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not sure if I'm being too selective


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I don't know if its bad luck, or I'm being too selective or what... but once again, I had a shot and decided to hold.


I'm hunting private land owned by a friend of mine who has a very nice 70 acres. Another mutual friend of ours has been hunting this property for many years - I was invited in this year (this is the place where I hunted turkey this spring and fall only for them to show up on camera 3 weeks after the fall season closed :banghead: ).


One problem here is (as our mutual friend has told me) the deer population has really declined over the past few years - possibly due to the coyotes that seem to have moved in the past year or so.


The owner of this property has been having health issues and really can't climb trees anymore and hasn't hunted in a while because of it. I put a blind up on his property for me to hunt but I told him if he wants to hunt out of it, be my guest - I'll go hunt somewhere else. I want him to get back out hunting again. Anyway, I digress... we put cameras out and he bought some sugar beets this week. Well, I'm sure I'm speaking to the choir, but deer absolutely luv sugar beets :) They've been banging them the past week.


I got to the blind this morning at 6:30 and I'm sitting there listening to the coyotes howl at the town's fire siren that went off at 7am  :-(  These damn yotes are so close its crazy. That has to be at least a partial cause of the deer decline. So as not to wear out my welcome and to help ease the pressure on the deer, I told myself to really only target bucks - leave the does to start reproducing again.


*sigh* What comes in at 8:30? I sit and stare at a doe with her yearling chomping on the beets for 10 minutes at 20 yards - she's perfect broadside most of the time. I'm thinking to myself - "I finally get a perfect 20 yd broadside shot at my first deer, and its a doe where there isn't enough deer here as it is."


So I begin to have a conversation with myself in my head as I'm staring at these two - "Am I really going to take out a mature doe and possibly hurt the chances of this yearling to make it through the winter? It wouldn't matter if she's old and barren - I wonder if a doe hits menapause? The yearling can make it on its own. Right? Yeah, sure. Or, maybe not with these yotes. Bah!"


Couldn't do it. This yearling was completely oblivious - its face was on that sugar beet for 5 minutes straight. The doe was very suspicious and kept looking my way. She eventually spooked after 10 minutes of trying to figure out what I was - she ran off and took the yearling with her. All the while, that yearling saw nothing but the inside of that suger beet it had its head buried so far into it :) I'm thinking this yearling needs this doe to survive :)


So, rather than take my first deer, I decide to let them walk. I'm questioning if I should have just done it. If it was a buck or even a spike I would have taken it. I'm gonna ask my friends what they think about taking does - I never broached the subject with them, but maybe I am just being too selective.


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At this time of the year that yearling would be fine without its mother ! Although if there is a lack of deer on that land you probably made the right decision in not killing a breeding age doe. If you hang a trailcam overlooking the beets you will be able to see how many different deer there are in the area. There may be more than you think, the yotes do make the deer harder to hunt as they are always on edge looking for danger.

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If you didn't feel right or feel good about the situation, you absolutely, positively did the right thing.


Friends have asked why I passed up several small bucks that were cruising in early November, some passing me at 10 yards. I have been holding out for a more mature deer I have been after, and to burn my tag on a smaller deer would eliminate the chance at him with the bow until another season...

Edited by LPJR
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If the shot didn't feel right, I say you did the right thing. You'll get other opportunities on properties where the deer population can withstand some reduction. One deer won't make a huge difference but it's good you're considering the importance of the property's herd. Maybe be best to focus on hunting those yotes to help things out! :up:



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Before I left today, I grabbed the memory card from the trail cam (my blind is just off camera to the left). Here are four of them. All from the past week. Deer, coyote, turkey, oh my!


1. "Come on, Billy... keep up!" (I don't know what made the little one bolt, probably trying to keep up with mom  :laughing: )  I think this was the doe/yearling I saw this morning.



2. And here's public enemy number 1 - black yote - staring at my blind. I wonder if he didn't like the looks of it?



3. Looks like there are more deer than I was expecting here! I count four, I think. No bucks though, that I can see. Notice the paranoid one staring at the camera - I've noticed more than once this camera spooking deer - some take one look at the red light and bolt.



4. Of course, my video collection won't be complete without the turkeys showing up out of season. Sorry, boys, there's no more corn here - you ate it all last week!  :letsparty:




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I will rarely disagree with another hunter's choice.  I suggest you start doing some predator hunts when the season is available.  The next time you need to think about a shot, you might not hear yotes in the background.

Sapere aude.


When you cannot measure, your knowledge is meager and unsatisfactory.

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Yup - already been discussing it with the friend that is also hunting the property. He hates the yotes more than I because he's been dealing with this problem longer than me. I showed him my Fox Pro and remote decoy and he is psyched at the prospect of getting rid of them (or at least taking a few out). He already told me he zero'ed in his rifle getting ready for the special season :)


Based on trail camera pictures we've all captured, visual sightings from some of us who have seen them, and based on what we hear, we think there are between 3 and 6 resident yotes. I don't think we'll be able to take all of them out by hunting them. I'm hoping if we take one or two, we can pressure the rest to leave. I don't know if that is how it works, but... none of us are trappers, so its all we got.

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The choice is always yours But being you have yet to take a deer with a bow. My advice would be to shoot! Every kill is a learning experience and every kill helps build your confidence for the next kill. More than once people have held out for years to kill a good buck. Only to blow the shot when the buck shows up because they have no experience shooting at a live deer. I doubt very much taking one doe off the property will have an adverse effect on the piece. My advice to you is to shoot deer!

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