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i have been hunting for almost 13 years and i have only seen maybe 5 deer while in the stand. i have used all the scent controls

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  • i have been hunting for almost 13 years and i have only seen maybe 5 deer while in the stand. i have used all the scent controls

    i have been hunting for almost 13 years and i have only seen maybe 5 deer while in the stand. i have used all the scent controls, scouted and put blinds out where i thought they needed to be, and i'm still and silent. why is it that i struggle to see anything besides squirrels???

  • #2
    Where are you hunting? That probably has a lot to do with it.


    • #3
      Sounds you are doing everything right. As vasportsman mentioned maybe that's all the Deer that are there. All I would add is there is no such thing as scent control. A Deer has 5x the olfactory sensors as the best Dog. Double that when you talk about Pigs. If there was such a thing as scent blocking the Drug Cartels would have a patent already. Pay more attention to which way the wind blows.


      • #4
        Sometimes, they just aren't there. Maybe try resting that area for a while, maybe even a season or two while keeping it up and planted and all. Try hunting some public land or get in good with the guy that owns the land that you always see tons of deer on when driving home.


        • #5
          Five deer in 13 years... I will give you an "A" for sticking it out. Most would have given up by now. You are hunting in a bad spot.


          • #6
            Have you used any trail cameras to scout deer in the area? Also how careful are you upon entry and exit of your area.


            • #7
              You have the technique down pretty good. However, it sounds like you are hunting where there are no deer. You need to scout (preferably well before season) to learn about deer population and pattern their travel routes. Signs are tracks, trails, rubs, scrapes and droppings. Once you find these, you need to locate trails that they are traveling throughout the area. In some areas, these can be like highways for them and if you are off the "highway" you will often miss seeing them. If there is limited sign of deer, you need to relocate. I've hunted in areas where I saw 50 deer a day and in other areas where I saw 2 deer in 10 days. You can guess which I prefer to hunt.


              • #8
                as stated above, its very obvious you are hunting in a spot with no deer. ill give you an A for perseverance but an F on location...if i only saw 5 deer in one week i would relocate. to sit for 13 years is baffling to me.


                • #9
                  My question is are you hunting the area alone or is it a highly pressured area where people are often hunting, deer know where people are and if they have been pressured they will be leery of an area my suggestion drag out a trail camera and get ready to do some studying. If you see deer then figure out what they are using in the area and adapt, if you see no deer then go where the deer are. Best Wishes and Happy Hunting


                  • #10
                    Am not the best deer hunter compared to most guys in here and I would rather go fishing but, I am going to help you a bit with some rules I think I have have learned. Cause’ I often see deer when others see nothing. I get shots when others are skunked. Other guys chime in please, THIS IS INTENDED TO ONLY START THE CONVERSATION.

                    1. Location, location, location. If you are picking a random spot to make you ambush then you are depending solely on luck. SCOUT your area. Always watch for signs. NO DEER SIGN = NO DEER. Move on. Watch for acorns and squirrels. In the fall squirrels eat pretty much the same things as deer. No squirrels, move on. Deer are large animals and NOT at the top of the food chain. They have to go where there is food. No food=no deer. Move on. No deer crap=no deer. Move on. The sole exception is bucks will mark their traditional routes with buck rubs, but patterns change the minute the orange comes out. A buck may vary well regularly transit an area and leave no rubs. Watch for large deer crap. Some guys I know claim to tell what a deer has been eating by the size of the excess. I am not sure I can.

                    2. When you find deer sign, learn to read a track. How fast, how old, doe or buck, how often used and in what direction of travel. When you can read the track of other hunters in dirt, you will soon read the track of deer. Watch for leaves overturned. The tops of a log on a trail that is worn, branches chewed or moved aside. That trail wasn’t made by a chipmunk.

                    3. Early in the season pattern your deer as they move between food and bedding areas. In archery, set outside bedding areas, watch scrapes, rub lines. As the rut starts Use doe pee to your advantage. Later in the season watch for saddles, bottle necks between ridges where deer running from other hunters have to cross. Deer hate rocks and heavy cover that is as difficult to move in as it is for you. They will take a route that skits it. And that often forms a bottleneck. Look for bottlenecks and heavily used routes of travel. Set up your ambush on that.

                    4. ALWASY, ALWASY be checking your perimeter, 360, Including your 6 (behind you). See them before they see you. Get a good pair of Binoculars and use them. Some minor movement 200 yards out, use your glass to check it out. Deer seldom pop up right in the middle of your free fire zone. Any lateral movement at 2 foot to 3 foot high needs to be examined closely. Look for bits of deer, eyes, ears, nose, LEGS. You will seldom first see it broadside. For me it is usually the leg that twitches 200 yards out and I see it in the binoculars first. Get low. Nature put deer at that height for a reason, So they can see below most tree branches and above most ground vegetation. Get down on 1 knee occasionally and you will be surprised how far you can see.

                    5. PAY ATTENTION: I have missed many more bucks than I have gotten because I have gotten bored and drifted off and started playing with my GPS or watching a squirrel at the wrong time. The best way to pay attention is RULE 4. Always be checking your perimeter. When you can see other hunters well before they see you, you have arrived.

                    6. Move very SLOWLY and deliberately. Don’t swivel your head. Turn your whole body very slowly. Use your eyes. Deer are prey and tuned to the fast movements of predators. Move fast and you will get the attention of any deer in shooting range.

                    7. USE OTHER HUNTERS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE: That guy going to his truck for lunch may just spook deer into your ambush. Leave at dusk (As long as it is safe to do so). As other hunters leave they spook deer. Be first in your stand as other hunters will push deer into you at DAWN. as a general rule; When deer are moving sit. When they are in a bed, move painfully slowly. assume if deer are under pressure they are always moving. If you see another hunter on a stand , he may be sending out a scent plume. Position yourself to take possible advantage of a deer avoiding him. See below about scent profile,

                    8. You can’t eliminate your scent, but you can lower your scent profile. Keep normal clothes and deer clothes separate. Wash them scent free. Don’t pump gas, smoke, eat or do any thing that could have your clothes gather unusual scent molecules, that could signal something out of place to a deer. Keep them in a garbage bag when not in use with the plastic scent wafers (I like fresh earth). I have 2 orange hats. One for movement and one for on a stand. The moving one is guaranteed to gather sweat and that smells. The one on the stand is fresh. When in you stand, find pine branches and break them and attach them to your stand. Pine covers a multitude of scents. DON’t DRINK COFFEE before the hunt. Think coffee breath X 5. Most of your scent is in your breath. Keep your mouth closed when hunting. If you have to breathe out your mouth, your moving way too fast.

                    9. PLAY THE WIND. When you have a choice of where to put your stand, Put it downwind. And remember, wind shifts during the day. Early in the season, use a tree stand. Late in the season sit on the ground. Your scent profile is lower and deer (for reasons I don’t understand) think of you as a ground creature they can easily outrun. I have gotten a couple that way.

                    10. LEARN TO STILL HUNT: Still hunting is NOT moving around (although you do move). You learn to move so slowly that you are really going from one temporary stand to another. I have stayed as long as 20 to 30 minutes in one position when on the move. When you move, walk slowly at 3-5 steps stop, check your 360. Plan your next move. If you can, move when the wind blows or when an airplane is overhead. Move to a cover sound if you can. You will step on the wrong rock or wrong twig eventually. WHEN DEER ARE MOVING , SIT. WHEN DEER ARE BEDDED, MOVE VERY SLOWLY. Move between trees, 3 -5 steps and stop. Avoid dead falls. All animals shuffle leaves so that is normal. Only hunters (and maybe bears) break sticks. When moving avoid standing in the open. When moving always check your 360. Particularly your 6. Smart bucks have no problem with letting you walk right past them and then trot off when they think you have moved on.

                    11. CAMO: For reasons I don’t understand, I suspect deer have only very crude depth perception. If you hide behind something they will see you move between you and your (distant) back ground. BUT If you hide IN FRONT OF SOMETHING. Unless you move sharply and quickly, you are invisible. I suspect that deer have poor color vision, but can recognize a break in an outline. So then break up your outline. Nothing in the forest is of one shade of one color. So if your coat, hat, pants, are one color, you stand out. Wash your hunting clothes in detergent without brighteners. Deer see well in UV where humans barely can. That clean fresh look is a neon light to them.

                    12. EQUIPMENT: Take off the rifle sling and put it in your pocket. If you are temped to sling that rifle you may be missing that 10 second shot. Know you rifle. Know what it shoots at every range out to 200. Deer seldom stop and hold at 100 yards. I have missed more deer over a blown scope, or not knowing how a new rifle performs at a certain range, then I got. Two boxes of practice ammo is cheap insurance. Keep 2 GOOD knives. Cheap knives dull easily so get a good one and a spare. Keep a small first aid kit and survival kit. Get a GPS, a backup compass and TOPO maps and know how to use them. Get a GOOD pair of boots. I have been guilty of buy cheap boots for years and almost killing my self falling down mountains, in stream beds, on rocks, over logs. I am lucky to be alive.

                    13. Other old hunters out there PLEASE COMMENT and add your own rules, I buy hunting books and F&S so I can learn from guys like you, Let me know what you think.


                    • #11
                      Geesh, I consider not seeing at least 5 in a day as mediocre at best.


                      • #12
                        Rocky, excellent compilation of deer hunting do's and don't.
                        Copy and paste that in some folder or e-mail account so you can retrieve it for future new hunters to digest.
                        How many hunts did it take me to figure out some of the subtle points of the hunt, I especially like the "watch your 6" been there and had that happen before.


                        • #13
                          Like some of the other posters alluded to, if you have been hunting the same patch of woods for 13 years and have not seen but 5 deer, I think I would find me a different spot. What does the sign look like? Are there deer on the place? Might want to think about trail cams to verify that there are deer using the property and at what time they are frequenting your woods. Hard to remain positive with so little success, but good luck.




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