Archery Talk Forum banner

First Time bowhunter Having No Luck :(

2427 Views 27 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Vinny_HC
I am having no luck getting even close to getting a deer with a bow. I am 100% sure it is my strategies since I am new.

I am maticulous above scent control and I play the wind. I hunt in farm/river areas and in this early season I tried to glass fields and see where deer are coming out of the bush so I can set up an ambush.....but stay 60 yards downwind of where they come out. However I notice deer are exiting the bush in random places. It in never the same twice.

So my new tactic will be hunting any possible funnel I can find that has evidence of deer sign. My second choice will be to set up on river valley benches as there seems to be trails coming up from the river.

Any suggestions?

P.S. There are no mast bearing trees such as oak in my area. Just birch, poplar, pine, spruce.
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
7,239 Posts
I would setup with the wind in your face just above the river. Try coming in to the area by walking along the rivers edge. Spray some regular doe urine on the bottom of your boots before walking into the area. That should calm the deer some.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
329 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would setup with the wind in your face just above the river. Try coming in to the area by walking along the rivers edge. Spray some regular doe urine on the bottom of your boots before walking into the area. That should calm the deer some.
Really. Have you tried this? I have a lot of prime river-front real-estate :) Should I go partway up the bank on a trail as there are several? Or am I trying to stay close to the edge to catch one walking along the river?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
815 Posts
If you are hunting near fresh deer sign (trails, tracks, fecal deposits), just put in your time and they will come. Sometimes you need a little luck and lots of patience. Here in NJ, I can spend a dozen or more hours before seeing a deer. Stick with it!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,224 Posts
All about the patience. Use every hunt like a scouting trip. Youll get it narrowed down by when and where you are seeing deer. Hang in there it will come
 

· Registered
Joined
·
200 Posts
Can you bait? Dump 100#s of corn out there and put a cheap camera up and see what all critters are around there and more importantly the times that the deer show up. I used to have deer eat my corn 45 minutes before daylight meaning I would have to get to my stand an hour and a half early. Just my 2 cents.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
634 Posts
I was skunked all of last season. i didn't even see a deer until the VERY last day of season (20F and sleeting) it was walking up behind me and took off. This year, I've been out three times (2 all day hunts and one two hour sit before I got rained out) and FINALLY saw some deer and turkey's from my stand. Alas, they were over 80 yards away and through some thick stuff; no possible shot. To make things worse, they weren't even visible until I had 5 min of shooting light left. I thought i had the perfect set up this past weekend; about 40 yards off the edge of a bean field in the timber. From my stand it's 20 yards dead on to a heavily used trail, 30 to a dry creek bed, and 40 to the bean field edge. I had the wind ALL DAY and only saw them at last possible light. To make things worse, I was sitting in an white oak tree and had acorns all around on the ground. these beans are just starting to yellow, so I'm hoping by next weekend they'll be on the acorns at this spot.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,528 Posts
Any stands near apple trees? They seem to be hitting them up here now like candy.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
329 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Any stands near apple trees? They seem to be hitting them up here now like candy.
No, no apple trees either. I live up north in the Boreal forest region. Here is the description:
The Boreal is the largest forest region in Canada. It makes up 35% of Canada’s total land area and 77% of Canada’s total forest land. Extending across Canada’s north from Newfoundland to the Yukon, it forms a band almost 1,000 kilometres wide.

Tree species:
-Aspen Poplar
-Balsam Fir
-Balsam Poplar
-Black Spruce
-Jack Pine
-Lodegepole Pine
-Tamarack Larch
-White Birch
-White Spruce
 

· Registered
Joined
·
659 Posts
All about the patience. Use every hunt like a scouting trip. Youll get it narrowed down by when and where you are seeing deer. Hang in there it will come
Yep, you have to just put your time in and adjust according to viewed patterns. Try to find a better pinch point such as a river crossing or trail junction further back from the fields.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Deer in that area will have a rhythm to their cycle...are they morning feeding to the field coming from which way? Or is the area a pass-thru to a bedding area. I would scout a little bit and try to go 100-200 yds 'around' your stand any find their trail sources and why they came that way.

I've found some hunting locations are good morning feed hunt spots, while others are late evening grazing and the deer seem to aggregate. Bedding areas have been good for me post 9am and up to 3pm.

You might try some 'curiosity' scents on a target entry/exit trail and keep saturating it to see if they start focusing on it.

This is bow hunting...obviously the real hunting challenge...since you can't sniper them at 200 yards you've got to hunt/track harder. Patience is the key. Best of luck.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
411 Posts
Like the other guy said, use every trip for scouting. Don't be afraid to move your stand if you see the deer frequenting another trail. Look for well used funnels and a food source, and try to set up accordingly. Every situation is different and you'll need some luck too. It takes alot more patience, but it will pay off eventually. If you see deer moving through an area at dark, you may need to setup further up their route to catch them with more light available.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Try calling and rattling, if there are deer nearby, you will eventually get a curious one to investigate; if you can add a decoy to that even better... and baiting would also help. I got a small buck this season by using a fawn call. A doe came to investigate with a young buck trailing behind with his nose in her rear... Good luck!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
One more thing, this is also my first deer this season and i have been in the woods for the past 2 years scouting and trying to learn about their behaviors in books/mags/internet/forums and applying it in the field. It might not take you this long, but dont be discouraged, the bowhunting learning curve is steep, but it will all be worth it, I promise you!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
329 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Here is an image of the area I hunt.

Note that it is quite zoomed out so I put a 1/2mile marker for scale. The farm is surrounded by river ridge.

See attached.
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
28,629 Posts
Big woods hunting is far different than small wood lots of the Midwest. Realistically you need some input from some of the big woods bowhunters. Don't be afraid to move your stand every day if necessary. I think your on the right track just takes time to develop patterns that work.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
I hunt big woods myself. depends on what your hunting for...anything or bucks. I would also get a topo map. figure where the deers might bed... and then go find if there are good signs in that area, and then sit in a funnel area and see what the deers do in that particular area. note it. then go and see why they choose that trail. and then go to another area and do the same. then you will have an idea how they move and why. I personally like to hunt in 100 yard from the edge where multiple lanes merge into 1 or 2 and where the edge is pinched by a corner.
What you really have to do is really walk the whole area... and look for deer signs...if you jump them..you'll be able to find where they bed and stay. also look for old rubs and rub lines. then wait a week or 2 for the deer to be settled again. then at that point you can pin them down better. I'm a bit aggressive. but that's because I only hunt public lands. no access to private. But it has worked for me.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top