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Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? #6914492
10/09/17 08:56 PM
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My views on how we are quickly losing the knowledge and skill to truly hunt whitetails is fairly well known in these forums. And while some view it as being judgmental, I prefer to see hunting as becoming a lost art where success is no longer dependent on extensive knowledge and skill.

As I noted in another thread, I have collected books on hunting over the years and have greatly enjoying taking what I have learned from them to be successful in the deer woods. Most were written long before the days of food plots and feeders, when you would expect to go home empty handed if you didn't have a strategy or plan that was based on your understanding of deer and deer behaviors.

Here's an excerpt taken from one of these books that was released back in 1968...

"Along the general travel routes there will be resting and bedding grounds. Although a deer may lie down and rest in a fairly open place, this is the rare exception. I have never moved a deer that was lying down in the open on a trail. More than once, I have seen deer not more than ten feet from a trail, but always hidden in the brush. Deer seem partial to low ridges just off the main deer runway. When lying on some small rise the animal can take off almost like a projectile, and will usually depart from its bed the way its shoulders are pointed. All too often the animal will have seen, scented, or heard the hunter first unless the latter has been very cautious in his approach."

So then, how do you view the evolution of our sport and what is now required to make it more likely to fill an ice chest?


Dan,

Spring, Texas
Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: Texas Dan] #6914552
10/09/17 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
My views on how we are quickly we have been losing the knowledge and skill to truly hunt whitetails is fairly well known in these forums. And while some view it as being judgmental, I prefer to see hunting as becoming a lost art where success is no longer dependent on extensive knowledge and skill.

As I noted in another thread, I have collected books on hunting over the years and have greatly enjoying taking what I have learned from them to be successful in the deer woods. Most were written long before the days of food plots and feeders. It was when you would expect to go home empty handed if you didn't have a strategy or plan that was based on your understanding of deer and deer behaviors.

Here's an excerpt taken from one of these books that was released back in 1968...

"Along the general travel routes there will be resting and bedding grounds. Although a deer may lie down and rest in a fairly open place, this is the rare exception. I have never moved a deer that was lying down in the open on a trail. More than once, I have seen deer not more than ten feet from a trail, but always hidden in the brush. Deer seem partial to low ridges just off the main deer runway. When lying on some small rise the animal can take off almost like a projectile, and will usually depart from its bed the way its shoulders are pointed. All too often the animal will have seen, scented, or heard the hunter first unless the latter has been very cautious in his approach."

So then, how do you view the evolution of our sport and what is now required to make it more likely to fill an ice chest?


Having your own land lends to have more flexibility with your approach / tactics for hunting it. When you have multiple guns on a property via lease agreements, you don't always have the luxury of just finding ideal places that you want to hunt and set up on them. Consideration of location of other hunters, limited hunting spots per hunter, etc. all play roles. There are varying degrees of knowledge on the lease I'm on. Some just get in the blind 30 minutes before the feeder throw and leave an hour later if nothing shows, regardless of conditions. Some proactively watch moon phases and related weather events that lend to "better" deer movement tendencies, etc. Your best friend is time in the stand and being observant of deer movement patterns that they can relate to for future hunts. Not everyone is hard core with their approach and that's OK too. Their time, their dime....................just don't come blazing through my area while I'm hunting. cheers

Last edited by soonersorlaters; 10/09/17 09:32 PM.
Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: Texas Dan] #6914610
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Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
"Along the general travel routes there will be resting and bedding grounds. Although a deer may lie down and rest in a fairly open place, this is the rare exception. I have never moved a deer that was lying down in the open on a trail."
That guy never hunted in West Texas.

And yes, in my opinion deer hunting has evolved for the better if for no other reason than the advances in deer management techniques and the overall better quality of the herd.


Silver spurs and gold tequila
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give me shelter from the storm.
Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: Texan Til I Die] #6914622
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Originally Posted By: Texan Til I Die
Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
"Along the general travel routes there will be resting and bedding grounds. Although a deer may lie down and rest in a fairly open place, this is the rare exception. I have never moved a deer that was lying down in the open on a trail."
That guy never hunted in West Texas.

And yes, in my opinion deer hunting has evolved for the better if for no other reason than the advances in deer management techniques and the overall better quality of the herd.


No question we've gotten better in managing and growing healthy deer. However, some might say that in certain circles, it's become more like ranching and raising livestock than hunting wild game.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 10/09/17 10:18 PM.

Dan,

Spring, Texas
Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: Texas Dan] #6914623
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Better if you have the money or resources to participate, worse if you don't.


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Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: chalet] #6914635
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Originally Posted By: chalet
Better if you have the money or resources to participate, worse if you don't.


Some justify that by saying deer have always been a cash crop. I'm old enough to know that isn't the case.


Dan,

Spring, Texas
Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: Texas Dan] #6914636
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It is what we are able and willing to put into it for success.

Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: Texas Dan] #6914638
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Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
Originally Posted By: chalet
Better if you have the money or resources to participate, worse if you don't.


Some justify that by saying deer have always been a cash crop. I'm old enough to know that isn't the case.


You know, that maybe wasn't an accurate statement on my part. Seems like it was less about horns and more about sticking one or two skinny deer in the freezer. If that is your objective you can still do it on the cheap in a national forest or type 2 land. Its like a lot of everything else these days, quality is higher but the higher the quality the higher the cost.


Concho "I know enough to post here in redneck pot smoking bunker......that's for sure."
Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: Texas Dan] #6914675
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I can see both positive and negative. We know more about deer, their behaviors, and how they react to hunter pressure. But this knowledge is of little value when the strategy has become no more than waiting for something to show up and eat. However, it's an approach that makes it much easier for kids and other newcomers to put something in an ice chest. We also have some great tools and technologies that have made the deer woods more safe and productive.


Dan,

Spring, Texas
Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: Texas Dan] #6914677
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My buddy says deer hunting in Texas is a beer drinking sport. He grew up hunting in Alaska. Only one in our camp that went out hunting while it was raining. Didnít bother him and he killed two deer. I think many of us enjoy the whole experience of camp and friends. Hunting is just ďextraĒ enjoyment

Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: Texas Dan] #6914877
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IMO deer hunting has gotten worse and the main reason is just information. Back in the 80s and early 90s when I was a younger hunter just seeing a buck was enough to get excited. Then with the internet and the constant sharing of information we got to see a lot more pictures of deer and we became all about boone and crocket and measuring the antlers and aging the deer and let's take a urine sample before we decide whether or not to shoot it. I realize that a lot of this was in the name of management but when we started evaluating deer to the nth degree something was lost.

I may be the only one in this camp but I long for the days when an 8 point was a big deal and any buck made a hunt one to remember. frown


Bankwalker

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Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: Texas Dan] #6914900
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Bankwalker hit the nail on the head IMO.


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Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: Texas Dan] #6915122
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Alot of good points made here. Personally I do believe hunting and especially deer hunting has evolved into more of a competition. A competition with the focus driven around inches instead of skill. So your original point Texas Dan holds merit in my book.

Deer hunting HAS EVOLVED! For the better or worse depends on what you value as a successful hunt. Some value is inches and points on the board, others merely value the time in the field, comrodery amongst friends, a freezer full of meat, etc...

I agree with Bankwalker. I grew up hunting public land where the mere sight of a deer was a pleasure and at times a rarity. For someone to drag an 8 pnt to camp was a celebration and the known whereabouts of a 10 pnt+ was top secret only spoken in tongues at public meets. Lol. This was also a time when the how of hunting was mostly past down by the older generation. Taught by those that have the winters under thier belt to those that desire. The days of sitting in grandpa's lap to stay warm on a cold December day listening to all the wisdom they had to pass and soaking in all of the experience afield had to offer and the ramifications of a missed shot was a cut shirt tail and a notch in the ole pride. All for good fun of course. Many Texas Dan to this day don't know the code of the woods if one is lost to fire three shots with 10 seconds between shots to signal to others help. The purity that came from such fair chase was and still is like no other. I have said many times some of the does I've killed on public land hold more value due to the effort, strategy and sheer hours spent afield than anything hanging on the wall. This I believe is where a large majority of the common man lies. In the fair chase/only accessable hunting grounds allowed group. Wether it's 2000 acres of public land where baiting is not allowed or the family farm private lands of a few acres. We hunt where we can and do so with the means available.

On the other end of the spectrum there are those that choose invest dollars in thier chosen sport. These individuals accumulate all the lastest gear and access to hunting real estate. Wether it's day leases or purchasing land specifically for the purpose of hunting. There is an investment of dollars to thier pursuit of happiness. This group gets alot of frowns from the group stated above. I won't get into a dollars debate cause not every dollar comes without sacrifice. This group does commonly fall in the group that has the means to real estate, food plots and many other aids to increase thier chances of an empty cartridge at the end of a hunt. While on the outside it would seem all this increased efforts to put the odds in ones favor might seem lazy or cheating to some or yes even the inability to hunt as the Indians did for generations. Some may not have the time to spend afield to learn the land and thier quarry. My current occupation takes me away so much I am limited in time to spend in my chosen public river bottoms to stay in the know so to speak of where the current travel corridors are and bedding areas. Some of these trails are generally always still in use to some degree but hunting pressure along with other outside factors certainly causes some adjustments on the local population. This is were the know you speak of that gives ones ability to read the sign and closes the deal. While the ability is there the sheer time is not.

Note I did not say an investment of time in either camp. Both can rack up endless hours of time, sweat and tears.

Furthermore the evolution of the hunting industry has driven way more sportsman and sportswomen afield. This I believe is based around opportunity and information. The opportunity for those to capitalize on the sport and the ease of access to information on how.

I guess to sum it up there are many different groups in the hunting community, although I hope all groups can come together under the same common goal. We now have a better scientific understanding of deer and other species to help manage and evolve to be better stewards of the land.

Last edited by Brian C.; 10/10/17 05:31 AM.

God Bless Texas!!! Godspeed our Military!
Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: Brian C.] #6915247
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Originally Posted By: Brian C.
Alot of good points made here. Personally I do believe hunting and especially deer hunting has evolved into more of a competition. A competition with the focus driven around inches instead of skill. So your original point Texas Dan holds merit in my book.

Deer hunting HAS EVOLVED! For the better or worse depends on what you value as a successful hunt. Some value is inches and points on the board, others merely value the time in the field, comrodery amongst friends, a freezer full of meat, etc...

I agree with Bankwalker. I grew up hunting public land where the mere sight of a deer was a pleasure and at times a rarity. For someone to drag an 8 pnt to camp was a celebration and the known whereabouts of a 10 pnt+ was top secret only spoken in tongues at public meets. Lol. This was also a time when the how of hunting was mostly past down by the older generation. Taught by those that have the winters under thier belt to those that desire. The days of sitting in grandpa's lap to stay warm on a cold December day listening to all the wisdom they had to pass and soaking in all of the experience afield had to offer and the ramifications of a missed shot was a cut shirt tail and a notch in the ole pride. All for good fun of course. Many Texas Dan to this day don't know the code of the woods if one is lost to fire three shots with 10 seconds between shots to signal to others help. The purity that came from such fair chase was and still is like no other. I have said many times some of the does I've killed on public land hold more value due to the effort, strategy and sheer hours spent afield than anything hanging on the wall. This I believe is where a large majority of the common man lies. In the fair chase/only accessable hunting grounds allowed group. Wether it's 2000 acres of public land where baiting is not allowed or the family farm private lands of a few acres. We hunt where we can and do so with the means available.

On the other end of the spectrum there are those that choose invest dollars in thier chosen sport. These individuals accumulate all the lastest gear and access to hunting real estate. Wether it's day leases or purchasing land specifically for the purpose of hunting. There is an investment of dollars to thier pursuit of happiness. This group gets alot of frowns from the group stated above. I won't get into a dollars debate cause not every dollar comes without sacrifice. This group does commonly fall in the group that has the means to real estate, food plots and many other aids to increase thier chances of an empty cartridge at the end of a hunt. While on the outside it would seem all this increased efforts to put the odds in ones favor might seem lazy or cheating to some or yes even the inability to hunt as the Indians did for generations. Some may not have the time to spend afield to learn the land and thier quarry. My current occupation takes me away so much I am limited in time to spend in my chosen public river bottoms to stay in the know so to speak of where the current travel corridors are and bedding areas. Some of these trails are generally always still in use to some degree but hunting pressure along with other outside factors certainly causes some adjustments on the local population. This is were the know you speak of that gives ones ability to read the sign and closes the deal. While the ability is there the sheer time is not.

Note I did not say an investment of time in either camp. Both can rack up endless hours of time, sweat and tears.

Furthermore the evolution of the hunting industry has driven way more sportsman and sportswomen afield. This I believe is based around opportunity and information. The opportunity for those to capitalize on the sport and the ease of access to information on how.

I guess to sum it up there are many different groups in the hunting community, although I hope all groups can come together under the same common goal. We now have a better scientific understanding of deer and other species to help manage and evolve to be better stewards of the land.


Good post.

As current owners of the privilege to hunt, we have a responsibility to ensure the longitivity of the sport by protecting the knowledge and values that were passed down to us. Hunting is part of our culture as a state and a nation. We should do our best to see the privilege is not lost as a result of our actions.


Dan,

Spring, Texas
Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: Texas Dan] #6915258
10/10/17 12:09 PM
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Brian couldn't have said it any better.

Over the years I have seen several changes and BRIAN mentioned many of them.

I see that hunting has changed... I can see both sides of the argument that we have lost touch with our traditional roots, and that we have more science and data and technology to help us out.

Being management minded I have hunted MLD lands for the last 20 years. That doesnít mean that I have lost touch with my traditional hunting roots. That means if I need to kill 32 does to get my herd numbers correct, then my hunting techniques will certainly have to adapt to what my goals are.

I long for the days, like mentioned, where we got together and celebrated hunting by going to the land you hunted, be it public or private, and just getting outside. We hauled our own water in or found it; we had no electricity, and cooked everything on an open fire. We hunted together as a family and many generations were in camp. Those were the best parts of hunting. Not the kill, which was icing on the cake.

Today, the availability of land is the problem. Theyíre not making any more. So if youíre not luck enough to own a place, you have to lease. A lot of the lands you find in Texas are High-Fenced properties. That doesnít mean youíre a bad person to hunt it. Thatís the place you chose, thatís YOUR personal choice. With the size of available land to hunt, sometimes you canít spot and stalk, you may be limited to hunting a stand location.

I truly believe no matter how you choose to hunt, be it low fence or high fence, as long as it is legal, drive on. We should take care of each other and not bash someone for wanting to shoot a 2 year old 6 point that barely makes ARís. A trophy is in the eye of the beholder.

Traditional hunters, who hunt with a bow or a muzzle loader, want to bash the rifle hunter. Itís a personal choice. With technology, a bow or a muzzle loader, are much more capable than the stick and string of the long bow, or the smooth bore of the muzzle loader of the past. So youíre not really hunting traditional if you think about it. The bows of today can out shoot the long bows of yesterday. The new muzzle loaders will out shoot the 30-30 of yesterday.

In the end it doesnít matter if you shoot a 2 year old 6 point, or a 7 year old mainframe 12, high fence or low fence. Bow, muzzle loader, or rifle. PETA and other animal rights activist want to take that right away from you. Division is their first goal. To get us to fight each other about the sport we love. The have vs. the have not's. Embrace the sport itself. The right to get out and follow in the footsteps of our fore fathers. We need to embrace every legal aspect of the sport and get away from the bashing and putting down of others like us.

So yeah, hunting has changed. Not for the better or worse, yet.

Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: Texas Dan] #6915259
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Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: Texas Dan] #6915417
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Has hunting changed? Or has how we individually perceive it changed? New hunters still get excited at the sight of a buck or even a deer and don't give a chit about inches of antler, I think some of yal are comingling your changes as a hunter with hunting in general.

As far as I can remember we have always had feeders, grated I started hunting in the 90's. However my grandfather may have sat in a tree instead of a blind, he still baited deer with corn.


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Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: Texas Dan] #6915436
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The price of leasing land to hunt has as much to do with the way that we hunt as anything does.


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Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: Texas Dan] #6915452
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Excellent comments being shared here. And it's good to see so many recognizing that hunter division is one of our greatest threats.


Dan,

Spring, Texas
Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: bankwalker] #6915508
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Originally Posted By: bankwalker
IMO deer hunting has gotten worse and the main reason is just information. Back in the 80s and early 90s when I was a younger hunter just seeing a buck was enough to get excited. Then with the internet and the constant sharing of information we got to see a lot more pictures of deer and we became all about boone and crocket and measuring the antlers and aging the deer and let's take a urine sample before we decide whether or not to shoot it. I realize that a lot of this was in the name of management but when we started evaluating deer to the nth degree something was lost.

I may be the only one in this camp but I long for the days when an 8 point was a big deal and any buck made a hunt one to remember. frown
You tell it brother up


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Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: Texas Dan] #6915509
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I say yes it has evolved for the better for all of us. Hunter and the deer herds. No mater if you hunt for meat, a trophy, low fence or high fence. We know so much more about deer today than ever before. Yes sometimes certain things are taken a little to far, but that's ok too. I can remember when I first started hunting with my dad when I was 6-7 years old and while we saw a few deer at our Llano lease, they were small body, small horn, and some days scarce.. Fast forward all the years we have been hunting and learning how to take care of the deer in your area and you can see the difference by far and how bigger and healthier the deer are and how many more numbers there are even in places that once had no deer or a few... I hope it continues this way so OUR kids and their kids can enjoy the sport too...

Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: Texas Dan] #6915511
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Lots of good info so far.

In my opinion, deer hunting has got easier.

Back in the 60's, we didn't actually see a lot deer, but you knew they were there when you heard them when they would blow and go!
There was a lot of pressure on them as they were hunted year around by folks who only saw them as food, not a seasonal indulgence.
To be successful, there was a lot of scouting, setup, etc. required.
Those first 5 gallon feeders cans with a simple wind vane that dropped corn was the bomb!

Today, they are almost pests.
It's pretty easy to see 20 deer a day now while driving around the ranch.
8pt eating wife's jalapenos in front yard is fairly common.
They may or may not run off when you jump them.
I guess they don't perceive me as a threat as most of the time they look up, then go back to whatever they were doing.
The feeders going off at dusk/dawn or whatever preset time makes them more predictable.

Lots of people trading their agricultural exemption for a wildlife exemption in my area.
Pluses are lots more feeding of wildlife so we have more!

As suburbia moves closer and closer and spreads into the sticks, there are more people feeding in their backyard.
This feeds the deer but makes them less wary of people.

They do get wary during season but I still see a bunch.


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Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: Texas Dan] #6916395
10/11/17 11:43 AM
10/11/17 11:43 AM
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Murphy, TX Dickens county
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Joined: Jan 2013
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Murphy, TX Dickens county
It's got better IMO.

Better management practices have increased numbers and quality.

It's really up to the hunter to decide the type of experience they seek. Sometimes cost and time factors will make the decision for you. Part of your life journey that we all go through.

Social media has been more of a negative than positive IMO. Brings out buck envy, jealousy, my method is really hunting and yours is not etc......


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Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: Vern1] #6916400
10/11/17 11:53 AM
10/11/17 11:53 AM
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Killeen/Ft Hood, TX
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Killeen/Ft Hood, TX
Originally Posted By: Vern1
Lots of good info so far.

In my opinion, deer hunting has got easier.

Back in the 60's, we didn't actually see a lot deer, but you knew they were there when you heard them when they would blow and go!
There was a lot of pressure on them as they were hunted year around by folks who only saw them as food, not a seasonal indulgence.
To be successful, there was a lot of scouting, setup, etc. required.
Those first 5 gallon feeders cans with a simple wind vane that dropped corn was the bomb!

Today, they are almost pests.
It's pretty easy to see 20 deer a day now while driving around the ranch.
8pt eating wife's jalapenos in front yard is fairly common.
They may or may not run off when you jump them.
I guess they don't perceive me as a threat as most of the time they look up, then go back to whatever they were doing.
The feeders going off at dusk/dawn or whatever preset time makes them more predictable.

Lots of people trading their agricultural exemption for a wildlife exemption in my area.
Pluses are lots more feeding of wildlife so we have more!

As suburbia moves closer and closer and spreads into the sticks, there are more people feeding in their backyard.
This feeds the deer but makes them less wary of people.

They do get wary during season but I still see a bunch.
if deer hunting has gotten so much easier explain why we have only had a couple bucks taken and posted on here in the first 2 weeks of the season?


Originally Posted by bill oxner
I plowed mules.
Originally Posted by Roll-Tide
I did build a cabin. Aka the brokeback shack.

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Re: Has deer hunting evolved for the better or worse? [Re: SapperTitan] #6916492
10/11/17 01:11 PM
10/11/17 01:11 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 28,894
Texas
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Originally Posted By: SapperTitan
if deer hunting has gotten so much easier explain why we have only had a couple bucks taken and posted on here in the first 2 weeks of the season?


Wonder the same thing myself, but this year it seems the forum is still super slow with bow season open and even pre season age/score photos etc. seemed to be way down. I think either people just aren't sharing them or they are only sharing them with a select few.


It's hell eatin em live
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