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Location: albany
Joined: 04/17/2009
Posts: 14
Apparently I'm a horrible hunter. I need your help..PLEASE!!

All right guys, I need some help and this forum has always helped me out since I joined about a year ago. The only hunting experience I've had prior to Oregon was hunting in the wide open space of New Mexico. A place where you sit on a hill and glass for 10 miles in every direction to "pick out" the deer you want, then you just go get it. Well maybe not that easy but a picnic compared to hunting western Oregon. I went elk hunting up in the cascades to a spot that previously on a couple of scouting trips saw numerous elk. Four days I was able to go elk hunting but never saw one. Lots of sign but not even a cow. I was able to go with my best buddy of 25 yrs that I see about once a year so we had a blast anyway. My deer hunting has consisted of mostly weekends in the cascades from mill city to 3 pyramids @ the 20/22 jct. I have seen absolutely nothing aside from signs, not a buck not a doe, or even a fish and game decoy. I've sat in spots for hours not moving a muscle. I've done slow stalks that have me moving at a snails pace, 2 steps every couple of minutes. I've even just walked at a regular pace trying to minimize noise but just going (this is how I saw most of the elk and deer on scouting trips). I've done my best to minimize my scent but suspect this is probably my down fall. Everybody usually says "I'm not looking for anyone's secret spot", well actually I am. I've got probably 1 day left this weekend to go and I need help, I need someone's secret spot. Well I'd settle for a well known good area. I'm the hunter that really doesn't care to much about the rack, I just love having all that meat in the freezer. I shoot what's first available that legal, and am not a trophy hunter by any means. I haven't gone west of I-5, maybe that's the direction I should try?? Any help guys would be GREATLY appreciated. Brick Wall,) Brick Wall,) Brick Wall,)

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Apparently I'm a horrible hunter. I need your help..PLEASE!!

... welcome to hunting. If we had an easy answer to your post, it would be called `shooting'.

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Location: OlyWa
Joined: 04/27/2005
Posts: 472
Apparently I'm a horrible hunter. I need your help..PLEASE!!

Sounds like you are hunting right, just not in the right area. Obviously it is too late for this season, but for next year here are a few tips.

Look up F&W stats and make sure you are scouting in a productive area.

Start scouting now for next year.
If you find deer this fall, they shoudl be there next fall.

More scouting just prior to the season.
It really helps to know some critters are in the area you intend to hunt while you are hunting it.

Learn your targets behavior and travel patterns.
It can only take a couple days for groups of bucks to go from friendly and hanging out together in the open to solitary and not tolerating each other.
Make sure to note times, weather, etc when you do see your target animal as well as what it was doing. Traveling, bedding, feeding (and on what) etc.

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Location: albany
Joined: 04/17/2009
Posts: 14
Apparently I'm a horrible hunter. I need your help..PLEASE!!

Thanks Billy for the insight. I think your right, although I had seen sign and deer/elk on scouting trips I think I'll do a little more research for next year in to areas with more population of deer/elk. Thumbs up

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Apparently I'm a horrible hunter. I need your help..PLEASE!!

... not to sound contradictory, but it's very easy to think they just `left', or something happened to the `spot'. If one unit is better than your unit - it's not because the animals in your unit left and went over there. As much as I HATE to face it - if I am seeing tracks - the animals are still around. And even if i am not seeing tracks - they are probably still around. Hunting, in my opinion, is adapting to the game DAILY. What works one afternoon may not, and probably will not, work the following afternoon. Their habits, their food sources, other factors, change daily, sometimes hourly. We have mule deer and WT around here - and both species don't leave - they just HIDE - when they are hunted. And elk - though many times larger - manage to hide MANY TIMES BETTER. If you start hunting a new unit - you start the process all over. Maybe you'll hit a honey hole. If you do - no guarantee it will stay that way long. Also, as with many things in life - sometimes you gotta put in your time to hit your groove.

Alpine_Archer's picture
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Martin County NC
Joined: 08/10/2009
Posts: 657
Apparently I'm a horrible hunter. I need your help..PLEASE!!

It's all about time in the woods. Hunting public land isnt like ESPN outdoors. It's about being in the right place at the right time. Putting in more time in the woods will give you a higher porbability of seeing something. I havn't killed a big game animal in 4 years but I do enjoy HUNTING them every season. I didnt see an animal for the first 3 weeks of archery. the last weekend I had several enocounters and we we're in animals every day during rifle season. But we were in the woods atleast 3 days a week for 2 months straight just to find them.

It sounds like your doing everything right just not where the animals are at that instance. Keep your head up and your eyes open and your bound to see one sooner or later.

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Location: albany
Joined: 04/17/2009
Posts: 14
Apparently I'm a horrible hunter. I need your help..PLEASE!!

Well I saw one, spent 12+ hrs in the woods on Sunday and saw nothing all day. Climbed into my truck just after dark and about the second turn on the way out a big bodied 3x3 jump out right in front of me. I said out load ' seriously...are you kidding me". I later told my wife about it and her reply was " should have hit the gas". Of course she was just kidding me but made me laugh. Any way thanks for all your replies, they are duly noted. As it works out I might just get one more shot at it this Friday, last day of the season. It's suppose to rain but when isn't it? I haven't really spent much time in a stand this year and know a couple of spots that what appears to be "heavily "used game trail intersect that i might sit up on. Then there always "road huntin"

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Apparently I'm a horrible hunter. I need your help..PLEASE!!

I invite you to replay what was going on in your head all day long, versus what was going on in the truck on the way home. Sometimes we hunt `so hard' - that, mentally, we chase the game away. My guess is that you stopped trying, once in the rig, and that provided a vacuum for something to come to you. One of the reasons I hunt is that there is something very magical about the whole thing. It can't be hammered into logic, or reason, or statistics, or dollars and cents. It is not a matter of effort, though effort is required. You do your homework, you put in your time, ... but at some point you gotta just let go, stop `trying' and let it flow - let it work out.

Alpine_Archer's picture
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Martin County NC
Joined: 08/10/2009
Posts: 657
Apparently I'm a horrible hunter. I need your help..PLEASE!!
Serious Hunter wrote:
I invite you to replay what was going on in your head all day long, versus what was going on in the truck on the way home. Sometimes we hunt `so hard' - that, mentally, we chase the game away. My guess is that you stopped trying, once in the rig, and that provided a vacuum for something to come to you. One of the reasons I hunt is that there is something very magical about the whole thing. It can't be hammered into logic, or reason, or statistics, or dollars and cents. It is not a matter of effort, though effort is required. You do your homework, you put in your time, ... but at some point you gotta just let go, stop `trying' and let it flow - let it work out.

Well said... Thumbs up

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Joined: 11/03/2008
Posts: 35
Apparently I'm a horrible hunter. I need your help..PLEASE!!

As a "Traditional Archer" I have some of my best days just taking my bow for a walk. As I wander along just looking at stuff, stump-shooting and mushroom picking, I have critters stand still and let me walk up on them because they don't perceive me as a threat.
Maybe in your attempt to "stalk" you alert the animals to the presence of a predator, do the squirrels scold you incessantly?
Sometimes it is beneficial to "get in the rhythm of the woods" and try to enjoy the day and not worry about hunting, you will be surprised at the outcome.

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Location: albany
Joined: 04/17/2009
Posts: 14
Apparently I'm a horrible hunter. I need your help..PLEASE!!

Some really good input, thanks all. Serious Hunter, I've been chewing on what you said for a couple of days feeling like I wasn't exactly understanding. After reading stiknstringbow i think he's probably saying relatively the same thing. It makes sense, I didn't "stalk" on my scouting trips, I just took a walk really. I definitely saw more then I have hunting. Like i said earlier I've got tomorrow, last chance, last day of the season. Not sure I'll be able to just take a walk. They are calling for rain and wind, awesome couldn't have wanted better weather. Some I'm sure would say just stay home, but I got to give it one last effort, hurricane or not. Anyone have some rainy, windy, hunting advice? Seriously thank you, each and every one of you. This forum is great, as well as its members.

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