Southern Public Land Update
So, with a week left in the season we decided to make an aggressive move and move in close to where the deer were entering the cut bean field. We saw two areas along the field edge that we wanted to move in close too. The spot we chose for the first evening was right in the corner of the field. Well, in a nut shell, we chose the wrong trail. The first deer to enter the field were a doe and a 2x2 buck, but they entered the field about 40 yards down the fence line from our location. As the night continued we had several doe groups enter the field from an area along the field edge to our west and to our north, with still no deer using the trail we had set up on. With about 20 minutes of shooting light left Chance spotted a nice 4x4 entering the field on the same trail the 2x2 and doe had entered on earlier that evening. We left the food source that night with the plan of returning the next evening and moving down the field edge.
That next evening we set up along the field edge, just off the trail where the shooter 4x4 walked the night before. Not too long after we had been sitting we could hear a group of does behind us and about 30 minutes later they started walking down the trail we were set up on. As they got closer they realized that dark mass sitting next to the tree wasn’t a tree stump and turned around and walked back down the trail. But it didn’t take long and that group of does, along with several other doe groups entered the field by walking down the trail we had set up on the night before in the corner of the field. That night we saw about the same number of deer eating in the bean field, but because of the pressure we were putting on them we decided to back out for a couple of days and return a few days later.
We had kind of guessed that some other hunters had been hunting this bean field because the deer seemed a bit more on edge then they had before. When we returned to hunt this spot again, we had a couple hunters walk in and set up along the field edge about an hour before dark. During the previous hunts, we were seeing anywhere from 15 to 25 deer using this field. That evening we saw only 4 does. The pressure was definitely changing things.
With the final day of the season upon us we decided to walk the field edge as far as we could to get as far back into the property as we could and try to get away from the hunting pressure. Our final set up of the season allowed us to overlook a new area of the field we couldn’t see very well before. Sure enough, this is where all the deer had moved to because of the pressure on the other side of field. The only downside was that they were entering the field from property that is not public land. So, I had to watch, with no shot opportunity, as deer after deer entered from across the field. To my surprise, even with all the pressure, shooter bucks were stepping into the field in daylight hours. At one time that evening there was 20 does and 4-5 shooter bucks feeding in the field. As the final minutes of the season ticked away, I watched as the sun set behind those bucks and on our 2016 season.
This season definitely did not go as we had hoped it would. We started the season with two tags and ended the season with two tags. But the season was not a total disappointment. The southern public land site continued to produce sightings of giant bucks. We got multiple trail camera pics of shooter bucks and even had multiple encounters with those deer throughout the season. The season may be over, but the work has already begun for next year. All the hitlist bucks we encountered this year survived the season, which means we will have even bigger deer to chase next year. We already have plans of doing some winter and spring scouting and hanging multiple cameras to gain even more info about this property and our hitlist bucks. It’s now time to look back on the season and see what we can learn to try and formulate an even better plan for next year. Make sure to check back for updates throughout the off season as we build and execute this plan.
Keeping checking the website and social media for updates on the short film we are currently producing that documents the ups and downs we had this season.