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Need help with the basics!

 
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stevep
(4 posts)
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Mar-13-17, 
02:39 PM (MST)
"Need help with the basics!"

Hey guys, I'm looking for some help with the basics. Not looking for locations, or anything like that, but more interested in movement patterns and learning how to FIND muleys when I get out to my hunting area.

I hunted a spot last year, and we saw some deer, but I guess my question is, what are the deer doing towards the end of October? Is the rut on yet, or is it pre-rut? I was hunting in Idaho, and it was probably a lot warmer than normal, but it just seemed like we were having a hard time finding the bucks. We had a few random sightings, but there didn't seem to be a lot of deer around. We were camped at about 7000 feet.

I'm not lucky enough to be able to make it out there for a lot of scouting ahead of time, and I also don't know a ton about the movements of muleys up and down elevation. (I hunt whitetails in the midwest). There's a good chance that I'll be able to make it back out next year, but I'm just trying to make sure that if I do, I'm able to formulate just a bit more of a plan as opposed to blindly striking out and hoping to cross paths with a buck.

Any help is appreciated!

Steve

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  Table of Contents  

 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: Need help ...  DW      Mar-13-17   1 
  RE: Need help ...  idhikker      Mar-13-17   2 
   RE: Need help ...  Stillwater1...      Mar-13-17   3 
    RE: Need help ...  ICMDEER      Mar-14-17   4 
     RE: Need help ...  joesikora      Mar-15-17   5 
      RE: Need help ...  mntman      Mar-16-17   6 
       RE: Need help ...  Founder      Mar-16-17   7 

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DW
(7752 posts)
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Mar-13-17, 
04:12 PM (MST)
1. "RE: Need help with the basics!"

Steve I think your experience last year was pretty similar to alot of folks, nothing you did wrong, it was just a tough season in alotta places. Avoid the crowds if possible, put on alot of miles and glass glass glass!

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idhikker
(73 posts)
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Mar-13-17, 
06:13 PM (MST)
2. "RE: Need help with the basics!"

All about the glass. I hunt Central ID. End of October is usually pre rut with some coming into rut. Often the big boys stay high in elevation until November snow pushes them down. Some are throughout the range. Look for nice sagebrush habitat at higher elevation for deer numbers. Stick to higher deer density units. Go to the same spot yearly.

Pm me with questions if you like.

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Stillwater165
(41 posts)
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Mar-13-17, 
07:54 PM (MST)
3. "RE: Need help with the basics!"

Don't feel bad it was almost 70 degrees in Wyoming November 14th when I pulled the trigger last fall. The rut activity was still very slow then. Like stated above it was a tough season in a lot of places. Keep at it !

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ICMDEER
(2335 posts)
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Mar-14-17, 
12:09 PM (MST)
4. "RE: Need help with the basics!"

Good advice from others thus far. Here are a few more specifics:

From mid September to late October, those bucks are hard to find. They are fat and lazy and have shed their velvet and are just waiting for the rut. They can be close to nocturnal.

Get quality optics and a good tripod with a good fluid head on it. It is a lifetime investment and you'll see more critters.

Get up to a high vantage point and be there well before daylight. Never skyline yourself and makes sure you are still and quiet. Stay as hidden as you can.

As has been mentioned, get to know an area. If you do know where you'll be hunting, scout it hard in August. Those bucks won't usually move much between August and the rut, and it is a whole lot easier to find them in August than in October.


And have fun. Seems like everyone wants hunting to be a competition. Do what you enjoy and have fun along the way. Take lots of pics of everyday stuff. Share them with family and friends even if you don't get a buck. That helps create memories and that is one of the best reasons to hunt.

Best of luck.

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joesikora
(1182 posts)
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Mar-15-17, 
06:42 PM (MST)
5. "RE: Need help with the basics!"

ICMDEER, great advice
And have fun. Seems like everyone wants hunting to be a competition. Do what you enjoy and have fun along the way. Take lots of pics of everyday stuff. Share them with family and friends even if you don't get a buck. That helps create memories and that is one of the best reasons to hunt

Joe

"Sometimes you do things wrong for so long you
think their right" - 2001
"I can't argue with honesty" - 2005
-Joe E Sikora

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mntman
(3790 posts)
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Mar-16-17, 
07:04 AM (MST)
6. "RE: Need help with the basics!"

+1 ICMDEER,
First off I never hunted ID but like others said it was a different game last fall. You needed to adapt.
During 3rd season in CO, we had one day with cloud cover and temps were about 10 degrees lower than what they had been (still warm). Deer were out the whole time. At about 1 pm clouds cleared out and so did deer. That was opening day.
Rest of season I just picked a high point and sat there glassing. The first 30-60 minutes of daylight depending on what side of the mountain I was on (shade) and the last hour or so of day light (again depending on shade from mountain) were by far the best. Some does and smaller bucks were out longer but the better bucks were basically nocturnal. However with that said, it was my best year ever seeing 132 bucks over the season.
The bucks are still there, patterns just change. I concentrated on areas that were cool. Either green timber, north facing slopes, etc... but they were all found with water in their bedding areas.

Mntman

"Hunting is where you prove yourself"

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Founder
(5963 posts)
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Mar-16-17, 
08:45 AM (MST)
7. "RE: Need help with the basics!"

Great information here, hopefully more good intell. will follow.

For sure those bucks are harder to find once that thicker coat begins growing in. By late October, those bucks are wearing a coat rated for 30 below, plus by then they've seen dudes running around the mountains. They just don't move as much, especially when it's warm. One small ray of sun beating on their dark gray coat probably feels like a torch.

Cloudy, rainy, snowy days are when it's cool enough for them to be out in the open during daylight hours. Heavy snow will also get some moving towards winter range and even the ones that aren't migrating will become more active just having others passing through their homes as they migrate.

When it's warm, you just have to try to catch them old bucks during that first few minutes of daylight when it's still cool and maybe that last few minutes of the daylight. Beyond that, you just have to glass the shade, the cool places on the mountain (north slopes, etc) and try to spot a leg, tail, nose, something.

When it's warm and there are a bunch of people running around on the mountain, old bucks are hard to get a look at. They can see and smell people in the woods and with that threat, they hold as tight as possible in dark places and not move until dark.

Obviously knowing where a big one lives before the hunt increases your chances of getting a big one immensely. But even then, it's really hard.

Opening day and then the 2nd and 3rd days of a hunt are usually a hunters best chance of getting an old buck because it's our best chance to find them before they know people are in the woods. Once they realize there are people in the woods, they hunker down. Once people pressure dies down and they quit seeing, hearing and smelling people for a few days, then they begin showing themselves again.

I personally try to scout any area I plan to hunt and know where a taker buck lives before hunting. I can't always do that and don't always finding a taker buck while scouting. If I don't find one or can't scout, then I have to just hunt hard and hope I'm in the right spot where a taker buck lives. That's when I rely on past experiences and knowledge of the area and of deer.

Sometimes when you're not finding bucks, it might just be that the spot you've chosen isn't very good. Go somewhere else.

Big buck hunting is like many other hobbies and sports, you get better by doing it more. And, you get out of it what you put into it.

Brian Latturner
MonsterMuleys.com
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