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Patterning Deer this early

Scott M

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Question to all who have trail cams or anyone that scouts regularly, how often are you getting hit? Daily, once a week, etc. I mean, how will this help you get Mr. Big? Have you found any true patterns this early that will help you during legal shooting hours? I see a lot of nighttime pictures on here (for trail cameras). The question isn't just rhetorical, because I've only hunted deer a few years and would like to learn...If I'm seeing deer signs, how often are they coming around, and can I pattern them to a legal shooting time, whether its a camera or tracks? I'm a little concerned that I'm not seeing enough tracks to think that boom, they are coming every day without a doubt and I won't have to worry about getting my buck opening morning. Do you see every morning or afternoon or whatever legal shooting time of day visits?

I'd love to read some discussion on this topic and forgive me if its already been discussed (and if it has please give a link)

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One of the best ways to pattern a big buck or any deer early in the season is to find a green food source (alfalfa, beans). this year with the drought, a lot of crops are so dry it isn't going to matter. If you have something in your area that is still green, then I would sit far away with a good pair of binocs and watch the field until dark. deer can still be in their summer feeding patterns the first week of bowhunting. often they will be in the field well before dark and can be very predictable. also, when watching the field, take note as to where the deer are entering the field and look for a place to hunt from that would be downwind of the deer.

beans that are green can be very hot for deer activity during the first week of bowhunting, but once they start to dry up, I've always noticed that the deer stop using it as a major browse.

also acorns can be fantastic for bow opener.

basically, the best way to pattern a deer in early bow season is to find out what they are eating and where they are bedding and set up downwind somewhere in between.

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I've got acorns and corn, nonbaited of course. The corn is in the field and the line of trees my stand is in are oaks. I just really dont' know how often they are coming in is all. Maybe I will have to spend a night up there or a morning, but I'm worried about leaving my scent all over the place

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I wouldn't prehunt your stand just to see if the deer are there.

If you can't see the area from a distance, I would just wait until opener and the correct wind to hunt the spot and see what deer are there.

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If the acorns are dropping, that's where I would focus my efforts. Beans are probably done for the most part, unless you can find beans planted after sweet peas. The dry summer has the bean leaves turning earlier than normal.

If you have acorns adjacent to the corn, then that's even better, you might be able to surprise a buck that comes out early to pick around. Like Amish said, wait for the right wind and watch your approach.

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How about the big north woods? Anyone hunt up this way that may have any tips? I have hundreds of acres at my disposal. There are a few older clear cuts around that I'm going to focus on, but trying to pattern the deer seems next to impossible. There's so much room and no one around to get 'em up and moving.

Another problem I have is the forest I hunt is so heavily managed, it's really hard to find a good tree to use a climber in. Most trees are too small in diameter. Ground Blind??

Should I focus around Cedar swamps?

I grew up rifle hunting this area, but this is my first year bow hunting. I got A LOT to learn!

Good luck everyone! grin.gif

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first year bowhunting? get ready to be frustrated crazy.gif it sucks going from anything within 200+ yards being fair game to haveing to be with in 40 yards and not one twig in the way. i agree on the northwoods bucks being impossible to pattern. i hunt up here too and the only thing i can say is look for natural funnels. i hunt a feeder creek between two beaver ponds.

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