Packing up early

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
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isitseasonyet?
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Re: Packing up early

Unread postby isitseasonyet? » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:28 pm

I learned this one the hard way. The only way I’m leaving is if the weather is a legitimate danger.


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Re: Packing up early

Unread postby Lockdown » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:14 pm

rfickes87 wrote:Learning to shoot with 2 eyes openabout 4-5 years ago has killed me some last light bucks. Trying to look thru a peep with one eye is hard to do when it's getting dark.

It really is amazing to see deer show up when you're thinking about packing up and climbing down. Im a little embarrassed to tell this story but...

Last year at last light one day i put my arrow back in my quiver, snapped it back on my bow. Took off my release. Then here he come right down the trail. As hes coming im trying to get my release back on, then get an arrow. He stopped on the trail broadside abd started sniffing my scent from walking on his trail. It came me the extra second to draw on him and let it fly. The blue nocturnal lit up like something from Star Wars and it disappeared into his side. He was dead a few seconds later.


This!! One of the many things I learned on the Beast. I’m not taking any 25 yard shots or anything, but if it’s high percentage I will. I close one eye, center my pin in the peep, open both then put it on the target. It makes a tremendous difference.

I practiced it quite a bit last year and was surprised how well I shot.
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Re: Packing up early

Unread postby Lockdown » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:16 pm

So I shot a doe tonight. Pulled the trigger, she took off, and after a minute or two I climbed down to inspect my arrow while I still had light. Was dark enough I still needed to get the flashlight out so I could see it better.

Those last minutes of light are prime time!! Be ready.
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Re: Packing up early

Unread postby BackCoverBowHunter » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:29 am

EllieTheChubb wrote:Sat tonight until I didnt feel comfortable shooting and when I started packing up a small buck walked in. Still 10-15min of shooting light left but with all the canopy cover it was D A R K. I can think of many hunts where it comes down to the last few minutes. You hit the nail on the head with this thread.


The best thing about this is you should have gained intel from this sit. Direction he came from and such... Now you can move in another 25 to 50 yards on that wind and have him in daylight. If you packed it up early you would not have that information. Good luck to you!
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Jackson Marsh
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Re: Packing up early

Unread postby Jackson Marsh » Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:55 am

I have got down early before, but never on a "bed hunt". One hunt was during the rut and I was out since the early AM, it was spitting rain/sleet and by 3 pm I couldn't hack it anymore. I only had maybe 1.5-2 hours left but I had mentally checked out so packed it in and went home. During the rut when you are hunting day after day I think it can be important to sleep in a day or two and/or just hunt the evening hours or mid day hours if you need a break. All day sits day after day after day can wear a guy down after a week or so.
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Re: Packing up early

Unread postby stash59 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:10 am

Jackson Marsh wrote:I have got down early before, but never on a "bed hunt". One hunt was during the rut and I was out since the early AM, it was spitting rain/sleet and by 3 pm I couldn't hack it anymore. I only had maybe 1.5-2 hours left but I had mentally checked out so packed it in and went home.During the rut when you are hunting day after day I think it can be important to sleep in a day or two and/or just hunt the evening hours or mid day hours if you need a break. All day sits day after day after day can wear a guy down after a week or so.


Agree with this. But you need to quit beating yourself up mentally if you do sleep in. And not keep 2nd guessing yourself that you missed an opportunity, in doing so!!!

Yeah if your so cold, you'd never be able to pull off an accurate shot. Get warmed up somehow.
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Huntress13
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Re: Packing up early

Unread postby Huntress13 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:20 am

BackCoverBowHunter wrote:
Huntress13 wrote:
john1984 wrote:
BackCoverBowHunter wrote:It is crazy to me how people can sit for hours and then pack up and leave at grey light. You put all that effort and time in wait until it is dark to leave!! Bottom line is people are afraid of the woods in the dark. Their mind takes them out of the game.


They should be afraid because cougars, bears and wolves loose their fear of humans when it gets dark. And they have be known to stalk hunters after sunset :?


We don't have those here. Coyotes are the only thing.


If your afraid then carry. Every coyote and black bear I have seen has been high tailing in the other direction. Now bobcats & fishers I have watched stand their ground when I am trying to pass. Lol


I'm not afraid of the coyotes, except afraid they might eat a downed deer before I find it.
And, here in the "People's Republic of Soviet NY", you aren't allowed to carry while bow hunting. Go figure.
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Re: Packing up early

Unread postby Challenger » Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:33 am

I've been on both sides of this.

My wife had surgery for her cancer and I had to take two months off of work to care for her. The first chance to get out was the first week of November when some family members came to visit. Feeling she would be in good hands and knowing we were all going out for dinner I snuck out only telling the wife. I was setup by 6am saw a couple of does and a small buck before noon. Around 2 a couple of gun hunters walked past scouting. I sat for a couple of hours, seeing nothing and feeling a little guilty about sneaking out I decided head out just before sundown. I lowered my pack to the ground, loosened my stabilizer straps and started to descend. I got two "steps" down looked up and there was the biggest buck I had ever seen in the woods 22 yards away making a scrape. With no shot (I climb with my bow in the bow holder), my pack on the ground and my grunt in it all I could do was watch him walk away. If I had stayed until dark I may have had a chance to kill that buck.

Just this past Friday I was in the same tree. I wanted to move fifty yards further in as the weather said the winds were supposed to have changed but hadn't so I laid back. This was around 2:30 and within the hour it switched but I stayed where I was as to not ruin the spot. Around 4:45 a doe started walking right at me when something spooked her and she looked behind her for a few seconds then took off. A few minutes later a big ten 130" buck walked right where the doe had been then walked right down the trail I wanted to be covering. A minute later a bigger twelve walked in and followed the first buck . They stayed 70 to 75 yards away until after dark. I stayed until half hour after dark and started the slowest climb I have ever made. It took 45 minutes to get 18 feet and pack up. I did not hear them spook as it was absolutely dead quiet. I had forgotten my my GPS and couldn't find my compass in my pack. I knew once I hit the field all I had to was keep the moon in front me to the right and I could make the "main trail" in around half a mile. Well the moon went behind the clouds and with the goldenrod being over my head and the pines being planted in rows willy nilly I got turned around for over an hour. When the moon finally came back out I was right back where I had entered the field! I made it out with only about a hundred punctures, scratches and cuts from the massive amounts of wild rose and thorn bushes!

I know a little long winded but I love to tell deer stories!
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Chuck B
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Re: Packing up early

Unread postby Chuck B » Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:00 am

I am always the last guy back to camp/cabin when hunting with others. I pretty much always wait until dark to get down. Not because I am going to shoot one past legal/ethical shooting time, but I want to see if I was in the right area, just not close enough. Those are the times that bucks are moving. Unless I have something to hurry to (kids or something), then why not stay in the tree for that extra 20 minutes and see what was close....
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Re: Packing up early

Unread postby Rich M » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:56 pm

I see most of my deer between 9 and 11 am and after the sun sets - when the air gets calm and everything is in shadow.

I could hunt those 2.5 hrs a day and see 90% of the deer I see. Just how it works for me.
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Re: Packing up early

Unread postby Buckshot20 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:31 am

I have sat until I could no longer see my fingers in the timber, busted out to a field edge and killed in the last faining light. Everything is situational.
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Re: Packing up early

Unread postby Razorhead » Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:08 am

I am in total agreement with hanging in until legal shooting hours have passed. However, if it is to dark for you to see where your arrow hits the deer it is to dark to let that shot go. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way over the years and it doesn’t even matter how much of a “peep” shot it is. I just passed on one that I was full draw on Tuesday evening for this very reason. I felt real good about not taking that risky shot.
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Re: Packing up early

Unread postby sdonx » Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:08 pm

I'm not a great hunter IMHO.
But I know math, longer you stay out you increase your chances.
When the sun goes down I whisper " Prime time"
Like Dewey said sometime the light I lost is before legal time ends.

Funnyish story:
Thursday night the Pats were playing.
I had the perfect plan, leave work early get in the woods, hunt for a couple hours, freshen up a couple cams with new batteries in dark, meet the wife and my son at the local sports bar.
Wife had other plans. First I get the text where are you? She stopped by my office.
I shoot her a selfie of me in the tree. Next I get OK , time to go me and Harry are hungry.
I say no not till I leave, Legal time is 6:45. I will see you 8:30 ish....( mind you we eat every night at 8PM)
Well that don't work, She says " Pack Up Early" so I forget the camera stuff and say "see you at 7:30...sorry I worked way to hard to get where I am to leave early."
And she actually does understand the places I hunt. we walk our dog together and I have taken her to my spots. So thick my dog refuses to follow ....lol.
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Re: Packing up early

Unread postby mauser06 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:45 pm

I remember packing up early once....


Early season marsh sit. Dressed for the weather... fairly warm.


I monitor the weather pretty regularly... especially during hunting season. Out of about nowhere a nasty cold storm rolled in. Wind kicked up. Super cold rain fell. I knew I was in THE spot and the sun was going down. I was shivering so bad I knew I had to go. I was soaked to the bone.

I kept thinking I was hearing something that sounded a heck of a lot like a buck trashing trees but I couldn't see it...I gave in...

Literally right as I stood up and started moving around, I locked eyes with a big dark antlered buck. 25yds in the open. With the stormy sky and wind and rain, he wasn't really sure what he saw but he knew he was SOMETHING. He didn't stick around much longer.

Sure enough, he was blowing open a heck of a rub line.



I never understood why guys leave early....my dad texted me this evening saying he didn't see anything. I was still in my tree. He was 20 minutes down the road and I was only half way to my truck. He had to have packed up well before dark.


I see a LOT of guys that won't go into the woods in the dark. They will be standing at the truck or on somewhat maintained trails.


I think a lot of it is afraid of the dark.... inability to navigate in the dark..not prepared for it..."don't wanna setup or pack up in the dark" etc.


I grew up running coon dogs. The lights we had 25 years ago weren't nearly what I have today. We walked in the dark pretty often just to conserve the lights we had. Amazing what has changed with the hunting lights. My light now is a fraction of the size/weight, lasts a crazy amount of time longer...and is about 1000x brighter.


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