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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-17-2016, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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New spot / Deer snorting

I was out the other day hunting a new area. I walked in and as soon as I got into the forest I immediately heard something huge running off in the distance. I hiked up a little hill and heard something moving, I shined the light on it and sure enough it was a deer (possibly the same one from when I entered) running off.

Not sure if this was the right thing to do or not, but I figured they pass through here, I still have about a little less then an hour until sunlight, and the wind has been in my face this whole time so why not, and I posted up right there ( I hunt from the ground by the way). I got in some cover between a few trees, sat down and waited about 15-30 mins when a little fawn came into sight.

I sat very still and within seconds it was joined by another, and another. Little by little they started moving in closer to me. My bag was about 10 yards in front of me, I set it under a fallen tree and some branches because its not camo, and for some reason the deer kept circling around me and working there way in toward the bag. When they got within 2-3 feet(of the bag), they started snorting like crazy (more of a loud sudden exhale). From what I read that means they sensed me, once or twice they even stomped there front foot at me, however they didn't seem too bothered or scared. Maybe they couldn't see me clearly, but they kept staring in my direction from time to time. When they were behind me the exhaling picked up alot, it almost even felt like they were over my shoulder (might have been, didn't move an inch so couldn't tell you).

So from this story I have a question, does the snorting mean they could see me? Does it maybe just mean they sensed something in the area was up? Or could it have been the result of what I'm about to say next:

So after a few minutes of torture (couldn't move an inch because there were deer at every angle) I hear something moving in toward us fast. It started barking, and I initially thought it was a coyote. It stopped about 10 yards out, with a deer about 5-6 yards on each side of it. He was staring right at me and yelping his little head off. Not going to lie, it scared the life out of me, and must have startled the deer at least a little bit because they started making there way off. When none of them (so I thought at the time anyway) could see me anymore I unbuttoned my knife. Didn't startle the fox, in fact he came bolting in toward me. I went to stand up a little bit (minimal movement) and he halted to a stop, looked for a second and bolted off in the same direction the deer went.

Asides from all that I had a pretty exhilarating day. During lunch I did a little scouting / still hunting instead of leaving for a few hours, and found alot of interesting things. A motorcycle half buried in a stream, I lifted a rock and about 5 baby snakes went scattering, that little fox and (unless he's the fastest thing on earth) a buddy of his circling me everywhere I went making appearances here and there, some tadpoles etc.. Also, the amount of sign I found was crazy. Tons of old rubs, scrapes, tracks almost everywhere the dirt was soft. There was droppings every 10-15 yards. This place really was excellent.

So with that story I have a few things I'd like to hear opinions on.

1- Should I have stood put (assuming so since all the does came back)
2- Should I not have gotten up for lunch since there was so much in the area
3- Would a fox have bit me? He sure seemed like he wanted too lol
4- There was a spot about 40 yards away from where I was originally sitting when all the deer came, with ridiculous amounts of sign. Even what looked like a fresh rub ( I know they usually don't around this time of year, but the tree was scraped up fresh, you could see red lining up and down it). Should I go back to there next time, or stay where I found them in the first place?
5- The question that was kind of the point of this post, when a deer exhales suddenly like that, what exactly does it mean? He knew something was up? Actually saw me but wasn't sure?

Also don't know if this changes anything, and I find it weird, but I feel like I should note the deer were coming from the direction I walked in from.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-17-2016, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: New spot / Deer snorting

I'll post some pictures and videos I took later on
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-17-2016, 03:18 PM
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Re: New spot / Deer snorting

Snorting usually means you're busted; but to what degree can vary. I had one snort at me the other morning right at my treestand. I snorted back and heard it turn and go but it didn't go far. It came back about 45 minutes later but was extremely cautious. It sounds like you're doing a pretty good job getting on the deer there I'd just keep hunting the sign. The rest of what you're describing is totally normal, they most likely smelled you via your bag and either knew you had been there or were nearby but they couldn't see you.

As far as lunch goes I believe lunch time is one of the most active times for deer it just doesn't get the same hype as dusk and dawn. Especially buck, I know a lot people that have shot most of their buck between 12 and 2. I can't seem to break the morning/evening ritual until the rut comes but if you're traveling a long way and don't get many days I'd bring lunch with.

And a fox will not bite you if it knows what you are, unless it's rabid. I heard of a guy getting bit by a coyote while calling for turkeys but the thing took off when it realized he wasn't a bird.

Neat story and glad to hear you're on the deer.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-17-2016, 04:02 PM
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Re: New spot / Deer snorting

1- Should I have stood put (assuming so since all the does came back) - If I'm hunting from the ground, I like to sit on my feet. If you can shot sitting, great, if not standing will probably be your best bet.

2- Should I not have gotten up for lunch since there was so much in the area- 11-2 is a good time to see Bucks moving around

3- Would a fox have bit me? He sure seemed like he wanted too lol-= No, unless its rabid. Must have been curious.

4- There was a spot about 40 yards away from where I was originally sitting when all the deer came, with ridiculous amounts of sign. Even what looked like a fresh rub ( I know they usually don't around this time of year, but the tree was scraped up fresh, you could see red lining up and down it). Should I go back to there next time, or stay where I found them in the first place?- If you can find adequate cover, go for it.
5- The question that was kind of the point of this post, when a deer exhales suddenly like that, what exactly does it mean? He knew something was up? Actually saw me but wasn't sure?- Generally the deer were sensing something was amiss. They smelled you most likely. When they stop their feet they leave scent on the ground from in between their hooves (interdigital gland). The amount of scent left from a stomp is different from them simply walking. This increased amount of scent is to alert the other deer who may encounter this area that there may be a predator or something to be afraid of.

The deer only smelled you and didnt see you. You mentioned your pack, do you spray it down? Where do you keep it? What are your current scent REDUCTION habits?

Previously JJ5C
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-17-2016, 04:17 PM
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Re: New spot / Deer snorting

My best piece of advice for you would be, let the area settle for several days and go back in there again but this time, be in a tree or second choice, a well concealed, brushed in ground blind.

Suburban redneck.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-17-2016, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: New spot / Deer snorting

I usually shower the last 2 or 3 days before hunting with only water, and the day before / morning of with no scent shampoo, conditioner, tooth paste, and deodorant. I wear clothes that I washed in no scent on the way up, and the clothes I actually hunt in stay in a sealed garbage bag with my gear, and leaves, acorns, sticks etc.. (collected from wherever I hunt)
The clothes I wear while I hunt get washed (every 3-4 hunts) in a washer I already ran an empty wash or two in, followed by one last no scent detergent only load before I actually put clothes in. I also keep a thing of baking soda in the bag with my clothes.
The bag also gets washed this way, and stays in the garbage bag with my gear.

When I actually get there I change into my hunting stuff, spraying my clothes skin and bag before putting them on (which usually makes me shiver like a beast lol, this saturday it was only about 40 degrees when I got out).
I even spray my hands before and a couple times during doing laundry.
I also dry with earth scented (hunters specialties I believe) dryer sheets, and yes I clean the dryer out with field wipes and clean the trap.

If you meant where do I leave the bag while in the woods, I usually put it against a tree close by and cover it with branches and leaves so you can't see it. Come to think of it I had some sprays (not using them, haven't even opened yet) like buck and doe urine in the bag. Maybe that's what lured them over to it?
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-17-2016, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: New spot / Deer snorting

Thanks by the way. Wasn't sure about foxes (I've heard of coyotes getting vicious) and I figured there had to be something to them stomping there foot. I thought maybe they were trying to get me to jump
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-17-2016, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: New spot / Deer snorting

I plan on going back in a week, I want to go earlier but I work mon-fri and I want to save my vaca days for the rut. I had a guy who I was supposed to pick a climber up from (intended on going during lunch as he was 10 mins away) but he couldn't meet that day. If I can't get it before next weekend, maybe I should just try to get there extra early and drag some stuff to the tree I'm sitting in to use as cover?
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-17-2016, 11:01 PM
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Re: New spot / Deer snorting

My opinion is you are doing very well.You can do everything perfect and it simply won't work.All animals can smell,see or otherwise detect a presence.You didn't move for that you can be proud.Had they actually saw movement they would have streaked away from you.Keep at it your doing it right,just lose the deer scent.

Bob Seger,till it shines.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
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Re: New spot / Deer snorting

Thanks! I honestly am starting to feel more and more confident each time I go out . Can't wait until the rut
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