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Old February 9th, 2019
gerald gerald is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Moss Bluff
Posts: 1,854
Default How do Deer react

I have deer hunted over 30 years all on public land except the first couple of years. During this time I have averaged killing a little over 2 deer per year, but I have had the fortune to see lots of deer. Some years, I am selective and don't shoot..... just to kill another deer.

25 years ago, I would make 30 to 45 hunts each year [mostly bow hunts] and stay in the woods all day on most of the hunts. To me, getting out and enjoying time in the woods watching any animal active is what it is all about.

Spending lots of time in the woods has made me wonder why do Deer often behave different in different parts of the state?

I learned most of my Deer hunting "skills" by observing deer back in the 80's and 90's..... long before the internet and hunting forums. I mostly hunted at Sherburne back then and I would see deer on most hunts and often saw deer several different times during a hunt. Spotting 3 to 5 deer together was fairly common and I saw 10 or more deer several times.

Don't get the idea that Sherburne has lots of Deer now. IMO.... the population started declining 10 years ago, and the herd population dropped a lot after the flood of 2011 and has not recovered.

Back to Deer behavior..... At Sherburne, I find Deer very seldom ever snort under any circumstance. I can jump a deer walking or have a deer run by me and they almost never snort. I almost never hear a deer snort off in the distance for unknown reasons.

Also at Sherburne I find the Deer very seldom get spooked after I see them coming towards me.... even if they are down wind.

Now on a different WMA..... the Deer behave different. There they usually snort after I jump one while walking or I often hear a deer snort 100 or 200 yards away, sometimes up wind of me. I once shot an arrow that hit a tree. The Doe ran 25 yards and stopped behind some bushes. She snorted about 25 times. Then she move away another 25 yards and snorted about the same amount. As she moved farther away she still kept snorting.

Also on this same WMA, the deer are more Spooky. Many times after spotting a deer they stop and walk away from my location. They don't act frighten..... but get that feeling that something is not right and they leave.

On a 3 rd WMA.... the Deer seldom randomly snort. I only remember jumping one deer [she had a very small fawn, which jumped when I walked a few feet away from it] and it did not snort. I have walked many miles in the woods there and not heard a snort, so I don't think snorting is common.

At this WMA.... I have found the deer to be very alert to my presents. One very nice Buck was coming towards me and turned to my left some so I had to move my gun to make a shot. This was 35 feet up in a pine tree and the deer was 30 yards away. The Buck saw my movement and was "gone" in a few seconds. Earlier this year, I had a Buck [grunting] chasing a doe come by 25 yards down wind. The doe passed and as I was very very slowly raising my rifle, the Doe took off running a full speed with the Buck following.

So at these 3 locations, my experience is that deer seldom grunt or spook at one place. Grunt a lot at another and spook sometimes. At the 3 rd location deer seldom grunt but spook easily at my presents.

So what is your experience with Deer behavior?
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Old February 9th, 2019
skinner skinner is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 218

I hunt a lease in Louisiana near a small town and has several homes near the property line. The deer there hardly ever blow or make any sounds and you never jump them out of a bed. Many times the deer's bedding area is near the houses or by the highway. They know it's areas we don't hunt or go through. The other place I hunt is very remote and outside hunting season no one is around for miles. Those deer will blow at anything you can hear them way off in the distance blowing in areas no one is hunting or even been to.
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Old February 10th, 2019
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Lamplighter Lamplighter is offline
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Funny but True. I have heard several stories of people hunting close to residences and heard a deer blow close to the house, on a regular basis. It turned out to be a heat pump shifting into defrost mode. It makes a loud swish.
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Old February 10th, 2019
Orion Orion is online now
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,880

Agreed they seldom blow at me on yancey or cocodrie, but in the hills or in MS they blow like mad. Interesting. May have something to do with the terrain or pressure. Bucks rarely blow in daylight at me when i jump them but do at low light. Does blow far more in daylight at me. Bucks have a way of slipoing or bolting away with stealth and precision. What i always find fascinating is deer timing and how they move at certain open locations, sloughs or edges in dim light and in the thicker or within a change of tree brush type, lower tree height or closer spacing more often in bright light. Most spots have a 2-3 hour window where 50% of activity takes place which could be at any time. I learn this by setting 3-5 cams at one spot so most ground is under surveillance then calculating my statistics. Crazy how some areas get so much am activity and other mostly pm. I then hunt these statistical patterns with wind direction to get the most sightings. Also too many trips will change the timing pattern so i often use intel from prior years to hunt my timing stradegy. This way if i feel like waking early, only hunting short hours or want to hunt midday hours i have the statistical odds in my favor. New areas take many unsuccessful hunts to figure out though. I love it when an area takes years to finally unfold. Sure seeing a deer is great but when they walk the exact direction and timing your expecting from all the work its a rewarding experience whether i shoot one or let one walk.

During rut the big bucks react to rain and wind more so than anything and it usually pays off riding out a storm presetup for the post drizzle moving window. Or to hunt the windy stuff when you can sneak in undetected and they can smell better with a wind socthe smart ones like it blowing. I hate calm conditions.

If i have several racks in an area that are similarly aged they respond well to grunts and rattles for me at anytime o the season October-feb. If i only have a couple bucks on camera in the same age range they bolt for me more often than not. Seems each year the size and age of the bachelor pack of an area changes so i look for amount of rubs/scrapes and the closer to the community scrape and lick branch during rut and closer to the early season "rub patch" the better they respond to calls. That early season torn up rub patch is the ticket to finding the best bachelor packs.

This season i made much less deer sits with all the early season hog hunt training sessions but always learning cool Intel every hunt.

The coolest nonhunting reaction is when you are busting through palmettos noisy as could be and that buck is hiding nearby but waits until you are on top of it 5yds away to explode out. And watching those deer hurdle and crash on repeat @ 20 plus mph through head tall palmettos is always quite the experience.when in scout mode in palmetto country my best tactic is to just bust through. Walking easy edges never taught me as much.
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