How much time before you give up on an area

Smithb9841

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Ok guys getting impatient waiting for deer season so figured I’d post this and get others thoughts.. anyway a couple years ago I found an area during bow season that had about 12 different bucks in a relatively small area. I seen them but they were never anywhere I could really put a stalk on them so instead of risking scaring them out of the area I backed off and just scouted from a far for rifle season. Anyway rifle season rolls around and it snows opening weekend of rifle season which kind of threw everything off.. didn’t see much opening weekend. Came back the next weekend and there were fresh tracks everywhere but didn’t see any bucks. The next weekend same thing fresh tracks but no bucks.. this was in a D zone and I had drawn an x zone that year so the next 2 weekends I didn’t go bcuZ of my x zone hunt.

Made it up 1 more time to this spot and still saw new fresh tracks but no bucks.. so my question is what do you guys do when your in an area that’s holding a lot of deer you’re seeing tracks but no bucks and you’re pretty sure there’s still bucks in the area.. do you still keep going back or do you give up and look for a new area? I’m assuming the bucks started pushing down deeper into the thick timber but it’s too thick to really hunt effectively.
 



Bigolwiggler

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I usually see a LOT more bucks during archery / velvet horns. The horns are very sensitive when in velvet as you know and they dont like hanging out in the brush . When they lose velvet they tend to be in thicker cover AND tend to be more nocturnal.
Unless there has been drastic changes in weather or food, they are still there. Its the time when patience is your friend.
Glass glass glass! Spend hours in one place waiting for them to twitch an ear or tail. They generally will get up every couple hours to move back into the shade or just to stretch.
They are likely there . Dissect the brush and thickets with your glass..... Patience.

BOW
 
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JohnCo

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I hear you man! I think the same thing.

Many times I've learned the bucks don't leave the area, they seem to just change their routines and either bed in the thicker stuff or higher/lower where no hunters want to go.

If I'm seeing tracks and it's a place I have to myself, I'll stay. Usually I'll glass from a distance as long as I can. But at some point I'll hike through and still hunt it. Especially if it got some clearings so if I bump something they'll run a little ways off then stop and look back.

If I've hunted the area at least twice and not seen anything, I'll probably move onto another place. Not because I think the bucks are gone, I just am not seeing them that year/month. This also allows me to hunt several spots over the course of the season.
 

Bigolwiggler

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JohnCo said,

"If I'm seeing tracks and it's a place I have to myself, I'll stay. Usually I'll glass from a distance as long as I can. But at some point I'll hike through and still hunt it. Especially if it got some clearings so if I bump something they'll run a little ways off then stop and look back. "

BINGO ! I still have only so much patience but its not like when I was much younger. Back then 30 minutes was an eternity ; ) .

BOW
 
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Bankrunner

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Good info up there.
I'd stay if I was seeing does during daylight and if some of the tracks were larger (especially large singles). As long as I didn't spook em :)
 

Smithb9841

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It’s a tough choice so it’s nice to hear other opinions. It was frustrating going back hiking in only to
find large fresh tracks that I knew were bucks but never being able to find the bucks. And what is nice about this spot is I’ve never seen anyone else hike in there it’s a bit of walk so that keeps some people out. I’m determined to go back again this year and hopefully the deer are there again
 

Bankrunner

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Ya it's tough. Even if your in a spot where you've seen or maybe taken deer and have the confidence to hunt it hard, if you don't try a new spot once in a while you'll never find anything just as good or better. It's a nice dilemma to have though, one of the benefits to hunting over the counter tags is there's no pressure from a tag that took years to get. It's easier to check out new areas cause it's a long season and there's always next year. Can't say that for most/all of the premium zones.
Hope some of those bucks are back this season!
 

Bigolwiggler

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A lot of boot tracks are a bad thing too . Obviously people will push them out also.
Another thing.... I will return to an area year after year when I know there is little pressure but good food and sign. Places go thru phases . This ha paid off big time over the years. I learned patience this way also. The wife and I pulled 2 bucks from such a place two years ago on different days ..... after hunting it for 2 years with nothing to show. Patience.
Best of hunting to you Smithb.

BOW
 

Revo2811

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Maybe need to get in there earlier and really quite. Those deer will hear you from a distance and bolt.
I’ve heard and seen guys crash through shrubs with there high beam led lights and I’m like wth!
Also stay there and glass for a while they could be in the area just out of site
Good luck


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

blazintowers

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If you are seeing fresh tracks then the deer have to be there too, is there a good used game trail you can set some game cams up on to see when they are visiting?
 

Smithb9841

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The trail cam idea would probably work, never really considered it when hunting public land. And this area I haven’t seen people that go that far in so I wouldn’t have to worry about someone taking it
 

outdoorsman35

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Recommend trail cam(s) with correct date and times. They even text/ email you now with video/pics as they happen. You can pretty easily pattern deer with technology and sign these days. You can tell when the tracks were laid by their features also pretty accurately.
 

cali deer hunter

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If you have an area that has lots of fresh tracks and little to no hunting pressure on public land in a relatively unrestricted zone you are either hunting in another state or done your research and should continue pursuing it.

Others mentioned trail cams and that might help provided you can get them in the right areas. It's a wager of hunter mistakes and deer mistakes. More deer mistakes means no tag soup for hunter.

Maybe get some people to push the timber towards the accessible areas.
 

Bubblehide

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Some good info has been provided, but I think I can add a couple tidbits. Deer often have night and daytime bedding areas, with nighttime bedding being in or very near their feeding areas. Since we can not legally hunt deer at night, I am going to ignore the nighttime bedding areas, and just view it as feeding areas. Sure deer will feed during daylight hours, but it is generally within their more secluded daytime hidey holes. If you are going to hunt the perimeter of bedding areas, I highly recommend not going into it, because they will NOT return, and you will need to find a different area to hunt. So, sticking with the spot, keeping your movements to a minimum is essential, and keep glassing on and off the entire time. The next day, you might try a different angle on the same area. However, knowing where they spend their time during the day is also essential, otherwise you could be glassing an area that they don't use during the day, but still see plenty of tracks.

It also helps to know how environmental condition change the areas the deer, especially bucks, use. For example, I hunt one zone and one particular canyon of that zone, ONLY when the winds that come out of the north pick up and scream through the area. It is a sheltered canyon and not filled with all those scary noises everywhere else. Otherwise I seldom see bucks in the canyon and very few does, despite it being filled with tracks.

Most zones seasons fall at a time of the year in which the deer are still utilizing their summer bedding areas during the day, i.e., north facing slopes. That seldome changes during the general season, unless a really strong and cold storm moves in. So stick with those north and north east facing slopes, unless a significant storm does move in to change-up their habits.

Personally, I like to sit and glass from a ridge outside bucks bedding areas, and glass into the area, trying to spot them, generally when they move to change position, often times to stay out of the sun. Sometimes they will get up and feed for a short time and then bed again. These are key opportunities, and it often requires some fairly long shots. So take into account the area you are hunting from, and how far many of those shots might be. You need to be skilled enough and confident in taking such shots. In one area I hunt, the closest you will likely get without getting busted is 200 to 600+ yards. Each area will be different, even different area close to each other.

I strongly suggest 2 scouting methods. 1). scout your hunting areas during the season. If you want reasonable odds at filling tags in future years, the most valuable information a zone can give up, is actually during the season, glassing the deer's behavior to other hunters. Additionally, I suggest that you also drive around the zone and see where others are not only hunting, but also camping. The 2nd thing is scout off season, and do not be afraid of spooking and blowing deer out. In doing this, take note of the places they were utilizing. You will learn much more about their hideouts.

Best wishes!
 

6x7

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I never give up the known bucks areas I've been hunting have always produced I keep going back every year and it's buck after buck after buck it just keeps refilling with new bucks every year
 

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