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Slow Jigger

Shooting a bedding deer.

55 posts in this topic

Ok here it is? I am still a rookie as far as I know!

Shooting a bedding deer? Is there anything that one should be aware of if taking this type of shot? I have a doe that beds in some pine trees and she was seen by the owner of the land just yesterday. She didn't spook and just looked at him.

Is there unwritten or written rules about shooting deer out of beds?

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Unwritten rule- some people think that shooting a bedded deer is unethical and not sporting. Honestly, I've never understood this. I always thought that if you can get close enough for a shot with the deer that's unaware of you, you should take it and be proud that your hunting skills allowed you the opportunity.

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There isn't a rule on it as far as I know. But I'd really be surprised if she let you walk up to her and shoot her, if she did, I'd be leary about what was wrong with her. A better bet might be to find where and when she is coming and set up an ambush. Deer don't always bed in the same spot, usually a similar area, but thats why hunting is so hard. If deer had set beds, this would be a piece of cake.

I guess if you would get the shot, I would still aim behind the front legs, I don't think it is a very high percentage shot because half of the deers vitals will be on the ground, your margin for error decreases. I would advise against it, but I'm not going to tell you what to do. Good luck, let us know if you get a shot at her.

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I think if you get a shot, take a shot! This is like shooting a grouse on the ground or in a tree! The sportsman comes out in me and I try to flush the bird, but in the end I want the meat! I will take a clean shot if I get one!

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What scoot said. If you have the ability to stalk within bowrange of a bedded deer undetected... that's a feat itself. Be proud - you're part of very small percentage. I can't say I've done much of it but don't think I'd have the discipline to be very successful... I prefer a tree or ground blind.

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I was actually presented with such a shot this past weekend and took it with negative results. It's not that a good, ethical shot wasn't presented. It's that a good shot was not made by myself.

In my situation, I was slowly stalking my way to stand and noticed a doe bedded in the edge of slough off to my left and up ahead. With an arrow already knocked, I knew that if I could make it to certain spot on the trail without her jumping, I could stop, draw back and take a clean shot. I was prepared not to release, however, should she move the slightest.

It played out exactly as I had imagined it would in the best case scenario, she just sat there looking at me from about 30 yards, slightly quartering away with vitals fully exposed. Unfortanely, that's where the best case scenario ended, I hit her a little too far forward. Instead of just behind the shoulder, I went into the shoulder blade with the arrow sticking out and off she went. I gave her a four hour head start and then slowly took up the trail until dark. I kept finding fresher and fresher blood, grant you just little droplets and decided to back out for the night in case I was pushing her. I spend the first half of the next day looking with friends to no avail.

I am hopeful she will make it though I base that on nothing. I feel awful about the situation. My first deer lost though I don't know if she made it or not in three seasons bowhunging. All other three deer have went down like bags of rocks within 50 yards or so.

I have replayed what I may have done wrong in my head, which basically amounts to me not holding the pin steady enough on release because my equipment if working properly since the incident. I do not believe taking the shot was the wrong thing to do because her vitals were fully exposed (key to shooting at a bedded deer) and she was lying perfectly still. I don't even think she realized I saw her.

Good luck. I would take the shot with vitals exposed and a still deer. The only difference between taking that shot and when she's on her feet is that she's a little higher off the ground in the latter instance.

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I've been lucky enough to take two late season deer that were bedded down in standing corn. It ground shot can be done, but it's not easy. Being lucky enough to get within bow range is only half the challenge. The other challenge that you face is getting a kill shot, which I've found to be just as challenging.

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I shot a doe this past weekend that bedded in a plowed field to hide like some bigger bucks will do in a dead furrow. I did get a 30 yard shot and aimed for the front shoulder. I hit the doe in the front shoulder and pumped the arrow into her heart. She went 40 yards and tipped over.

Lucky, I guess so.

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I would say the trickiest thing about shooting a bedded deer, at least in corn, is to know exactly how they're laying. I shot a doe at 8 yards once, but I misjudged the vitals & hit her too far forward & probably a little low. It went through her & stuck in the ground, but it basically only hit shoulder. My cousin shot her the next season we're sure, as there was a big doe with a gimpy shoulder & it was on that side. I'd seen her a couple weeks before that, but hadn't been able to get the shot. She was only a few hundred yards from where I'd hit her the year before.

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I would think with a bedded deer, the thin you would have to worry about the most would be arrow defection as often times they are bedded in tall grass and such...

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Agreed Deitz. In my case, the doe was lying undeneath a pine tree at the very edge of a slough. Usually, the bed deeper into the underbrush in this area, but I think she was enjoying the afternoon sun in a relatively unpressured area. I'm still sick about it, both in the fact that I wounded her - very potentially fatally - and that I misplaced such a clear shot.

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Understood, it happens to the best. We do our very best, but sometimes that isn't good enough as well. Your sickness tells me that you take the sport very seriously.

Good luck to you the rest of the season!

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As stated above, I've done it once and it worked. But like I stated in my post, probably alot of luck was involved as the deers vital area was blocked by her shoulder blade. With a sharp broadhead one may be able to get away with a low percentage shot like this.

I know, not a very wise shot to take but I always feel that when I do draw back and let er fly, that I have alot of confidence in my shots.

Would I do it again, wont know until the time is here.

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Thanks Deitz. I am taking off Friday and hunting all day and was planning on all weekend (with my bow during gun season)but looks like I will have to help a good neighbor - and wife's family member - move some stuff for a few hours on Saturday. "You weren't going to hunt all day anyway, were you, he asked? Um, not anymore. grin.gif He helped us move in when we first got there so I should and I'm hoping for good karma from it.

Harvey, so I take it was at an angle through the blade? Mine went in almost straight on at about the same distance but it didn't penetrate as far as I thought it would. A good portion stuck out the side. Of course, I was counting on it to enter slightly behind the shoulder blade. I had sharpened the 100gr 3 blade muzzys. I've never had a problem with them before in terms of pass throughs, etc.

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My shot was at a slight angle. 125 grain 3 blade muzzies and sharp. Arrow only penetrated approx 6-7 inches. My bow poundage is down to about 55 pounds as I dont like sitting in a tree for 2 hours when cold and then trying to pull back 70#'s.

The loss of poundage does hurt on the longer shots and I only shoot 1 pin so it gets a little tougher. But, its sure nice when the temps are cooler and I can sure hold the bow back longer at full draw and wait for the deer to walk into position.

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As strictly a spot and stalk hunter, I get plenty of opportunities at bedded deer.

The way its bedded and your approach are the keys.

Most of my shots, are 3-4 yards in the corn and less in a fence line.

Fenceline are nasty because you have no ability to get away from the fence cover. You end up getting extremely close with little chance to draw without making any noise or being seen at that close range..... Unless theyre napping, which they do with their eyes open!

Dont even think about shooting down the fence row or corn unless you are gun hunting. Or, unless the deer you want, presents a shot like this: [image]DeerF.jpg[/image]

Guns can be used down the fence and down the corn row with little problem. Most of my gun sneaks are to within 20-30 yards and at that range a neck shot is all but automatic.

Hunting with a bow is a different situation completely regarding shots. You must be shooting across the deer and its imperative to know exactly how it is laying in order to get into the vitals.

Again, fencelines are the hardest, because you cannot get a good look at how they are laying because you have to expose yourself too much to get a look when your on the same side of the fence as they are.

Cornfields completely different. You can look at them from one side and down the other as long as your dont let them wind you.

I have made an approach to within 4 yards of many deer, only to back out and make a different approach from a different angle when it became apparent I couldnt get a shot into the breadbasket from where I thought I could originally...

Wind is the key in a corn field. You have 270 different degrees of approach that you can make and still remain hidden to the deer.

I gotta tell ya though, when you are making the final approach 3 rows away, looking cross rows into the row its laying in, its an intense rush when you finally see the first patch of hair or that huge eyeball that looks as big as a softball but yet doesnt see you.

[image]DeerD.jpg[/image]

[image]Bucka1.jpg[/image] Always, shoot cross rows at deer in a cornfield, or on a fenceline, for all that matters. Never shoot from either end of the deer.

This is a typica gun situation, but not a bow. [image]BuckAand.jpg[/image] With bow, I would move back 50 yards, cross the row he's in and add in at 3 rows, possibly more, depending on how dense the corn was. Then, I would walk back the 50 yards and start looking forward for that first patch of hair or that hairy eyeball. Once I see that, everything goes in SLOOOOOW motion.. Theres no hurry now. Its not uncommon to take ten minutes to move 10 feet. Each step is taken after carefully looking thru the stalks to see if theres a large enough opening for a shot and if that opening is in line with his vitals. Every inch is a new picture!

Obviously, not every stalk ends in a kill, but the percentages are actually wuite high, when you take a shot.

Here, I tried to see how close I could get to this buck.

[image]forkhorncy.jpg[/image] I'm about 7 1/2 feet away when he left, and probably could have stood there for a while, but he seen me lean in to take the picture.

I love cornfield hunting, but with the advent of 30, and now 20 inch rows, its all but impossible to make any time searching a cornfield.

Also, the genetics of the corn, is allowing it to come out of the field considerably sooner than it used to.

I uses to wait to mid November and the windiest day that was forecast before would even think about going hunting. No need to go early morning, or late evening. 11 am till 2:30 pm would suit me just fine. (another reason I like cornfield hunting, hehehe)

Oh well, sorry if I hijacked the thread a bit, but I hope theres some information in here that the OP is looking for.

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Dude--- awesome thread!!! Great picts!!!! Grat information!!.. great everything!!!!!

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what in the hell! dude, what are you doing right. also do they have a new line of invisible camo one should know about, price doesn't matter.

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Reddog I was getting excited to see the next picture of your bedded deer, I can't imagine that scenerio in real life. What a rush! Awesome skill to be able to do that consistently. Good Luck, if you need it.

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Quote:

what in the hell! dude, what are you doing right. also do they have a new line of invisible camo one should know about, price doesn't matter.


I'm glad you guys liked it.

I grew up spotting and stalking predators.

[image]reddog.jpg[/image] Never even deer hunted till one of my friends grilled me some inside loins, when I was 25. I figured if it was that good, then I'd go out and get me one. There was never any doubt that I could do it, just hadnt wanted to. I tried the sit and skulk(thats what I would do) but every time I seen a deer on the ground, I couldnt stay in the tree and found myself on the ground, closing the gap. I learned how to hunt cornfield deer from the late Otis (Toad) Smith. He had a book out that explained it in great detail.

Nope, no new camo, in fact, no one has fewer decent camo clothes than me and that brings me to something I've been thinking about alot over the last several years.

With all this new technology that has come into play in the last decade, I find I depend alot more on karma than I ever have on camo gear, cover scents, technique, planning, etc,

The best technique for me that puts game on the table is to just go hunting or fishing! Thats the hardest part, the rest just falls into place if you allow it to.

Oh well, this karma thing is a whole nother post and I dont want to sidetrack this one any more than I have already.

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reddog, too cool, too flippin cool. You have obviously perfected a tactic. It must be awesome to know that you can go out and walk through a cornfield knowing that if you see one, you have the confidence to go out and get it. Once again, too cool.

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Reddog.

Great post!

I used to stock deer in the corn field in front of my parents house when I was young. This was even before I was hunting for deer with a gun. It takes a little woodsman knowledge and patience! Knowing the wind and the cover that is around you and using this to your advantage, jut like you do.

The last 5 deer I have harvested were by stocking. I can not stand sitting in a deer stand. In my opinion, sitting in a deer stand is a sluggish way to hunt. I sit in my portable for a couple of hours and get down. I evaluate the wind direction and approach an area with wind helping me. Slow is the key and I can not state how important that is. I walk threw tall swamp grass's and find bedded down deer in locations most would not go. Its not always not a big buck, but I do find deer.

I have a great passion for grouse hunting and this type of stocking helps me with getting grouse.

Thanks for posting! Deer stands are not the end all to a good hunt!

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I do spook many deer before I can get a good shot! Opening day or weekend, they are on edge and it hard to get close!

At this point I gun hunt only!

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It took me two days to find a corn field to hunt in this weekend, but only about 20 minutes to tag a buck once I started into the corn. In fact, I'm eating inside loins, right now, fresh off the grille. grin.gif

22 yds, neck shot, Winchester supreme, down the row.

Now, back to how to cornfield hunt.

I'm moving to a different house this weekend and found my video of "Toads Tricks to Taking Whitetails in the Corn". Its 90 minutes long and extremely interesting for anyone that wants to learn how to get cozy with a whitetail in its bedroom. I watched the whole thing again last night and forgot how much good information there is in it.

Here's the synopsis:

Otis "Toad" Smith died Nov 4th, 1991 doing what he loved, hunting.

Toad spent the last several years of his life living his dream, hunting and fishing and sharing his exploits with others through his writing and his seminars.

Few bowhunters had the success Toad had, whether the game was turkeys in southern Iowa, bison out west, elk in Montana, bear in Alaska, or wild boar in Tennessee. However, his first love was the elusive whitetail deer. Few, if any have harvested more whitetail that Toad Smith. His methods for finding and harvesting whitetail deer were developed over a lifetime of hunting. In this video Toad shares his wealth of knowledge of hunting whitetail in the corn. Toad discusses why the deer are in the corn, how to camouflage, field conditions, and how to systematically search the field to find your trophy buck. In this video Toad now only tells you how, he shows you how!

Toad loved very much sharing hsi secrets with you and he sincerely meant it when he said, ....and I wish you the very best of luck!

I'd love to "loan it out to those that wanted to watch it, but since its a video/vcr, I'm worried about it getting ate up, as its irreplaceable. I dont know if its copyrighted, or if I could copy it to a cd and loan it out. Anybody know?

I did do a search and found one book on Ebay right now, if anyone wants the printed version.

Just search Toads tricks to whitetails in the corn, and you will find it.

If you live in the midwest agriculture country, and want an alternative method of hunting, that doesnt require hunting early in the morning or late in the evening or even if you cant stand sitting in a stand, like me and like to wander around a whitetails bedroom. then you should take a look at this book. And no, I'm not selling the book, nor do I know the person selling the book. wink.gif

By the way, today wouldve been a perfect day to fill an archery tag in the corn. Late season, heavy wind. It dont get any better than that!

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Way to go on filling your tag... late standing corn is a goldmine. Unfortuately all the crops have been harvested and plowed by me...

Another good reference would be Bowhunting October Whitetails with Rick Blase and Barry Wensel. It's well over 20 years old but good material nonetheless. They've got a good corn stalk segment in there somewhere. I've tried it once in a small cornfield a few years back but there weren't any deer in the field that day... Actually talking about this is making me want to go and try it again. It's windier than the dickens out there...

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