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Baiting is just another way to hunt, nothing new here. For how many years do people climb into a apple tree? Hunt a patch of grape vines? Set up near a stand of oaks dropping acorns? Putting corn out can be expensive and a lot of work for what little return you get. Bigger animals go nocturnal after the first few days usually leaving dinks to come in to feed. If you study the camera action, deer start to pattern the hunters after a few feedings. Hunting travel routes leading to the feed site often times provide better shot opportunities in the late afternoons as the more mature animals will drag their feet till dark.
I just returned from “coyote” hunting. Took my 223. Actually, I was trail scouting. Found 2 really good stand sights. Seeing where deer travel in the areas where I do and don’t bait.
Over the next couple of months, I plan to place stands (in cedar trees) and make some shooting lanes for next year season (Sept-Feb). Rub lines, trails, broken limbs over scrapes just stand out now. No snakes, mosquitoes, ground hornets, poison ivy, etc just aren’t there now. This is the time to prepare hunting sites for next year!
 

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Amen to that SEW. I hog hunted last night and after the sun got up I spent the rest of the morning getting ready for next fall. I'm becoming more familiar with deer movement on my place so I took some time to look at a couple new places for stands and blinds and started the process of taking a ladder stand down. It was 27 degrees at 9 am but calm and sunny. Perfect weather to be working and thinking about big bucks in the fall of 2021!
 

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I just returned from “coyote” hunting. Took my 223. Actually, I was trail scouting. Found 2 really good stand sights. Seeing where deer travel in the areas where I do and don’t bait.
Over the next couple of months, I plan to place stands (in cedar trees) and make some shooting lanes for next year season (Sept-Feb). Rub lines, trails, broken limbs over scrapes just stand out now. No snakes, mosquitoes, ground hornets, poison ivy, etc just aren’t there now. This is the time to prepare hunting sites for next year!
Can a Bowhunter go in the woods without scouting for deer :)?
 

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I do all my "pre season scouting" after the season in Jan/Feb. The trails and sign give a better picture of where everything is moving. As food sources change so will trails but what you find in late winter are the main routes that get used year after year.
 

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A deerhunter can't even ride past a section of woods without trying to scout/see deer!
I can't drive by a field without scanning the edges ,LOL. Habit I reckon!
 

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A very small percentage of hunters take a large percentage of game. That being said, of that small group very few spend as much time with the tools of the trade as they do learning the areas that they hunt, the best times, wind direction and so on. Its much like training films the team watches before the sunday game. You focus more on how to get the game into position, rather then what you are going to kill it with. Bells, whistles and gadgets are fine but, only work to a certain degree if you can close the gap between you and the animal.
Pareto Principle ... 80%-20%.
 

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Baiting. With corn, other grain.
Things I’ve learned -
Ideally, drive an ATV/UTV in about noon. Spread it on the ground, not pile it, where they have to get each piece at a time.
Every or every other day. Not too much. Where it will be gone well before next feeding.
Do this on a schedule.
Start at least a week or two before hunting.
Have it near as dense of cover as possible.
Enter and exit on the vehicle the same way each time. I’ve actually had deer leave the corn pile when I drive up, run 10-20 yards into the woods and stand there an watch while I dump out the corn. As I drive away, I can see them back at the corn before I even get 50 yards away.
Use cameras so you’ll know what’s coming in and when.
Ideally have your blind, stand directly downwind from the feeding spot and well away from their likely entry path.
Enter your stand/blind at least 1 hour before the first time deer come to the corn (from camera pictures).
Ideally, have someone drop you off of the vehicle , just after feeding or approach the stand/blind from straight downwind from the stand and hopefully corn area.
Feed less than more so they’ll be more agressive.
Do not over hunt.
Best time for this - last week of the season. The big ones tend to come in very late. They may test your scope.
Granted, IMO, not very sporting but is how I kill about half of my highest scoring bucks. At least, I’m honest.
Pretty astute ... not much I'd alter in that procedure.
 
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In Ontario Canada we're allowed to bait. I never baited because I simply thought it was illegal. But after more research I found that reading deer sign is much more effective than baiting anyways. Especially because baiting will on many occassions scare big bucks or make them nocturnal. Deer aren't bear, you can't bait them all in. Deer aren't turkey either, calls and decoys will rarely draw them in even during rut times. Nothing works better on deer than sitting in their feeding areas or main trails.
You're right ... about the "Big Bucks" part. They're wise enough to know un-natural food sources are associated with danger.
 

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I was one to make that point. Rather I said it might make hunters worse.

With that distinction made, an analogy:

For the first 8 years that I was a road user I didn't own a car. I went everywhere by motorcycle.

During that time, the trick of casting a final glance over my shoulder before making a manoeuvre became ingrained reflex. It saved my bones, and my life on many occasions. I've since been driving a car too, and I continue to use that technique.

Hopefully this means that I have remained a safe road user despite the safety advantages of a car. I remain pretty aware of what's going on around me: front, back and sides, near and far.

What I don't have, though, is a car with parking sensors, proximity sensors, sleeping driver sensors, driver override features. The kinds of features that might let me think "I'll just quickly call X on the phone. No problem as the car will tell me if there's a hazard"

My point is that having all those sensors would make it far easier for me to lose my hard-earned defensive road-use skills as I become more and more dependent on the car to warn me of my mistakes or oversights, if not even correct them.

Likewise with better performing bows: if mistakes are more easily forgiven by a hunter's gear, it will be easier to let those mistakes creep in to a hunter's behaviour without realising it.
Over the shoulder ... is the way we were taught to drive. With all the bells and whistles, lane warning vibrating seat, little orange warning icon in my sideview mirror if there's a car there, I STILL take a peak over my left shoulder before changing lanes. AND, it's frightening how many times there's a vehicle there that I didn't see in that super, duper mirror!!!
 

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Over the shoulder ... is the way we were taught to drive. With all the bells and whistles, lane warning vibrating seat, little orange warning icon in my sideview mirror if there's a car there, I STILL take a peak over my left shoulder before changing lanes. AND, it's frightening how many times there's a vehicle there that I didn't see in that super, duper mirror!!!
As indeed you should, but I bet there’s a shed load of drivers who once did but don’t anymore.

Good luck to their fellow road users if such a person has to borrow or rent a car without.

More often than not, the more things are done for us, the lazier we get.

At my end, bike instructors called it the “life-saver”!
Never a more appropriate name!
 

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As indeed you should, but I bet there’s a shed load of drivers who once did but don’t anymore.

Good luck to their fellow road users if such a person has to borrow or rent a car without.
Reminds me ... of a quote by the young future emperor Gaius Octavius in the HBO series "Rome" after training with Titus Pullo and was told he could be a pretty good fighter. "The cemeteries are filled with fair to middling swordsman."

It's a shame when people learn to do something well, then let their skills diminish to "fair to middling." Can be downright dangerous. :oops: :)
 
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IMO, feeding animals by baiting, food plots or leaving standing corn, soybeans or a mix of all of these can be very effective, even on wise old bucks. Disturbing a habitat with something new or by your presence will set off a smart deer, bucks or does and that's what we often do. I've seen behavior change of 3.5 YO and older deer happen over time when they are not feeling threatened. If you plan to bait, do it in a manner that minimizes your presence and do it all year. Learn to recognize when the deer need/want that food and adjust how much you offer and in some cases, what you offer (corn, protein, sweet feed) or the plant types used in your food plots. Establish attractive and safe feeding that's part of their habitat will be most productive.

I'm learning every season and am far from being a wise old bird on the subject but what I have seen over a 5-6 year time frame supports most or all of the "best practices" we're talking about, hear and read about. Sure, you have to apply what you do to your particular situation, resources and location.

There is a on-line program called GrowingDeer.TV that covers the development of a property in southern Missouri and it's pretty interesting. The host is a wildlife research biologist, but also a bowhunter and a guy that spent considerable time studying whitetail deer as he earned his professional stripes, and they are considerable. Pretty interesting to follow what they do, how they do it and what works for them in that part of the country and their type of terrain.

GrowingDeer.TV Link
 
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Crossbows are very accurate... triggers and what you personally like, weight, materials, the package and cosmetics is the deciding factors.

Really any of today's crossbows are nock busters... but #1- read the manual. I would say if the crossbow you purchased is the bomb in your eyes, it will give you the confidence and hopefully like any other sport, stick to good shooting fundamentals and plenty of practice and as long as you are a good hunter and have a good understand of the game you are hunting... success!
 

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Discussion Starter #116
Crossbows are very accurate... triggers and what you personally like, weight, materials, the package and cosmetics is the deciding factors.

Really any of today's crossbows are nock busters... but #1- read the manual. I would say if the crossbow you purchased is the bomb in your eyes, it will give you the confidence and hopefully like any other sport, stick to good shooting fundamentals and plenty of practice and as long as you are a good hunter and have a good understand of the game you are hunting... success!
Absolutely agree and respect your comments.

You test a lot of Xbows from a WIDE range of OEMS. Much appreciate your serivce that goes beyond a select few OEMs for the wide range of potential buyers. There are many Xbows out there that do the job and are just as accurate as any Xbow made regardless of price.

Kudos to you sir.
 

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I've killed ... some monster deer in deer management programs or deer management projects. Killed hundreds and hundreds over bait, but never a single big deer using bait leverage. In my experience, really big racks simply don't come in to piles of corn or apples in the real world.
 

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As far as equipment making anyone a Better hunter i don't think so, the new crop of ranging style Scopes will help put a few more deer down in the comming days i'am sure, but as the years pass it has become more about the HUNT for me...!
 

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As far as equipment making anyone a Better hunter i don't think so, the new crop of ranging style Scopes will help put a few more deer down in the comming days i'am sure, but as the years pass it has become more about the HUNT for me...!
The new ... stuff "will put more deer down," so wouldn't that mean the new stuff is making SOMEBODY better hunters? :)
 
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The new ... stuff "will put more deer down," so wouldn't that mean the new stuff is making SOMEBODY better hunters? :)
Duke i have had plenty of NEW stuff through the years and never thought it made me a better hunter or Worse i hope .....lol.
 
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