2018-19 Archery season lessons learned

Discussion in 'Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by Okiebob, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. Okiebob

    Okiebob Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Thought I otter start a thread for all of us to post those lessons learned this season. Some successful most probably mistakes..

    Scent control- I think I have tried just about everything but I have found what works for me. I have used ozonics, smoke, scent free this and that. My new thing, smoking the towel I dry off with after showering. This beats the hell out of standing around waiting for a fire in my beehive smoker or even dealing with it when in the field. Of course, the towel is scent treated but instead of running it through the dryer I just hung them on the clothes line and fired up the beehive smoker. Worked like a charm.

    My big mistake this year.. Not changing my stand locations. Two years previous to this year I hunted the trails leading into my food plot, successfully. The last two years I have hunted over a plot and it is nice see all those deer every night but that's all that's nice about it. I think you run a bigger risk of being winded when hunting over a food source versus just a trail leading to it. I did get a nice buck last year in the plot but I probably shouls have moved the stand right after.

    Not having been a little more active in moving my cameras to better pattern the deer. With such a large acorn mast, I should have been a little more aggressive in getting further back into the woods closer to my larger acorn trees which are located closer to bedding areas. Quite simply, my shooter was not moving around much and I contemplated hanging a stand further back in the woods but didn't want to spook him, should have took the gamble.

    My big success this year!? Getting the 16 year old neighbor kid his first bow kill and buck. I lent him my old Alpine Sierra Magnum, taught him how to play the wind and hung a stand where I knew a nice 8-point walked by frequently. He did the rest and I could not be more proud. He is doing some fence work for me this summer and I have already scored a sweet new PSE Bow Madness for his birthday in March. The kid is hooked, that's just about as satisfying as getting a big ol buck.

    Anyway, hopefully we can all add a little to this and see the success or mistakes we made in order to make us all better hunters and to help those younger hunters.
     
  2. DanyeckAdventures

    DanyeckAdventures Weekend Warrior

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    This year was my first year whitetail hunting. I had just moved to Indiana in September and was wanting to get on some private hunting. My boss gave me permission to hunt on his 40 acre property for free( he has other people lease) I was able to get trailcams out and pattern some does for early October. On October 12th I shot my first whitetail doe. She ran 70-80 yds with a single lung shot. Then I was in CO chasing elk from October 17-November 16. When I got back my buddy and I got out in the woods. He shot one of the shooters we had. 15 pt 4 1/2 main frame. Waiting on the taxidermist for the score. He thinks it's 150-160". I continued to hunt until the last day of season. Had a few more encounters with other deer but nothing within light or distance. The #1 shooter is still alive and on the property. Things I learned this year is I definitely need a food plot for fall/winter because there is no food during the winter months so the deer are gone. I will be planting a food plot and moving my stands to better trails.

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  3. cml5895

    cml5895 Weekend Warrior

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    #1 lesson learned by me this year was to never overlook an area. Ended up killing a nice buck 25 yards from the lawn in my backyard. It was my first sit there since 2011 opening day of archery, when I killed an immature 13 point. Over the years I have worked hard at finding bigger and better places, with more and larger bucks. I would imagine this buck had bedded within eyesight of my house the majority of his 5.5 years.
     
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  4. CSHIRK

    CSHIRK Newb

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    Food plots are important. We had a tough time last spring getting soybeans established. Our soybeans almost totally failed because they couldn't stay ahead of the turkeys. Right now there would be nothing quite as nice as a field of soybeans for winter food. Also, it is good to have trail cameras in every hunting spot possible. Even though they don't capture nearly everything, there is nothing like the motivation of knowing there is a good buck around that could pop out any moment.
     
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  5. Mywaytotalk

    Mywaytotalk Weekend Warrior

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    Okie big win on getting the neighbor kid hooked. Way to go!


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  6. bucksnbears

    bucksnbears Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Here's one thing I HAVE to get pounded into my skull.
    Mature bucksdo things we as hunters think are strange.
    There Is a reason they do what they do.
    My fault is seeing them do things year after year during certain time frames and not moving ( lazy) stands to capitalize on it.
    Have seen it for years and every year I say I'm gonna have stands in place to take advantage but I keep hunting my old favs . Have watched way to many big bucks cruise during great shooting light out of range when I KNEW I should be sitting there.
     
  7. slickbilly-d

    slickbilly-d Weekend Warrior

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    1. Spend more time on habitat improvements
    and not worry so much about food plots
    2. Check cameras less before season
    3. Quit hunting the same properties often and under the incorrect conditions
    (I’m getting better but still find myself saying “can’t kill em from the couch)
    4. Find more properties to hunt right now
     
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  8. Riverduck11

    Riverduck11 Weekend Warrior

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    Prior to this season I spent more time planning the exact tree I needed to be in to shoot deer. I never got busted often but did twice last year and was not going to let it happen in 2018. I picked my trees by evaluating lower brush that would block their view of me when looking up, sitting perpendicular to their path so that I could draw sitting down and not turn around. Lastly, I made sure to have the sun directly behind me when they came in (at least from the way I expected them to arrive).

    Plan worked to a T. When I shot my buck, I had 7 bucks inside 18 yards of me and was unnoticed. My late season doe came in with 4 others, all inside 15 yards with no leaves on, I again went unnoticed. It was very rewarding to move old stands and place new ones with so much thought and then see that plan work to perfection!
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
  9. early in

    early in Grizzled Veteran

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    I learned (again) that the deer numbers in my woods (public) are at an all time low, and killing a deer, any deer, is tougher than it ever was! But, I'll be back at it again next season. :tu:
     
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  10. Okiebob

    Okiebob Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I think that is the natural order of things when you get a property. My case in point first year, I found my heavy use trails and went to food plotting. I think most of do. I saw my biggest jump in deer activity when I started cleaning up the woods and working on those edges. I have a section of woods I am going through in the next couple of weeks, can't wait to run that Stihl all day!
     
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  11. vanfossen

    vanfossen Weekend Warrior

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    Well had a successful season no doubt but lesson 1 is to have 2 backup sitters since the one bailed on me during 5 out of my 7 days of rutcation. Last day I smoked a mature buck , not my biggest but was excited.
    Lesson 2 bump this years rutcation forward a few days , had some giants just a couple days after tagging out show up during daylight.
    Lesson 3 move in on a select buck first few days of season. Had him pegged but by the time I got to hunt him he had went nocturnal and changed food sources.
    Lesson 4 made the decision to quit using scent control products. Only thing I use is the detergent and hunting the wind now. Scent control products are a waste of money!
    Lesson 5 only utilize cameras during preseason to inventory bucks and during rut because bucks have one thing on their mind and don’t worry about them. It also tells me a more precise timeframe when they start moving. I’ve found over the years that the mature smart ones will actually skirt the cameras and I think people depend too much on them. I have better luck hunting sign and being in a tree visually seeing what’s going on.


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  12. 1arrowshort

    1arrowshort Newb

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    This is my problem too. Hunt the old favs. when I know a little work will bring better chances in certain situations.

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  13. justinwmoe88

    justinwmoe88 Weekend Warrior

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    How big of a food plot. It would take one heck of a massive plot to keep a herd around all winter. They will graze it down and move on if it isn't big enough
     
  14. Suncrest08

    Suncrest08 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I learnt that when you share your hunting land with a family member “through marriage” and all deer except one are on the hit list for them to kill , that they will kill your target buck you been after for 4 years...
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
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