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I’m sure this has been covered but it warrants an annual thread.

What are the pros and cons of deer drives?
 

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Get the popcorn🍿 going, but if done with consideration, respect, and SAFETY for other hunters in the area then it’s a great way to fill some tags.

I look forward to a couple days of drives with a small 4-5 man crew every year on a big piece of public, but small drives one at a time. It’s rare I carry a gun. After archery hunting all year, what a fun day to get up and moving with the radios and the guns.

I’ve also introduced friends and family to deer hunting on drive day where many have harvested their first deer. Also rewarding to learn the drives year after year and figure out what works and how the deer use the terrain.
 

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"... what a fun day to get up and moving with the radios and the guns. ". Oh boy ! ! !
 

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I don't use or recommend using radios since the usage of radios could be unlawful based on the conversations between hunters.
 

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I know man look forward to it every season. Motorola talk abouts work best for our crew, how about you?
I don't use or recommend using radios since the usage of radios could be unlawful based on the conversations between hunters.
good thing I’m not alerting to the location of game then...

“Portable two way radios and cell phones may be used for general communication with another hunter” -Digest
 

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Was there a reason you left out the part of that sentence that said: "..., but may not be used to direct or alert another hunter of the presence or location of live game or wildlife." ? ? ?

If you don't discuss locations of game or wildlife, then you are perfectly legal.
 

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Love it! Been doing drives or pushes over 56 years for doe. Pros It works-cons your tired. No need to text or talk just be ready! Hunters do it all the time now for bear. Not a big fan of people yelling or hitting trees with sicks. 60% of the time I'm hunting when I push for deer. Nice and slow as I go
 

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My son's and I will do a few deer drives during late season with our flintlocks or bows, but stopped doing deer drives during gun season probably fifteen years ago.
 

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When I hunt with other people we do little wind bumps. Essentially have 1-3 hunters in an area we know the deer escape to, and 1 or 2 drivers uses the wind to lightly bump a bedding area.

I've shot deer off other drives and I've had them come through and ruin my entire setup for the day. It's a tossup and very polarizing, you're either on cloud 9 or fuming. I try to avoid hunting in areas that are driven a lot by big groups. The big, loud groups really push the deer they don't kill into nocturnal crapholes. I find that by avoiding two things - areas with a lot of CCC camps and high Amish populations, I don't run into as many of the large scale drives.

Smaller tracts of public land they can and do run everything off onto private. Not sure how I feel about them in that situation.
 

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I'm an exclusively private land hunter for Rifle season.
Back when we had 15-20 guys hunting the property, there would be a daily drive that kicked off at 10 AM.
It got things moving and a lot of tags got filled as a result.

Now that we're down to 4-6 guys, we've abandoned the tactic.
Scouting, cameras, some hinge cutting, a few small plots and putting stands/blinds in the right locations has resulted in a success rate easily triple what we used to get driving them.
 

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A few random.thoughts on drives:

I think a better way is to "push" deer, not "drive" them. A line of guys yelling and banging and whistles isn't necessary, just move thru slow and quiet, get the deer to sneak away, not bolt out at 80mph or just hunker down and not move, let them walk right past it. I have witnessed that more than once on noisy, fast drives.

The notion that a drive "ruins" an area is not necessarily correct. Behind my home is a crops field, then a wet/swampy area, then a large parcel that was mined 140 years ago and is scrub woods and weeds. It used to get pounded with drives before it all got posted. I was set up on edge of swamp and field and a gang went thru. Shot a basket 7pt that either snuck thru the drive line or hunkered down, 30 minutes after they passed. The pressured deer headed to where the drivers came from.

As for radios, if you have one and just put it on scan mode and listen, a very high percentage of dialogue is illegal. "Billy! There's a buck headed your way!" That being said, I have used them on drives back in the day and they are good to keep the drive organized and everyone aware of where everyone is. Which adds to the safety aspect. Radios and cell phones, and now cellular cameras are a dual edged sword.

Hunting always requires care and caution, even more so on drives. Need to know who you are driving with and be confident that buck fever will not cause them to send a shot at the direction of the others.
 

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When i was a kid there was a bunch of us and we did drives. Slow quiet pushes and we killed a lot of deer. Not really my thing now but sometimes Ill slow hunt through an area with my daughter set up down wind where its likely a buck will get moved out ahead of me. Thats about as closed as I come to a drive.
 
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We have never had great luck with them on bucks. They often slip through where you would least expect them to do it. Our success stand hunting around bedding areas or funnels is much higher than it is doing drives.

Does are a different story.
 

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We drive deer a couple times each season, with 12-15 guys, on private ground, usually at the end of the season. The pros....it’s action packed and you’ll see a lot of deer. You make your own action. The cons....it takes a lot of ground....we would get in 7-8 drives in a day. And deer do learn, drive a piece out again later in the season and deer may try to scoot out the side or double back through the drive. It’s also challenging if you have folks unfamiliar with the land and the drives you do.
 

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We use to drive the late bow season years ago, and it worked great. I know of a group that does drives in Montgomery county throughout the whole archery season, and they take great deer every year.
 

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Come hunt bald eagle s.f. and tell me which style works better.....ill walk anyday.
 
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