Hunting Style

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Replies

  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,952 Senior Member
    I disagree. Deer and hogs become conditioned over months/years to a feed station. That is NOT the same thing as hanging random baits hoping you attract a cat. They are not conditioned to find those baits, they are opportunistic feedings. If you randomly scattered some corn and hoped a deer found it, THAT is the same thing. Using man installed machines that attract animals just by the sound, is not the same thing. Lions and leopards are attracted by the smell of rotting flesh, not by a literal dinner bell. Not only are they conditioned to respond to the sound, a lot of feeders are set up on timers! Come on, you KNOW animals are going to show up right around 745am, because that is when you set the time up on your feeder. Harvesting is just fine, collecting meat is just fine, I just hate when people say its hunting.

    Have you ever hunted near a feeder before? I've NEVER seen an animal come running up to a feeder right when/after it went off. NEVER. I can't speak for everywhere.... maybe that works in some climate where the deer have almost no other food source, but down here, a feeder only increases the CHANCE that you might see a deer. As for glassing/stalking... that's just not possible down here. The brush is so thick, you can pass within 15-20 yds of a deer in many areas and never even see it, and they can hear you coming through all the brush 50 yds further than you can see. Good luck stalking areas like that (which is most of Florida).

    People who hunt the thick areas of the south might just as easily claim that it's not hunting when all you have to do is drive around til you glass a deer, and then sneak up on it by way of a gulley where it can't see or hear you inch within 500-600 yds of it and shoot it with your 1000 yd capable firearm. I prefer not to make such distinctions, since I'd bet that you'll find that what is legal in each area pretty much mimics an equal chance of actually bagging something, and hunter skill and knowledge in BOTH cases will usually make the difference between success and failure.

    Luis
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,434 Senior Member
    I'm going to try and open this conversation back up to discuss various ways folks hunt. For me, hunting is done before the season starts: killing happens when the season opens.

    In Nebraska, I scouted heavily in the weeks leading up to the season. Feeders aren't legal there and the entire eastern half of the state is like one giant cornfield. Sitting over any old patch of corn because that's what deer eat is about as worthless as looking for deer over urban pavement. I keep a good set of binos on me during peak legal movement periods (dawn/dusk) and sit in areas between potential feed and heavy cover. If I see deer moving at last light or the crack of legal light, I'll check it again provided the wind isn't going to get me busted and push the deer off of their pattern. Once I establish that deer use the area regularly (preferably, daily) then I decide how close to put myself for the actual hunt. No deer or irregular movements (i.e. deer just happened to be sporadically coming through that spot and aren't predictable enough to use that place regularly) = I'm not wasting my time in that spot.

    I want to have the deer's pattern down to the point of being able to walk up on any day of the week and take one out of there. This isn't a guaranteed way to get a gargantuan buck, but will often put me into huge numbers of does and increases the odds of seeing a big buck during the rut and all but assures a doe harvest for meat. I had a season choice antlerless permit last year (Nebraska's doe-only tag good for two does, in any season with the legal weapon of that season) and got two does fairly easily once I started doing business this way. It takes a good amount of up-front scouting, but it pays off big when you find a good area. Of course, once you shoot, you can expect that spot to go dead for a week or two, but the deer usually return and you can hit it again and again with enough rest between harvests.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,273 Senior Member
    As I get older, I find that my style of hunting changes...often from day to day...

    While I love spotting and stalking deer out here on the open prairie...often though, the back will start acting up after a few days of snoopin & poopin...so the best I can manage is a 1/4 mile hike to one of my hides overlooking Alice's wheatfield...either way...the important thing is "I'm still hunting"
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,393 Senior Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    I don't mind sitting and watching a likely area in the event of something showing up.

    That is how we have to do it where I am. Take a folding lawn chair, sit on butt, sit still, and hope something walks by. We hunt public land, and if you start walking around, you walk past all of the other hunters in the pumpkin patch-- effectively pissing them off. Shots usually range from 20-150 yards.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,765 Senior Member
    Hondo wrote: »
    <snip>I guarantee you the feeder is not a dinner bell.....doesn't work like that. The feeder simply causes the deer/hogs to program their animal GPS to maybe swing by your place every now and then. Most of the time they come by at night and chow down. If I were in Colorado or some other place where it was more open then I would love to spot and stalk. Not happening here. <snip>

    ^This^

    Unless it is one of those managed game ranches, where all the animals have names, putting up a feeder usually just manages to get a few does hanging out in your area. The big bucks are still too wary to come to a feeder out in the open, and prefer acorns to corn, anyway. The does have mostly been taking care of fawns, so they choose easier and more plentiful food sources. Last year, most of the larger bucks that were killed on the place I hunted had not appeared in any of the several hundred daytime game cam photos that the various hunters compared, and the ones that did, did not come there to eat corn, but to check out the does.

    So, while I do agree that spot and stalk is more sporting, and much more satisfying when you actually do get to shoot at something, it doesn't mean that you can't have fun shooting a deer out of a box blind. It is the best way to hunt deer, here, for a lot of reasons that have already been said. People who can't pursue 'purer' forms of hunting just do the best they can with what is available to them.

    Everybody wants to think they are superior hunters, because that's just the way hunters are, but in the end, hunting is a personal thing that is usually done more or less alone, and pleasing yourself is the object. Nobody really listens that much to your hunting tales, anyway.
  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,952 Senior Member
    This has turned into a good thread and bisley, I really like what you said, "Everybody wants to think they are superior hunters, because that's just the way hunters are, but in the end, hunting is a personal thing that is usually done more or less alone, and pleasing yourself is the object. Nobody really listens that much to your hunting tales, anyway." This is so ture!!!!

    Except for the part about listening to hunting tales!! :jester:

    Seriously, memories are what it's all about anyways. Having good times with friends & family, and enjoying yourself. Good stories are a wonderful thing... it's something to do after the hunting day is over and you're hanging out with friends. :up:

    Luis
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • justin10mmjustin10mm Senior Member Posts: 688 Senior Member
    I shot this short clip back during the summer of some deer at a feeder on my property from inside my box blind. I thought it may help some to visualize what "hunting" in brushy places is like for a lot of people, especially here in Texas.

    Without feeders or oat food plots your chances of seeing ANY deer are slim to none around here. But it is still no guarantee you'll see that big buck during the season. As was said before, the does are usually the only ones that frequent feeders during the fall. The older buck don't show up until late winter after the season is over.

    There is a lot more work in this kind of hunting than some would have you believe. For example, in the video from the right of the feeder all the way to the road originally was solid brush, it took many hours with a chainsaw and tractor to get it to what you see now, and there is still some more clearing to be done. It took a lot of work to construct the shooting house also.

    This will be the third year at this feeder but I still have not killed a deer at it, some coyotes, bobcats and hogs, but no deer. If a feeder runs all year, all of the wildlife benefits from it, not just the shooter bucks. Even the predators that eat the rabbits and rats that feed on the corn.

    In Texas we don't just hunt our deer, we manage them. My dad has a deer he had mounted that he killed 30 odd years ago only a couple hundred yards from were my feeder is today, it is only a smallish 6 point but at the time (before feeders were common) it was a very good deer for the area. Two of the bucks in the video are much larger than that deer was and I won't even give them a second look because there are even bigger deer around. Deer that you couldn't have dreamed about 30 years ago in this area. Something must be working.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,659 Senior Member
    Justin,

    can you give me an idea as to where your place is? I understand that you don't want to be real specific, but a general idea of nearby towns would be appreciated.

    I grew up hunting deer in Texas, but not in country that even slightly resembled this. The canyon country around Ozona was pretty much wide open, and sitting in one spot was not a very productive way to go about it. We walked canyon rims, threw rocks, walked someone down the bottom with others on top, and just about anything we could do to get 'em moving.

    I've also hunted east Texas near Crockett. That country is so heavily wooded and brushy it would take Davy Crockett three days to sneak up on Helen Keller. There's a lot of different kinds of country to hunt in the Lone Star state, and that's a fact.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • justin10mmjustin10mm Senior Member Posts: 688 Senior Member
    In Bastrop county near a tiny town called Cedar Creek. South east of Austin.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,659 Senior Member
    justin10mm wrote: »
    In Bastrop county near a tiny town called Cedar Creek. South east of Austin.

    Thanks. I've been through Bastrop a few times. As I recall, there's a stretch of piney woods there that were left behind by the last ice age.

    I didn't realize it was so brushy there. It's been a long time since I was down that way.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • justin10mmjustin10mm Senior Member Posts: 688 Senior Member
    The "lost pines" are east of Bastrop (were the fire was), I'm to the west.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,962 Senior Member
    Well said, I have been off on other things as well. I appreciate your added comments. As always, good food for thought. Should have taken a little more time with my comments and approach on the subject. Man, would I ever like to start this thread over, and express myself in greater detail. Wambi, if you invited me to come and hunt with you and sit over bait, I would do that, just for the time to fellowship you after the hunt and the fact that you asked me to come, because as I said, it is neither right or wrong to bait, just not my preference and your points are well made.

    Another point of view is some of us are handicapped. I had a diabetic Neuropathy that started hitting me with pain back in the summer of 2003 and ended up putting me in a wheel chair and later on a walker. I am for the most part recovered, but it left me with a real weak left leg and a not overly strong right leg. So, long walks in the woods or anywhere are out for me. The most I walk is around the track at the football stadium for exercise but that is something I can readily quit when I want and sit down. Another thing. I don't like walking around in this grass land because of certain reptiles. Blinds are the recommended method to kill deer here. It still is a challenge because there's not a lot of cover and these deer can smell a mouse fart a mile away. The most challenging way to hunt here that I would recommend is from a tree stand like a bow hunter. If I could still climb I'd be doing that all the time. I love to get up in a tree and wait. You have to be dead quiet and you have to cover your scent or descent yourself and clothes.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,765 Senior Member
    There are a lot of deer in Texas, and a lot of different ways to hunt them. But actually getting a shot at a 'keeper' is the trick. After spending half of my life slipping around in the East Texas bottom lands and the few hilly areas, I have become a fair stalker. I spent a lot of years scouting ahead of survey crews, and have had a lot of opportunities to observe all sorts of wildlife. I have 'snuck up' on feral hogs, squirrels, rabbits, bobcats, coyotes, and I can catch armadillos almost at will. But I have rarely been able to close the distance on any deer I have run across, (with the exception of fairly newborn babies), and never on a big buck.

    I have found several good bucks, in remote areas, that apparently died of old age, but I have never seen a live one before he saw me, except in wildlife protected areas, and have never had an opportunity that would have provided a good rifle shot. Such an occurrence would be pure luck, in my opinion. Unless there has been ample rain to dampen the noise of crunching leaves, you can just forget about trying to take a few steps to improve a position against a wary animal. Even during a very light rain, which is the optimum time for seeing wild animals during daylight hours, there are always rotten sticks and branches, underneath the leaves, that will alert an attentive animal. Even when squirrel hunting, you pretty much have to pick your way along, planning every step in advance.

    So, in my opinion, still hunting is the only way to go for deer, in brushy areas. I have no interest in 'wing shooting' them with buckshot. And unless you are able to spend enough advance time scouting, and the wind favors you, you still have pretty long odds at getting a shot at a mature buck. There are exceptions, of course, in areas with extra heavy deer populations, but those are always on private land (in Texas) that you have to pay through the nose to hunt on. The average hunter usually ends up having just a few acres to hunt on, so he can't go to the game. He has to get them to come to him.

    I understand that successful stalk hunters are going to rate themselves above those who use bait and sit in a comfortable box. Mostly, I don't disagree. But, on the other hand, in areas where spot and stalk just won't work, there are still some fairly challenging obstacles to overcome, and getting and making a good shot on a good buck is still exhilarating.
  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,720 Senior Member
    Good thread,
    All I have to add is"No matter what your method of taking game is it sure beats sitting on the couch watching TV''
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,102 Senior Member
    :usa:
    gator wrote: »
    Good thread,
    All I have to add is"No matter what your method of taking game is it sure beats sitting on the couch watching TV''
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • HondoHondo Member Posts: 320 Member
    Hey BP.....those are some adorable kids......keep up the good work.


    If deer came out when I threw a hunful of corn I would agree, but where we hunt it doesn't work like that.

    Nice shooting
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,102 Senior Member
    Great pics indeed, but more importantly time with your kids is always awesome. Make every moment precious as they grow up fast.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,513 Senior Member
    gator wrote: »
    Good thread,
    All I have to add is"No matter what your method of taking game is it sure beats sitting on the couch watching TV''

    That's what it's all about. And take a kid with you, if you can.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,962 Senior Member
    I have to say this; around here you hardly ever hear of someone killing a quality buck at a cornfeeder. It's like Milehighshooter said, the animals get conditioned to the bait. All that you usually see at a feeder are does, spikes, and young (1-2 year old) bucks. The trophy's didnt' get those big racks by being suckers. But if you hunt the fringes of the area around the feeder the big bucks will be there. They won't show their face around the feeder during daylight hours. I used to hunt up at Junction Texas on a place that had a feeder at each blind. But I noticed some ground blinds out away from the feeders on the edge of the brush line. I asked what they were for and they told me that if you want a chance at a true trophy, hunt in the ground blinds (which consisted of nothing more than a ring of small logs and limbs on the ground about 18 inches high. You lied down on the ground and looked between the logs. The one time I did this I saw about 10 bucks but I had already shot my buck ( killed a small 8 point the first day I was there, and their rule was one buck, one doe, and one turkey) and was just wanting to see if there were any trophys anywhere around as I didn't have much faith in these ground blinds. Wow was I stupid, there were. That was my last hunt up there in 1987. Lost opportunity.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 19,132 Senior Member
    Alabama, has some game laws that I feel are borderline hypocritical..
    It IS legal to plant a field of whatever and hunt over it, but, using corn for an example.. Say I plant a half acre plot of corn during the summer and a week before deer season opens I bush hog it, scattering the corn all over that half acre, I can legally hunt over that for as long as I want (during the season). Now then, say I take a handful of additional corn, or a previously harvested ear of that same corn and put it back in that exact same field it came from, I am breaking the law by baiting.
    What's the difference?

    I have a feeder in my back yard, it's main purpose is to give the wife and grand kids a chance to watch the does and yearlings when they come to feed.
    I have it set to feed three times a day, and it's pretty much been running for 3-4 years. 3x a day, 7 days a week. I can guarantee the deer don't "come running" when it goes off. There may be days between when I see them during daylight, (which is the only time it's scheduled to feed) though it's not unusual to see them there at night.

    The deer around my place are basically on "an island" since our land is pretty much surrounded by paved urban sprawl, so I have no doubt there are deer within earshot of the feeder every time it goes off. I noticed the other day that one of the yearlings has learned it can eat all the corn it wants off of the thrower plate. It's going to get one heck of a surprise if it happens to be doing that when the feeder goes off.

    For my actual "hunting" most of it is done from a box blind overlooking a planted greenfield. Last season, one of the deer I killed was bedded along the edge of one when I stopped to check it for activity on my was to an Oak tree that was dropping acorns and had a lot of activity. The doe let me park my truck, slam the door, drop the bolt on my Grendel (all within 75 yards of her) and allow me to walk to within 50 yards to a spot I could see her. I was so surprised it took me a minute to realize she was stupidly laying there looking at me. Threw the rifle to my shoulder, crosshairs at the base of her neck, bang, flop, day's hunting was over before I even got to where I was planning on hunting.

    Different day, parked ~50-75yards down a hill from another shooting house, walked towards it, two does already on the greenfield feeding, eased up to a pole sticking out of the ground to use as a rest, overestimated the distance, misused my ballisti-plex reticle ( calibrate for use @ 9x, works a LOT differently @ 3x) and shot cleanly over her back. Got her back in the scope as she ran, lead her about 6" too far and missed a second time (with a bolt action) before she got into the woods.

    To summarize this long and rambling post, what may be legal and "normal" hunting practices in one location, could very well be either illegal or considered "unethical" (or both) in a different location. Does it really make a difference? Not to me it doesn't. If your way of hunting is legal where you do it, more power too you and I wish you well. The "ethical" issue is one we all have to decide for ourselves :beer:
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • FoxGary270FoxGary270 New Member Posts: 5 New Member
    Its all hunting whether it is shoot an animal kept in a cage and released or stalk the animal 2 miles until you get a shot. There is not so much challenge to a caged animal and way more than I want to chasing an animal 2 miles before I kill it with a bow or spear.

    NCIS had a show where a guide kept a lion in a cage and gave it amphetemenes before releasing it. The animal charged a poor hunter who got killed when he missed.

    Hunting game that will kill you and is prepared to do so sounds like a courageous hunt or maybe foolish. But it is a hunt.

    Actually I enjoy my time in the woods more than anything else. Last year I saw my first stick bug. At first I thought it was a stick with a bug holding onto it. You know those things look exactly like a stick. Really! Also I was laying in the leaves in my camo and an owl made a pass at me. I was surprised and so was the owl when I moved as it got within 10 feet of me. It really back pedaled when it saw how big I really was. I was surprised it didnt see that before. Guess I was more than one meal. lol.

    For me killing is the end of the hunt and a good time.

    I usually hide behind a big stump or in a hole and look out ever once in a while. If they can't see you then you won't spook them unless you smell bad. Also just lying on the ground disquises your appearence greatly. You are very hard to see on the ground. You blend in. Take a nap and you are usually motionless while you sleep and the deer may approach.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,962 Senior Member
    FoxGary270 wrote: »
    Its all hunting whether it is shoot an animal kept in a cage and released or stalk the animal 2 miles until you get a shot. There is not so much challenge to a caged animal and way more than I want to chasing an animal 2 miles before I kill it with a bow or spear.

    NCIS had a show where a guide kept a lion in a cage and gave it amphetemenes before releasing it. The animal charged a poor hunter who got killed when he missed.

    Hunting game that will kill you and is prepared to do so sounds like a courageous hunt or maybe foolish. But it is a hunt.

    Actually I enjoy my time in the woods more than anything else. Last year I saw my first stick bug. At first I thought it was a stick with a bug holding onto it. You know those things look exactly like a stick. Really! Also I was laying in the leaves in my camo and an owl made a pass at me. I was surprised and so was the owl when I moved as it got within 10 feet of me. It really back pedaled when it saw how big I really was. I was surprised it didnt see that before. Guess I was more than one meal. lol.

    For me killing is the end of the hunt and a good time.

    I usually hide behind a big stump or in a hole and look out ever once in a while. If they can't see you then you won't spook them unless you smell bad. Also just lying on the ground disquises your appearence greatly. You are very hard to see on the ground. You blend in. Take a nap and you are usually motionless while you sleep and the deer may approach.

    Around here we call those bugs Walking Sticks. I love the outdoors too, but I don't pay $500-$1,000 a year to walk around and look at wild life. When I pay to hunt I want to kill something. I'm not a game hog, I'm very easily satisfied, but I want some game. I love to shoot a couple deer a year, and if my kids are along,I want them to score too. That's what it's about. If you are hunting public land it's one thing. But when you pay good money for a lease, you would perfer it pay off for you. My family loves wild game, deer and hog. So whether we get a deer or hog is sort of important.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
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