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SKUNKED! The hunting superstition thread

BigslugBigslug Senior MemberPosts: 9,592 Senior Member
So, after 19 days of giving it the Old College Try, I'm eating my deer tag this year. Passed on a few runts on the opener. . .then didn't see a single other legal buck all season - only herd upon herd of "women and kids". No big deal really - it's been a pretty trying year on other fronts, so this year, I'm quite content with a lot of quality time in the field with my pop.

That said, it's fun to talk about your goofy mental games of "what it takes" to connect with your deer. Here's a couple off mine:

There's a USFS fire lookout tower on one of the peaks in our zone. I just disproved the superstition that if I go all the way up to that tower once a year, I'll score. Of course, this year, I drove almost to the top, in other years, I walked. Hmmmmm. . . .

I killed a deer in 2012, 2014, and 2016. I struck out in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Perhaps I can only kill deer on even-numbered years?

So, setting aside all rational thinking, what chicken-blood, phase-of-the-moon, juggle-chipmunks-clockwise voodoo do you think might hold sway over your hunting success?
WWJMBD?

"Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee

Replies

  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    I don't really have any superstitions, but getting a shot at an elk on public land how I hunt involves a bunch of luck. The biggest thing I try to do is to be in the woods from sunup to sundown, and not move too much or too fast.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,916 Senior Member
    Poop happens.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,799 Senior Member
    I don't have any superstitions per se, but I will go out of my way to police my brass, if necessary.

    Don't know why, but it bothers me to leave it behind, and reloading has nothing to do with it.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 25,179 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    If I don't go hunting, I'm not going to see any deer.

    :tooth:

    That's better than a friend of mine: If he DOES go hunting, he WON'T see any deer! If he's NOT hunting, he DOES see all kinds of deer! :silly:
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,916 Senior Member
    Best advise:


    Leave California.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,592 Senior Member
    zorba wrote: »
    That's better than a friend of mine: If he DOES go hunting, he WON'T see any deer! If he's NOT hunting, he DOES see all kinds of deer! :silly:

    I hunted Colorado in 2012. Dad brought along one of those GPS units with a chip that tells you if the land you're cruising through is public or private. I poop you not - COLORADO DEER KNOW! Dad finally connected with his deer while I was out with our elk hunting contingent, but it was pretty much "Public land - NOTHING. Private land - MONSTERS" Not only were they monsters, at least one of them was SMUG about it - 200+ pounds, 4x4 rack well in excess of 20 inches, sitting in the middle of an open lot with a trailer surrounded by his harem, staring right at me from 162 yards. Decided then and there it was a muley sub-species: Colorado Mocking Deer. You only see them, when you can't kill them.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    They learn where they get shot at and where they don't. I absolutely believe this.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    So, after 19 days of giving it the Old College Try, I'm eating my deer tag this year. Passed on a few runts on the opener. . .then didn't see a single other legal buck all season - only herd upon herd of "women and kids". No big deal really - it's been a pretty trying year on other fronts, so this year, I'm quite content with a lot of quality time in the field with my pop.

    That said, it's fun to talk about your goofy mental games of "what it takes" to connect with your deer. Here's a couple off mine:

    There's a USFS fire lookout tower on one of the peaks in our zone. I just disproved the superstition that if I go all the way up to that tower once a year, I'll score. Of course, this year, I drove almost to the top, in other years, I walked. Hmmmmm. . . .

    I killed a deer in 2012, 2014, and 2016. I struck out in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Perhaps I can only kill deer on even-numbered years?

    So, setting aside all rational thinking, what chicken-blood, phase-of-the-moon, juggle-chipmunks-clockwise voodoo do you think might hold sway over your hunting success?

    I know this sounds simple, and also I want to tell you that I'm not trying to be a smart ass, and maybe it sounds too simple, but how does being at the right place at the right time sound? In your scouting you saw places where deer crossed more than other places. Also, if you go there in the off season (Like within a month or two of season opening) and observe the deer in these spots and and see which exact place they cross the most, IN DAY LIGHT, I believe that if you descent properly, and hide in a good perch where you can easily shoot your rifle accurately with a good clear shot at the place where they cross, AND you hunt that place everyday as often and as long as possible, you will kill a deer every year.

    I used to go and hunt a place until I grew tired of it, then I would move or maybe try spot and stalk but never had any success to speak of doing other things. Then I got some advice from an old hunter who told me to stay put, Patience pays off. And if I walk around all I'm doing is scaring the deer and spreading my scent all over. So this is how I hunt now and last year was the first year I didn't get a deer since I've been hunting that place. But now I really believe last year I was sabotaged.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,592 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    Best advise:


    Leave California.

    There's actually quite a lot of good deer in this state, and a buttload more public land to hunt on than in some others - none of that "If you don't know a landowner, you're screwed" routine. I just choose for logistical reasons to hunt in a zone within that state that has only a 3% success rate for reasons that I'm still trying to come to grips with - decent deer are taken there, very healthy looking does and plenty of yearlings, tracks all the hell over the place, etc... I think unlocking the mysteries of THIS area are becoming the greater obsession than merely plugging one out of a pre-selected field. This probably isn't healthy, to be sure.

    The thing I get the most satisfaction out of is that if I actually had to do this to survive, and there wasn't an artificial, state-mandated rule that was keeping me from pulling the trigger on deer with less than two points on one side, I'd be rolling in meat. Seeing plenty of deer - just not the RIGHT deer.

    Zilch this year due to weather more than anything - dry and clear and relatively warm for the entire month we had to play. Dad actually scored on opening morning the last two years running sitting in the same spot. In 2015, it took him 40 minutes; in 2016, an hour and 20 - I told him he was slipping.:tooth:
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,592 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    . . .I used to go and hunt a place until I grew tired of it, then I would move or maybe try spot and stalk but never had any success to speak of doing other things. Then I got some advice from an old hunter who told me to stay put, Patience pays off. . .

    Now HERE'S a topic for superstition: HOW MUCH patience pays off?

    I gave my primary hide for this season the first seven consecutive mornings, and I think two more during the other days I was able to get up there - so roughly half the time I hunted this year, not counting evening road hunts. There is the ultimate certainty that deer will EVENTUALLY be back, but then there are the variables of weather, hunting pressure as the season extends, how many times you want to watch the sun rise in the same damn place when you've got an entire national forest to poke around in, and if the season will end before that EVENTUALLY comes to pass.

    Right place and right time? Sure. You ever walked out and seen their tracks inside the ones you made walking in?:bang:

    I'm possibly coming to the conclusion that it's random chance and chaos theory, with some people having a "black hole" tendency to bend the waves of probability better than others. If you go into the field without hope, it's a lot less frustrating. :jester:
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • shooter10mmshooter10mm Member Posts: 215 Member
    The key to killing big bucks is to hunt where big bucks live.....I'm not getting my busy **** out there until they start showing up on cameras! If they ain't there I'm not wasting my time. Even if they're nocturnal I'll set up on major travel corridors, powerlines or gas lines to Increase my chances of seeing something so I can take an advantage of an opportunity. That's my major key to success is being able to make the shot happen if it comes along.
    Bad JuJu...It never pays to talk $#!+....i.e. never say how long it's been since you missed or lost a deer...They'll prove you wrong!! HAhaa
    "You miss 100% of the shots you do not take!"
    "As long as there's Lead in the air there's hope!
    " -- Ralph Adkinson(Daddy) The original Marlboro Man
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    I hunted Colorado in 2012. Dad brought along one of those GPS units with a chip that tells you if the land you're cruising through is public or private. I poop you not - COLORADO DEER KNOW! Dad finally connected with his deer while I was out with our elk hunting contingent, but it was pretty much "Public land - NOTHING. Private land - MONSTERS" Not only were they monsters, at least one of them was SMUG about it - 200+ pounds, 4x4 rack well in excess of 20 inches, sitting in the middle of an open lot with a trailer surrounded by his harem, staring right at me from 162 yards. Decided then and there it was a muley sub-species: Colorado Mocking Deer. You only see them, when you can't kill them.

    I've seen my share of those mocking deer.

    I can't think of any superstitions I have about hunting, though. I remember the first year I hunted in Utah. It was in the extreme northwest corner of the state on national forest land. There were hunters every where I looked. I was walking through a bunch of waist high sage brush when a 2 point buck (4 point to you eastern folks) popped up about 50 yards away. One shot and my season was over. I got help from some guy in a pickup to get him back to camp. I remarked that I was surprised to kick up a deer in that area. His response was "Deer are like pheasants. They're where you find them." That's about as close to a superstition that I have.

    I'm glad you enjoyed your time in the mountain. Just remember that a bad day of hunting is still better than a good day at work!
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 5,092 Senior Member
    I am not superstitious, one thing I learned early on was in Colorado if you hunt the late season for elk, you have to go where the other hunters aren't. I didn't get an elk from 2006 thru 2012, seems like if I got a bull tag I saw cows, if i got a cow tag i saw bulls. As was said before a bad day hunting is better than a good day not hunting.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,240 Senior Member
    early wrote: »
    They learn where they get shot at and where they don't. I absolutely believe this.

    That is truth. I'll come back from not seeing any deer at the hunting lease, and see a herd of deer in my front yard
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    The key to killing big bucks is to hunt where big bucks live.....I'm not getting my busy **** out there until they start showing up on cameras! If they ain't there I'm not wasting my time. Even if they're nocturnal I'll set up on major travel corridors, powerlines or gas lines to Increase my chances of seeing something so I can take an advantage of an opportunity. That's my major key to success is being able to make the shot happen if it comes along.
    Bad JuJu...It never pays to talk $#!+....i.e. never say how long it's been since you missed or lost a deer...They'll prove you wrong!! HAhaa

    Now THAT'S superstition I can deal with!

    Big Slug, you may have a group of deer like we have here. They get nocturnal after awhile and the only thing that will bring their mug out in daylight is RUT.

    There's two or three of the biggest deer on our lease that live in the brush about 100 yards from where my blind is. My blind is on the edge of the sendaro and they live back in the brush on the north side of the sendaro.That's why I hunt there because now and then they'll stick their head out and try to cross. It's so thick and snakey inside that brush line I don't try to go back in there. Even sans snakes it's almost impossible to go through and if you do every deer within 200 yards is going to hear you coming and make their exit long before you reach their bedroom. So it's a catch 22.

    The reason these big deer (And actually most deer on our lease, last year) is because a couple of members on our lease drive around shooting at targets of opportunity. The quickest way to ruin a good hunting lease is to do this. For one thing, the deer need a quiet place. They need a place where they're undisturbed or they will make that place back in the thickest brush they can find. Either that or leave the area for quieter pastures.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    Now HERE'S a topic for superstition: HOW MUCH patience pays off?

    I gave my primary hide for this season the first seven consecutive mornings, and I think two more during the other days I was able to get up there - so roughly half the time I hunted this year, not counting evening road hunts. There is the ultimate certainty that deer will EVENTUALLY be back, but then there are the variables of weather, hunting pressure as the season extends, how many times you want to watch the sun rise in the same damn place when you've got an entire national forest to poke around in, and if the season will end before that EVENTUALLY comes to pass.

    Right place and right time? Sure. You ever walked out and seen their tracks inside the ones you made walking in?:bang:

    I'm possibly coming to the conclusion that it's random chance and chaos theory, with some people having a "black hole" tendency to bend the waves of probability better than others. If you go into the field without hope, it's a lot less frustrating. :jester:


    True, but we are not robots and hope is the esence of the hunt.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,592 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    [/B]
    Big Slug, you may have a group of deer like we have here. They get nocturnal after awhile and the only thing that will bring their mug out in daylight is RUT.

    I WISH! Rut typically doesn't start here until the season is well done. Horny and stupid would be most welcome. I keep hoping for the depressed ones the does rejected to get suicidal and charge my position. Feeling like you just can't go on? I can help you with that. :tooth:
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,200 Senior Member
    Naw the problem is just global warming.
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