Thursday, October 14, 2010

Buck Decoys- The Truth About Them

Buck Decoys-The Truth About Them. I would have to venture a guess and say 90%(if not more) of the every day Whitetail deer hunter do not own and have not thought about using a buck decoy. I am not sure why this is but I can not recall it ever coming up in conversation with another hunter. I'm not sure they are even  readily available at say Gander Mountain or Dicks.
   This being said lets consider something else. How many times have you seen a trophy buck, out of shooting range or could not slow the deer down long enough to get an ethical shot or for whatever reason could not close the deal? I know more than half of the time I saw a true trophy class deer and did not close the deal. Hell,maybe 90% of the time. We have all heard it and it stands true, Trophy bucks did not get to be trophies because they are stupid. They are intelligent and as bone collectors and hunters of trophy animals we need every tool in our arsenal to harvest these once in a life time whitetails.
  Okay,here is the scoop on the buck decoy. If you did not know, bucks run in bachelor groups through the summer. By the time these bucks are working on shedding there velvet the pecking order has been established. The bucks that use your area as there home range are familiar with the other bucks in the area. They know which one is the dominant Buck and who is who, so to speak,and basically have established the pecking order. When you put a decoy out it you are introducing a new buck that they are not familiar with. Using a little buck scent in combination(Put directly on decoy)can be very effective. Don't misunderstand me, There is certain times and conditions that a decoy will work best. Often times when I'm hunting like a soybean field or an open area I love to use them. The big, smart bucks will hang up in the woods until dark, then come to feed in the bean field. You might never know they are there. By putting a decoy out it can draw that buck to investigate. In general I would have to say open areas is when decoys are going to be most effective. I think you get my point.
   Two of my best bucks taken, a decoy made the difference and help me close the deal. Hunting a open field during bow season, It gets difficult to get the bucks to come in bow range. The decoy will peak his curiosity and he will have to come check it out.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Rain Stops-Hunt those Scrapes, QUICK!!!

Rain stops, Can't get to my stands over that scrape that Whitetail Buck made, quick enough. What am I talking about?
 In the fall the weather is different than summer. Summer time it will be burst of thunderstorms but very seldom will it rain straight all day,or even 2 or 3 days for that matter. But in the fall, This is exactly how it is. these slow moving cold fronts will move through and it can rain for 3 days straight. 
  Many times I have seen bucks have a pattern where every evening an hour before dark they will begin go to there scrapes freshening them up. But these 2 days of rain will disrupt this pattern. Often these bucks will stay in bed and wait it out.
  BUT, I swear deer have a six sense, They know the rain is done. And 2 days of steady rain washes away the strength of those scrapes. That being said, the minute the rain is done, those Whitetail Bucks are going to be up and on there way to freshen up those scrapes. the important thing is the key word is minute it stops raining.
   If you know the rain is about done and expected to pass through, you need to be on stand waiting for it to stop. It does not take long for them to get up and head for these scrapes. if you can be there in the rain anticipating it to stop that is best.
   So, if it is going to pour out for a day or two, be on stand over that scrape from that  buck, waiting for it to stop, when that buck comes through to freshen up his scrape after the rain has washed it away, You, will be ready.

Monday, October 4, 2010

How Important is Water To A Whitetail Deer...

How important is water to a whitetail deer? Well, This might seem obvious but the answer is very important. The thing is I think deer hunters have trouble putting Two and Two together. Let me explain. When I am looking at a new place to hunt I will always look at say Google maps or Superpages maps and do an over head view. Find where the nearest water source is to my hunting area. You can bet during early bow season and all the way through the rut for that matter the deer will be going to that water hole on a regular basis. If I can intercept there travels to that watering hole or better yet actually put my stands up on the watering hole, I feel good about my chances of harvesting a good shooter buck.
   The reason I mentioned early bow and through the rut is, early bow, even up here in western New York, we will still have some weather that is warm. The deer need the water more then. I don't have to say, when those bucks are chasing does and running all day, they with out a doubt- have to hydrate.
   It's not to say that after the rut calms down and it begins to cool off that the nearest available water is not still necessary. But not quite as in demand as these other times.
  If you look at the picture I have attached with this post, this buck has mud about a foot up on his hooves. About 40 yards from where this trail pic was taken is a pond. that is the nearest watering hole where I hunt. This deer was not crossing the water, he went down to the water to drink.
  When you are setting up stands in a new location or re-evaluating your current location, Be sure to keep in mind the nearest water source. It might make the difference.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hunting The Rubs A Whitetail makes Or The Lack There Of...

Hunting the rubs that Whitetail Bucks make with there horns Or The Lack There Of ...
  I have been really looking for rubs and haven't been seeing any this year. It is really weird. I know there is bucks in my area because I have trail Cam pics of them So it is not to concerning. I tend to think maybe where I am hunting might just be the path the deer travel to get to there bedding areas or water, or food. one really odd thing is that places that last year had rubs like crazy do not have rubs this year. The area where you normally find rubs will most of the time have rubs year after year. Not necessarily the same trees but definitely the same are.
  Another reason this is not to concerning is over time I have learned to focus on the scrapes as appose to the rubs. Don't get me wrong, when I'm looking for a stand location it gets me very excited to see rubs on the trees around where I am thinking of setting a stand but it is not crucial. Before we had trail cams it would have been a different story but I have pictures of good 3 and a 1/2 year old deer moving through my trails on multiple occasions. The point I really want to make is this, Whitetail bucks will rub there antlers on trees and never return to that tree again. But a scrape from a Whitetail Buck , well, he will check up and freshen up on a regular basis. It is the bucks M.O., him letting other deer know who he is and he is in the area. It is a social thing. As well other bucks will mark this scrape if so inclined and it will let the first buck know who he is. That being said, Mature whitetails will check there scrapes on a regular basis. A Rub well tell you a Buck was there, but there is nothing saying he will ever come back to that spot. Don't worry about rubs, they are encouraging to see, especially big ones on big trees, but not what needs to be focused on. Scrapes are where it's at, That is, your chance at harvesting the buck that made it.

Bow Season Opens In Two Weeks!

Bow season opens in 2 weeks and I am Stoked!!! All I can do is eat,sleep and think bucks. I will go to my stands this weekend and check deer activity. I do know I have a decent 21/2 year old 9 pointer moving through one of my spots but only trail picks of him is @ about 3:00AM in the morning. That being said there has to be a bigger more dominant buck in the area. I am hunting a pond where he is so it is the main water source in this area. I have not checked that trail camera in about 2 weeks. I figure I will leave it out until a day or 2 before opening Saturday. It’s hard not to check it every time I go out there but I do resist.
I have another spot that is only about 12 acres but it has about 300 behind it and again, I believe what makes it so promising is the fact that a creek runs right through it and the only way to get from the large track of woods to the north to the 300 acres to the south is to go through where I am. It is promising. Anyway, Will write more Soon.