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Thread: Deer Strategy Question

  1. #11
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    Re: Deer Strategy Question

    I read that bucks don't hang with does typically letting the does and fawns feed on the most nutrient rich part of the forest while the bucks usually are on the fringes either higher up or lower than the does. This is a survival pattern that ensures future offspring. Of course this changes during the rut.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    Re: Deer Strategy Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bugle M In View Post
    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.

    In my questionable experience blacktails often dont migrate much. On the island their wintering ground vs. summer habitat was often within a Km of each other. A lot different than mule deer that might have to go 50km to get to a better spot to winter. I didn't hunt much in some of the higher ground on the lower island, so maybe a limited perspective.

  3. #13
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    Re: Deer Strategy Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Cdog View Post
    I read that bucks don't hang with does typically letting the does and fawns feed on the most nutrient rich part of the forest while the bucks usually are on the fringes either higher up or lower than the does. This is a survival pattern that ensures future offspring. Of course this changes during the rut.
    in my experience, yes pre-rut the bucks and does don’t hang. They just don’t have much interest in each other. The bucks seem to like hanging out in places where they can be left alone. Read that as the places we don’t want to go. Places that are hard to hunt in areas that have any hunting pressure. Given most places have lower buck to doe ratios and bucks are hunted harder, it’s just generally harder to find them. I have seen spikes hanging around does early on. But I usually suspect it is last years fawn still hanging around. It gets dicey when the bucks are ready to breed and the does want nothing to do with them. Then you get a lot of running around and chasing. Finally the does are receptive, then find does and there is a good chance a buck will be sniffing around somewhere too.

  4. #14
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    Re: Deer Strategy Question

    You are also right, low elevation mild winter areas will see little or no migrations. Bucks in rut will travel quite far to find receptive does though.

  5. #15
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    Re: Deer Strategy Question

    Quote Originally Posted by brian View Post
    You are also right, low elevation mild winter areas will see little or no migrations. Bucks in rut will travel quite far to find receptive does though.
    I used to hunt this one spot around 600-700M in Region 2. It seemed to have does all over the place and some great bucks (5x5's, 4x4, 4x3 etc) until the end of August. After that, I would see less than half the number of does and a couple smaller bucks (spike, fork)

    I always figured those bucks and the rest of the does were around, still up on this little mountain / knob. I pounded it for about 6 years before giving up. I took interest in another spot in the valley bottom just down from there and started seeing a few bucks on the cams as well as a couple really great bucks cruising through nose to the ground. It seemed promising so I focused on that for a couple of seasons. I never did get a buck out of there, but now the blacktail / mule-hybrid to whitetail ratio is about 1:5 in that little pocket so I gave up on it, at least for now.

    Late last season I started hunting a different part of the valley late season last year and was seeing does out in the open during the day which seemed promising. I hit up the same sport early season this year and show enough got one with my bow. Now there are whitetails showing up there though. My freezers are full but I am going to keep scouting it this fall and "hunting with a camera" (unless I can free up enough space in the freezers for another buck before the rut)

    Anyway I really don't know what to make of those deer magically disappearing early fall from that one spot. It's not due to snow, that is for certain. Everything I ever read about "resident blacktails" is that they often live and die within a 2km grid. I am starting to think either that is simply untrue or that pocket is an anomaly. Very confusing. I think focusing on it so much set my back a long way in deer hunting. For what it's worth, I only ever found 1 shed (a 5 point) up that little knob. Maybe it's possible they are still in that 2km grid and I am just not finding them? Maybe... but with the explosion of whitetails I just can't be bothered anymore.

    Figured I would bounce that off you as you seem to know a lot about BT movements. If you have any guesses as to what was going on (before the whitetail explosion) I'd love to hear.

  6. #16
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    Re: Deer Strategy Question

    End of August is a season shift in a lot of areas. Available feeds are shifting, antlers are finally hardening up and velvet being shed, nights are getting colder, and hunters are in the woods. Personally I think that last factor makes a huge difference. It could be that a favoured food source opened up elsewhere and the pocket of activity shifted either temporarily or permanently, hunting pressure moved them into different patterns, or they migrated to the valley bottoms. I remember my days of hunting region 2, it seemed to be all about getting the elevation right. But areas would dry up quickly and leave me scratching my head. Now I hunt low elevation resident deer with little migration in region 1. I know the area very well and am not surprised to see overall usage pattern changes right around season opener late August/early September.

    edit, I was just rereading your post and wanted to add. That 2km in Bush is really a big area when you break it down, with lots of opportunity for small concentrated pockets of use. The deer won’t use that 2km evenly. They will have pockets of use which can shift on a dime. How they use food sources still baffle me sometimes. A lot of the when and where movement patterns shift for seemingly unknown reasons. I remember being stumped one year when everything felt different. It was not coming together. Then I found a cougar kill sight that had multiple deer skeletons. Then it made sense. Same situation years later, movement patterns seemed off, Then I found somebody had built a mountain biking trail right through the best bedding grounds. I am just saying a lot of things can shift how they use their home areas, even if they are resident animals.
    Last edited by brian; 09-15-2020 at 05:24 PM. Reason: Added a bit more

  7. #17
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    Re: Deer Strategy Question

    Thanks Brian. Very good insight and much appreciated.

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