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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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DEERFIELD PLANTATION

I am new here. can anyone give me some input on what to expect at Deerfield Plantation in S.C. ?
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 01:18 PM
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Re: DEERFIELD PLANTATION

What do you want to know? I've hunted with Hugh Walters almost every year since 1995.

Very nice lodge. Great food. Good to excellent hunting. Great people.

I've killed 40 deer on DF, 23 of those antlered bucks. I've killed as many as 4 bucks in a week and I've done that several times.

I've killed 3 hogs and passed up many more, all on deer hunts. Remember that this is not a canned hunt, it is fair chase and these are wild hogs. Sometimes there a lot of hogs and sometimes not, depending on conditions. Hogs migrate to water. Also, if there are a ton of acorns the hogs will be in the swamp and you wonít see as many on the deer hunts. If hogs are specifically what you are going after you should book a winter hog hunt after the natural feed gets scarce in the woods.

I've killed 2 real nice bobcats and have seen half a dozen or so.

I'm not a turkey hunter but DF is loaded with turkeys and the guides are expert turkey callers. If you opt for the guided turkey hunt you will kill birds.

The buck hunting has gotten much better the past 8 years or so because of the antler restrictions Hugh has in effect. Muttleysback, JM59, Bumblehick and I have killed some very nice bucks in the last 4 years at DF. My personal string goes back further than that.

Bottom line is that IMO you will not find a better southern deer or turkey hunt. If its hogs you want and you won't be happy if you don't kill one, go to a preserve. If you want a good opportunity for a truly wild hog you'll get that at DF. If you go in the winter you'll increase your odds.

If you want specifics on other details pm me and I'll give you my phone number and you can give me a call.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 08:37 PM
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Re: DEERFIELD PLANTATION

how big do the deer get on the trophy hunt? at least 130 class?

what are the chances of tagging a bobcat? best time of year to avoid the hot temps?

sorry to jump in but this looks good to me.

maybe a huntingPA group trip or two? just a thought.

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 11:51 PM
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Re: DEERFIELD PLANTATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by bohunr
how big do the deer get on the trophy hunt? at least 130 class?

what are the chances of tagging a bobcat? best time of year to avoid the hot temps?

sorry to jump in but this looks good to me.

maybe a huntingPA group trip or two? just a thought.
Deerfield has no trophy hunt, they have a trophy area. Its 1000 acres of the home property (the total home property is 12000 acres) and the antler restriction in the trophy area is 8 points or better with a minimum inside spread of 14". The antler restriction on the remaining 11000 acres of the home property is 4 points on one side, no minimum spread. Most of the leases its 4 points total, and one lease is no restrictions at all (Brown and Down). There is a club fine for button bucks and under size bucks everywhere except brown and down. The trophy area name goes back to the days before there were restrictions on the rest of the property. At that time the trophy area was only hunted at the request of the hunter, only on evening hunts and no doe were allowed to be shot. Today the area is in the regular rotation and on days itís hunted you hunt it morning and evening, and you can kill does.

To answer your question about what score to expect, there are some 120 class and up bucks taken every year but the chances for any one hunter to kill a buck that good is about the same as here in Pa on good ground. Having said that, there is an excellent chance of having an opportunity to kill a buck that most hunters would be tickled with, a real nice buck. As a result of the restrictions DF has had in place for the past 10 years or so, IMO, there is just as good of a chance to kill real nice bucks anywhere on the property these days. As a matter of fact, other than my big December buck this year which I killed in the 4 points on one side area, Iíve killed all of my other big bucks on Brown and Down, believe it or not.

If you will not be happy unless you kill at least a P&Y class buck youíre better off not going on a southern hunt at all, no matter what some outfitters may have you believe.


Bobcats are killed every year, but the chances are not good that you will kill one. Like I said in my post above, in 18 years Iíve seen a half dozen or so, had shooting at three and killed two. Having said that, there are plenty around and if you wanted to use a predator call on stand Iíd bet youíd see them, coyotes too. I donít think you want to mess up your deer hunt doing that though, and I doubt the other guys on stand in your area would much appreciate it either. Good chance to kill a hog on a deer hunt; some years a very good chance, other years a decent chance. There is a trophy fee for cats anytime and for hogs on a deer hunt. On a winter or spring hog hunt there is no trophy fee for hogs, you can kill 2 a day.

Almost forgot the temps. By October the weather is usually comfortable, early October the afternoons will usually be pretty warm. But if you can tolerate hot weather donít rule September out. Other than the rut in late October, IMO the best chance for a bruiser buck is in early September; the deer are in their summer pattern on the green fields and there has been a lot less shooting because does donít come in until Sept. 15th.

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 12:45 AM
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Re: DEERFIELD PLANTATION

One more thing.

Many hunters who havenít done it think that southern style deer hunting over bait is easy. Iím here to tell you it can be very difficult.

Sure, fawns and yearlings will many times walk out to the bait and ask to be shot, but the mature deer are very sneaky and spooky and the woods are extremely thick. Most hunters donít even see half the deer that come around their stands because the woods are so thick that they only watch the woods road, fire break, green field or cutover they are sitting over. Many of them just sit there staring at the bait. You must maintain 100% concentration at all times and really scan back into the edges and into little holes in the woods and be ready to shoot quickly.

The shooting can be very challenging. Shots on the green fields and on the cutovers can be very long, and itís so tight in the woods that split second decisions and accurate shots are more common than not on mature animals. Itís not easy to kill a rutting buck cat footing across a 10 yard wide woods road or skid trail or scooting across the edge of a green field, and many times thatís the only chance youíll get. Maybe you can stop him but most times you wonít; better to have heard him or seen a little piece of him back in the woods and be ready for the split second shot when he crosses. Iíll guarantee you that if you sit there staring at the bait heíll slip across behind you down the way and youíll never know he was there.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: DEERFIELD PLANTATION

I booked for October 1-6 this year. My first time down south. Hunted in Maine last 5 or 6 years. Didn't see much but Moose. Got a few deer but nothing great. My goal would be to harvest at least 1 good buck 8 points or better.
This was the week they suggested because I was told they killed 150 deer that week. Hope I made the right choice. I looked at alot of outfits and they seemed the most honest.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Re: DEERFIELD PLANTATION

How often do they rotate stands, and what determines where you will hunt ? Is the first week in October a bad choice? Should I have booked for later in the year? Do you have anymore pictures of Bucks you have taken?
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 01:16 PM
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Re: DEERFIELD PLANTATION

MntMan,

First week of October can be a very good week, in fact for many years thatís the week I hunted. The past five or six years Iíve been hunting the third week of October because thatís usually peak rut, but for some reason the rut in that area tends to be drawn out over the entire month of October. I can remember one year in particular that the bucks were chasing does hard that week and I killed 4 bucks and saw some real good bucks I couldnít get shooting at. Two of the bucks I killed came in to my grunt calls and estrous bleats and two were chasing does, so be sure to plan on doing some calling.

Stand rotation:
First thing is that the place is huge. The home property is 12000 acres and there are a number of leases that are sizable properties as well. Most of the leases actually connect to the home property or are just down the road. Brown and Down is about a 20 minute drive from the lodge. There are over 300 stands on the place so all stands get a good rest between hunts.
You will hunt a different area each day, and in that area you will hunt the same stand both morning and afternoon. Hugh Walters tells the guides where we will be hunting on a given day and what stands to hunt within that area. Depending on circumstances, all of the guides may be in the same area that day or they may be in different areas. When we go to Brown and Down all of the guides and hunters will be going there. Each day you will hunt a different area.

I see you will be hunting the entire week, which is great for two reasons: first, you will get to hunt in every type of area (trophy, 4 on-one-side, and Brown and Down); second, even if you happen to have a week of less than perfect conditions, you should be certain to have at least a couple of days when the game is moving well. I donít recommend a 3 day hunt to anyone as itís too far to go to chance falling on a couple of days of crappy conditions.

Your chances:
Since you are hunting a full week, if youíre a good hunter, shooter, and are willing to shoot, I think you have an excellent chance to kill a real nice buck, and unless you are very unlucky (some guys are), you will kill deer. Unless itís a very dry year you have an excellent chance to kill a hog as well. Of course itís fair chase hunting and just like anywhere else conditions and luck have a lot to do with it.

My statement above ďwilling to shootĒ may sound funny but every year down there I run into hunters who for one reason or the other just wonít shoot! A few of those are waiting for that big buck and wonít shoot anything else and thatís fine if thatís their thing, but a lot of them are paranoid about the club fines on button bucks and undersize bucks. I donít know what youíre financial situation is but personally I donít worry about the club fines, they donít get POíd about it, they just get paid. Not that I purposely shoot fawns and small bucks, but I shoot what I want and if I get an ďOopsĒ I just pay the fee. Same if I kill a doe on a sit and then a good buck steps out, Iíll kill it and just pay the extra deer fee. This may sound like superstition, but I have definitely found over the years down there that hunters who are quick to ďget bloodyĒ tend to have the best luck throughout the hunt.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 02:10 PM
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Re: DEERFIELD PLANTATION

Pics

LORIDRís DF bucks from the recent past







Muttleysback



[IMG]


JM59



Bumblehick



A few more




PS: Muttleys bucks sort of look like the same buck in all three pics but they are 3 different bucks, he's just been incredibly consistent in killing those beautiful long tine 8 points the last three years!
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 03:14 PM
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Re: DEERFIELD PLANTATION

I'd like to make a clarification for those HPA nit-pickers that may read my posts on Deerfield because I realize I've said in some posts/pm's that I've hunted there 18 years and in other posts/pm's 16 years. Just bad counting, not bull poop.

I've hunted there since 1995 so that's 17 years. I skipped one year when I went to Alaska so that's 16 seasons. I went twice in 1995 and 2011 so that's 18 total hunts.
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