Tidal Fish Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
729 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got permission to hunt about a 10 acre wood plot in a suburban area just outside Annapolis. I plan to hunt it in the evenings mostly for a couple hours after work. This ideal for me because it is literally right behind my house! :yes: I have lived here for 32 years and see quite a few deer frequently, usually 4-5 at a time.

I wanted to try to get a better look at what was coming through so 3 weeks ago I put out a feeder and trail camera. I set the feeder to dispense at 7AM and 7PM. Weekly when I check the camera I have tons of pics of usually just a single deer but on a few there is a second one. They pretty much show up every night between 1-4AM, feed around for about a half hour then are gone till the next night. I have the feeder set to dispense about 1.5 pounds each time and there is always a good bit on the ground when I check the camera so I don't think it's a quantity issue.

My concern is the lack of any activity at all during daylight.

My questions are:
1. As the season gets closer, should I adjust the feeder times?
2. As the season gets closer and there is less natural browse, will the deer adapt to the feeder times and visit it more frequently?
3. Should I keep refilling the feeder throughout the summer or should I hold off a couple months? There are no farms around so their only food is woodland browse and peoples gardens/plants.

In my 40+ years of hunting, this is my first time trying to pattern deer like this. Any insight would be appreciated.

Chuck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
259 Posts
I have a stand in my backyard here in Virginia. Just an acre but my property is adjacent to 400 acres+ and a green zone runs through my property to another tract that the deer pass through. Last year I shot 3 deer from that stand and could have taken many more. The pattern here is that they start to dumb up from gun season around March and you see them in daylight. Then in April they disappear as natural browse improves. In May they disappear again to give birth. Then in June/July they start to show up again early am/pm twilight. By early bow urban archery in September they are dumb and ready for the picking again. By October they are wary but still huntable as they see the first black powder shots. By November/December they are nocturnal again but for a week or so during prime November rut. Now go get em.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
729 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I THINK I may have caught a doe on camera that may have been trying to give birth. I hope the pictures work...
In this picture she is arching her back with her tail up high....


In this one she lays down on her side....


And 20 or so minutes later she stands up, arches her back again with her tail up and mouth open as if in discomfort....


Chuck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
717 Posts
CabynFever, I make no claim to know it all but after years of playing with feeders and cameras in TX, Wva, and local I can offer this to your questions.
1. As the season gets closer, should I adjust the feeder times? Yes, I have settled on two feedings a day, 1st around 8am and the second shorter feed around 4pm. Reason: If you feed heavy at night the ***** get really fat LOL.... and you have to put enough on the ground in the day light hours to handle the turkeys, squirrels, and crows....
2. As the season gets closer and there is less natural browse, will the deer adapt to the feeder times and visit it more frequently? Yes, however except for TX where they were fed massive volume and there was very little else to feed on in the wild dont look for them to come running like a dinner bell. They will come, but with other material to feed on available they will come at their leisure.
3. Should I keep refilling the feeder throughout the summer or should I hold off a couple months? There are no farms around so their only food is woodland browse and peoples gardens/plants. Yes and No, you may want to cut back for now to save $$$ but keep some there and slowing increase. With no other corn or grains in the area you will need to keep their stomachs used to the grain. Sudden introduction of corn to a deer's diet can be very hard on them..

I have had deer begin use of a site within hours of setting it up and the next site on the same farm not get touched for weeks??? I have also watched deer that knows the corn is there walk right by it to feed on green briar. Stand placement is critical, most deer especially the mature ones come in nervous when approaching a feeder.

One thing I can say for sure and have consistently found to be true, "nothing is consistent." What occurs at one feed site may or may not occur at the next.

Good luck and let us know how it goes. PS: it can be very frustrating and you will find that corn is not as magical as some think, fun but not a magic bullet ..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
729 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
jfish,

Thanks for the detailed response! Since my original post the frequency of deer visiting the feeder area has greatly deminished. When they do come by all they do is walk by and don't feed at all. I had cut the feeder back to once each day but have since turned it off completely because the corn was just piling up. There are 2 rather large ***** that have come by a couple times but not very regularly. Squirrels on the other hand....I'm thinking about getting a pellet gun and thinning the herd a bit once the season opens.

Chuck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
729 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
After more than 3 months and 3 cameras in the woods, I finally caught a buck on one. Now I just need him to show up during shooting light in 2 weeks when the season opens!

~
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
729 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't know if the deer in my area are smart or if it was just bad luck.

I kept a spreadsheet of the time of day of when I got deer on camera. Over the last couple of weeks I have had them at all times of the day. Yesterday was opening day here in MD and I was stoked, certain I was going to be successful on opening day for the first time.

I was in the woods and ready at 5:00AM waiting for the legal start time at 6:15. The wind was perfect at 8-10 mph from the north towards a neighbors house 150 yds away. Based on my spreadsheet, I was expecting to see deer starting around 6:30. I sat all day till dark and other than birds, the only signs of life that I saw was a single sguirrel, a fox and a turtle.

A house across the street from this patch of woods was having their roof re-done starting at 7:30. The house is about 300 yds away so whether all the noise kept the deer away or if they knew it was opening day and I would be there I have no idea.

I had planned on being back out there this morning but I was up sick most of the night and decided to stay in bed. I did however go out and change the memory cards on the cameras around 9:30A this morning. They showed that I had 1 deer come in yesterday at midnight and nothing again till 9:30P. I was somewhat relieved to see that I didn't miss anything this morning by deciding to stay in bed.

~
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,035 Posts
I'm not being a smart a$$, this is a real question. Is it hard to shoot a deer? They are running all over the fields and roads were we live. My Daughter just wrecked her car last month by hitting one. I know nothing about deer hunting. I have been hooked on fishing all my life. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
729 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm not being a smart a$$, this is a real question. Is it hard to shoot a deer? They are running all over the fields and roads were we live. My Daughter just wrecked her car last month by hitting one. I know nothing about deer hunting. I have been hooked on fishing all my life. Thanks!
The shooting part is easy. The challenge is fooling their superior eyesight, hearing, and sense of smell in order to be able to shoot. This is especially true for hunting with a bow where for the most people, they have to be 40 yards or closer. Along with the distance limitation, you also have to worry about your arrow being deflected by something even as minor as hitting a couple of leaves.

Chuck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,035 Posts
The shooting part is easy. The challenge is fooling their superior eyesight, hearing, and sense of smell in order to be able to shoot. This is especially true for hunting with a bow where for the most people, they have to be 40 yards or closer. Along with the distance limitation, you also have to worry about your arrow being deflected by something even as minor as hitting a couple of leaves.

Chuck
Thanks Chuck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
259 Posts
I'm not being a smart a$$, this is a real question. Is it hard to shoot a deer? They are running all over the fields and roads were we live. My Daughter just wrecked her car last month by hitting one. I know nothing about deer hunting. I have been hooked on fishing all my life. Thanks!
The answer is yes and no. Is it hard to shoot a deer? No. Is it hard to shoot a deer in season? It can be. Is it hard to shoot a big deer (antlered). Absolutely. It all depends on how you frame the question. As soon as hunting season starts the deer get very smart very fast and in heavily hunted places they go nocturnal and you rarely can get a shot on a deer in hunting hours. On the other hand if you are hunting urban land or land that rarely sees pressure they can be easier to get. It also depends what you are shooting. Compound bow, crossbow, muzzleloader, modern firearm as each has a different range from 30 to 300+ yards. Even the most tame deer will rarely let you get within 25 yards if they see you.

Bottom line is if you want to just "shoot a deer" it's not that big a deal to find a yearling doe in early season and take her out with little or no hunting experience. If you want to shoot a 10 or 12 pt 4.5 year old buck on the other hand... good friggin luck if you haven't paid your dues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,551 Posts
Time to start laying some "scent" around. Get into the woods an hour or so early and squirt some Tinks 69 around in strategic spots (shooting lanes). There's always a few horny bucks around (pun intended) ...more should show up as the season progresses. I also like to hang a few "scent free" tampons, soaked in Tinks, on branches about 4' off the ground within 20 yds my stand.

Good luck & keep us posted :thumbup:
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top