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What am i doing wrong to not see any deer on my property?

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  • What am i doing wrong to not see any deer on my property?

    Hello fellow whitetail deer hunters! I have a question that might sound a little stupid. So I hunt on a deer lease in central to northern Arkansas. I have almost no time to go to my lease that is about 1 hour and 20 minutes from where I live. Since it's a long drive I went up there last week and of course everything is overgrown since I have done no work since last year. So when I went there to hunt I saw absolutely nothing which is to be expected. But, I had the same outcome last year even though I went up there multiple times preseason to prepare. Is there anything I can put out that the deer will come to? I have a son that is 13 and we haven't seen anything, including last year. I just want to have a few successful hunts with my son. I am desperate for advice on how I can put something out that the deer will actually come to. Currently I have some corn and a mineral block out on my stand. I just need something that will last a while since I don't really have time to go up there but it needs to be effective. I have a trail camera out but have never got a picture of 1 deer on it. Quick response please and very appreciated for your time and effort to answer my questions. Thank you and happy hunting!

  • #2
    You may want to look into an automatic feeder. It will last for weeks without refilling and will bring in deer like clockwork. Make sure baiting is legal in your area first (sounds like it is). I'm not a fan of them but a good friend hunts them religiously and that sound is like a dinner bell to critters. Trail cams may also be a good investment so you can scout without having to be there as often. Grown up property in my experience often holds more deer than cleared out stuff. It's just a matter of finding them.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the answer but I do use an automatic feeder but just can't seem to bring them in! Thanks for the insight!

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      • #4
        We feel your Pain, But you don't say if other members are seeing/shooting deer! The only "quick fix" that comes to mind is a deer drive with other members Or with some friends! Do you see tracks? is your feeder working? Is the Corn being eaten up by deer & not Hogs? Are you near water? Are other members finding success with food plots? Could it be your lease was over hunted? Don't be a stranger keep us in the loop! best of Luck........

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        • #5
          If you are seeing no sign of deer, your property may have no deer on it. One big reason may be that you and/or your fellow lessees have over-hunted it. They've shot them all or have walked around the timber enough to scare them out. Deer also need certain things to make staying in area worth while for them. It should have water, good food, bedding areas and thick timber in spots for safety. One property doesn't have to have all these, but the more, the better.

          You should be able to search the property for signs of deer... tracks, trails, rubs, scrapes. If you don't see deer sign, they may not be inhabiting your land. If they are there, the most reliable method is the corn feeder and you are doing that. Be certain baiting is legal but if it is and you have deer, I'd suggest getting clean, untreated corn from a farm feed store. Many deer don't like the taste of the treated corn you buy at Walmart and such stores. It has a chemical they don't like and they may ignore it completely. It will have a warning on the directions that says not to feed it to domestic animals because of the chemical. You can also try sliced apples but they won't last long.

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          • #6
            Your area is competing with other areas within a several mile radius. Whatever is around you is more desirable to the deer and is pulling - holding them away from
            you. How to reverse that is a lot of work. Some cultivating and planting of mixed crops would be a start. Do you have water close by? Also your area needs to be quiet for some time to allow the deer to feel safe and enter your area. Another problem you might have are varmints that are keeping the deer away.
            Are there others on the same area? What do they say? Good luck let us know how you make out.

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            • #7
              I hunt in delta region of Arkansas. We don't have the numbers like the rest of the state but we do ok where I hunt. First thing you need to do locate your stand where the deer are moving. They won't go out of the way for much of anything. I hunt a pressured area also. I'm in the travel corridor it's tough hunting sometimes. Food plot is the first thing. As far as low maintenance plants wheat comes to mind. I put out a mix of wheat, cereal rye, oats, clover, radish, I also use a 55 gallon drum feeder. 350 lbs capacity set it to 5 seconds once a day and put a funnel in the bottom it lets all corn be used. Last but not least deer Cain black magic. Put out at least three spots around your stand. What I have found is they will use just one normally once they use it keep it fresh you have to freshen it up every 30-45 days. But if you don't scout and find a good spot for all this all the work is for nothing. You can also take a cheap kiddie pool and dig it in and fill it up and give them a water hole. Molasses also works ok. Put it on old rotten logs or on your mineral blocks. It take a year or 2 for the deer to really find this. And shoot every hog you see pass on the deer to get the hogs. They will destroy all your hard work over night. Good luck come back when you have more questions. For the fastest reaction i would get some deer came and pour a bag out on each side of my stand north south east and west that way you cover all direction of wind. And like Dakota man said apples are great but don't last long. Good luck.

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              • #8
                I think your FIRST priority should be establishing the presence of or the lack of a viable deer population.
                Once that is established, there are various things you can do to attract deer to you.
                Get that 13 year old out there and walk the property looking for tracks, rubs, scrapes, trails, etc.
                If you can't find any evidence of deer, it may be time to cut your losses and find a more productive spot to hunt.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for all the help! I will work my hardest and use all of your tips! I will keep you guys updated! Thanks and happy hunting!

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for all the help! I will work my hardest and use all of your tips! I will keep you guys updated! Thanks and happy hunting!

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                    • #11
                      You should clear some brush, plant some food plots. Also mast trees, persimmons grow very fast and deer love them. Apple trees are good too, if you are in this lease for the long haul. Just clearing brush may improve visibility. Scout the land more, every acre, to get an accurate idea of the deer herd. Good luck.

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                      • #12
                        Is there any thick cover such as a cutover or pine thicket anywhere on the property or neighboring property? How close is your stand to it? I would get as close to a bedding area as I could. This may require you to take a day and go scouting to find the bedding area. As far as feeding goes, I would invest in either a feeder to release the corn at a regulated amount. Or I would try to plant a food plot such as clover or beans or wheat or corn depending on what time in the season you would like it to be most effective.

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                        • #13
                          If you aren't seeing and deer and you can't even get them on cam while using a feeder you may have bigger problems.

                          A couple questions first:

                          1. How many acres is your lease?
                          2. What is the makeup of the land? Low land, hardwoods, pine, ag land?
                          3. What are neighboring properties like?
                          4. Have you seen any evidence of deer?
                          5. What made you decide to place your stand in the spot you did?

                          Depending on the answers to the questions there could be a couple things at play here. You may be simply hunting in the wrong spots and need to do a lot more scouting. You may not have any deer on your property. If the neighbors have more enticing food, better cover, and water then there may be no reason for the deer to ever come to your property. Your property may have also been over hunted over the years if its been a hunting lease for a long time. Deer get smart and will avoid those areas, even more so if there is a safe place on a neighboring property that isn't hunted.

                          I'd encourage you to give up your next hunt and spend a weekend doing nothing but scouting. Check out every inch of the property and also look at satellite images to see what's going on at the neighbors property. See if you can find ANY sign of deer on the property (droppings, trails, rubs, scraps, tracks, etc). If you find anything more promising get your cameras moved to those areas and start collecting information on what deer if any might be around. If you can determine for sure that there are in fact deer on the property then start investing time in clearing lanes, planting food plots, and doing other improvements. Keep in mind that depending on what the neighbors are doing you may need to compete against them and find ways of making your property more enticing. That would also including adding some cover for the deer if you don't already have it.

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