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#3170796 - 02/20/13 12:50 PM Re: Rut Timing [Re: woodsman87]
Mike Belt
TnDeer Old Timer
16 Point


Registered: 03/26/99
Posts: 17753
Loc: Lakeland, Tn.

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You can definately set your standards too high but it all depends on where you're hunting and the realistic possibilities of that area. If the potential for killing what you're after exists go for it and hold out for what you want. The less that realistic opportunity exists the longer you may can expect to go buckless even to the point of never killing a buck. That's just something that's individual to each hunter and each has to weigh his/her own standards of satisfaction from the hunt by doing so.

I'd be willing to bet that here in Tn most hunters that take the plunge into a more "trophicized" style of hunting end up disappointed and don't stick to their guns for long. Those that do and are successful are probably glad they did but still may back off their expectations somewhat if they had to go several seasons buckless. To me that's the beauty of our liberal doe limits because Unit L hunters can still fill the freezer while waiting on their buck of choice.
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#3170817 - 02/20/13 01:07 PM Re: Rut Timing [Re: Mike Belt]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1274
Loc: south TN

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I stated earlier that my standards are a buck 3.5 or older, or just a nice 110" or so 8 pointer. I got to thinking that although killing a 3.5 year old buck is very difficult, seeing a decent 8 like that shouldn't be that hard, but it is. The last one I seen hunting was the last one I killed, going on 4 Thanksgivings ago. I have either terrible terrible luck, or they all get killed by somebody else before they get to me. roughly 190 acres of private land I hunt. I know it is hard to manage to your likings on land this small, but it is also plenty of land to kill a buck a year off of. And before this dry spell I would kill 2-3 decent 8 pointers a year. So I know that I haven't forgotten how to hunt.
I think it is 100% bad luck.

Another factor, and probably has the most to do with lack of success, is just simply being able to go. Each year I have more and more obligations where I do not get to go very much. I also have a family of my own. Used to Thanksgiving and Christmas meant hunt at the camp for days and just one or two days with your family. Now that I am married Holidays means family the most everyday and just two or three hunts.


Edited by woodsman87 (02/20/13 01:17 PM)

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#3170842 - 02/20/13 01:28 PM Re: Rut Timing [Re: woodsman87]
BlountArrow
8 Point


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 2493
Loc: SouthEast Tenn

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I don't think holding out for a 3.5 year old buck or older is setting your standards too high, but it might not be "easy". Generally, it's more work but I think it is way more rewarding. And, like Mike Belt said, the beauty of Unit L is that you don't have to waste an immature buck, just kill a doe. I'm happy to kill does, and let the immature bucks walk in hopes they will be something better next year. It doesn't always happen, but that is how I hunt. I don't get hung up on antler scores. Don't get me wrong, I LOVES the big antlers, but it is not a factor that overrides age for me. I had a nice 7 or 8 pointer, 2-1/2 year old buck, that I could have shot on 2 different occassions that most Unit B hunters would never pass up. Maybe I can find the pic...

http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/ad111/BlountArrow/IM000139_zps7b49278a.jpg

(not sure why the pic isn't visible without clicking the link)

I think his neck and body looks a little bigger in this pic than he actually is based on other pics I have.


Edited by BlountArrow (02/20/13 01:34 PM)
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#3170850 - 02/20/13 01:32 PM Re: Rut Timing [Re: woodsman87]
Mike Belt
TnDeer Old Timer
16 Point


Registered: 03/26/99
Posts: 17753
Loc: Lakeland, Tn.

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I'm lucky to be able to hunt alot. When I worked I saved most of my vacation time for deer hunting so I usually had at least a solid month of hunting. Now I can hunt every single day of every season...although I don't. If my hunting time was limited I'd hunt the most opportune times at seeing buck movement. You could possibly hunt once and kill your buck but you really up your odds by being there frequently as long as you hunt smart and don't tip them off.
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#3170855 - 02/20/13 01:34 PM Re: Rut Timing [Re: Mike Belt]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 64856
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Mike Belt
You can definately set your standards too high but it all depends on where you're hunting and the realistic possibilities of that area.


I completely agree Mike. But I would add one more criterion, and that is "is it fun?" You can have a realistic goal that is achievable on your hunting land, but is achieving it fun? It may not be. In essence, I would add "the hunting experience you desire" alongside "the size buck I want and can realistically expect to kill every so often."


 Quote:
I'd be willing to bet that here in Tn most hunters that take the plunge into a more "trophicized" style of hunting end up disappointed and don't stick to their guns for long. Those that do and are successful are probably glad they did but still may back off their expectations somewhat if they had to go several seasons buckless.


I somewhat fit that second group Mike. I have been successful, and have "trophy" bucks to hunt every year. But doing what is necessary to kill those size/age bucks just isn't fun anymore, hence I've backed way off my goals.


 Quote:
To me that's the beauty of our liberal doe limits because Unit L hunters can still fill the freezer while waiting on their buck of choice.


Not on my place! We can hardly buy a doe! But that is a very site specific problem.
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#3170862 - 02/20/13 01:38 PM Re: Rut Timing [Re: woodsman87]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 64856
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
 Originally Posted By: BlountArrow
 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
I wish I could be like I was when I was 10-13 years old again. Shot every buck I saw and thought I was the best hunter in the world. Now I catch myself saying I am going to shoot the first buck I see but when I see it I do not shoot. And now for the past three deer seasons I have gone buckless because my standards are too high. I really think I will change next year.


Standards too high? I doubt it. But, what are your standards? And, roughly where are you hunting? I've gone a long time in between buck kills myself, but got the monkey off of my back this past season.


It is hard to explain my standards. I would say a 100"-110" 8 point, or any other buck that looks older 3.5 or older. I just don't see them anymore.
I hunt in southern giles county, north Alabama (very little), and northeastern Lincoln county.


Just out of curiosity woodsman87, are you running trail-cameras? What I'm wondering is whether you are hunting for animals that no longer exist in your area, or if they exist in harvestable numbers but either they've figured you out or you've just fallen on bad luck for a few years.
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"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#3170877 - 02/20/13 02:02 PM Re: Rut Timing [Re: BSK]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1274
Loc: south TN

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
 Originally Posted By: BlountArrow
 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
I wish I could be like I was when I was 10-13 years old again. Shot every buck I saw and thought I was the best hunter in the world. Now I catch myself saying I am going to shoot the first buck I see but when I see it I do not shoot. And now for the past three deer seasons I have gone buckless because my standards are too high. I really think I will change next year.


Standards too high? I doubt it. But, what are your standards? And, roughly where are you hunting? I've gone a long time in between buck kills myself, but got the monkey off of my back this past season.


It is hard to explain my standards. I would say a 100"-110" 8 point, or any other buck that looks older 3.5 or older. I just don't see them anymore.
I hunt in southern giles county, north Alabama (very little), and northeastern Lincoln county.


Just out of curiosity woodsman87, are you running trail-cameras? What I'm wondering is whether you are hunting for animals that no longer exist in your area, or if they exist in harvestable numbers but either they've figured you out or you've just fallen on bad luck for a few years.


I do run one trail camera, and my neighbor runs a few (we hunt each others land). On my camera the biggest buck I ever got was actually a doe lol. It was killed a day after the pic was taken, probably a 115" 8 point doe.
I run my camera on a salt lick or a food plot. Food plot in the fall winter and salt during the summer. My friend has his in food plots and salt liks too and does get an occasional nice deer. I know that there are good deer there we just do not see them while hunting. We have also seen nice bucks in the pastures and hayfields on and around our property during August.
I think that I have three main problems with my lack of success.

One of them is not getting to go often, and this year on the weekends when I got to go during the peak of the rut, the two first saturdays and sundays in December it was nearly 70 degrees with a full moon. Now during the middle of the week while I was working it was highs in the mid 50s and lows in the mid 20s.

The second problem I have is luck. Like I just said, my luck this year from bow season until after Christmas was weather. During the middle of the week it was cold, and weekends way above normal. Also every hunter has to have a certain amount of luck to kill any deer, and I just haven't had it recently.

The third problem, although it doesn't make much sense to me is hunting pressure. I do not get to go often, but is almost as if when I do get to go I am still ruining myself. For me, having limited time to hunt and limted stand options, if the wind is wrong its either go hunt and take a chance or don't go at all. I have never not gone deer hunting because weather or wind wasn't right. I know very well by hunting stands the wrong way can ruin you, but I would rather go hunting when I can and take a chance on luck then stay at home. If I hunted stritcly like the pros and experts and only hunted in perfect conditions I may not get to go the entire season.

This is why I said earlier I miss my 10-13 year old days when I went hunting no matter what, shot what I wanted to, and was always happy about it.

sorry for the long read, I am passionate about deer hunting and hope I can finally know what it feels like to kill a buck again.

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#3171053 - 02/20/13 05:31 PM Re: Rut Timing [Re: woodsman87]
Mike Belt
TnDeer Old Timer
16 Point


Registered: 03/26/99
Posts: 17753
Loc: Lakeland, Tn.

Offline
2 things...
1)Maybe you need to go back to your 10-13 year old days until you can pick up more hunting time and
2)If I were you and/or your neighbor I'd move those cameras to scrapes during the Fall instead of having them on foodplots and salt licks. The deer don't use the licks during the Fall and you'd both probably stand a better chance of getting pics of some of your potential bucks.
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#3171244 - 02/20/13 08:10 PM Re: Rut Timing [Re: Mike Belt]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1274
Loc: south TN

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I always have the intentions to move them to scrapes during November, but as little as I get to hunt I spend my time in the woods hunting and not moving cameras. It could be pure laziness too haha. But I really never get around to it like I should.
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#3171835 - 02/21/13 10:39 AM Re: Rut Timing [Re: woodsman87]
BigAl
16 Point


Registered: 07/31/01
Posts: 19071
Loc: Fayette County, TN US

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So we know that climate change, or whatever you want to call it has affected the range shift for some plants and animals. Could the warmer temps affect the timing of the rut as well?

Edited by BigAl (02/21/13 10:39 AM)
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