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Are NJ deer easier than big woods deer in NY and PA?


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21 minutes ago, Gman said:

I dont agree, a NJ mature buck smells a human almost every day, a NY mature buck..probably rarely, which one would be more alarmed at human scent... I'm saying a big woods NY deer...he is not going near Human scent.

How long have you been hunting NJ, and how many mature, 4.5 yo or older, have you killed? 
 

 

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I do not think it is the deer itself, but rather the amount of space they have to occupy. Those big tracts of woods go for miles and miles without any disturbance.  

In most of New Jersey, parcels of land are chopped up by developments, highways, malls etc. 

I think no matter where you go, young deer are pretty easy to kill and older ones are more difficult. 

 

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29 minutes ago, Gman said:

I dont agree, a NJ mature buck smells a human almost every day, a NY mature buck..probably rarely, which one would be more alarmed at human scent... I'm saying a big woods NY deer...he is not going near Human scent.

With that said you could also say that a big woods deer doesn't have as much fear from a human because they may not readily know we are a threat. Maybe a mature NY buck never even crossed paths with a hunter. Here most mature bucks have battle scars from paths being crossed with a hunter or two in their years. When it comes to human scent and mature bucks in NJ I think they will tolerate a little aged ground scent outside of their bedding area before going full ghost but they will absolutely not tolerate fresh scent from a hunter.

You asked the question and started the topic, if you're going to disagree with everyone why did you ask if your mind is already made up?

I totally agree with Yoda NJ deer are programmed by now to scan the trees! Trying to think back to the years (30 years ago) when I first started sitting tree stands did the deer always spot me? I don't think so but now its just about every deer that comes into range looks up wether they pick me out or not they did look at me.

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I've been hunting NY and NJ for 35 years if that matters.  The NJ deer are in relatively small tracts of land, they typically will not cross a road in daylight hours, are more less refined to small spaces giving the hunter a huge edge. Go upstate NY and hunt a  2-3000 acre piece of state land...you will immediately notice a difference. 

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Big mature mountain deer way harder to kill than a mature small plot deer. NJ has some very mature deer but for the most part they get that way from going where we can’t (backyards, safety zones, no hunting property). If you can cut them off or gain access to some of these pieces you’ll get your shot. Mountain deer unless they are in full rut mode they aren’t coming. One wrong noise or strange scent they’re no where to be seen. And yes even the blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while. 

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6 minutes ago, Hitemnasty said:

You asked the question and started the topic, if you're going to disagree with everyone why did you ask if your mind is already made up?

I have my opinion and wanted to hear others.  I'm not disagreeing with everyone, just interested in experiences.  I can say in 35 years of hunting upstate NY and NJ that I have had much greater success in NJ.  Maybe more hours hunting NJ but still find the NY deer to be very very skittish compared to NJ deer. 

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Deer are deer and will always do their best to survive in ANY state in any habitat in any terrain.  One thing is for certain though - deer that are never hunted - even mature, are not as wary as those that are hunted.   Hunting pressure is what makes them smart.   Not saying "big woods" is easy hunting, but again your case is still - WITH A RIFLE.   Really does stack the odds in your favor.   

Hunting Benoit style, in big woods, find one mature buck track and stay on it until you get that buck has to be the ultimate though. 

Exchange "rifle" for "Bow" and bet you those Benoit's would not get those bucks like they do and have for many years. 

Case in point - just got back from a week of very tough hunting Ohio big woods, huge hills and hollers and steep ravines that would give anyone a heart attack to climb out of.  Bucks can die of old age in there.    I saw a few young bucks every day, and some does here and there but it was clear the mature bucks were the ones "locked down" and not moving much.     Second to last day - 10am, I said enough of this "waiting" for movement and tried to make it happen.  I blind rattled (something I know brings them in but am very reluctant when the deer are already skittish knowing they will come in downwind and bust me).  

Well in under a minute, I caught movement way down hill from me and sure enough - my first mature buck sighting.   Had he been off to the left, or the right, or in front of me, my confidence level would be soaring, but knowing my scent was blowing straight down that hill right at him, I knew it was just a matter of time before he got me.    And he did - but he froze for minutes, at 80 yards.   Exchange my "Bow" with my "30-06" and I would have had a 145-155" buck  riding back to NJ with me!  

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3 minutes ago, Daktari said:

Go Hunt Zone 4 "by the book"  No baiting....big hilly woods...and tell me how easy a NJ deer is........I'm sure you haven't because you wouldn't have written this thread......:cheers:

actually I do all my hunting in zone 2 and 3.  Bigger and hillier than zone 4. and yeah those deer are no comparison to an upstate NY or Maine, Vermont or New Hampshire deer.  

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14 minutes ago, Rjtfd said:

Big mature mountain deer way harder to kill than a mature small plot deer. NJ has some very mature deer but for the most part they get that way from going where we can’t (backyards, safety zones, no hunting property). If you can cut them off or gain access to some of these pieces you’ll get your shot. Mountain deer unless they are in full rut mode they aren’t coming. One wrong noise or strange scent they’re no where to be seen. And yes even the blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while. 

Agree.  This has been my experience as well, hunted NY, PA, and NJ for 30 years with bow and gun.

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5 minutes ago, Gman said:

I've been hunting NY and NJ for 35 years if that matters.  The NJ deer are in relatively small tracts of land, they typically will not cross a road in daylight hours, are more less refined to small spaces giving the hunter a huge edge. Go upstate NY and hunt a  2-3000 acre piece of state land...you will immediately notice a difference. 

Gman, it’s appears you’re comparing two different aspects of NY big woods deer, vs. NJ suburban deer. 
The fact that you mention going upstate and hunting 2-3K acres of land is in itself one aspect that makes it more difficult. The expansive area, and the lesser deer density, will obviously make it appear that the deer are “harder to kill,” but I think “harder,” relative to the comparison you’re making, is not quite comparing apples to apples. 
With densities so high in my areas of Nj, yes, it can appear to be easy pickings, and many times it is simply due to shear numbers.  
Now, if you get into a comparison as far as deer being more or less elusive, now that’s another discussion entirely. 

In my experience, it’s not a matter of which state has more elusive deer, it’s more of a localized pressure situation. 
There are areas I hunt I NJ where a deer will see you 3-400 yards across a field and immediately take off as if you were ten yards from it. I have mature does that we regularly label as “unkillable” over bait. They will circle around, scent check the area, look up in the trees for you, etc., deer don’t get any smarter then that, I don’t care where you are. That’s when you have to change tactics and not hunt over bait in order to kill them. 
Yes, there are also areas in NJ where the deer appear dumb as rocks because they are so used to interactions with humans with no actual hunting pressure.

So I guess I would  have to disagree with the general statement that NYS deer are harder to kill then NJ deer, it all depends on which deer you’re talking about. 

 

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