big deer nocturnal till rut.. What do they do in the meantime?..

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by longbowmanjimmy, Oct 21, 2015.

  1. longbowmanjimmy

    longbowmanjimmy Weekend Warrior

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    If all the pictures we have ever gotten of big deer are all at night, for 3 years, what the hell do they do during the day!? I'm not talking one or two big boys either, I bet it's closer to a dozen, at least for last year. Very little doe population for some reason. I've always heard "there in the thickest crap you can imagine", but we haven't ever jumped big deer, even when rabbit hunting in snow in thick stuff. Id love to hear your opinions, thanks
     
  2. Woods

    Woods Weekend Warrior

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    They hide where you rarely go. And when you do venture near they smell or hear you and leave way before you get the chance to see them.
     
  3. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    They do bed so that they can either see you or smell you as you approach. You would be amazed how tight they can sit and watch you pass.
     
  4. Kaiser878

    Kaiser878 Weekend Warrior

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    I do not believe in Nocturnal deer.... There is no such thing as a deer who lays down at first light and doesnt get up again until dark.... Not only is it not realistic, its not biologically possible. A deer gets up several times a day from its bed.. It may not go far, but it gets up and moves around... People assume their deer are nocturnal because they only have night time pictures of them... All that tells me is they are not in front of your camers until dark, so you need to figure out where they are coming from. The deer might be up an hour before light, but he might only move 100 yards in that hour.... but i gurantee you, he is on his feet in daylight... you just have to find him
     
  5. Kaiser878

    Kaiser878 Weekend Warrior

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    Literally, 5 minutes after typing my last response I went over the midwestwhitetail and watched Winkes blog from yesterday.... IF anyone you follow him you will understand my point now.... He had a deer he had let go for 2 years. this year he was gonig to kill him, he named him Big Jr. All he had was night time pictures as of late.... and he kept referring to him as nocturnal..... Well his neighbor killed him a day or two ago..... Just because you are only getting night time photos of a deer, does not mean he nocturnal... HEs on his feet somewhere.... and this is a perfect example....
     
  6. ChuckC

    ChuckC Die Hard Bowhunter

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    If all your pics are always at night I would say try moving your cameras in the direction they are coming from/going to in the AM to try to find where they are bedding. You may find they are on another property coming your way in the daylight.
     
  7. muzzyman88

    muzzyman88 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I think its a combination of things honestly. For one, mature deer have been through this "rodeo" every fall for a few years now. They know better than a younger buck when the time to go is near. I believe thats why you see the younger bucks almost exclusively doing the chasing at this time of the year. Mature bucks also know that the rut is long and grueling and energy is precious. Why waste it when you know the majority of the does will not be ready for a couple of weeks?

    I don't agree with the statement you hear sometimes that big bucks don't get big by being dumb. I feel they got big by having tendencies that are difficult to pattern, by having a few encounters that educated them and just generally being more wary and even lucky sometimes.

    All that said, during the times when you don't see those mature deer, they're bedded up and move within their "sanctuary" during daylight hours. These sanctuaries are very difficult, if not impossible to hunt and you're probably better off staying out of them if you figure out where one is. Too much is risked and if you bump him from there, you're really putting the odds against you during the rut. These deer will move very late in the afternoon to food sources, but they really do become "home bodies" for a couple of weeks, waiting on the right time to join the rut.

    Thats my theory anyway...
     
  8. okie_flinger

    okie_flinger Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Sota is certainly right... I suspect a lot of us have walked very close to bedded monsters without them busting from their bed. an example... last year, in western OK, I had walked into the stand in the dark to the intersection of a planted windrow and an old, more open, windrow grown up with scrubby brush. these wind rows are raised up from the surrounding land 6-8 feet. I walked down the edge of the scrubby row to get to my stand. The scrubby brush row was just TORE UP with rubs, which is why I set up there. I could see the entire area of the scrubby brush row from the stand. I sat that morning, saw plenty of deer, etc. At noon time, my buddy who was hunting the other side of the farm, came to pick me up in the truck, driving the same path I had walked in on besides the scrubby row. as he came within 50 yards of me, a monster buck jumped up from his bed out of the scrubby row! I had walked within 10 yards of him on my way in that morning in the dark, got in my stand, sat all morning that close to him without him getting up. he certainly could not have snuck in to that bed while I was in stand, unless I was just blind/completely unaware or napping and that is not typically me.

    most of the BIG bucks I have ever seen I have jumped up from beds while goofing, or walking to from hunting areas, scouting, etc. they were always bedded in thick scrubby stuff, but not necessarily large areas. typically even in open fields in the middle of a hillock of blackberry patches, thickets on ridge tops and the like where they can hidden, but still survey the surrounding area with multiple escape routes if 'danger' approaches. some of these thickets might be only 20 feet in diameter. most of the time you practically have to step on them for them to bolt...
     
  9. fletch920

    fletch920 Grizzled Veteran

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    I know the guy that killed it. He is a local teacher and taught my kids. He killed that buck on family property that borders Bill on an early muzzleloader tag. But, Bill also will tell you that he started getting daytime pictures of that buck last Friday and Saturday but could not get out to hunt. The buck was shot on Sunday. Prior to that, night photos mostly. So, the fact is, that deer was not "out and about" during daylight hours much prior to that. He may have stood up several times a day, but he didn't really go anywhere.

    Most of the bucks I am interested in killing probably do not move more than 50 to 100 yards during daylight most of the year. That makes them pretty much un-huntable until the pre-rut gets them on their feet more.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015
  10. Kaiser878

    Kaiser878 Weekend Warrior

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    Man that would drive me nuts having gun hunting that early in the year.

    Regardless, even the biggest of bucks move during daylight. The deer you are hunting are no different than the deer I'm hunting or anyone else for that matter. A mature deer is a mature deer. Not only that, but mature deer are most predictable in the early season whike they are on their esrly fall patterns.... adam hayes swears by this....and i agree 100%.i will say this though, this year is an exception to the rule.... im getting a lot more early daylight movement from mature bucks this year, than I have on my farms in years past. Like, considerably more....

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015
  11. fletch920

    fletch920 Grizzled Veteran

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    They move very little in daylight. Most of them will not move far enough to give you an opportunity to effectively hunt them without risking bumping them. I have had bedding areas surrounded with cameras and never get daytime pictures of particular bucks I am hunting until the pre-rut. Why? Because they never moved more than 100 yards in the daylight until they started tending scrapes in late October. For me, its not worth the risk of messing up a good buck by pushing in that close for a sketchy chance at seeing him while he is up for a short stretch. I call that mostly nocturnal or at least as close to nocturnal as you can get.
     
  12. AdamSean

    AdamSean Newb

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    I was always told to first locate a food and water source. Then locate his bed. Finally get in between the 2. I know where he eats. And I know where he sleeps. So tomorrow I am going to get in between the 2 and hopefully get a shot.
     
  13. Arrow+Assassin

    Arrow+Assassin Newb

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    They bed with EVERYTHING in their favor. Chances are they winded you or saw you from a while out and left, they don't always bed in the thick nasties; they prefer to physically see anything they can't smell.

    I found a buck bed in February that was only 120 yards from a major WMA parking lot. He could smell any hunters coming his way and see hunters coming from the other; he was bedded on a point woods that stuck out into a field with a swamp as his go-to escape route.

    What I'm getting at is.. To walk up on a bedded buck is a fluke, even to see them you got lucky. I'm basing this off of my experiences hunting public land, it's probably somewhat easier on a lightly hunted area.
     
  14. tc racing

    tc racing Grizzled Veteran

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    watch the nextbuk videos they explain it all very well. they used to go by blood brothers.
     
  15. rick-florida

    rick-florida Weekend Warrior

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  16. BigPhil_H

    BigPhil_H Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I read this thread earlier and happened to check a few cams this afternoon. Camera #1, on the bait pile, 90% of the bucks are only showing up at night. However, the other two cams, I got pics of some of my bigger bucks showing themselves in daylight, only 100 yards on either side of the bait pile. This goes to tell me that they do move during the day light but are smart enough to know what's out of the ordinary and to stay away from until dark. I learned a valuable lesson today..hopefully one that I can capitalize on..hunting them before they get where I want them to be when and where they're still comfortable.
     
  17. kennyg

    kennyg Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Great thread so far. There has been multiple times we pushed a swamp during the last day of gun season with a few guys only 10 yards apart and we walk right past bucks that didn't move. Same thing during pheasant hunting. While hunting last weekend, I watched 5 does go into the swamp were a nice one beds. Within five minutes they came crashing out with the buck on their tails. He chased them around until they got about 100 yards away, then he went right back to the bed. Damn near gave me a chance.
     
  18. longbowmanjimmy

    longbowmanjimmy Weekend Warrior

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    Thanks for the help guys, I definetly agree that they can hang tight when your walking. It's just very strange the places were getting all the pictures. None by the pond, 1 by the cornfield bottleneck, but last year we put one on a scrape next to where we park just for fun and we had 9 different deer with 2 serious serious shooters... 15 yards from where we park the truck all season lol. No food or water close at all either. No does
     
  19. Ship of Fools

    Ship of Fools Newb

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    I have read that deer have to eat every four or five hours in order to keep the bacteria alive that helps them digest their food. I know someone mentioned something in one of the earlier posts about biological needs and i believe we are talking about the same thing.

    So they have to move a little during the day.
     
  20. tc racing

    tc racing Grizzled Veteran

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    not worth the risk to infiltrate the domain if you ask me. wait for him to come out. and I am not one to go in there and find his bed. besides I'm not sure if it would be his bed or a spike bucks bed. not worth it!!
     

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