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  #51  
Old 02-20-2012, 11:57 AM
BSK_ BSK_ is offline
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Same here, the exciting rut time hunting, is a yawn for me.

Once peak breeding begins, our chances at a mature buck are virtually over. Now we do see a secondary peak of mature buck cruising in daylight on cameras just as the rut trickles down to an end, when the last does are reaching estrus, but for some reason we've never been able to capitalize on that secondary peak. We get a few pictures of mature bucks checking scrapes in daylight but have yet to actually see one while hunting. I suspect the "cruising patterns" are a bit different during this secondary peak and our stands just aren't set up correctly to take advantage of these slightly different patterns. Although I know a few local hunters that have their best mature buck sightings during this secondary peak.
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  #52  
Old 02-20-2012, 12:02 PM
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I think the only way to hunt often and not put too much pressure on the property is to have several properties to hunt. After reading Don's book, this reenforced my belief. The problem is trying to gain other areas to hunt. Last year I knocked on about 15 doors to ask to Bow hunt only and offered to pay. No takers. Trying to find even a small piece of land that is not already hunted is no easy task. It also get demoralizing after about 5 rejections. After 15, I was done. I may try again this summer in a further away area.
I think the worst thing about asking permission to hunt is the dam DOGS ya gotta get past! A few houses I didnt have the courage to get out of the truck!

You would be surprised at the opportunities offered on public land especially during archery and late season if you are willing to do a bit of work.

I almost exclusively hunt public land and I have more trees prepared then I could ever hunt in a given season for any given wind direction. I see lots of game and over the past few seasons when I began to seriously put together a strategy and hunt smarter, I have had a shooting opportunity at a 2.5+ on about 75% of my sits and give one a free ride to the check station on about 25% of my sits. These numbers are astounding given the areas I hunt, with low deer density and terrible age structure. The stricter I become in any area of my hunting routine the numbers continue to rise...

I never have to worry about over-hunting stands or losing permission on a property. I never see other hunters or evidence of other hunters in my 'primary' stand areas. I actually enjoy public land hunting. A lot.

This may seem off-topic but by hunting public land effectively it affords you extra 'quality' hunting time without having to over-hunt your land.
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you shot a yearling you bastard!
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  #53  
Old 02-20-2012, 12:56 PM
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Location of the property and the surrounding landowners hunting techniques play a big part too. I have 96 acres that I live on. I have plenty of cover and water. Food sources is not an issue either. I did not hunt it at all this year and probably less than five time in the last six years. I am lucky to get one maybe two buck pictures in a year total and that is with a feeder running all year. I have about four does that live on the property, but no bucks. Earlier this year I was finally getting a young 4 point on camera regularly but the nieghbor took care of him opening weekend of gun season. I sure was hoping to get to watch one finally grow up.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:53 AM
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I almost exclusively hunt public land and I have more trees prepared then I could ever hunt in a given season for any given wind direction.

Curious, what do you mean by "prepared"? We can't cut/trim anything limbs or branches, or do much of anything to clear shooting lanes, on public ground in our state. Not to say that some probably don't do that, but you'd be fined, if caught, here. I realize regs vary, greatly, from one state to the next, so I wonder if that is what you mean by prepared.
Also, you can't use any kind of step that penetrates the bark of the tree, and no stands can remain in place, past legal hunting hours (I believe). In other words, you have to pack it all in, for each hunt, and pack it all out, after each hunt. That has been a major deterent for me to hunting public land, in the past. I have considered getting a Muddy Bloodsport, and their climbing steps, though, to allow me to hunt certain State lands, in coming seasons.
Jeff, sorry for the sidebar! Great information. Thanks to you, and others, for posts on this topic!
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:58 AM
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I've said this before and I know not everyone agrees with baiting, but all my taxidermist does is place a corn pile in the middle of a cutover surrounded by 200 acres and hunts ONE stand about 200 yards away in a box blind that keeps his scent in. Maybe it's just the location, but he sees 20-30 deer per sit and gets his allowed two buck limit each year (with all deer 3.5 yo or older). Why? Reduced pressure, food and ample cover. I think one could do the same thing with a food plot, but the benefit of the corn he puts out, I think, is a lot of food in a small area surrounded by heavy cover (deer are probably more apt to come out in heavy cover with a localized food source as opposed to a 5 acre clover field when clover provides no cover).
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
Curious, what do you mean by "prepared"? We can't cut/trim anything limbs or branches, or do much of anything to clear shooting lanes, on public ground in our state. Not to say that some probably don't do that, but you'd be fined, if caught, here. I realize regs vary, greatly, from one state to the next, so I wonder if that is what you mean by prepared.
Also, you can't use any kind of step that penetrates the bark of the tree, and no stands can remain in place, past legal hunting hours (I believe). In other words, you have to pack it all in, for each hunt, and pack it all out, after each hunt. That has been a major deterent for me to hunting public land, in the past. I have considered getting a Muddy Bloodsport, and their climbing steps, though, to allow me to hunt certain State lands, in coming seasons.
Jeff, sorry for the sidebar! Great information. Thanks to you, and others, for posts on this topic!

Yes, similar laws here. By prepared I mean entry/exit routes marked. I hunt a lot out of long leaf pine which is the noisiest bark in the woods so I generally scrape as much loose bark as I can off the entire tree from bottom to hunting height. A lot of the thick areas are young pines, I simply tie them together to open up shooting 'holes' to certain runways, same with small cypress trees.

Spots are then marked on a map with entry/exit routes, buck sign, deer beds, nearby food(usually oaks), best wind direction etc...

I used to hunt out of a lightweight climber, but even that was too cumbersome for walking 2-3 miles and penetrating thick areas. I switched to a saddle and ameristep strap-ons and never looked back. This summer I am going to pick up a Guidos Web as I have heard they are much more comfy for long sits. Also looking into climbing with a home-made climbing rope/stirrup instead of the steps.
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you shot a yearling you bastard!
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  #57  
Old 02-21-2012, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by scrimshaw33 View Post
I've said this before and I know not everyone agrees with baiting, but all my taxidermist does is place a corn pile in the middle of a cutover surrounded by 200 acres and hunts ONE stand about 200 yards away in a box blind that keeps his scent in. Maybe it's just the location, but he sees 20-30 deer per sit and gets his allowed two buck limit each year (with all deer 3.5 yo or older). Why? Reduced pressure, food and ample cover. I think one could do the same thing with a food plot, but the benefit of the corn he puts out, I think, is a lot of food in a small area surrounded by heavy cover (deer are probably more apt to come out in heavy cover with a localized food source as opposed to a 5 acre clover field when clover provides no cover).

I believe this 100%. The problem is most of us want to bow hunt....and bow hunt often. I am at my best in a tree....that is where I NEED to be!

I dont have much public land near me, but I do have access to land that is part of a hunting club. A few guys do bow hunt it...thats the problem.

I need to win the lottery and buy a few thousand acres!
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  #58  
Old 02-21-2012, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by BSK_ View Post
Once peak breeding begins, our chances at a mature buck are virtually over. Now we do see a secondary peak of mature buck cruising in daylight on cameras just as the rut trickles down to an end, when the last does are reaching estrus, but for some reason we've never been able to capitalize on that secondary peak. We get a few pictures of mature bucks checking scrapes in daylight but have yet to actually see one while hunting. I suspect the "cruising patterns" are a bit different during this secondary peak and our stands just aren't set up correctly to take advantage of these slightly different patterns. Although I know a few local hunters that have their best mature buck sightings during this secondary peak.

I'm speaking of zone 1, which is the northwoods area that I sometimes hunt, not the central Minnesota farm country.

The few truly big bucks that I have ssen taken up in the northwoods were often shot the week before Thanksgiving. Rifle season wil have been open for 10 plus days and the "experts" say the old bucks will make one less swing through the area before winter.

There is really no second rut up in the northwoods that I have seen. BSK-do you see a secondary peak in the rut with does coming in heat, maybe younger does? Or is it just a last round of searching by a few bucks?
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  #59  
Old 02-21-2012, 02:31 PM
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There is really no second rut up in the northwoods that I have seen. BSK-do you see a secondary peak in the rut with does coming in heat, maybe younger does? Or is it just a last round of searching by a few bucks?

I strongly suspect the second peak in daylight mature bucks pictures is just a matter of the last round of searching before the end of the rut (because of timing--it does not line up with a "2nd rut").

Now the question of a "2nd rut" is a tough one to answer. But to answer it I have to make the destinction between "breeding" and "conceptions." Not all breeding leads to conception. I make this destinction because I don't see a 2nd peak in conceptions in the fetal conception data, which would theoretically result from a 2nd rut. However, I definitely do see a cyclical 28-30 day peak in buck scraping activity. And interestingly, this cyclical pattern does not begin with the first peak of breeding; it starts the month before during what many hunters call the "false rut" when a surge of scraping and buck seeking sometimes occurs 28-30 days prior to the actual peak of breeding.

I will see a very strong surge of scraping a month prior to peak breeding, a healf-hearted surge in scraping exactly a month after peak breeding, and even a noticeable small surge in scraping two months after peak breeding (which would suggest a 3rd rut cycle). But again, we do not see surges in conceptions resulting from this activity.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrimshaw33 View Post
I've said this before and I know not everyone agrees with baiting, but all my taxidermist does is place a corn pile in the middle of a cutover surrounded by 200 acres and hunts ONE stand about 200 yards away in a box blind that keeps his scent in. Maybe it's just the location, but he sees 20-30 deer per sit and gets his allowed two buck limit each year (with all deer 3.5 yo or older). Why? Reduced pressure, food and ample cover. I think one could do the same thing with a food plot, but the benefit of the corn he puts out, I think, is a lot of food in a small area surrounded by heavy cover (deer are probably more apt to come out in heavy cover with a localized food source as opposed to a 5 acre clover field when clover provides no cover).

I worked at a Consumers Energy man made lake water turbine project where they had 800+ acres fenced in and there were "MATURE" bucks that would run down the hill to within 30 yards of our vehicle to eat an apple that we threw out the window. I swear this is true.......I'm not talking about a petting zoo, I'm talking about a place where no hunting pressure was, thats it. I wish people could see those bucks because the nutrition really isn't that great and those bucks had no problem getting over 150" just with age. But, the people from northern Michigan think that someone must have flown those bucks in with a helicopter from another state. No joking either....very small minded hunters at times...
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