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On my way to work, I often see the same group of three deer in a field. Lately the number increased to five and then six and seven. Yesterday, a guy I work with said there were about twenty deer in that field when he passed. I've noticed that sightings of deer around my house have gone from very few to none as the season has gone on. The field is about a half mile from here. I've come to think that maybe deer from around this area are driven by hunting pressure (which is high here) out of their territories until all the deer in maybe a couple square mile area all end up in one place (in this case in and around the field). I assume they migrate away from the pressure of hunters, all end up hanging out together in a place of relative safety, then wander back to their home territories as hunting season closes. Anyone else observe anything like this?
 

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Are they in an open field during daylight hours? I would think they would avoid this when responding to hunting pressure.
 

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The deer in my main hunting area definitely combine from groups of 3 or 4 to much larger groups of Id say 10 or more during rifle season and remain that way for a few weeks after .....I always attributed it to safety in numbers??
 

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If I see deer on my property this coming Friday and Saturday I can almost bet it will be a larger herd of deer traveling together. They've been pushed around for two weeks, bunched up in 'safe' areas and then scattered about to the next 'safe' area. They pick up more at each place.

When you jump a few deer when hunting do they scatter or run off together? They almost always run off together, right? They just go to the next 'cover' and there's already deer there. Go bust them up and they'll all run off together....repeat, repeat, repeat.
 

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It happens here. I don't drive my property, the neighbors drive every day. Had a field out back one year that had 27 deer in it before dark one evening. Is that in a shotgun only area? Before NY state went to rifles it was routine to see deer in the middle of fields mid day. They acted like they knew the range of the shotguns. I saw them run 200 yards away from and parallel to the woods to avoid hunters too. They learn to avoid danger that's for sure.
 

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Are they in an open field during daylight hours? I would think they would avoid this when responding to hunting pressure.
No, I go past between 4:30 and 5 AM. It's always dark. I sometimes see some there when seasons are closed, but never that many together.
 

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If I see deer on my property this coming Friday and Saturday I can almost bet it will be a larger herd of deer traveling together. They've been pushed around for two weeks, bunched up in 'safe' areas and then scattered about to the next 'safe' area. They pick up more at each place.

When you jump a few deer when hunting do they scatter or run off together? They almost always run off together, right? They just go to the next 'cover' and there's already deer there. Go bust them up and they'll all run off together....repeat, repeat, repeat.
That's what I picture happening. But then, I read about "core areas" and how deer never leave them.
 

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Where I grew up and hunted is very rural . Most neighbors had about 3-20 acre plots . Everyone hunted their properties . About a mile away was an old 600 acre Apple orchard that was bought by lawyers in Pittsburgh and quickly posted NO HUNTING . About 3 years after it was posted , I was headed home at 4:00 after a long day of hunting . The drive home took me past this property . I notice in a sheltered field in the center of the property a large gathering of something I thought couldn't possibly be deer . I pulled out my binoculars to get a better look at what it might be . Sure enough , the deer realized the property was a safe haven . I quit counting after 30 + deer . To this day , some 25 years later , it's still the same story after the first few days of deer season . Recently the owners found out that property can't be spotlighted if it is fenced in . You guessed it . They fenced the entire 600 acres . Some anti-hunter/caretaker patrols it and will confront anyone seen spotlighting .
 

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Totally agree. I refer to it as "bunching up" when the deer get together in large groups. After the get pressured and driven they are scarce, and if you do happen to find any it will be a lone buck or a large group of deer. I know a place where you can drive past during the day and still see a large group 20 + grazing. It's off limits to hunting and fed daily.
 

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Sure they migrate away from areas where people disturb them. I swear that during hunting season many of them band together and hop a train to Miami.
 

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It's not yarding at all. It's completely pressure related, not food/climate related.

They get pushed together and stay that way. They just keep moving to a safe area until it isn't safe and then get moved again. They pick more up along the way or from each safe spot. If there's no pressure in a certain spot they'll stay there....they know where food and cover is in their area. After hunting season they'll gradually go back to their preferred core areas when there's no pressure. We make deer WAY more complicated than they really are! All they want is to survive, that's it!
 

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It happens here watched group of 12 last nite most I have seen all season.
Its pressure related but also they were headed to my brassica plot that they have been hitting harder every day.
Apples are big food source around here after crops are down they are gone now deer are switching to clover and brassicas.
Deer come from sanctuary that my neighbor and I have between our stands.
This has happened last 3 years...
Sanctuary and food plots are very important in late season if your hunting private property.
Deer are smarter than people think...
 

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We usually don't see them Herding up until ML season.
We do drive the deer, and most of the time we do not see them gather in large groups, but this year we have been seeing some of that happen. Can not explain the reason, other than maybe they are Herding up early because they know something about the weather ?

As I said, we have used drives on the same woods, with basically the same crew of guys for over 30 years, and do not see the herding up til ML season, this year is a exception in some areas we hunt, for reasons I can not explain. One thing for sure, it is not because of pressure. We have less hunting pressure each year, and the bulk of the pressure these deer see is from us.
Around our area, it's lower pressure than ever, and herding up earlier than ever ? Maybe the deer know something about our coming weather that we don't ?
 

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It's not yarding at all. It's completely pressure related, not food/climate related.

They get pushed together and stay that way. They just keep moving to a safe area until it isn't safe and then get moved again. They pick more up along the way or from each safe spot. If there's no pressure in a certain spot they'll stay there....they know where food and cover is in their area. After hunting season they'll gradually go back to their preferred core areas when there's no pressure. We make deer WAY more complicated than they really are! All they want is to survive, that's it!
You hit the nail on the head. Pressure is the only thing that matters. One field in particular that I overlook while hunting a particular stand holds 40+ deer before nightfall every evening of the year. The field isn't visible from a roadway so the deer feed without a care in the world 24 hours a day. Most people will never experience deer moving from bedding to a food source at sunrise but it occurs every day in seclusion.
 

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I have one of those secluded fields too. I've shot the majority of my deer there in the morning, but I've shot them at all times of the day over the years in all seasons. 9-11am is the preferred time frame there for whatever reason.
 
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