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Reports from 3B


Mydog

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I've seen a heck of a lot of sign, fresh rubs and scrapes, but the majority of the deer are being rather elusive this year.

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Our group went 6/6 this weekend with ALOT of work involved...mainly pushing deer. I filled my tag by slowly working a ridge and hunting "down"...the rest came Sunday mid-morning/afternoon by organized drives. Two bucks...four does.

The landscape was just sooo quiet all weekend long...very few shots fired in the a.m and p.m. It was weird...so different than just a few years ago. I saw one deer all weekend long and I shot him. When we registered our deer in Rushford, they said they had only registered 10 adult bucks during the weekend...at that station.

I can't and won't complain...we shot some deer this weekend. The lack of action or "shots" ringing throughout the valley has me a little concerned though.

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My perception, having switched from 3B to 3A a couple years ago, is that far fewer people are hunting second season in 347 than used to be the case. That is probably why you hear fewer shots during 3B than you did ten or fifteen years ago. I know I heard less shooting than I used to before I switched to first season. I know a lot of people who made that switch ahead of me, and no one who went from 3A to 3B.

This trend started when the DNR began allowing antlerless harvest during first season. (Late 1990s?)

Unlike back in the 1980s and most of the 1990s, there is no reason to hunt second season now if you can get the time to hunt first season. You get better weather, you hunt during the peak of the rut, the deer are not educated by hunting pressure, and first season does not interfere with Thanksgiving.

Aside from an occasional late corn harvest, I see no reason to ever go back to 3B as long as things stay as they are now.

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My perception, having switched from 3B to 3A a couple years ago, is that far fewer people are hunting second season in 347 than used to be the case. That is probably why you hear fewer shots during 3B than you did ten or fifteen years ago. I know I heard less shooting than I used to before I switched to first season. I know a lot of people who made that switch ahead of me, and no one who went from 3A to 3B.

This trend started when the DNR began allowing antlerless harvest during first season. (Late 1990s?)

Unlike back in the 1980s and most of the 1990s, there is no reason to hunt second season now if you can get the time to hunt first season. You get better weather, you hunt during the peak of the rut, the deer are not educated by hunting pressure, and first season does not interfere with Thanksgiving.

Aside from an occasional late corn harvest, I see no reason to ever go back to 3B as long as things stay as they are now.

I'm honestly not so sure that the peak of the rut was in early November this year, at least in the Winona area. Just based on the sign I've seen while hunting last weekend. Fresh scrapes, fresh rubs, and a few of our guys saw bucks chasing does pretty heavy. Heck, I even saw scrapes and rubs appear between Saturday and Sunday.

But it is pretty weird, I think the population is starting to really drop with the nasty winters we've had. But that's not a bad thing either. It also doesn't help that there's close to a thousand acres around us that only sees one or two hunters per year.

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I didn't hear as many shots this year or hear about a lot of deer getting shot this weekend. A couple of big family groups I know have gotten half as many deer this year.

I actually agree 100% with eyehunter.

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Just got back from over in 347 Fountain area. Our group of 9 got 3 does. Our group never fired a shot Saturday, very few shots heard throughout the area. I shot a doe Sunday morning, we jumped 2 does through organized deer drives but the posters did not connect. I shot another doe Sunday night, alot more shooting was going on than i had heard during my others sits. Then my dad shot a doe this morning. Very few hunters around our area. Like others have said guys that used to hunt 3b made the switch to first season. I sure would like to but we have another group in the woods during first season that gets priority over us. Oh well we will keep plugging away the rest of the week and then its muzzy season for me.

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We hunt in thew Foutain area as well as sw of Rochester and the time i spent down by fountain was very quiet Sunday, but from the guys who hunted it Saturday, it sounded like a warzone to our SE. We are seeing deer, but less and more spooky. our group is 2 for 12 so far with some of the guys part timers....Heading down tomorrow to sit all day before the warmer temps come...

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We hunt in thew Foutain area as well as sw of Rochester and the time i spent down by fountain was very quiet Sunday, but from the guys who hunted it Saturday, it sounded like a warzone to our SE. We are seeing deer, but less and more spooky. our group is 2 for 12 so far with some of the guys part timers....Heading down tomorrow to sit all day before the warmer temps come...

I know our group sounded like WW3 on sunday the 13th. grin Preston Area.

Besides us, we heard 5 shots that day.

(I shot a deer friday and saturday night while dreaming laugh...Hope that luck carries into muzzle season :))

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We are in 342 and the shooting around us was pretty infrequent. Saw 8 deer between Sat and Sun. I had a 7 point sneak in from behind me but let him walk. My body only twists so much. In total we have 2 does for 5 guys.

Sunday I walked out onto a ridge glassing the valley and didn't see one hunter.

Heading back out tomorrow.

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Hearing all the talk about a tough season has me smiling for next year pending a tough winter and T wolves. The rut was out of whack it seemed, the buck I got on November 17th had a harem of does and fawns, he was grunting like crazy and chasing primarily 1 doe around, that is my latest observation of that since I started in 1982. Super nocturnal even well before opening day, maybe the crystals on the sleestacks table from Land of the Lost will line up a bit better next year, but good luck and keep at it, it only takes a moment.

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Hunted 349 3B Sat - Monday night. Saw alot of deer just not in range and not legal.

Can't wait until next year, should be even more bucks out there.

Very few hunters, had all the public land to ourselves. We went 1 for 2.

Good Luck,

Mike

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We hunted 3A near elba. My son sat open to close on the opener and saw nothing. There was a group of 12 near us, that has hunted there for 20 years. Last year they shot 19 deer. This year they shot none opening weekend. There were a fraction of the shots this year compared to last. There were actually more shots the 2nd weekend than the first.

We saw very few deer on stand, and I did quite a bit of scouting, and really didn't flush many. There was a ton of standing corn in the area. Who knows where they were.

I intentionally covered a couple scrapes, and they were uncovered the next day, and that was the 2nd weekend. So they were still tending scrapes. One scrape had fresh doe pee in it.

I did do a ton of walking because it's a newer area for us, and I am trying to learn the patterns. In years past, when I"ve walked around alot during the rut, I would occasionally pick up the scent of doe estrus, but not this year. A few days ago I was walking around the Oakdale nature center and picked up the scent of a hot doe. There were a couple bucks in the area as well.

I'm not convinced the rut was in full swing the first week of gun season. I saw a few does, and no bucks with them. As much ground as I covered, I would have thought I'd have picked up the scent of some hot does, and testy bucks, but didn't.

I saw quite a bit fewer deer around, but there was no lack of sign imo.

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I too agree with eyehunter.

Extreme pressure turned them nocturnal or holed up in a sanctuary that gets no hunting. Most of us in 3B are there because access to land is near impossible for 3A. I have noted a decline in deer movement since they started shooting the does and have 9 days with only a 5 day break. If they are going to give 3A 5 deer I wish the season was only 4-5 days with 10-12 days in-between.

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This was the first year in 20 for me to hunt our bow hunting area with a gun. It's much different. We shared the property with 3 other guys who've been hunting it for about a dozen years so between the 5 of us we had it pretty well covered.

We all were commenting on how many fewer deer we were seeing. I went there knowing I had two days to get two deer and fully expected to harvest two adult does and be done for the season. While we heard a fair amount of shooting, it was far from the "war zone" volumes I expected.

Both days (opening weekend) the first shot was fired at 7:22 am followed by sporadic flurries until about 8. Another short flurry would erupt around Noon then be quiet again until about 4pm with some random shots closing out the days. I never saw a doe I could shoot but had three opportunities at bucks. I thought I was ahead of the game at 8 am on Sutrday when I took this guy. We ended the weekend with one buck and one doe for 5 guys but there were a few missed shots from the other group.

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I saw 1 deer in 6 days. This was Houston, Winona and Wabasha. Drives that typically produce 5-10 sightings were empty. I don't get it. I saw plenty of deer during archery season. This was the first time since 1996 our group of 3 didn't get at least 1 deer.

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