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chucker34

Do you find this to be true with bow season?

13 posts in this topic

That after the first day or two of gun season, say goodbye to the deer for a long time as they will pretty much go nocturnal or hunker down?

I hear this a lot and can't really attest to whether its true. I still saw sign after gun opener last year but saw fewer deer during the day afterward and don't know exactly when they were coming through.

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You have to realize that part of the reason you are seeing less deer during the day after gun opener, is because there are less deer walking in the woods.

I think its safe to say as well, that you get 500,000 people trouncing in the woods all on the same day, that deer are going to naturally get spooked with it because its not normal to them.

Last season, my trail cameras proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that about 2 weeks prior to gun season starting, 95+% of my trail cam pics came during non-shooting hours. It was amazing. In fact, if I remember right, I had ONE pic during shooting hours the week prior to rifle season last year.

I am starting to see the trend begin again this year. Slowly I am seeing my daytime pics in ratio to night time pics reversing. As of a week ago, I would say my day versus night pics have started to make an obvious swing.

In fact, now that I think of it, as soon as the bucks lost their velvet, they have almost all been nocturnally moving. I hadnt thought of that till now, and I have no clue if there is any correlation or not, but its got me thinking.

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Once gun season starts and after a day or two of intense shooting,the deer where I hunt will really turn nocturnal.I always figure that the first day is easy pickings and after that she gets much tougher.

If the rut is in full action then one will still see deer if you hunt in high doe population areas.The bucks will chase them around.

It does not take much shooting or traffic in a woods to push the deer deeper into the thick brush or move them to become nocturnal.

The same holds true for the archery season. Early in the year the deer are not bothered by people in the woods and then comes the archery season and the deer realize its people time again.When the gun season hits they have had enough.

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I agree. The week before the gun season has always been the best time for me to be out and I try to get out as much as possible. Once those big bucks get shot at or hear shots, they know that they need to hunker down.

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Ill say the opposite. After gun season i usually have my best hunting. The reason is probably the rut but also i hunt a place that doesn't get hunted as hard and its also their wintering hole so that might be why.

A. Shae

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I would agree that if you dont have much pressure then your hunting should be fine.Pressure on deer is not good.

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I think this may only happen in certain areas, cause i saw more deer second weekend then i did opening weekend last year, but second weekend was a ton colder then first weekend so could have had something to do with to.

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I agree with both (how's that for riding the fence)! I have the best luck, like most guys have said, the week before the gun opener. However, once things cool down a bit, there is some nice late season hunting to be had. It seems like a week after the last gun season, I start seeing good deer movement again. They are a little skittish for a while (I've even had does come throught the woods looking up in the trees) but if they don't feel any more pressure they start to go into their late season pattern (bedding close to feeding areas with a little late rut mixed in) pretty much as normal. The only year I can remember this didn't happen was when we had a lot more gun hunters around than usual. So pressure definitely matters.

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Well down around the areas i hunt most of the ground is open farm ground.So the deer get pushed into the fields and lay in a low spot right out in the middle of a plowed field.

Another area i hunt is about 40 % woods and 60% open ground.Most of the bucks will take the doe out into open ground in this area during the rut and that happens to be the second weekend of deer hunting 6th-10thNov.My guess on why they do that is competition.Thats 1 reason why are group does well.We hunt fencelines/waterways during this period.We let the hunters chase them to us or the deer are already in the area

I cant speak for the deer up north but the deer down here dont change much.Just that the hunters dont adjust to the deer patterns.It happens every year same ole same ole.Everyone thinks they need to hunt the woods to shoot deer.Fencelines will hold more deer down here then any woods will that has pressure.You can walk a fenceline and spoook 25 deer off of it.They will head for the next fenceline and bypass all the woods.Most of the big bucks down in are area also will hold up on a fenceline during this period.Even though no one hunts the woods he will walk out into open ground and bed down for the day.Ive seen it hundreds of times even when there are plenty of small bucks or doe in that same woods

So some of you guys that are not having that good of a hunting season try something new.1 of the only ways you'll learn more.Just sit back and think over the past several years where you have seen deer in areas like what i just talked about.Get there early morning way before day break and have a seat.I bet that you'll have prety darn good luck

Lots of these deer have spent the summer in that same spot.So they feel like it's a safe area.It also gives them the advantage of seeing whats comming but if your already in the area what more can ya ask for

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That is the difference between the big woods and the open country.Where I hunt the bigger wooded and swamp and river areas,when the BIG pressure turns on you will push the deer to go totally nocturnal after the first 1000 shots.

After the first weekend the whole game changes.The bucks and does will go into the deepest and thickest part of the woods and then you have to hope you can find them.

We do not do deer drives where we hunt as the woods is thick and you cannot see your driving partners and that then becomes a very unsafe condition.

Once the gun season is over,then in maybe 2 weeks the deer will settle back down and you can start to pattern them again.

Once again,alot depends on pressure,shooting,land and area.

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I would agree that they go mostly nocturnal after opening day. We usually get some morning movement the second day, but pretty limited, like someone said there's already a lot less deer. We still shoot quite a few deer after that, but most are a result of drives, not the deer moving on their own.

The week before gun season, especially the last couple of days is by far the best bow hunting in our area.

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I think it also depends on what zone you hunt. In zone 4 where its 2 days and then 4 days, the deer aren't getting continuous pressure. That Thursday and Friday before the second season (Nov. 9 & 10 this year) can be very good, the rut is peaking, the deer have had three days to settle down from the first season, I know I plan on being out there with my bow on the 10th, and the 9th if I can swing it.

After both gun seasons are done, it IS a lot tougher to arrow a deer, lots have been shot, plus the ones that are left have passed Survival 101 and 102, they ARE WARY. I usually give them a couple weeks to settle down, I go after the pheasants hard, and then go back to bowhunting. By then, its getting lots colder, concentrating on food sources is the key. Also, twice in the last several years I've seen bucks chasing does around Turkey day, so there is still some buck activity. On the downside, you have to contend with muzzleloaders, theres getting more and more of them around, enough to keep the deer amped up. Still fun to get out, as you get into Dec, it gets to be more of an endurance contest, can you dress warm enough to sit out on stand?

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Good points BlackJack. I hunt zone 4 and found similar to be true. I have a limited number of days off left this year but was thinking maybe I will take the Friday before the first season and the Friday before the second season.

Thanks everyone for the observations!

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