeing this sign in real time, rather than bits and pieces of it through a season will be extremely beneficial to me. How obvious he was with some sign makes me think back to other bucks that I couldnt figure out and were less obvious. I will look back at the things this buck did to help me understand the next one.


What did you learn this year?


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Re: What did YOU learn in 2020?

Unread postby Ghost Hunter » Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:07 pm

Don't pass on one you really want to shoot.

Respond to you post. That is key, building history that you can learn from in an area.
I live to release an arrow and watch woods grow into chaos and then grow quite as a mouse in just seconds.
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Re: What did YOU learn in 2020?

Unread postby Hookslinger » Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:02 pm

Being a newbie I think the number one thing I learned is how I'mportant the element of surprise is. It was my first season going mobile and I saw more and bigger bucks in one season that probably my last 10 combined.

A close second would be to capitalize on hot sign. I scouted my way out after a morning sit and came across a very fresh scrape and rub on the edge of a small doe bedding area, I shot my buck there the next morning.

For a beginner Beast like me you can hear all of these lessons and what not over and over on podcasts or videos listening to Dan and others, but it really doesn't hit you until you get out there and experience it first hand.
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Re: What did YOU learn in 2020?

Unread postby mauser06 » Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:29 pm

The hunting season, I learned a lot.


I put myself to a test of an out of state hunt...after tagging out early in PA.


Biggest take away is SCOUT. Execute hunts based in that scouting. Hunt fresh sign. I ended up killing 2 of my best bucks and it all related to scouting. Previous and day of. A real confidence booster for me...


I'm very confident my Ohio trips wouldn't have went as they did if I didn't invest the scouting time that I did. I definitely spent more time scouting than actually hunting. But the 3 hunts I did hunt, I had 5 or 6 mature bucks within 100yds of me. 2 did something unexpected or I'd been able to say they were all within range. Lol.


It's easy to get excited over some sign and jump in a tree..especially on a fairly expensive out of state hunt with limited time. It's easy to be overly confident or complacent and go back to spots because they've been good before.


The last 4 years or so, I've changed my tactics and started focusing on scouting and its really paying off.
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isitseasonyet?
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Re: What did YOU learn in 2020?

Unread postby isitseasonyet? » Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:50 pm

mauser06 wrote:The hunting season, I learned a lot.


I put myself to a test of an out of state hunt...after tagging out early in PA.


Biggest take away is SCOUT. Execute hunts based in that scouting. Hunt fresh sign. I ended up killing 2 of my best bucks and it all related to scouting. Previous and day of. A real confidence booster for me...


I'm very confident my Ohio trips wouldn't have went as they did if I didn't invest the scouting time that I did. I definitely spent more time scouting than actually hunting. But the 3 hunts I did hunt, I had 5 or 6 mature bucks within 100yds of me. 2 did something unexpected or I'd been able to say they were all within range. Lol.


It's easy to get excited over some sign and jump in a tree..especially on a fairly expensive out of state hunt with limited time. It's easy to be overly confident or complacent and go back to spots because they've been good before.


The last 4 years or so, I've changed my tactics and started focusing on scouting and its really paying off.



This is what clicked with me this year too. Until you find what you’re looking for just keep in walking. (My take away was what to look for) This last year I decided to treat hunting more like walleye fishing.

Search for topography/edge/transition to find bucks and fish. (Spring scouting)
Locate target, on fish finder, or see the bucks on camera/person, or FRESH big bucks sign. (In season scouting) (90% of season)
Hunt/fish where you need to hunt. (Actual hunts)

Rinse/repeat till you get a buck/find walleyes.

I tell you one thing. I learned how to take my treestand for a walk this year. :mrgreen:

You said it well
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isitseasonyet?
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Re: What did YOU learn in 2020?

Unread postby isitseasonyet? » Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:53 pm

Ghost Hunter wrote:Don't pass on one you really want to shoot.

Respond to you post. That is key, building history that you can learn from in an area.


For you personally what makes a buck you want to shoot? I’m guessing you’re kicking yourself over one in particular? Why did you decide to pass?
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Re: What did YOU learn in 2020?

Unread postby mauser06 » Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:11 pm

Isitseasonyet, fishing is actually a great analogy. I chase flathead catfish. But similar thing. New water, we will invest a good bit of our time scanning. Even if we are there for half a day..you might catch fish traveling or feeding randomly. But you'll catch a lot more fishing where the majority of the fish are and understand when and why they are there.


Known water, marked structure, we still scan check the structure...look for bait..look for fish (flatheads aren't always able to be seen and marked)

Definitely relates to how we tackle deer hunting.


You're right on....I've taken my stand for a lot of walks...long walks....back to the truck. Lol. But, I didn't waste my time sitting in a tree. Those long walks either eliminate ground or put me into deer.
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Re: What did YOU learn in 2020?

Unread postby dannyboy » Tue Apr 13, 2021 12:44 am

Learned that bow hunting for mature bucks can require a little more resilence and patience in some seasons more than others. Had three different bucks at 30 yards but couldn't loose an arrow at any of them. Two because of cover and one because of chasing. All were during rut. Gonna try and see one or two this year outside of rut with better camera surveillance early season and get a better handle on bedding areas and set up closer to try and catch them in daylight.
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Re: What did YOU learn in 2020?

Unread postby treeroot » Tue Apr 13, 2021 1:39 am

I learned I need to be more adaptable. I need to get back into hunting on the ground more. Several times I found myself just out of range because I chose a tree instead of hunting the ground.

I also learned I need to hunt out of state again this coming year regardless if I have tags filled or not.
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Re: What did YOU learn in 2020?

Unread postby Hawthorne » Tue Apr 13, 2021 1:56 am

Nothing big. Some small stuff. The devil is in the details
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Re: What did YOU learn in 2020?

Unread postby Tim H » Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:06 am

I'd say this past year I learned the most than I ever have in one season. I think a lot has to do with deer sightings and hunting in a lot of new areas. In 2020 I had probably the most deer sightings that I've had in a long time. Also I hunted in 8 different counties and 2 states. Normally in northwoods I don't get a lot of deer sightings so I suppose most of the knowledge is theoretical to a point. When you hunt areas with higher deer density along with different terrain you actually are confirming that you are really on the right track.

Summer time

In regard to shining I learned what type of fields deer feed in and also when. This wasn't common knowledge to me. Deer and bucks don't just hang out in ag fields randomly. They have certain tastes at different time of the year. They will go from beans to green fields in a matter of a week. I learned this from Tyler Whitt and Dan.

Pennsylvania

I learned that PA has a lot of deer. Their hills are awesome! I learned a lot about deer movement on the ridges. I learned that oaks are a really big thing to key in on in the hills. Where the white oaks are, you will find more deer. Thermals and wind are so important in the hills. I saw first hand how the wind can be a certain way and yet the thermals pull the other. You really have to pay attention to the air flow direction. I also learned that there is a lot of human pressure in PA. The deer are still there, you just need to be bold and get by the other hunters. Even it means getting some dirty looks. I learned a lot of this on my own, but Dan really showed me a bunch. I also picked up some things from THP and Jeff Sturgis.

Cameras

With cameras and getting on the deer, you really need great timing. I was in PA when a lot of the day buck movement was by my cameras in WI. I missed some good hunting back home. So the timing is really huge and the cameras helped reiterate that lesson for me. I had some great hunting in PA but wished I wouldn't have missed the opportunities back home too. But you can only be in one place at a time.

Overlooked spots

I learned this all pretty much from Dan. Each overlooked spot is different but some are much better than others. It's not always obvious either. Sometimes the overlooked spots are simply the areas. Sometimes the overlooked spots are right next to the highway. It's really true that you gotta go where the people are not.

Marshes

The marshes that I hunted this past season were simply vacant of bucks after rifle season. Either they were shot, moved onto private or simply went to areas I couldn't get to, the bucks disappeared in the marshes. In the month of December and January I didn't have any buck pictures. A few does and a lot of coyotes. Once the marsh froze over it was a completely different area. On a positive note I learned that marshes can hold a lot of good deer. I'm looking forward to hunting these marshes now that I have 1 year of experience in them. This I learned on my own.
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Re: What did YOU learn in 2020?

Unread postby isitseasonyet? » Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:15 am

Tim H wrote:
Marshes

The marshes that I hunted this past season were simply vacant of bucks after rifle season. Either they were shot, moved onto private or simply went to areas I couldn't get to, the bucks disappeared in the marshes. In the month of December and January I didn't have any buck pictures. A few does and a lot of coyotes. Once the marsh froze over it was a completely different area. On a positive note I learned that marshes can hold a lot of good deer. I'm looking forward to hunting these marshes now that I have 1 year of experience in them. This I learned on my own.


I have noticed that too the last few years that the marsh is a ghost town post rut/rifle season.

Wonder if anyone else sees this?
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Re: What did YOU learn in 2020?

Unread postby Evanszach7 » Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:30 am

gotta give them the wind... aka just off wind.
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Re: What did YOU learn in 2020?

Unread postby sagDE » Tue Apr 13, 2021 11:12 am

I didn’t start using Beast tactics until the end of the season, but what I learned is that I’ve got a lot to learn. Thankfully people on the Beast have been very helpful answering my questions.
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Re: What did YOU learn in 2020?

Unread postby Uncle Lou » Tue Apr 13, 2021 2:09 pm

I learned, or should I say relearned, that I do not scout enough. And my up north spot went dead and I need to find a new spot, that I am working on. Just need more time there too.
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