Slow November - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Slow November

Just curious if anyone else had a really slow November? I was seeing lots of deer and even some good buck activity up until Oct 19th. Then like someone flipped a switch they disappeared and even sightings on my cameras (over 10) went very cold. I hunted the rut hard, and took all but 2 days off from Halloween on (sitting am and pm). I only saw 1 legal buck and it was a big 6 point, when in years past you'd always see good bucks. Even if they were 150 yards away cruising.

My question is did anyone else notice that with the abundance of people in the woods for early deer/bear muzzleloader, and the youth/senior rifle seasons, all of the activity almost shutdown?
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post #2 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 11:45 AM
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It was a weird season for me. We had absolutely zero acorns, which had the deer on some really strange patterns. I hunt the mountains of Central PA and judging by the unusually high amount of deer I was seeing down in the valleys, it seems a lot of them migrated down to ag and corn, which makes a lot of sense.

What was left up high on public were deer concentrated on the best browse they could find, and that was not very easy to hunt. Certainly it's easier to key in on oaks. Eventually I keyed in on one specific area and started to put things together and found some bucks cruising doe bedding and finally got a nice one doing that.

A lot of the traditional doe bedding though, was just completely devoid of does this year, so of course the bucks aren't going to cruise there. Just had to adapt to the conditions. The buck sign seemed a couple weeks behind all season too.

It'll be interesting to see how that plays out for rifle season as the bear drives next week start to shift deer around, then rifle season itself.

I'm not really sure what to think about the muzzleloader seasons. I don't think it had a big effect on many of my areas, but certainly looking at how many bears were killed, there were areas that were driven pretty heavily which really would have messed up archery hunting for those specific areas. Statewide, I'd say not a huge effect, but localized it certainly wrecks some areas.

This is not meant to be any kind of political statement, but since crossbows came into play, the most trucks I see parked all year, including rifle season, is the first week of November. There is a ton of pressure in the woods that whole week anymore. Growing up that was like "the" week but I think to adapt you have to factor in just how crazy the pressure is that week anymore.
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Last edited by elk yinzer; 11-19-2019 at 11:50 AM.
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post #3 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 12:45 PM
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I donít think any of the other seasons really had much of a effect on deer movement in my area. Most of my hunting was done on public land that gets a decent amount of pressure. Only had one real rut crazed day where the bucks were cruising and chasing all over the place. That was the day after Halloween. Donít really know what to make of it other than it felt like the bigger bucks were on lock down every time I went out. Lots of fawns by themselves or I would have a bunch of doe around me without a buck in sight. Strange year for me.
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post #4 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 01:35 PM
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Worst archery season I ever had. Same thing where I hunt. It’s like they all climbed down some groundhog holes. Had last 4 days off and seen maybe 5 deer, I’m not sure what was going on. Didn’t even see a buck...

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post #5 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 01:53 PM
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Worst archery season for me as well here in 4D. No acorns on top of the ridge/mountain, and no deer on cameras as well. Drove past fields with tons of deer at the bottom of the mountain 1/2 mile away. Only deer seen on top were in a game field that you never saw deer in during daylight in most years past. Had to hunt valley/farm land to see any deer.
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post #6 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 02:03 PM
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It was slow up in our neck of the woods (NEPA) until the last week. Then it picked up real fast. We have tons of oaks in our area and a heavy acorn crop, so it was tough to pattern them - they didn't need to move much to find food.
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post #7 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 03:29 PM
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in my area of 2D, I'd consider it to have been slow as well. From Oct. 31st thru the end of the season I had 9 stand sits and two days where I still hunted in the snow. Although I had a lot of deer sightings and saw at least one buck on every sit, I saw very minimal actual rutting activity. Only two times did I see actual chasing and they were brief chases. Peak days seemed to be Nov 1st, Nov 6th, and also the 13th. On the Nov. 1st I saw actual chasing and really good buck activity in the evening. On the 6th I saw really good buck activity on my morning hunt. My trail camera also showed great buck activity on a scrape on the 6th with 4 different bucks hitting the scrape that day, during the daylight. And the 13th was after a few inches of snow. I hunted that day from 10AM - 2:30pm, saw probably 30 deer, 5 different bucks as well. I was able to grunt in two different small bucks and I spotted the two biggest bucks on the property just casually being with a doe. Overall I cannot complain as I had multiple deer within bow range almost every hunt, I just wasn't able to get everything to come together to kill what I consider to be a decent buck. I had two really good opportunities that I wish I could have done differently, and two more close calls.
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post #8 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 03:42 PM
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The last 3 days is when it was happening in my neck of the woods. First week of November was a bust. Nothing on cams. The doe that were seen that week had nothing harassing them.
Iíve set more days on this property this year without seeing deer then the previous 3 years combined. It was a different year for sure. As others have stated deer seemed low.
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post #9 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 04:15 PM
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I hunt on private ground and it seemed the chasing activity was very slow. I would hunt mostly afternoons into evenings over food plots and hunted 8 evening the last two weeks of archery. Every evening 6-9 mature doe; 4-6 little ones and a handful of smaller bucks would come out. Didn’t observe any hard chasing or rutting activity. Only had one shooter on cam and he would make his appearance every couple of nights in the darkness
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post #10 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 04:26 PM
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All im seeing are does and small bucks. I am seeing alot of does. Ive only seen 1 buck id consider shooting but i was at work and it was on the move chasing a doe so i didnt get a good look at it.
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