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I'm an archery hunter first, but my camp rifle hunts as well. I'm having a hard time understanding the hunters not being in the woods moving the deer. My group of guys usually goes 50% on bucks during archery season without guys walking all over the place and pushing them. How come the rifle side of hunters complain about not enough hunters pushing deer? Wouldn't ya really want the deer not crazy pressured? By the way you really don't need a whole lotta pressure to move deer, one or two guys can really disrupt a 100 acre area.
 

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Around here there's just enough hunters to let deer know something's up, but not enough to get them moving.
 

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In archery season, I don't want hunters in the woods. The more natural the deer movement the better. Deer don't get spooked by a bow going off though.

Once rifle season rolls around and the guns start banging, the deer get spooked and hole up tight all day. In rifle season I do want hunters in the woods to move deer. If you're on a small piece of property and the deer aren't moving, there can be 1,000 of them right across the line and it doesn't do you any good if someone doesn't boot them up and get them going.
 

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Different styles/methods of hunting, that's all. When I'm archery hunting, I try to key in on natural deer movement. In rifle season, (when there are generally more guys in the woods), I prefer to hunt escape route or places the deer go to when they are pressured. If nobody is pressuring them, I see less that day.

It can also be a matter of skill level or physical restrictions. Some guys really aren't very knowledgeable, so they have no idea on finding deer on their own or maybe cant travel very far. They simply walk in and sit down, and hope somebody moves something their way.

Lots of guys like to drive hunt also. Not gonna be a very successful drive if theres no deer moving.
 

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Well you hear that from older hunters that remember the days of herds of deer! The days when the majority of hunters hunted rifle. There where way more deer and way more hunters. Deer were constantly being bumped by hunters all day long. You could see deer any where at anytime. Just not the case anymore! I remember those days as a kid, it was exciting to be in the woods and hearing all that shooting. Today you don't even know it's rifle season. Quiet!
 

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Unless there are big, organized drives, "getting the deer moving" means pushing them deep into the laurel where they will hole up until dark.

and rifle shots don't spook deer, necessarily. We have a shooting bench in the same field where we plant our food plot. I have had deer enter the field and feed as we were banging away. They wouldn't even look up at the crack of a 30-06. If you shoot a rifle at a sneaking deer that is close to you, sure. But a distant shot probably won't do much. I've also had deer feeding in a field where me and other hunters were dove hunting.
 

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Well you hear that from older hunters that remember the days of herds of deer! The days when the majority of hunters hunted rifle. There where way more deer and way more hunters. Deer were constantly being bumped by hunters all day long. You could see deer any where at anytime. Just not the case anymore! I remember those days as a kid, it was exciting to be in the woods and hearing all that shooting. Today you don't even know it's rifle season. Quiet!
That's how it used to be. But those days are gone.
 

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Agreed, the herd was out of whack then. But it is much quieter out there now than it was in those days.
 

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That thought process has been prevalent for decades... Walk to the same spot, hope someone else moves the deer, hold tight through lunch, hope some ones else gets them moving getting hungry to go back to the truck. Restless hunters that get cold will move them for us... But not a thought to do it themselves... Classic.


Not a change for archery season.. Quiet and calm wins that race.
 

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When you've only got a couple days to hunt, and or you're a couple hours from home, you want to have guys in the woods, pushing the deer so you have more of a chance to see/shoot one. Archery hunters for the most part can get access to much smaller pieces of land, and I can see them not wanting to be crowded on a postage stamp. But when I used to hunt farther up state in the big woods, especially on the opener, I used to like hearing all the shooting, and didn't mind hunters walking past my stand,. It just meant that I had a good chance of having a deer also move past me. Now you go out and sit all day and maybe if you're lucky a deer walks past your stand, and you might hear two shots all day.
 

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I guess it depends where you hunt. If you have hunting neighbors all around you, when you bump them off your property, your neighbor might bump them back. If you border thousands of acres of SGL, the deer can just leave the property until dark.
 

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Back when the woods were crowded on opening day, you would say you saw 40 deer, but in reality, you probably saw only five different ones, but they ran past you eight times throughout the day!
 

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You think maybe the pre-rut and rut might have just a little bit to do with bucks moving around during archery season when they aren't being moved by hunters sitting 25 ft up in a tree?
 

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You think maybe the pre-rut and rut might have just a little bit to do with bucks moving around during archery season when they aren't being moved by hunters sitting 25 ft up in a tree?
Sure it does. But, deer are still rutting in rifle season too. The fact remains that archery is a game of accurate scouting and stand placement, patience and setting up for success utilizing natural deer movement to/from feeding and bedding areas for most hunters(that's the recipe for ALL successful archers). Rifle season has always been about deer moving and getting lucky for MOST hunters. The vast majority of bowhunters go to great lengths to be quiet, control scent, plan their stand locations, entrances and exits, scout diligently and put in a lot of stand time. The vast majority of rifle hunters don't do much of any of that.

That's not a knock on rifle hunting. I hunt with a rifle and enjoy it as much as bowhunting. BUT, I don't do them the same way at all because they don't work the same way. There's no point in hunting escape cooridors in October when I'm the only one in the woods. There's no point in hunting field edges at dawn and dusk in rifle season to take my pick of feeding deer. I have one stand that works for both feeding and escape in any season....ONE. Why deer want to use that open field when the pressure is on is beyond me, but they do it. That's not typical in rifle season in most places but for whatever reason it is at that stand.
 
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Many archery hunters would be surprised at the true numbers of harvested deer that were actually taken via pressure and not natural movement. Especially in the more populated WMUs. Since there are fewer people in the woods, it is often assumed the deer being seen are non pressured. While true most of the time, a certain percent of the movement is pressured.

True story for ya. A few years ago I set a stand high on a ridge where I was seeing a lot of rubs. On October 30th I sat that stand from daylight till 1:30. At 1:30 a 10 point comes walking briskly along the ridge with labored breathing. I shot that buck and chalked up the harvest to the rut and my excellent stand placement. I drove up the road to the farmer who owns the adjoining land to show off my buck. He took one look at it and said "I jumped him from his bed when I was fixing fence". I asked what time. He said probably a little after 1. So much for my scouting and hunting prowess, lol. I would have never seen or shot that buck if the farmer didn't jump him and I would have never known he was pressured if I never stopped to see the farmer.
 

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One of my favorite days to hunt is the Saturday when senior/junior hunters can hunt doe around the 3rd week of archery. The farm next to my property always has a bunch of old geezers {probably younger then me) riding around on utv's and last yr I think was responsible for me shooting a mature 9pt at 3:30 in the afternoon.
 

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Back when the woods were crowded on opening day, you would say you saw 40 deer, but in reality, you probably saw only five different ones, but they ran past you eight times throughout the day!
When all 40 are in the same herd, it wasn't just five. Seen that several times in my first few years hunting.


One year when I was around 14, I was sitting with my older brother and we watched a herd pass slowlyby in single file. We both watched them through our scopes, with me planning to take any legal buck (3"or better days). After they were all out of sight I turned to my brother and asked if he saw a buck that maybe I didn't. He counted 41, all does and fawns, not a single spike in the bunch.


I don't miss those days at all.
 

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I remember, in the early 1980s, seeing the big herds in single file like that. Where we hunted, there was a road about every 1/2 mile for a stretch. Each road had a couple farms and a few hunting camps. In between each road, was a valley. The farmers and the clubs all put on drives. The deer were ping-ponged between the roads and ended up getting more and more concentrated in the valley bottoms between roads. Eventually, every doe was pushed in between roads and they would run up and down those valleys. I guess, the little bucks were shot off in each drive until the herd was all doe.

How we hunt near big tracts of SGL where were are few camps and few roads. The deer are spread out over thousands of acres. There are areas with laurel so thick, you can't even see into it, let alone walk through it. Deer bed in this stuff when pressured. And nobody is getting in there to move them.
 
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