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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are the typical eating and drinking patterns for our whitetail deer?
How do you locate where deer eat and drink in a particular area?
How does sleeping work into their cycles/patterns?
thanks
Steve
 

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Look for trails, fresh crap, use trail cams or just scout with binos. Once the snow flies that makes life a whole lot easier, you'll see fresh tracks and how well travelled certain trails are being used. During the rut look for fresh rubs and scrapes. I think deer are like people... They will migrate towards a good food source. Sure they, like us, could survive on whatever is around but if there is a lush alfalfa field or soy beans etc they will likely feed there over some grassy weedy field. Just look for the best food source around with access to water to start with. This year has been tougher being so dry, just sit for a night or two and watch, unless you're hunting thick bush.
 

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I keep thinking that this year if you can find the water then you've found the spot to hunt, food is all over but ground water is scarce.

What's the law on having a water source to hunt over? Would love to have a water hole on my land.
 

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sounds like you don't have a lot of experience hunting. Look for sign. Even this time of year you can find trails that are being used. Best thing to do tho is to get out there, and start watching and looking. Not just from your truck either. Physically go out and look on foot. You'd be surprised what you see.
 

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johnny64 said:
sounds like you don't have a lot of experience hunting. Look for sign. Even this time of year you can find trails that are being used. Best thing to do tho is to get out there, and start watching and looking. Not just from your truck either. Physically go out and look on foot. You'd be surprised what you see.
Okay I'll bite on this, what do guys do exactly when they're scouting?

I've hunted before but honestly never scouted. I'm not sure I have the time to do so, but do you guys go sit in stands for a day and watch for deer activity or what? For example, yesterday I went bird hunting and walked around for 6 hours. I noticed a couple well used trails through the bush, but never saw any deer in 6 hours of walking. So when you say you'd be surprised what you see, what do you mean?!
 

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I think depending how loud you are walking through the bush and wind direction, you may not actually see a deer. Doesn't mean they aren't there. I think he means you may see fresh tracks, crap, piss(when snow is on the ground), rubs, scrapes, established trails, areas of food sources eaten away, etc. There are lots of ways to figure out the deer without physically seeing them. But you could sit in a stand and watch or in your car and watch a couple nights from a distance then set up based on what you saw. It may actually save you time in the end. Just remember to play the wind, the odds of you beating a Deers nose are pretty slim.
 

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clawj said:
I think depending how loud you are walking through the bush and wind direction, you may not actually see a deer. Doesn't mean they aren't there. I think he means you may see fresh tracks, crap, piss(when snow is on the ground), rubs, scrapes, established trails, areas of food sources eaten away, etc. There are lots of ways to figure out the deer without physically seeing them. But you could sit in a stand and watch or in your car and watch a couple nights from a distance then set up based on what you saw. It may actually save you time in the end. Just remember to play the wind, the odds of you beating a Deers nose are pretty slim.
Agreed!!!! 100%
In there area that I hunt I do allot of work before the season starts clearing brush on established trails (It's on provate property) and just generally scouting around to see where the deer are moveing around, feeding, bedding, checking along old scrape lines and looking ofr new ones. Rarely do I actually see a deer when scouting. But once the season starts I have a god idea of where on the property the deer are moveing and when. More often than not this preseason scouting leads to a successful hunt.

For proof that sometimes you don't even have to do allot of scouting to get rewarded I'll tell you about a hunt I had last year.
My Uncle and a buddy of mine were already the property I had mentioned above but were not haveing alot of luck. They were seeing plenty of deer sign but because the deer were moveing mostly at night they were no seeing many deer during the day.
I wan't able to get out until the second weekend of the season and I didn't want to go hunt the property because they were already there and had set up stands and I basicaly didn't want to screw up there hiunt on them .
So I went to hunt near our cabin near Bird Lake. My first day out there I was mostly walking trails (I had the rifle with me because the season was open). This was primarily a scouting day for me to see where the deer were moveing so I could figure out a area to set up on the next day.
Anyways as it turned out I found a decent scrape line to hunt but when the next day rolled around around so did my Uncle and buddy. They were no luck at the other property so they decided to join us at the cabin. Thanks to my scouting the previous day I was able to get the 3 of us set up in a good area and in the end my buddy ended up harvesting a nice 5x5 buck along an area of the trail I told him to go sit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
All great info guys, thanks

So once I've found and area where I know they are bedding down and lots of fairly travelled trails, when and where do I want to plant myself if using a ladder stand or a gound blind.

Also looking at another location with a water hole; I'd think at least in theory, with things so dry, they wouldn't be far from water. Do they water once or twice a day, when?

Do they move all night and rest / eat during the day?
Steve
 

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If you have access to a watering hole that deer are using figure out where they are coming into it, find a spot you can get into fairly quietly and set up and cut them off on they're way to the water. If they are feeding on fields close by id try to get in there before dark and wait, id assume they would drink before bedding down
 

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sdenault said:
All great info guys, thanks

So once I've found and area where I know they are bedding down and lots of fairly travelled trails, when and where do I want to plant myself if using a ladder stand or a gound blind.

Also looking at another location with a water hole; I'd think at least in theory, with things so dry, they wouldn't be far from water. Do they water once or twice a day, when?

Do they move all night and rest / eat during the day?
Steve
Trail camera will tell you all you need too know!
 

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I do most of my scouting during grouse season. I go out before first light and walk very slow keeping a good look out with binos, the less you move the more you see. I enjoy my times out, and hope I can get my health problems cleared up so I can get out soon. Good luck.
 

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I use Archery season basically as scouting time. Try some new areas, check out past producing areas, look for new trails or hot spots. I always hunt from the ground, and normally even in bow season get close enough for a shot or two if I want. I hunt mostly crown land to, so don't give up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've found a couple of water holes, one in particular looks promising, fair bit of traffic. Found a nice bank spot with lots of protective overhang, with a good view of almost the whole pond. Would I want to get to this before sunrise and before sunset; when to deer typically drink?

Also not to far from the pond there is a large old cut area maybe ten acres, new growth to about 6-8'. Would I sit in a blind and watch, rattle, call or walk the perimeter between the old bush and the new growth?

Steve
 

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Walking in the bush personally I haven't found to be the best, they see you before you see them. If you have good visability to over 100 yds, walking works, you just have to see them first. If you find a spot where deer are moving its best to just sit tight, I prefer a tree stand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I gather todays hunters are not into Still Hunting or walking the bush.
Most prefer to be hidden and wait. Wondering why this has come about?

It used to be the prefered method of hunting.

Steve
 

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sdenault said:
I gather todays hunters are not into Still Hunting or walking the bush.
Most prefer to be hidden and wait. Wondering why this has come about?

It used to be the prefered method of hunting.

Steve
Hi Steve,I prefer to do both although I will take the elevated blind over stillhunting.But when things get really slow sometimes it good to climb out of the blind and inch your way down a trail, or through a bush.It's amazing the stuff you see or overlook when your just walking or quadding the trails.
 

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sdenault said:
I gather todays hunters are not into Still Hunting or walking the bush.
Most prefer to be hidden and wait. Wondering why this has come about?

It used to be the prefered method of hunting.

Steve
Laziness and the availability of easy to set up blinds and stands. Not to mention, very effective.

But no doubt it feels good to sneak up on a deer that you spotted before it spots you. Still hunting is fun and a great way to spend a day in the woods. Just remember, keep the wind in your face or the very least across you and go slow. You can't go slow enough. One step stop, wait, look all around, another step, repeat. Some of the better still hunting locations are in mature pine stands or mature aspen stands with little under growth. It at least affords you some visibility and a chance at a deer that you don't have to step on before you see it.

Also a fun hunt is on really windy days. You can walk through one of those cuts you found, face into that strong wind and jump deer for some close range action. Go give still hunting a try, its a nice change from that perch in the sky looking at the same tree for hours on end. Good luck out there.
 

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Well put canadian-ice!!!!

As for patterning deer your best bet is to get a couple trail cams.If your on a budget wait till one is a on sale,or if you have an Ebay account pick up a couple.(I prefer the ones that take AA batteries).
Set them up in the vicinity of your water holes and check your pics. or videos to see what time the deer are moving,and from what direction.From there you can find a place to setup.
Trail cams are a great tool to help see and judge the herd and numbers in your area,if the deer are turning nocturnal in your area,direction they are headed and what time they tend to frequent certain areas and as well what other critters are roaming the area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Makes Still Hunting sound great, I'll give it a try, especially on a windy damp day. Looking into trail cameras too.

What about field dressing on your own; is the simplest way to gut and quarter leaving hide on and then getting the pieces home to butcher?

I hope to do my own cutting and make proper meat cuts if possible

Steve
 

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Hi Steve I always field dress and leave the hide on and skin when I get it home,others may do it different.Youtube is a great tool to learn how to field dress and I think there is also some butchering videos as well.Take you time and all should go well.
What area of the province are you planning to hunt.some of the google maps have some very good detail now and you can see deer trails cutting through the swamps or tall stands of grass.Check out your area there maybe a clearcut or meadow within a large stand of bush that the deer frequent through.
Also what season are you planning on heading out bow,muzzle,rifle?
 
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