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Location: Canada, KY.
Joined: 01/02/2006
Posts: 11
Where Did They Go?

I need some help understanding what took place between bow and gun seasons this year. The location was a 50+acre private farm in Jackson Co. Ohio. We had 5 stand locations spread over the property to cover trails, food sources and water. During bow season, deer were seen from all of the stands at various times,(morning, mid-day and evening). They ranged from does to 4,6 and even 10 point (not in bow range) bucks. Scrapes and rubs were abundant and prospects of a good season were encouraging. While they were very cautious, the deer seemed to move freely while the leaves were out and cover was present. Now comes the problem. We did not hunt for a period of about three weeks before gun season came in. Also, no one else disturbed the area. When we went back opening day of gun season, the deer had vanished. Evidence of fresh foraging and droppings were there each morning but no deer. During gun season and muzzel loader we saw two deer in an area that during bow season, we saw 30 or more. I would appreciate some SERIOUS INPUT into this situation so that next season we can plan more accordingly. Thanks in advance for any helpful answers. Chuck <><

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
Where Did They Go?

Kill them during bow season!
Sounds like either the food source changed (and they went to a new source) or they figured out that hunting season was in and went nocturnal. Any deer that has lived through a gun hunting season knows what it meens when the guns start booming!
What time of the year did bow end and when did gun begin? Month and day.

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Location: Canada, KY.
Joined: 01/02/2006
Posts: 11
Where did they go?

Hunter 777, You are exactly right! I should have taken the 4 or 6 point that was offered rather than wait until gun season for the 10 point that didn't come back. As far as food, the acorn crop was abundant and there is still a lot on the ground around our stand areas being eaten at night. As far as dates, bow season runs from Oct.1 till Jan31.Gun was Nov. 28-Dec.4 and muzzel loader wasDec.27-30. We saw active deer between Oct. 1 and Nov.15. When we went back Nov.28 the problem began. Thanks for your reply Chuck <><

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Location: Montana
Joined: 12/13/2005
Posts: 38
Where Did They Go?

One of your neighbors may be baiting them with feed or a food plot to pull the deer in during rifle season. Think

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
Where Did They Go?

The peak of the rut (when does are actually breeding) is usually around Nov 1st- 10th roughly. The bucks will be active all day every day during this time period. They will be with a doe thats in heat or looking for a doe thats in heat. After the last of the does estrus cycle finishes (around the 10th or a few days later) thats it! Time to recooperate. It's like the deer vanish. Then when the second estrus cylce comes around again (Dec 1st-10th roughly) You will see some activity again. This is a good time (1st and 2nd cycle) to try rattling and calling, also use some doe in heat lure. I do alot more calling than rattling because I haven't had great success with ratling but calling and using the right lures makes a huge difference. I have called in 2 bucks by rattling out of about 10 trys. I call with either buck grunts or doe grunts every time I'm on stand and when moving to and from my stand.........try to sound like another deer, even in the way you walk. 3 steps stop, look listen...5 steps stop, look listen, 3 steps, I have heard that deer will always take an odd number of steps when they move.
About the acorn crop. If it was good on your land that meens it was good every where around you so, the deer had plenty of places to feed and where probobly spread out more.