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No deer, need encouragement

974 Views 31 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  Lennyo3034
I’ve hunted every day the last 10 days. Various spots on mostly public but some private land. Hunting the wind of course. Have not seen a single deer. I’ve never been skunked this bad before, especially during the rut. Last year I’d see 3-4 bucks a day plus does. This year not a single deer. Fairly careful with scent control and always choosing spots based on wind.

Any words of encouragement? Very close to calling it quits.
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Its been my entire season ! Slow slow slow.. had one of i thought my shooters come to 33 yrds I hesitated and kind of wish I wouldn't have but he will be a good one next year so it worked out.. that was the only buck that I have seen that I had bow in hand. Pa ohio and wv have hunted hard and alot of hours put in those stands.. I feel the heat in my area kind of messed things up. Not alot of daylight pics mostly all nighttime activity. Stay in the mental game and just keep the faith that he can come by any minute. Good luck
 

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I haven't even purchased a tag this year so the fact that you've been hunting the past 10 days says to me that you're way ahead of where I am. Remember that there's always someone in a worse spot (first world speaking in this case) and suck it up. There are two things I never need encouragement for. Going hunting and having sex. Even when they're bad they're still pretty dang good. Look at it like that and maybe your mood will change.
 
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I’ve hunted every day the last 10 days. Various spots on mostly public but some private land. Hunting the wind of course. Have not seen a single deer. I’ve never been skunked this bad before, especially during the rut. Last year I’d see 3-4 bucks a day plus does. This year not a single deer. Fairly careful with scent control and always choosing spots based on wind.

Any words of encouragement? Very close to calling it quits.
Uggghhh. Me too, I have not hunted that often this year though, only 3 times. I've seen deer on two of the trips. And only when I was making my way to the stand in the afternoon and spooked some. Horrible, 2020 bad luck I guess. But, I always seem to get at least one. The deer will come.
 

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persistence and a good attitude kills stuff.... that's what separates hunters. you can call it quits, but it won't make you a better hunter.... sticking it out and making it happen will, or even putting forth full effort all season so you don't regret your lack of effort later.

my best asset in the woods has always been persistence and staying confident, and because of that, success has played out so many times because of it.... when you stick it out and succeed over and over, you quit getting discouraged.... can't get that by throwing in the towel.

i anticipate hunting season all year, when it's over i miss it, you only have so much time to improve each season, and you improve by grinding away. ya gotta keep after it. you don't know if that buck walks by if you aren't there.... only takes a second.... one encounter
 

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I was just hearing this same complaint from my brother in Ohio via text today. He's not seeing anything. I had to remind him of the dates that some of our recent bucks were killed. Two in particular from two years ago were very good bucks, one killed on November 19th and the other on November 21st. Both were killed acting rutty, too, way into daylight. So don't give up. Just because there's not a frenzy of activity doesn't mean bucks aren't looking for girls. It'll happen if you stick to it.
 

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"i anticipate hunting season all year, when it's over i miss it, you only have so much time to improve each season, and you improve by grinding away. ya gotta keep after it. you don't know if that buck walks by if you aren't there.... only takes a second.... one encounter"

Roosie gave you a lot to chew on in his last paragraph....cited above for review. Ever had a really bad day fishing.....hours of nothing.....then a couple good fish right near the end saved the day? Deer hunting is a lot like that. Sure it is great to see lots of game and have the opportunity to pass shots rather than pray for one animal to get close enough....but most of us don't live in a TV hunting fantasy setting. You have to be on your game when the moment arrives so it doesn't catch you off guard and you blow it.....that is FAR worse than not seeing anything. I've been hunting new ground this year....learning while scout-hunting.....dealing with hunting pressure of others....seeing some deer but at a distance. Two narrow windows of opportunity have filled my freezer and prompted me to visit a taxidermist. It has been far from a great season in terms of close encounters....but I made the two count that matter.
 

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Patience is a virtue to be sure, but if you hunted hard for ten days without seeing anything it's time to change something up pretty dramatically.

Take a day off to reset completely and then go into new areas TRYING to bump deer from their beds. When you bump one, set up just downwind and wait for him to come back; they often do.
If he doesn't, then come back into the same place before first light the next morning.
Do that for a week or so and I'll bet your luck will change. At least you'll know where they are and that you're hunting there instead of someplace you aren't seeing anything...
 

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About 10 days ago I killed a mature doe who's tarsal glands were bone dry. I believe we are getting the October low late, Because does aren't ready and don't want to be pushed by greedy bucks they eat and lay down quietly. I killed a nice buck Saturday He was following a doe that wasn't quite ready. I rattled him in from about 100 yards. If she were hot, I doubt that I would have been able to pull him off her with rattling. He, on the other hand, was smelling so musky one could smell him ten yards away.
Tree Wood Soil Plant Lumber
 

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It’s can be discouraging for sure but take advantage of the time in the woods to still become a better hunter. Make a game out of seeing how quiet and efficient you can be about getting into your stand and set up. Start taking notes on the way prevailing winds move through your area. Pay attention to sign and scout on your way in/out. There’s so much that you can learn during an “ unsuccessful” day of hunting that make you a more successful hunter in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the replies. And not busting my balls even though I deserve it.

I guess the pressure of the rut is what is getting to me. In October I was able to relax more because it was just the preview to the main event (Rut). Now that its here I'm feeling the pressure.

I'm going to try a totally new setup. I only have 2 more days to hunt before I have to go out of town for 2 weeks. Should I try a totally new unscouted area? Or a known area at a different time of day (noonish)? Or both?
 

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I'm going to try a totally new setup. I only have 2 more days to hunt before I have to go out of town for 2 weeks. Should I try a totally new unscouted area? Or a known area at a different time of day (noonish)? Or both?
I just moved a setup yesterday as I've been a bit "on tilt" like yourself. This resulted in me hunting the stands I was seeing deer from far too often and poor decisions. Hence the move of a stand that wasn't too productive to a new area to have variety and not over-hunt some better spots.

All that to say, I have done a couple snap moves on stands this season. What I can say is make sure you can answer these questions for why you are putting your stand where you are, not just "this seems like a good spot"

1. What feature am I hunting and why would I see deer here? A trail, a food source, a pinch, rubs/scrapes, etc...
2. What is the best wind for this stand and does that fit today / future predictions?
3. What is the predicted time I will see deer here based on question 1?
4. Do I have cover where I'm setting up my stand or will I be sticking out like a sore thumb?

There is definitely nothing worse to me than no validation on a stand move / set you think will be dynamite but flops. It drops your self confidence and discourages. Answer the questions above when setting to help your chances of success! With all that being said, do not short-change yourself on time to scout before hanging. I would much rather be in a rush to hang before dusk in what I feel is a great spot versus "good enough" and sitting for 2 hours before dusk.

Good luck!
 
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