Hooked on HuntingPa
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Schuylkill Co., Pa (4c)
On a high pressure day (Saturdays) on public land I look for hard access, thicker cover or bedding areas I have seen deer continue to use when there are more hunters in the woods. In fact, on public land, I do this on a regular Saturday of bow season. Even though its just bow hunters, (10) guys on a Saturday compared to one or two during the week makes a big difference. However, I will say this as well, just (1) other hunter can make a difference. If that hunter is consistently hunting the same buck/deer sign as you then the pressure is pretty high on that particular location.
IMHO, public land deer are pressured ALL the time in my area and I treat it that way. I never know for sure who's poking around the area I'm hunting when I'm not there. If I do know for sure someone else is hunting a particular area (buck) I'm also after, instead of picking up stakes and moving on I try to use different tactics. If they hunt on a Saturday, I try to hunt during the week. If they hunt mornings, I try afternoons, if they hunt until 10am, I stay and hunt through lunch, If they hunt the ridge line, I hunt the side or the thicket down wind of where they hunt. These opposite tactics are the ones hunters refer to when they say "Don't let the buck know he's being hunted." He already knows he's being hunted, unless its his first rodeo, but he may not know you are hunting him at that very moment and that makes a difference.
One thing I don't believe is a buck or deer in general will completely leave the area. If its that good, has what they need, they will continue using that area. The rubs and other deer sign will confirm that for you.
So, to answer the question, yes, overlapping seasons or other highly intrusive hunting pressure will alter deer movement temporarily. Temporarily could be a day, couple days or a week if they are continually harassed. But, with the rut just getting started, one hot doe will trump whatever else is going on and its a matter of right place right time. Ever see a hot doe trailed by bucks on the first day of rifle season? It didn't matter much to the buck that the woods were crawling with hunters. Overall, I think this time of year there is minimal overall effect. I believe once rifle bear season and deer rifle pre-hunt scouting kicks in, it definitely changes where the deer hole up and when they move.
Good Luck & Shoot Straight