Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Thread: Deer Strategy Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    309

    Deer Strategy Question

    One of the areas I have been scouting has several blacktail does (with fawns) consistently on camera for the past 4 months. Pretty much daily occurrences (surprising as I also see bears and 1 cougar). No bucks, though.
    Now, with opening day behind us, how would you treat this? Find the doe find the bucks? Still hunt the area and wait for the bucks? Or will does typically move on come rut?

    Guess the question boils down to: You know where the does are, do you hang out, even though you don't see any bucks, or move on?
    Last edited by Would Rather Be Fishing; 09-12-2020 at 01:43 PM.

  2. Site Sponsor

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Langley
    Posts
    4,847

    Re: Deer Strategy Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Would Rather Be Fishing View Post
    One of the areas I have been scouting has several blacktail does (with fawns) consistently on camera for the past 4 months. Pretty much daily occurrences (surprising as I also see bears and 1 cougar). No bucks, though.
    Now, with opening day behind us, how would you treat this? Find the bucks find the doe? Still hunt the area and wait for the bucks? Or will does typically move on come rut?

    Guess the question boils down to: You know where the does are, do you hang out, even though you don't see any bucks, or move on?
    If there are no bucks on the cameras I would be a little bit discouraged, at least this time of year. If the does are still there third week of October I would be excited.

    I hunted an area like that year after year as I had a habit of hunting where I wanted the bucks to be and not where they were. There were lots of does and the kicker was that they would move on for the most part prior to the rut. Changed areas and what to you know? Seeing bucks now.

    Another thing though. Just because you aren't seeing them on the cameras doesn't mean they aren't around. Sometimes they use different side trails or seemingly no trails. In the area we got our buck last week, I had been running 4 cams and there were only does on those cams. Got the buck around 50 yards as the crow flies from one of said cams.

    I'm no deer expert by any means, probably one of the least successful deer hunters on the planet, but I might be inclined to put in some more time (boots on the ground) in the area you are describing and check around a little more vs relying on cameras. The only thing I can say for certain is that cameras are generally extremely deceiving. You look at a years with of footage half a dozen cams and "think" you know what is there but then scout around in person and see all sorts of animals that somehow managed to not pass by any of the cameras. Sooo... don't be discouraged on cams alone... but if you have put in a lot of time scouting in person year round, don't make the same mistake I did and focus on it for 6 or 7 years thinking you "just need to figure out the area a little more to unlock the secret"

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Tent city Victoria
    Posts
    3,264

    Re: Deer Strategy Question

    Quote Originally Posted by caddisguy View Post
    If there are no bucks on the cameras I would be a little bit discouraged, at least this time of year. If the does are still there third week of October I would be excited.

    I hunted an area like that year after year as I had a habit of hunting where I wanted the bucks to be and not where they were. There were lots of does and the kicker was that they would move on for the most part prior to the rut. Changed areas and what to you know? Seeing bucks now.

    Another thing though. Just because you aren't seeing them on the cameras doesn't mean they aren't around. Sometimes they use different side trails or seemingly no trails. In the area we got our buck last week, I had been running 4 cams and there were only does on those cams. Got the buck around 50 yards as the crow flies from one of said cams.

    I'm no deer expert by any means, probably one of the least successful deer hunters on the planet, but I might be inclined to put in some more time (boots on the ground) in the area you are describing and check around a little more vs relying on cameras. The only thing I can say for certain is that cameras are generally extremely deceiving. You look at a years with of footage half a dozen cams and "think" you know what is there but then scout around in person and see all sorts of animals that somehow managed to not pass by any of the cameras. Sooo... don't be discouraged on cams alone... but if you have put in a lot of time scouting in person year round, don't make the same mistake I did and focus on it for 6 or 7 years thinking you "just need to figure out the area a little more to unlock the secret"
    This is good advice. In one of my spots I was only seeing does as well but occasionally there was a monster deer track. Didn’t see that buck at all until last day of the season, December 10 when I bumped into him with a doe. Long story, didn’t even get a shot off. But I had also seen sign where he had pushed a smaller buck off from the doe so that’s 2 bucks I didn’t get on cam that were there.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Duncan
    Posts
    2,800

    Re: Deer Strategy Question

    Do the deer migrate out of this area? Is it high elevation? If the does are still there in the rut, then the bucks will show up too. It’s also very common to see more doe activity Than buck.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    309

    Re: Deer Strategy Question

    Thanks for all the good advise, will just see what happens come November...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fella View Post
    when I bumped him with a doe.....
    Read that wrong the first time, gave me a good chuckle Guess what happens in the woods, stays in the woods? No judgement

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Tent city Victoria
    Posts
    3,264

    Re: Deer Strategy Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Would Rather Be Fishing View Post
    Thanks for all the good advise, will just see what happens come November...



    Read that wrong the first time, gave me a good chuckle Guess what happens in the woods, stays in the woods? No judgement
    *Banjo music intensifies*

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    5,571

    Re: Deer Strategy Question

    Migration is the big thing to consider.
    I hunted in the Kettle, years ago, in the Alpine.
    Early season, they are there.
    But they migrate out.

    And same where i hunt now, it is a wintering area.
    So, there might be the odd deer that hangs in there now, but i wouldnt expect to get many pics right now.
    Come November, and "under normal winter conditions" (not the case for years now however), suddenly there are way more Doe and yes, bucks suddenly
    showing up.

    Now, due to winters being milder, or should i say way less snow fall, deer may hang higher up.

    So, its about time of year, migration area vs winter range area, and the conditions of the weather, imo.
    You are seeing Does, so they might be local, and come winter, if this is a wintering area, you will see more Doe come in, and thus bucks as well.
    Or, this is an area where they will all go elsewhere, to a true wintering area.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Region 3
    Posts
    212

    Re: Deer Strategy Question

    Are you noticing any buck sign, rubs, scrapes, large tracks? What does the sign tell you?

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    5,571

    Re: Deer Strategy Question

    ^^^^yup, old rubs (since it is too early for rut yet) will let you know if you are in a possibly good spot for November!

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Duncan
    Posts
    2,800

    Re: Deer Strategy Question

    Bucks will be rubbing their velvet off around now. You should see some rubs showing up. But the bucks will also still be in their bachelor groups. Finding them is a bit more hit and miss. You hit, you hit big. You miss and they seem like ghosts. They’ll go super secretive once the velvet is off.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •