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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those who don't know it, here is my hunting situation.

I hunt in Harpers Ferry, WV on the mountain side of the Shenandoah River where bow season's been in since October 18th. My stand is located on top of a large rock bluff that borders the river itself. All of the property on the mountain side of the river is hardwoods. On the opposite side of the river are fields.

Now usually this time of year I see on average 3 to 5 deer everytime I go into the woods in the evening. In the morning I'll always see more, averaging around 6 to 10 deer. This year the most I have seen in one evening was 3 deer. In the morning the most I have seen, with the exception of one day, is 4 deer. For the last 5 days in a row I haven't seen a single deer.

So here is my theory. Accorns are pretty hard to find this year in our woods. Last year was a good year for accorns and we saw many, many deer. Last year was also my most successful year when I harvested 4 deer - 4pnt, two 6pnts, and an 8pnt. The guys on our side who are baiting heavily are having deer coming in, but still not in the quantities of years prior. Also, in years previous years I've gotten to know the deer's pre-rut patterns, to an extent. Many days they would cross the river at first light and come into our woods. Many deer that were killed at first light by anyone hunting near the river were soaking wet. In the evenings some deer - not all - were heading back towards the river. One of our guys hunts the river a lot. When I say he hunts the river I mean he sits on a large hillside that ends at the river and watches the deer cross. He monitors the fields on the other side watching when the deer are coming and where they're going to come out of the river. In previous years it would be nothing abnormal to hear him say that he's seen over 15 to 20 deer if not more crossing the river. The other morning he hunted this location and did not see one, single deer cross.

The fields on the other side of the river are cow fields except for one field which is corn. This is the first year that corn, or any other food source, has been planted on the opposite side's fields. The corn field has not been cut yet. I believe that with the lack of food source on our side of the river the deer are staying on the opposite side filling up on the corn.

When they finally do cut the fields (which I imagine should be any day) is it likely that we will finally start to see our deer?????
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Only one person we hunt with has seen one and that was last year, and the person who saw it wasn't certain that they actually saw a coyote for sure or not. If they're there they aren't being seen.
 

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It's the same where we hunt, many deer are remaining in the corn fields instead of traveling. It seems the more human pressure they get the more nocturnal they are.
schedule permitting I'm planning on hunting during a rainy day & see if that will make a differance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's the same where we hunt, many deer are remaining in the corn fields instead of traveling. It seems the more human pressure they get the more nocturnal they are.
schedule permitting I'm planning on hunting during a rainy day & see if that will make a differance.
On a similar note of that, the two biggest deer killed off of our property were taken on the two worst days. The first one was taken in pouring rain. The second was taken on Thanksgiving, the windiest day of the season. It may be because the guy who killed both of these deer is the only person other than myself that will get out of bed on the bad days (the woods are empty)... or it may be because these deer are wise to the fact that they don't have attempted murders happening to them on the bad days.

Here's the first one taken.
 

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As long as you have standing corn, the deer will eat and sleep in it as it provides great cover. They do however have to come out to drink water and that is where you should be. I have the same situation every other year and it sucks..................Gary
 

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Years ago I had the good fortune to ride shotgun on the corn cutter/picker. As the corn was cut and the field narrowed a amazing about of game came out. Since it was also rabbit season, it was in fact a field day as they zipped into the open. Foxes, *****, Rabbits, Doves flushing everywhere. When the field got down to maybe 70-100 rows wide, the deer started to come out, and out they came. Must have been 15 deer holding tight inside those rows. The amazing part was how long they stayed in there as the field got smaller. On a day with some good wind, the dry corn is making noise, the deer are bedded in the rows. Walk in 1 row, with your body in the first row, slowly poke just your head thru to the next row. Look up and down the row, repeat each row. You'll catch one bedded. Getting the shot with a bow is another story, but it's fun to try. T.
 

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Years ago I had the good fortune to ride shotgun on the corn cutter/picker. As the corn was cut and the field narrowed a amazing about of game came out. Since it was also rabbit season, it was in fact a field day as they zipped into the open. Foxes, *****, Rabbits, Doves flushing everywhere. When the field got down to maybe 70-100 rows wide, the deer started to come out, and out they came. Must have been 15 deer holding tight inside those rows. The amazing part was how long they stayed in there as the field got smaller. On a day with some good wind, the dry corn is making noise, the deer are bedded in the rows. Walk in 1 row, with your body in the first row, slowly poke just your head thru to the next row. Look up and down the row, repeat each row. You'll catch one bedded. Getting the shot with a bow is another story, but it's fun to try. T.
Always thought that was a great idea but many times farmers aren't crazy about hunters in their crop fields, I haven't found one yet that would say yes.
 
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