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Critique My methods {long post}

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Critique My methods {long post}

Post by DirtyGator on Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:21 pm

I'm new to this site and Love it. Ive spent some time reading here and there is a lot of knowledge. Now, I'm not new to bow hunting, or public land. But I am new to bow hunting deer on public land. Ive hunted hogs on public land, and for deer I always had a friend or family member with private hunting land to hunt.  Seeking a new challenge, I recently decided to Move up the pecking order of hunters. I want to be a part of the elite group of apex hunters. The ones who have it down to an art. Id like to give a outline of my procedures, open to critique and suggestions, to hopefully help Me move on to the what I consider the top echelon of hunting, successful public land bow hunting.
1. scouting, I have been scouting since late last year. I have several spots marked and have lots of activity. game camera has shown some decent signs at four spots that I decided to try this year. More than the rest. They are between what I'm thinking is bedding areas, Thick stuff, and food sources. Have a hard time confirming bedding areas, don't want to push them and It's dense. water source is almost central to these four areas.
2. scent control, now I don't buy the fancy carbon clothing. Its not only out of my price range but I know there is some debate over them. I do use scent eliminating spray, pay close attention to my clothes, use scent free and uv blocking detergent. My boots as well, they are worn only in the woods and treated also. There are also some scent eliminating items that are flat out convenient such as the scent free wipes. I use scent free soaps and shampoo. It is hot in Florida early season, so sweating seems inevitable.
3. stand placement/wind, well I am definitely having issues here. Wind seems to change directions every thirty yards or so, and  checking on the edge of a clearing, Its just a swirl. I do my best to keep the wind in my face, but sometimes I feel like if I followed that I would walk in circles all day. I try to compromise at times with a cross wind a lot.
4. sound, I walk as if I were still hunting and keep noise to minimum. I try to set my stand the night before so Its quieter in the morning getting up in it. sleep in the truck or a primitive camp about a half mile or further, depending on spot hunting. I get into the stand early, try to climb quietly and sit still and listen. I may use a locator grunt from time to time and maybe some scent attractants. which are quite sprays.
5. scent attractants, Ive set up a couple mock scrapes, got a lot of tracks after them and even caught a doe responding on camera, I may use a little tinks doe pee on the sole of my boots or a drag, I do have some code blue stuff for wicks to hang in a particular area I may sit in.
6. camo, I got a lot of it. I wear what blends well with my area, and what helps break up my outline, hands and face are also covered at all times.

I sit all day most days and leave the way I come in and try to leave quietly as possible carrying a climber, before season I seen a lot of movement and when season opened up it has quit. I re-scouted a couple other spots that I originally marked and seen movement, no shot, got back at it this weekend and nothing. signs are still there and fresh.  I know most folks say get farther in, I think there is some pressure close to these areas, but the wma Is almost set up in blocks with roads, not square but sectioned off. One can only go so far before hitting another road, and they always have something driving down them. I have yet to see anybody hunting this general area of probably 550 acres, and there are tons of deer tracks. Before season I would easily sit on a chair and glass them. They are very slick. I know its a lengthy post, but I wanted to be detailed as possible to get the best critique. I welcome all advice, comments or questions. Thanks

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Re: Critique My methods {long post}

Post by SlowBow on Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:06 am

I have a rule. 3 Strikes. Hunt a spot 3 times, no deer seen, move on. The sign could be left at night, someone could be cutting you off upwind, you simply may have chosen the wrong wind to hunt it. Lot's of reasons, but if it ain't working it ain't working.

Try hunting days when winds are forecast to be light and variable, in the AM. The morning thermal will cause the air to rise, and scent will travel upwards and away from the ground, regardless of wind direction.

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Re: Critique My methods {long post}

Post by Posted Boy Gallego on Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:45 am

I like that 3 strikes rule, might just have to try it. Even if I have to move 50 yards or so. Good thing I got that climber this year!

Hey Dirty, sounds like you are doing things right. Not sure how the hunting is in your area, but in mine, if I see 1 deer a day and still do not have a shot its a pretty good day. I know I see videos of guys watching 4+ bucks or 8+ does walk past them and that is just not a reality where I hunt. Now, if your area does have that amount of deer, then you are possibly in the wrong spot and need to move around until you find them.

Usually, the wind swirls and changing occur in Hill Country. Either way, its very tough to setup with that. Trust me, all I hunt are Mountains.

I am no elite anything, and still have not arrowed a deer on public land. Definitely go with what SlowBow says, he has success on public land.

Good luck to you! (Wish me some too, i need it!) haha
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Re: Critique My methods {long post}

Post by Cbigbear on Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:42 am

Few things pop out to me.  

You are setting stands the night before then hunting them the next morning.  No matter what "scent control" measures you take, you have just alerted all deer to human presents.  I'm confident you'll have better luck hanging & hunting vs. your current method.  Try to setup as quietly as possible.  I’m a firm believer in your 1st sit in a spot is always the best.  

I agree with the others you are probably over hunting your spots.  I have a 1 & done rule on food sources because my food sources are feed trees, 2 & done on bedding although never consecutive hunts more like 1 early & one rut, & a 3 & done on travel corridors.  All of these rules can be stretched if access & exit routes are ideal.

I find hunting all day in the same spot to be marginal. Rarely do you find a spot & time of year that spot is the best location for all hours of the day. Also it's hard to maintain focus in the same spot all day. I find it much more productive to hunt a morning spot than scout 2-3 hrs then hunt an evening spot or some variation of this.

Other than the above, my advice is to scout more than you hunt at least a 2 to 1 ratio.  Learn to recognize hot sign & be prepared to setup & hunt it immediately.

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Re: Critique My methods {long post}

Post by Backwaters Bowhunter on Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:33 pm

I may at times fall victim to paralysis by analysis. Sometimes we make things too deep. We try to perfect the imperfect science of hunting. Everyone's hunting process, methods and techniques are adapted over time from trail and error. There isn't a guaranteed hunting method, all you can do is put yourself in the best possible position to be successful, and have confidence in your ability. It sounds like you've probably already outworked/out-thought many hunters on your tract of public land. Be smart with your scent, use the wind and have faith in the scouting you've done and will continue to do throughout the year. Each tag less hunt bring you closer to tenderloin biscuits. A trait that every successful hunter has is persistence. Trust your ability, pull from others' wisdom and be in the woods.

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Re: Critique My methods {long post}

Post by DirtyGator on Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:01 pm

Hey, I want to thank everybody for taking the time to read this long post and shooting Me some advice and insight. I know I have a tendency to get My blinders on and try to MAKE something work. I'm going to shake it up some this weekend using some of these sound pointers. I believe they are moving at night and I need to give it a rest. no worries though, I got a spot that is about 60 acres or so, that I haven't found a bush light can on. I'm going to take a long walk, and see what I see. Thanks again, Vince

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Re: Critique My methods {long post}

Post by Cbigbear on Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:31 pm

Good luck.

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Re: Critique My methods {long post}

Post by tedward on Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:50 am

"60 acres or so, that I haven't found a Bush Light can on." Too funny. Bush Light seem to be the beer of choice for hunting, followed by Bud Light. At least by the "sign" I am able to find. Many times I have been squirrel hunting/deer scouting and think...Hmmm this area might be worth checking out. Start to really look around and... bingo! there is the "sign" again. Dirty Gator, I am not the one to give any advice. This is my second season hunting deer. I have asked some questions here on this fine forum and got advice. Great people here. Keep at it and get back to us with updates. Good luck to you!

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Re: Critique My methods {long post}

Post by Parkersdad on Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:23 pm

You may try not hunting one spot all day. Most places I hunt are either morning or evening stands. Most are not both. Find out which ones are what and hunt the morning to 12:00, come out eat a sandwich and stretch your legs. Hike to a new spot at 1:00 or drive to a new area and go in.

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Re: Critique My methods {long post}

Post by DirtyGator on Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:46 pm

Well, I went in this morning. Did just that, Hit one spot in the morning, got down and prowled around a little on the way out. Then checked out a second. There were a lot people out today, seen them on the way to the out of the way place. Must be due to the recent cooler weather. It was slow going today, the water was up and trails were tough to get through, another reason that spot doesn't seem to get a lot of traffic. But it didn't leave Me with a lot of time at the second area I wanted to check out. Going to be out again in the morning. Although these two places are remote, I just don't see as much deer sign as the original place. Its also harder to see, way thicker. The few tracks I did see were a little twice as large as the first area average size tracks.

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Re: Critique My methods {long post}

Post by SlowBow on Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:25 am

Heres an old trick of mine. Take the spot where your finding good sign. Now, find the closest, easiest access point (they way hunters will arrive to hunt it) and then move the opposite direction from that sign, depending on what wind would be good to hunt it. Keep moving until you arrive at another area of thick cover (where the deer will be headed when they are jumped out of the first spot) and hunt there, but approaching it from the opposite direction to set up, even if you have to start in and take a two hour hike from another access point. Let the other hunters drive the deer to you.

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Re: Critique My methods {long post}

Post by DirtyGator on Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:12 pm

Well, Yesterday was the last day of the archery only season at my local wma. I just made it back in last night. I took a four day weekend off work to give it another go. The first day I went back to my original spot and just as prior trips, tons of fresh sign, but no deer to be seen. That was a morning hunt, for the evening I went to the other side of the 380,000 acre wma and set up on some sign. I seen a doe out of range, that was it for the evening and it started to rain. I stayed till after dark and slept in the truck. Next morning while driving to the swampy side It dawned on Me that I am spending a lot of money in fuel. I set up in an area I seen signs last time scouting and didn't see any thing. The last day of the season was coming and I was starting to get frantic. That evening I didn't hunt, I pulled out the maps and looked at my markers and did some thinking. I found an area close to my original spot and close to a clear cut with some oak patches. I set up there in the morning and seen lots of movement, I had to get closer, and I did just that in the evening. There were a lot of people set up on the other end in the evening, so I got set up on the other side, wind was perfect and I was ready. Unfortunately about 400 yards north of Me I see another individual climbing a tree about a hour after I set up. Oh well, I sit and watch, wind Is in MY favor and not really His and I know I'm closer to were I spotted some this morning. about a hour and a half later, the woods explode, I guess He was closer, and I believe a doe spotted Him. She was hauling tail away from Him towards Me blowing, stomping and generally raising cane. She gets closer still blowing and acting crazy. I try to calm her down with a soft grunt, and she stops blowing and looks in My direction about 60 yards out and then eases on out. Now You cant hunt doe, or antler-less deer on this wma, but I know her making racket aint good for my chances of seeing a buck. Im glad I got her calmed down. Then two more pass by moving quickly and out of range. get to about were the other fella is at and do the same thing blowing and all. I wait awhile longer and no more deer come through. Even though I didn't get a buck, I still feel like I succeeded, I have got closer and closer and I feel that If I had a couple more days I would be In range. I used alot of advice off this thread alone and It has Improved My chances, Not to mention alot of other post on this forum, So thank You everybody.

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Re: Critique My methods {long post}

Post by Parkersdad on Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:59 pm

That sounds like an awesome Hunt. You kind of do the same thing I do. I took off last weekend and I sleep in my truck as well. Reason being what you just said saving on gas. Have a great time and a great season.

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Re: Critique My methods {long post}

Post by Waiting4Fall on Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:58 pm

This is a great thread, kudos to you guys for all the hard effort!!!

DirtyGator, consider buying Chlorafresh. The Chloryphillin Copper Complex *TRULY* ELIMINATES human odor on a cellular level. It's been proven, common knowledge in the medical field for over 50 years, and it's FDA approved.

I have always had the best luck setting up/hunting the first time into a new area. Setting up the evening before, and returning in the morning could spook/educate deer in that location. however, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

I haven't checked to see if you have started a members bowhunting journal, but i sure would be interested in following it.

The rest of yall yahoos, i hope are having a great time in your deer woods. I look forward to following everyone's season.

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Re: Critique My methods {long post}

Post by DirtyGator on Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:52 pm

I have seen previous post, Yours and others, about the chlorafresh on here and have been looking into it. I do think Ill give it a try. Ive went as far as shopping around alittle for it, and Its next on My list of things to get. Also, I do Believe I will start a hunting journal, dont know when, but I thought they were cool reading others. No better place for sharing my escapades.

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Re: Critique My methods {long post}

Post by Waiting4Fall on Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:02 pm

Best price I've found.
http://www.vitacost.com/natures-way-chlorofresh

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