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What am I doing wrong?

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Okay, so here's my story:

I am a college kid who is lucky enough to have permission on 15 acres about 40 minutes north of St. Paul, in the Ham Lake/Forest Lake Area. On the property I can hunt, there are two small clearings/grass fields with some atv trails through them, and some small scrub brush. Then there is a line of woods, much taller trees with thick brambles and cover, about 20 yards wide, and then a much bigger swamp that I can only hunt a corner of. So far my stand placement of choice has been right on a trail that opens to the larger swamp, that would also allow me to hunt the woods behind me. It is about in the middle of where this stretch of woods goes, if that makes sense. Anyway, there are deer on the property, but so far all I have seen are does, and only one while actually in the stand hunting. There are some atv trails on the property, and there are deer tracks on them, but nothing incredibly substantial. The only other issue is I have a climber, and I am semi-limited by the trees I can choose to hunt out of. I know with does around there has to be a buck nearby, but darned if I can figure out where he is. The other problem is that these are metro deer, so I have had a very difficult time paterning them. So far I have tried rattling and grunting, to no obvious success, and I have put out golden estrus on scent wicks three times, also to no success. I am very careful about scent, and I don't think its an issue, as the doe I did see in the stand came within about 10 feet of me. But what am I doing wrong? Should I put myself more in the woods, and less on these field edges? Should I be using scent? Is it okay to use two kinds, or does this hurt their effectiveness? I have already filled my doe tag (on opening morning smile.gif ) So I am really just antler hunting now, I will settle for a doe later in the season. Any suggestions? Oh and I usually hunt in the evenings, as I have class in the mornings. I'd just like to start seeing more deer!

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Deitz Dittrich

Well, you might not be doing anything wrong. Metro Deer seem to be a bit more noctournal. and if you only have 15 acres to hunt, you may not be able to get to the deer? IF your not seeing deer in the evenings, you may need to get closer to the bedding areas.. but they may not be bedding in the 15 acres you are able to hunt.

Sorry I was not much of a help.

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Is the area fairly suburban or even if its more in the country, close to roads, driveways, and farms/houses? If one of those, I'd bet Deitz is right that the deer are heavily nocturnal.

That's the case in my area except for the rut. I've found the best time to hunt deer in my core area, near farms, houses, abins, and a busy township road, is by far the mornings. That's because there's much more noise associated with human activity from late mornings into the early evening hours.

The deer hang back in remote areas browsing until an hour or two after sunset when they come out to feed in the neighboring alfalfa fields. They stay out - by evidence of my trailcams and sightings - until the first few hours of daylight and then move back into the more secluded areas. So until the rut hits or approximately the same time gun season approaches, I will bowhunt for just the first few hours of daylight.

One of the best tools I've found is a trailcam. Even if you're a poor college kid, save up and buy a cheap trail cam or ask for one for the holidays. There are several digitals available for $100 give or take. Then you can better pattern the deer all year long.

Good luck and hang in there!

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