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How close to opening day can I...?

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  • How close to opening day can I...?

    I went on a few deer hunts as a kid when I was between 12-14 which mostly consisted of drives out in the country hoping to spot some deer in an empty field of some farmers we knew or posting on a corner hoping a deer would wander by. About 10 years ago in my early 40s I got a chance to go again and really enjoyed it.

    As I really consider myself quite a novice, I have read several articles and watched several videos (which could really cause more confusion that bring answers) but I haven't really seen anyone address certain questions so I was hoping to get some help.

    I have been given exclusive rights to 40 acres of unused wooded area to hunt that is situated between a state forest (some walk in hunting allowed) and a guy who owns 40 in front of and to the side of my 40. I did a bunch of work last year and this year clearing out trails on old logging roads and have found what I think is a good area between a small ridge and creek where it dumps into a slew. I put up a trail cam in September (got a few pictures of a really big buck walking through the trees about 50 feet away) and made a mock scrape with a scent dripper that another buck has now bowled out on one end.

    I was there the first weekend in October to check cameras and finish cutting some small poplar trees out of shooting lanes.

    My immediate questions are these:
    Could I go back this coming weekend to quickly check the cameras or should I wait until we go up the day before season opener? Would going up again two weeks prior to and the day before opening be too much at this point?

  • #2
    I don’t see any problem with going up 2 weeks before opening, but I probably would not go up the day before. And actually what is the need, you are going to hunt that spot anyway and what is on the camera will make no difference ! knowing if there are deer showing on the camera is not going change what happens when you are hunting. You already know there are bucks using that area, what more information is needed ? Your big concern will be what will be going on around you on the other properties, and which of course you will have no control. Those deer you see on your camera will not be staying just on your forty acres, their travel areas will also be determined by the pressure around you. I wish you good luck, good to hear you are getting back into our sport of hunting !

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm with Richard on this. My suggestion is to stay away until you hunt. You already know it's a good spot. Get in well before first light and perhaps you'll catch a nice buck on his way to his bedding area. Always approach from downwind. Best wishes!

      Comment


      • #4
        As others have said not a problem But I would use a scent Blocker on Boots & Gloves like "Dead Down Wind"This stuff is the only Scent blocker to fool Blood Hounds Tracking Dogs.

        Comment


        • #5
          "Scouting out" a hunting area is entirely overrated. Back in the olden days when I actually hunted opening weekend (I have avoided it for more than twenty years for both birds and beasts), I didn't set up camp until the night before. I can remember two years where elk were bugling at my horses in the moonlight (but promptly disappeared by following morning of opener). Required two other trips to bring camp in and stash it but I got in and out as quickly as possible.

          It really bugs me to see all the Down East dudes showing up for moose season here two weeks early to "scout out" their hunting areas with ATVs. Those guys run all over the place all day every day and get mad at me and my daughter when we come through looking for grouse. "You'll scare all the moose out of here if you start shooting!" Pffft!

          I am a stalker not a baiter or tree-stand ambusher or a trail-cam shutterbug so I can't speak from authority on those methods of game shooting, but I think if you want to get a shot at a truly wild buck (not a habituated suburban variety), it would be a good idea to leave the place alone as much as possible as season approaches. It always worked for me. Though I finally gave up hunting opening weekends, I did shoot most of my thirteen elk on the opener. Eventually I preferred the solitude of hunting later when there was tracking snow.

          Comment


          • #6
            If you are careful you should be able to go in and out without disturbing the game. If gun hunting from the ground now is a good time to make your blind so it is ready for opener. Opener you need to sneak in while dark so you don't make your presence known.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post
              "Scouting out" a hunting area is entirely overrated. Back in the olden days when I actually hunted opening weekend (I have avoided it for more than twenty years for both birds and beasts), I didn't set up camp until the night before. I can remember two years where elk were bugling at my horses in the moonlight (but promptly disappeared by following morning of opener). Required two other trips to bring camp in and stash it but I got in and out as quickly as possible.

              It really bugs me to see all the Down East dudes showing up for moose season here two weeks early to "scout out" their hunting areas with ATVs. Those guys run all over the place all day every day and get mad at me and my daughter when we come through looking for grouse. "You'll scare all the moose out of here if you start shooting!" Pffft!

              I am a stalker not a baiter or tree-stand ambusher or a trail-cam shutterbug so I can't speak from authority on those methods of game shooting, but I think if you want to get a shot at a truly wild buck (not a habituated suburban variety), it would be a good idea to leave the place alone as much as possible as season approaches. It always worked for me. Though I finally gave up hunting opening weekends, I did shoot most of my thirteen elk on the opener. Eventually I preferred the solitude of hunting later when there was tracking snow.
              Honk shot 13 Elk, so he has 7 bullets left.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post
                "Scouting out" a hunting area is entirely overrated. Back in the olden days when I actually hunted opening weekend (I have avoided it for more than twenty years for both birds and beasts), I didn't set up camp until the night before. I can remember two years where elk were bugling at my horses in the moonlight (but promptly disappeared by following morning of opener). Required two other trips to bring camp in and stash it but I got in and out as quickly as possible.

                It really bugs me to see all the Down East dudes showing up for moose season here two weeks early to "scout out" their hunting areas with ATVs. Those guys run all over the place all day every day and get mad at me and my daughter when we come through looking for grouse. "You'll scare all the moose out of here if you start shooting!" Pffft!

                I am a stalker not a baiter or tree-stand ambusher or a trail-cam shutterbug so I can't speak from authority on those methods of game shooting, but I think if you want to get a shot at a truly wild buck (not a habituated suburban variety), it would be a good idea to leave the place alone as much as possible as season approaches. It always worked for me. Though I finally gave up hunting opening weekends, I did shoot most of my thirteen elk on the opener. Eventually I preferred the solitude of hunting later when there was tracking snow.
                You have me confused with Bubba: I don't hunt with an AR.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post
                  "Scouting out" a hunting area is entirely overrated. Back in the olden days when I actually hunted opening weekend (I have avoided it for more than twenty years for both birds and beasts), I didn't set up camp until the night before. I can remember two years where elk were bugling at my horses in the moonlight (but promptly disappeared by following morning of opener). Required two other trips to bring camp in and stash it but I got in and out as quickly as possible.

                  It really bugs me to see all the Down East dudes showing up for moose season here two weeks early to "scout out" their hunting areas with ATVs. Those guys run all over the place all day every day and get mad at me and my daughter when we come through looking for grouse. "You'll scare all the moose out of here if you start shooting!" Pffft!

                  I am a stalker not a baiter or tree-stand ambusher or a trail-cam shutterbug so I can't speak from authority on those methods of game shooting, but I think if you want to get a shot at a truly wild buck (not a habituated suburban variety), it would be a good idea to leave the place alone as much as possible as season approaches. It always worked for me. Though I finally gave up hunting opening weekends, I did shoot most of my thirteen elk on the opener. Eventually I preferred the solitude of hunting later when there was tracking snow.
                  Honker, Your just like the A$$ Holes shooting Squirrels on opening day of deer season.Pffft

                  Comment

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