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Unread 09-16-2013, 03:14 PM   #1
CrawlingForward
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Hints for first deer season?

Ok, so just moved to Texas this year (so baiting is legal, if your hints involve that) and just bought my first deer rifle (Winchester Model 94 30-30) and have my very own plot of land. (5 acres. The front 2 have the house, the back 3 are a barbed-wire fenced in dense woodlands.)

I'd like to set up in the back 3 acres and take one in my own back yard.

The area used to be a grazing area for goats, so the outside circle has been cleared of trees (as you can see on the outdated Google Map below) but has now become overgrown with waist-to-chest-to-overmyhead high brush.

The red lines are my property with the center red line being the divider between the front and the back acres. The cleared area on the bottom are neighbors who we like, but who are hunters themselves. The semi-cleared area on the top right is a cow pasture. The rest is just undeveloped land.



This is what the terrain looks like now:



I've cleared a path through the center to the back fence and opened up a 25' x 50' area for brush pile purposes (too much poison oak for a burn pile) and noticed it clears out a bit on the other side of the fence as well, so there may be paths there already, but I haven't seen any activity yet.

Any suggestions on how to set myself up? I never hunted anything more than rabbits and squirrels before, so I'm very much a novice.

I'm a decent shot, but I'm old school and prefer iron sights to scopes and jeans and flannel to high-tech camo gear.

Tree stand? Types of bait? Times of day?

What d'yall think?

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Unread 09-16-2013, 05:06 PM   #2
Indy
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It always blows my mind that people can actually hunt on 5 acres some places. My yard is twice that size. For antelope I generally cover 120 miles per day and visibility is miles. Same with deer and the only time it gets close is for elk.

Anyway pretty basic since you have the land and I'm assuming it has animals on it or through it pretty regularly. Find their food source, find their water and find their bedding areas. There will be routes from 1 to the other and hopefully wither the destinations or the routes are on your land.

Tree stand (lots of animals don't look up unless they have a reason to) 20-30 yards off the trail. It's too late to try and plant food crops for this year but as you say its legal I'd be planting some cleared areas for next year. Let them get nice and happy traveling to and from that same spot all year long and next season will probably be easy.

And then bring a book when you're on stand or something to keep you awake. Although some of my best hunting has happened after a nap
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Unread 09-17-2013, 06:43 PM   #3
0IIIIIII0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indy
It always blows my mind that people can actually hunt on 5 acres some places. My yard is twice that size. For antelope I generally cover 120 miles per day and visibility is miles. Same with deer and the only time it gets close is for elk.

Anyway pretty basic since you have the land and I'm assuming it has animals on it or through it pretty regularly. Find their food source, find their water and find their bedding areas. There will be routes from 1 to the other and hopefully wither the destinations or the routes are on your land.

Tree stand (lots of animals don't look up unless they have a reason to) 20-30 yards off the trail. It's too late to try and plant food crops for this year but as you say its legal I'd be planting some cleared areas for next year. Let them get nice and happy traveling to and from that same spot all year long and next season will probably be easy.

And then bring a book when you're on stand or something to keep you awake. Although some of my best hunting has happened after a nap
My hunting as a high schooler involved naps. In fact I damn near always fell asleep until my dad came back to me.




Shocker I never got a deer
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Unread 09-17-2013, 09:43 PM   #4
Indy
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I was working midnights when i did my first elk hunt. At the end of the first day we hit a valley for the last light, and being awake for almost 48 hours i fell asleep with my buddy 5 feet away from me. A while later i wake up and ask him "what was that?" He says "what was what?" I point across the valley and tell him there smething over there. Less than a minute later a whole herd comes out of the tree line and we have 2 on the ground. both of our first even though he had been chasing them for a decade by then. Ive done the same with deer a half dozen times including being woken up by a deer stepping on me. I work my *** off so i enjoy my naps

Ive taken a lot of naps that didnt end with pulling the trigger. Sleeping in the great outdoors is nice no matter the outcome,i look forward to that part of "hunting".
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Unread 09-18-2013, 08:34 AM   #5
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Work filters are blocking the pics of the maps so I'll check it out when I get home.

If you have a TOPO map look for natural sources of food, water and shelter. Features such as draws, hills and such will funnel deer into pinch points between those sources. That will be your best area to set up a kill zone.

I live/hunt in Delaware. It's such a small state and the deer population is pretty dense. I hunt on the ground blind almost exclusively and I only bow hunt for deer (guns are for waterfowl, rabbits and squirrels round here). My theory is that the deer around here are in such close proximity to people all the time that they really don't get spooked easily. I throw on a camo shirt and my Thermacell and head out. During the late season when there's little foilage left, I'll use my camo overalls or coveralls. Scent killer wash from Walmart to wash the clothes and body wash for me and that's it. I refuse to spend $200 on a peice of ScentLok clothing!
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Unread 09-18-2013, 09:01 AM   #6
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Fwiw every scent block test ive read says it doesnt work.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 09:14 AM   #7
Kuntryboy816
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Quote:
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Ive done the same with deer a half dozen times including being woken up by a deer stepping on me. I work my *** off so i enjoy my naps
You must be a sound sleeper my friend!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indy View Post
Ive taken a lot of naps that didnt end with pulling the trigger. Sleeping in the great outdoors is nice no matter the outcome,i look forward to that part of "hunting".
I whole-heartedly agree with ya on this!!!!! I remember hunting in MD with 2 of my buddies one year. We all set up about 150 yds apart along the edge of his cornfield. I was on the far left about 40 yds from the corner of the field. After about 3 hours I nodded off. I was violently shoved into the waking world when I heard a .308 go off very close to me. Shook me so bad I fell off my seat and hit the ground. Come to find out, his uncle was set up in the corner of the field and we didn't even know he was there... he didn't even have permission to hunt there. Luckily he was shooting at a doe out in front of us and not in between us. The moron even said he heard me walk in and set up but chose not to alert me to his presence. Then when he heard me snoring he GLASSED ME WITH HIS SCOPE!!!!!!!! I so wanted to knock his teeth out! It was a wakeup call in more respects than one.
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Unread 09-18-2013, 09:17 AM   #8
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Fwiw every scent block test ive read says it doesnt work.
Truth! I mean, what did people do before all this "technology" came out. They knew how to read the wind and set up accordingly. I do use fresh earth scent wafers. I tried using the scented dryer sheets but my wife want' happy that all of the clothes smelled like fresh earth for a week.
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Unread 09-24-2013, 08:45 AM   #9
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In looking at the photo, it would be wise to check out all of the undeveloped area around your hunting area. Look for ground blinds and tree stands of other hunters. That 30-30 will carry well beyond your property. A cheap way to decent your hunting clothes is to just wash them in clean water, no soap, and hang outside on a clothesline for several days. This will get rid of the soap smell and pick up natures scent. Happy hunting!
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Unread 09-24-2013, 09:40 AM   #10
CrawlingForward
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Thanks everybody for all the advice so far!

So after scouting, it doesn't seem like there's much sign of any deer. I also laid out a bag of corn next to what *could* be a game trail to see if anything disturbed it and it's untouched a week later. The only water sources I can think of are probably the troughs in the nearby cow pastures. So what can I do?

We've got an old kiddie-pool. If I put that back there and filled it up, would that make any difference, you think? (For next year I'd probably dig a "pond").

Also, since corn doesn't really have a smell, would throwing apples or yams or something back there with a scent that will carry help?

In terms of my bullet trajectory, yeah that's one of my major concerns. I think my plan is to use a tree stand so that I'm guaranteed a downward trajectory so I can see the full range.

I still have to check during the actual times of day I plan on hunting, but there doesn't seem like much wind, so I'll probably end up worrying more about scent than I thought I would. I'll probably grab a set of clothes I haven't already stunk up much and try the washing/drying without soap trick.

Because of the lack of wind, any hints on how to place a stand?
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Unread 09-24-2013, 09:40 AM   #11
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Also, to manage expectations, would it not be unheard of to not see a damn thing my first season, ha ha?
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Unread 09-24-2013, 11:40 AM   #12
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No visible sign doesn't mean they're not there. If you have a good deal of hard packed dirt it'll be hard for them to leave prints. A trail cam may be your best bet if you can't sit a field for a few hours.

Corn does have a scent to it and if the deer were close enough they'd smell it even if we can't.

Take the corn out of the bag!!

J/K... You can try mixing molasses into the corn for a bigger enticement. More than likely if you start throwing in apples and yams and other quick decaying goodies in there, you're going to get hogs faster than deer...and mice and rats.
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Unread 09-25-2013, 08:56 AM   #13
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as far tree stand location, you will want it comfortably high enough with the greatest veiw of you hunting area. If its a permanent stand, now is the time to put it up so that the deer get used to it being in the area.
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Unread 09-27-2013, 07:47 AM   #14
CrawlingForward
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Ok, so I set up an old kiddie pool of water and set out some apples and yams in addition to the corn.

Went out like 2 days later and the yams and corn were untouched, but every one of the like 10 apples were gone. Not a print to be found on the hard ground. I would assume squirrels took them?

Hogs would have taken the yams, so it wasn't them, but wouldn't have squirrels taken the corn?

Is there a way to make bait deer, but not squirrel, accessible?
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Unread 10-12-2013, 06:17 PM   #15
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If there is ANY chance of a bullet traveling towards another home, set up a tree stand. It is best to shoot downward to avoid a very bad situation. Have a safe hunt, good luck, and enjoy some med. rare backstrap.
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