They Survived - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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They Survived

For those of you who spend a lot of time in the woods in the winter I was wondering if you have been noticing more bucks in the woods immediately after rifle season ? Not just the young non legal ones but also legitimate shooters. That being 2.5 or older that are legal.
Up until a few years ago I felt it was almost a waste of time trying to kill a buck on public land in the late season. Just couldn’t get myself motivated enough to seriously try. Pretty much figured they all were either killed, nocturnal or pushed onto private property. Also in all my years of hunting I have only encountered a couple legal buck on public land in the late season until recently. This season while hunting with the flintlock I have seen 4 so far and one that I would probably get mounted if I shot it. Also found a fresh rub yesterday that was only a day or two old that was huge. After all the encounters I have had of legal buck in recent days I am going to start taking the late season a little more seriously if I have not filled my buck tag yet. They are out there and from what I see are still very killable.
Just curious what some of your observations are ? Is it just me or are things in fact changing ?

Darton DS-3800
Public Land Hunter

Last edited by steelhead125; 01-04-2019 at 11:17 AM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 03:41 PM
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Steel I used to feel the same way. There are plenty of bucks and some darn good ones still out there. I have a work friend that has killed 4 late archery bucks that scored over 130 in the last 6 years. He told me today, that he passes loads of deer all thru early archery and rifle cause he knows after Christmas he still has a good shot at a good one. He has killed these deer on both public and private in 5C.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 04:00 PM
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Cold and windy most Saturdays during archery season followed by rain on the first day and Saturday of rifle season saved a lot of bucks. Could be why you are seeing more bucks this year.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 04:55 PM
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Hunted public land in 5C yesterday. I saw 9 deer. Killed a big doe and saw a shooter 8. I saw one of the biggest bucks I can remember right after the 2 week gun deer ended. My beagles kicked him and a real nice 8 out of a briar patch. That wasn't public land but its private land that gets deer hunted pretty hard. I'll be looking for either of those bucks next year.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 05:14 PM
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Two years of heavy acorns here that spread deer out and no snow in rifle will save a lot of deer. Then no acorns and two full weeks of rifle with snow ..they got hammered this year. Snow will get more killed than rain can save. In the areas with snow, I bet the kill estimates donít end up as low as some think they should be.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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My dad just called me and he almost got a buck tonight. Couldn’t count the points until he turned broadside but it spooked almost as soon as it turned. Guess it was a big 8. This was on pretty heavily pressured ground with easy access. Not that I am complaining but it’s weird. We never had sightings like this 5 to 10 years ago this late in the season.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 06:02 PM
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Been out 4 times after Christmas and i have seen 7 buck all were 2.5 and older. To bad i dont have a buck tag, 3 of them were together.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 07:16 PM
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I've noticed that bachelor groups get back together after the rut and if you happen to be between them and their food source in the afternoon you are going to see them in the late season. Particularly if it is real cold at night. My brother saw 8 bucks together at 4:30 last Saturday afternoon. One was a giant that he was after before shooting a 19" wide 7 pointer during the second week of November. He said they all walked right under the treestand that they had been avoiding throughout the fall and they seemed to be on a mission to get to a freshly cut corn field about a 1/4 mile from where he hunts.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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If you read through the daily flintlock thread guys are having just as much action if not more than the daily reports of the early archery season. I have seen more bucks in fewer days during flintlock compared to this past archery season. I am sure part of it has to do with the amount of ground I am covering but at the same time these deer have been pressured from the beginning of October along with small game and bear season getting thrown into the mix. Really has me excited for next season.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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