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Couple of Changes This Year #6055225 11/29/15 01:39 AM
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Nogalus Prairie Offline OP
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I have made two pretty major changes deer hunting my east TX place this year - and they seem to be making a significant difference in both the number and quality of deer I am seeing compared to years past:

1)I am leaving the 4 wheeler at camp and walking - my best stand is about a mile away but I can use the exercise and all it really means is I leave about 15 minutes earlier. I usually don't ever have to turn a flashlight on;

2)I have not turned on a spin feeder this year. In years past I would have 5-6 running by now on 365 acres. Food plots only - and better bucks than ever are showing up in/around my plots. Probably will have at least 3 like-new 600-1000 lb. spin feeders for sale soon. Still plan to hand corn certain areas from time to time.

I am convinced the mature bucks are not stupid - they associate any motor sound in an area with bad news for them and adjust accordingly. I should have made these changes a long time ago.

Just my thoughts. Would love to hear you guys' input/experiences based on where you hunt.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Couple of Changes This Year [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #6055248 11/29/15 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
I have made two pretty major changes deer hunting my east TX place this year - and they seem to be making a significant difference in both the number and quality of deer I am seeing compared to years past:

1)I am leaving the 4 wheeler at camp and walking - my best stand is about a mile away but I can use the exercise and all it really means is I leave about 15 minutes earlier. I usually don't ever have to turn a flashlight on;

2)I have not turned on a spin feeder this year. In years past I would have 5-6 running by now on 365 acres. Food plots only - and better bucks than ever are showing up in/around my plots. Probably will have at least 3 like-new 600-1000 lb. spin feeders for sale soon. Still plan to hand corn certain areas from time to time.

I am convinced the mature bucks are not stupid - they associate any motor sound in an area with bad news for them and adjust accordingly. I should have made these changes a long time ago.

Just my thoughts. Would love to hear you guys' input/experiences based on where you hunt.


NP, without empirical evidence to the contrary but more just going by gut, I'd have to say a lot of coincidence for your observations and a bit of El Nino effect on range conditions too. This year could be the exception not the norm in terms of deer not going to corn much.

Re: Couple of Changes This Year [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #6055264 11/29/15 02:03 AM
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Nogalus Prairie Offline OP
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That's true DQ. But on my place I have never had mature bucks ever come to a feeder. With one exception - the extreme drought year of 2010 when everything was starving. Always just used the feeders to draw does (and, indirectly, bucks) to the area. I hunted 30+ years in central TX and realize that's a different ballgame.

And this year may be an anomaly. We'll see I guess.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Couple of Changes This Year [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #6055278 11/29/15 02:11 AM
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True, time and trial and error will confirm your observations. Should it not prove out, won't be difficult to re-install the feeders and if it's right, should be cheaper annually.

Re: Couple of Changes This Year [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #6055518 11/29/15 04:15 AM
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I agree with your observations when it comes to mature buck behavior.

I hope we see some pics from your possibilities. up


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Re: Couple of Changes This Year [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #6055533 11/29/15 04:21 AM
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From what my experience has been....unless you are working on the place 24/7/365 and using a vehicle deer will shy away from vehicle traffic unless they associate the sound with food. I don't think they associate it neccesarily with danger but they don't like the noise.

On our place we use mules all the time and the couldn't care less but drive a 4-wheeler thru the ranch you won't see a deer all day

As for the feeders....every place is different. Experiment and go with what works on your place


For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: Couple of Changes This Year [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #6055593 11/29/15 04:56 AM
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A feeder is out of the norm for those deer...and also where you concentrate hogs, you tend to send deer elsewhere. There'll always be the does with fawns and matriarch groups that'll be there regardless and will draw in the random bucks looking for love. I have a pretty good idea for you, but it's a costly endeavor when it comes to the hogs. grin

Re: Couple of Changes This Year [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #6055786 11/29/15 02:03 PM
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This has been a most unusual year in E Texas, lots and lots and lots of rain. I am interested if things are the same for you next season.

Re: Couple of Changes This Year [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #6056083 11/29/15 05:46 PM
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I always walk to the stand. Almost never need a light as my eyes adjust pretty quickly once away from camp or the house and my walk typically is always into the wind when it's from the north. Peaceful time and trains me to be quieter in the woods. One negative, I hate walking face first into spider webs.

Last edited by splash556; 11/29/15 05:47 PM. Reason: spelling error

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Re: Couple of Changes This Year [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #6056221 11/29/15 07:16 PM
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Interesting observation about the feeders. I put one on my place right after buying it and didn't get anything for awhile, then the hogs showed up and I had a great time shooting hogs. Over time, I had some pics of deer at the feeder, especially during the summer months. They where always does and young bucks. One time I had a fair ten point show up, but just one evening and he never came back. Three years later and I still don't have another picture of him.

Last year, after reading comments on here, I realized that the hogs where keeping the deer away, so I fenced off my feeder with two thick pine trees laid on top of each other. This stopped most of the hogs from eating my corn and the deer started showing up. Then we put out some Deer Cain Black Magic, which really brought them in. I've never seen anything like it!!!

The corn feeder is off a ways, but still in the general area. It goes off every morning, and most of it is eaten by birds and racoons. Sometimes a jumping hog will get in there and eat it, but we are pretty quick to kill them off when we can. The deer where very regular at the Black Magic until opening day. They have been very scarce since then.

I wonder if the corn feeder is a problem or if it matters one way or another? We walk out in the dark to the blind half an our before we can see anything. I wonder if we are scaring the deer off getting into the blind? I look at the cameras and they are not there when we walk out to the blind, so I think we are OK. The deer seem to be most active from 10 pm to midnight.

Acorns are really thick this year. I'm surrounded by larger properties that nobody hunts on. As far as I know, I have the only food plot in a mile going every direction from my place. I have the only feeder and mineral lick for them.

I'm doing something that is very wrong.

Re: Couple of Changes This Year [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #6056346 11/29/15 08:28 PM
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I've lived and hunted east Texas (near I45) for about 35 years, and I have a few thoughts related to your situation.
1) The rut starts earlier here. I've always seen the more mature bucks in pre-rut during early bow season, and that's usually your best chance to see a good shooter. Most hunters don't venture into the woods until they're deep in the rut. By then, mature bucks have does tied up and aren't seen much.
2) ACORNS... most of east Texas is covered with oaks full of acorns. Corn feeders seldom produce mature bucks until late season, when most folks have given up and either quit filling their feeders or quit hunting all together.
3) Pressure.... Small land tracts dominate the majority of east Texas. By the time gun season starts, there's more human traffic than deer have seen the previous 6 months total. Regardless of what you are feeding or planting, mature bucks aren't going to show themselves with that level of pressure.

I believe there are 3 ways to kill a mature buck in east Texas:

1) Bow hunt travel corridors when bucks are blindly cruising in October.
2) Hunt hard long hours during the late season over food sources.
3) Dumb luck.

My 2 cents....

Re: Couple of Changes This Year [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #6056384 11/29/15 08:46 PM
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I agree, mature bucks shy away from feeders, at least on our place. They will hang around them if the does are there, but I have seen lots of big deer and never seen them on camera. Of course they have to have other food around to rely on.

Bobby

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