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Joined: 11/20/2011
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where did all the deer go?

is anyone seeing any deer movement? i live in north east michigan and hunt everyday but have not seen a single deer since nov 24th. i haven't even caught any on my trail cams. i own 20 acres which i have been the only person on since the 24th heck i haven't even seen any while driving down the road which normally when i leave my stand at night if i hadn't seen anything i'd see a bunch in the fields on the way home.i am starting to get very worried this has been my worst season in 10 years. i normally shoot 10 deer a year but this year have only gotten 2.

Retired2hunt's picture
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Hmmmmm?!?! I have heard from

Hmmmmm?!?! I have heard from other MI and OH hunters of the same. I was going to say that the amount of hunting you have been doing has put the pressure on the deer or left your scent in the woods so they have reverted to movement during the night hours... but if your trail cam is not catching any movement then that is not the issue. I hunt SE Ohio and I have not seen the amount of deer in December that I had seen October and November... but I think mine is hunting pressure because of the amount of movement caught on my trail cams during the night hours. Maybe a nearby neighbor has provided a large food plot and this has drawn deer away from your property? Just a guess. I'll be interested in what others have to provide as reason. Confused

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Joined: 11/20/2011
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you might be on to something

you might be on to something we are in the TB zone which means no baiting for us. but the guys at the cabin next door were up over thanksgiving weekend which is when the deer seemed to disapear so maybe they are baiting and thats why i'm not seeing anything. also they have 250 acres with 2 ponds i only have 20 acres and no true water source. what i do have is alot of acorns which they were eating daily well nitely on the cams. i have checked both cams and they are working both took pics of me.so that rules out a camera malfuction. other then me there isn't alot of pressure in the area there guys behind me has i think 300 acres he is a trophy hunter only and has not shot anything yet. to my north is the 250 acres with the ponds there gone now but never heard a shot from over there and to my south is 50 acres that was only hunted 1 day that i know of and he did shoot a doe. we have only shot 3 times total on my property once on nov 23rd and twice on nov 25th (same deer but thats in my other post)it's just strange that i don't even see them drivig the back roads at night lately

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Joined: 11/20/2011
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i last thing is i planted a

i last thing is i planted a small food plot along the south line last spring and just about every day we would get pics of elk and deer and niether are coming there at all now either.i'm just confused this is the first hunting season we have owned it so don't know if this is normal or what is going on

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couple things....

I'll mention a couple things that might be causing low or fewer sightings. I was just, this morning, hunting a small parcel I have (24 acres) and I had also been seeing low numbers. I did find out that a good-sized parcel across the street (90 acres, I think) has been leased this season to some young guys.

I think they are using full benefit of the very liberal limits we have here in Tn as I hear shooting from that piece most every day I'm hunting. So, deer movement has perhaps been slowed by a new, nearby presence. Also, I notice on small parcels I hunt that it becomes tough, after several times afield during the season, to not have the deer also patterning you, the hunter. I also try to not hunt weekends on some parcels, hoping that others hunting areas close by (which I cannot control) might just push deer onto my areas, where they might feel safer. Hunting weekdays, after the weekend shooting sprees works well for me.

One last thing to note; I saw a couple does while stillhunting this morning, so deer are still around in my area. BUT, best of all, I also found a couple of VERY fresh rubs near my normal stand location, which I am figuring might be showing the kick-off of the secondary rut in my area. Zilch for fresh buck sign for about the last 3 weeks and now my last two forays have shown some. I was especially glad to see a smoking hot rub that may have even just been done an hour before I saw it. Another thing is that the rut has likely let up in your area and 20th or so of November might have been peak rut for you, which will normally show max daytime movement.

A couple more hot does, not bred during the main, initial rut, is all it might take to get those bucks on their feet again in daylight hours. Good luck!!

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Joined: 11/20/2011
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at this point i'd be happy

at this point i'd be happy just to see/shoot some does. after posting this earlier i got to thinking what i could have done to affect movement. i thought i had the deer patterned at my stand. during bow season i'd see deer every morning always walking the same path.i'm hunting in hardwoods that were select cut at least 10 years ago so i have a lot of under groth so i cut 2 shooting lanes so i could get a shot at them as they walked that path. i did leave the trees and brush laying on the ground so i'm thinking maybe that is affecting them. i just spent half the afternoon cleaning it all up then sat the last hour in a different stand on the edge of my small cedar swamp that i haven't even been to in over a month. still no luck today but only time will tell.

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I think Tndeerhunter has

I think Tndeerhunter has something on the deer pattering you in the woods... but also interesting that you did not see anything at a stand you have not been in for a month. banghead I don't think the cut underbrush was an issue because the deer were there during bow season. Deer often take the path of least resistance so as long as that cut brush pile was not blocking their normal movement then it is most likely not the reason. Maybe you need to take a look further up that trail all the way to your property line to see if there has been any major change that would affect the deer movement? Or maybe you have a predator in the immediate area?

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i did see a really good sized

i did see a really good sized coyote about a week while in the stand i figured he was coming to the gut pile but i was just climbing down an spooked him so maybe that is part of it. i've talked to a bunch of other people around town and all seem to be having the same problems. elk season starts this weekend so i'm hoping that the elk hunters walking around the woods will get the deer moving. i plan to be in my stand even earlier then normal just in case.maybe i'll get lucky and the elk will come back to my property because i have a local guide willing to pay 500 if he is allowed access and is there able to kill one. i am on the zone lines for elk hunting literally. my house is in one zone but my proerty 1 mile down the street is a different zone.muzzle loader also starts this week but since i don't own one yet i'm stuck with the crossbow untill the late doe hunt

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Bait

In my experience the sudden, otherwise unexplainable disappearance of ALL deer in an area has usually been the result of a very popular bait stand. I had this happen to me during the 2009 season - someone put a bait on the Crown (public) land just north of our farm. Within 2 days (no kidding) every deer within a 1sq mile radius was living within 400yds of that bait pile. It looked like a friggin barn yard from all the tracks.

If it was hunter pressure, they'd still be there be holed up and moving at night; coyotes don't kill that many deer [meaning enough to wipe out a population in a few weeks]; a seasonal change in food sources would happen gradually - even harvested crop will attract deer for weeks after as they clean up the spillage from the combine.

My money is on a new bait pile with something really tasty somewhere within a mile of where you're hunting.

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Joined: 11/20/2011
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I think your right i was

I think your right i was seeing deer everyday right up untill thanksgiving weekend when the guys to our north came up then nothing since. i actually did have a doe on cam at 330 yesterday morning then we got 6inches of snow last night and 1 deer walked accrossed my property heading right to the north. i haven't seen anyone there since thanksgiving so it must be a pretty good sized pile. hopfully it will be running out soon. what sucks is were in a no baiting zone so i can't just start throwing corn or aything out because with my luck i'd be the one to get caught.if it keeps up like this i'm gonna have to go back to my work property with my tail between my legs and hunt an area that i hate. i work at a golf course and normally can hunt anywhere on the roperty that i want but this this year were only allowed on 1 far side of the property by the highway. it really sucks because i can set my watch by the deer movement accrossed the fairways. i have literaly taken 2 deer with 1 shot before and a couple of time brought home 3 deer in 1 day.

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Location: San Diego, CA
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Count Vermont in the same

Count Vermont in the same boat, or at least where my Dad hunts.  He saw only 3 or 4 deer during the 2 week rifle season, and 1 during the week of ML season.  Not even his trail camera had anything.  He had tons of deer up through mid-October, then nothing.

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