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Old 12-30-2019, 12:06 PM   #1
mikemorvan
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Default Bow hunting a tough buck? Would you....

So, let me start by saying that from the time i was a kid i've hunted with bow and arrow. I fell away for awhile, but now i'm back. I love the challenge. But, for a variety of reasons (some bad luck, more just choosing not to shoot) i'v never actually shot a whitetail deer w/ bow and arrow. I'm determined to do so.

There is a buck i've been chasing that has become my White Whale. I believe he's about a 160" deer with much character. He's has been faithful in coming to the feeder where i have a tripod. It is impossible to get the the tripod without going by the feed pen. (Bad set up i know, but there's not many options). Anyway, he is in and out of the pen at night quite a bit, up to about an hour before shooting light. He comes back in about an hour after shooting light has expired. He, very rarely, but occasionally, shows up in the middle of the day.

I can't be sure, but logic tells me i may have jumped him out of the pen in the mornings. I like to be in the tripod and hour and a half before sunrise. One full hour before shooting light. I'm sure i had to have jumped him out at some point. Maybe multiple times.

So, the last weekend of the season is here. I'm giving serious consideration to waiting to go out at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, and Sunday morning and sitting in that tripod all day. So, the question is: Would you?

The idea being to not disturb him the morning and hope for the best the rest of day. Whaddyathink?
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:08 PM   #2
Grady_jones
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if he comes in the morning go at night and sleep in your tripod
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:10 PM   #3
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When he isn't bumped, is he there after shooting light according to the cameras??
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:12 PM   #4
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The best way to have got that buck and itís still possible is set up on the trail you think he is coming in on build you a brush blind and hand corn the crap out of it . I would set up a couple hundred yards away from the feeder on that trail . He will come and eat in the daylight at that hand corn .


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Old 12-30-2019, 12:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grady_jones View Post
if he comes in the morning go at night and sleep in your tripod
Yeah well, the tripod is: open air, has about a 42" square base, on a hill / bluff 200' above the Red River w/ north wind blowing up the hill. I want to take that deer, but i'm not that mad at him.
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:13 PM   #6
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I'd go in really early, like 3am. IF you bump him then, he won't go far under the cover of darkness. Get still and his short attention span and late season need for food will make him come back in. I'd also hunt all day if need be. Just in case he decides for a mid day corn snack.
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:15 PM   #7
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But yes the only other thing to do if he is there before daylight I wouldnít hunt that spot in the morning wait tell about 10 and set tell dark .


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Old 12-30-2019, 12:15 PM   #8
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Is there feed available for him to eat at night? If so, turn the run time down so thereís not a bunch of left over corn for him to eat at night long. If itís free choice protein shut it off.

I hunted an axis buck that would camp out at a feeder during the night, show up the second it went off in the AM and leave within 15 minutes. I tried getting in the blind 2 hours early but I must have been running him off because he wouldnít show when I was there.

He had me pretty pattered so I surprised him by setting up a pop up blind in a new spot that was easier to slip in to.
First morning I hunted it he showed up the second the feeder went off and I got him.

You can manipulate how deer move to a certain extent by adjusting your feeder times, turning feeders off to give them fewer options or corning by hand. Got to be creative sometimes.



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Old 12-30-2019, 12:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by tbgascorer View Post
When he isn't bumped, is he there after shooting light according to the cameras??
Yes. I'm just wondering if he stays around closer in the morning, if he might come in a little earlier in the evening?
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:16 PM   #10
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Super early on stand or all night. Stay all daylight hours ......he will make a mistake!

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Old 12-30-2019, 12:19 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Hoss163 View Post
The best way to have got that buck and itís still possible is set up on the trail you think he is coming in on build you a brush blind and hand corn the crap out of it . I would set up a couple hundred yards away from the feeder on that trail . He will come and eat in the daylight at that hand corn .


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I've considered this. But that hill is a brushy mess, and steep. It's a weird deal. I normally think deer are pretty lazy and will avoid "work" at all costs. They can come to the pen from the front much more easily. This is the first year they've come from up the hill. I don't know. The 3:00 option also has some appeal. I just need to figure out a way to stay in that tripod seat. Maybe fashion a seat belt of some sort. I don't know...
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:24 PM   #12
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I'd slip in an hour before daylight - don't use your flashlight if possible - make sure wind is right.
Hunt a long AM sit - slip out for lunch - and then hunt a long afternoon sit.

Also beer helps sometimes.
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:26 PM   #13
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Falling asleep in a tripod wouldn't be good. Going in at 3am would be risking that, if it were me. I'd either find another spot to set up on, as Sika and Hoss163 mentioned, or I'd just stay out until it gets light enough to slip in and hunt the rest of the day hoping he'd slip up during daylight.

Honestly though, if he's mostly at the feeder outside legal shooting hours, a setup on his transition trail would likely be the best bet.
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane View Post
Falling asleep in a tripod wouldn't be good. Going in at 3am would be risking that, if it were me. I'd either find another spot to set up on, as Sika and Hoss163 mentioned, or I'd just stay out until it gets light enough to slip in and hunt the rest of the day hoping he'd slip up during daylight.

Honestly though, if he's mostly at the feeder outside legal shooting hours, a setup on his transition trail would likely be the best bet.
I second this. Transition trail or midday.
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:29 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Hoss163 View Post
The best way to have got that buck and itís still possible is set up on the trail you think he is coming in on build you a brush blind and hand corn the crap out of it . I would set up a couple hundred yards away from the feeder on that trail . He will come and eat in the daylight at that hand corn .


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This right here.

Exactly how I have had to go about getting target bucks killed with my bow on our place. Finding their trail they use and setting up by a scrape and hand corn. Other wise itís always a crap shoot and 95% of the time the buck wins if I donít make a move to catch him on a trail away from a feeder.
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walker1983 View Post
I'd slip in an hour before daylight - don't use your flashlight if possible - make sure wind is right.
Hunt a long AM sit - slip out for lunch - and then hunt a long afternoon sit.

Also beer helps sometimes.
You may be on to something. I'll get him drunk. It worked in college.
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:31 PM   #17
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Looks like I may be on an ambush site prep on Friday afternoon if i can get away from work in time.
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:33 PM   #18
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Over the summer I sat in a hot double bull for 5 straight days from sun up to sundown to kill a big axis and did. If he is big enough do it. It is not easy killing a big buck and sometimes takes all day sits.
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:34 PM   #19
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This is him...

https://discussions.texasbowhunter.c...d.php?t=750569
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemorvan View Post
So, let me start by saying that from the time i was a kid i've hunted with bow and arrow. I fell away for awhile, but now i'm back. I love the challenge. But, for a variety of reasons (some bad luck, more just choosing not to shoot) i'v never actually shot a whitetail deer w/ bow and arrow. I'm determined to do so.

There is a buck i've been chasing that has become my White Whale. I believe he's about a 160" deer with much character. He's has been faithful in coming to the feeder where i have a tripod. It is impossible to get the the tripod without going by the feed pen. (Bad set up i know, but there's not many options). Anyway, he is in and out of the pen at night quite a bit, up to about an hour before shooting light. He comes back in about an hour after shooting light has expired. He, very rarely, but occasionally, shows up in the middle of the day.

I can't be sure, but logic tells me i may have jumped him out of the pen in the mornings. I like to be in the tripod and hour and a half before sunrise. One full hour before shooting light. I'm sure i had to have jumped him out at some point. Maybe multiple times.

So, the last weekend of the season is here. I'm giving serious consideration to waiting to go out at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, and Sunday morning and sitting in that tripod all day. So, the question is: Would you?

The idea being to not disturb him the morning and hope for the best the rest of day. Whaddyathink?
First, your best chance to get a buck like that is going to and from food, NOT at food. So I'd figure out his travel pattern and quietly adjust your hunting for next year.... in the least intrusive manner possible. It's actually easy to do post this season.... couple of days of footwork....locate staging areas, rub lines, Google Earth, Onyx, etc etc etc.

Secondly, I've killed quite a few good deer in my life, passed way more than I've killed, and the vast majority were seen just before quality light, just after quality light, and +/- high noon. I've hunted all day several hundred times.....just be prepared to do so.

Go for it! Great fortune to you...hope you get him! 👍
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:36 PM   #21
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He's a stud for sure! Does he use the same trail in and out every time?
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:38 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slicefixer View Post
First, your best chance to get a buck like that is going to and from food, NOT at food. So I'd figure out his travel pattern and quietly adjust your hunting for next year.... in the least intrusive manner possible. It's actually easy to do post this season.... couple of days of footwork....locate staging areas, rub lines, Google Earth, Onyx, etc etc etc.

Secondly, I've killed quite a few good deer in my life, passed way more than I've killed, and the vast majority were seen just before quality light, just after quality light, and high noon. I've hunted all day several hundred times.....just be prepared to do so.

Go for it! Great fortune to you...hope you get him! 👍
I've got all that info. Those plans are already rolling in my head for next season. The deer messed me up by changing their travel pattern this year. Still can't figure that one out.
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:40 PM   #23
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He's a stud for sure! Does he use the same trail in and out every time?
Pretty much. It's a brushy trail up a steep hill from the river below. I just have to go down there and figure something out.

The next thing will be figuring out how to get him out of there if i do get him. But i'll cross that bridge when i get there.
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:42 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by mikemorvan View Post
Pretty much. It's a brushy trail up a steep hill from the river below. I just have to go down there and figure something out.

The next thing will be figuring out how to get him out of there if i do get him. But i'll cross that bridge when i get there.
It's nothing to skin and quarter a deer on the ground. Getting him on the ground is the challenge. Good luck!!
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:45 PM   #25
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Be super careful to not disturb much on the trail, and try not to spread much scent. I'd take a Ziploc bag of hand corn with me too. Spread that out in a good shooting lane once you get a good setup. Take more when you go back to hunt (if you don't hunt immediately).
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:45 PM   #26
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Id probably set up a pop up or move the tripod to get wind and entry/exit in your favor. Handcorn 20-30yards away, get in early and stay late and you might be surprised what you will see. Not a big fan of spending 3+hrs in a tripiod before shooting light.
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:51 PM   #27
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He's a stud for sure! Does he use the same trail in and out every time?
Naw.....he'll have several ways, both in and out, with a couple being his prime routes.
I'd do a few things....

First.....STUDY Google Earth.....where's the food and where's the cover? Where are the travel corridors between the two? Watersheds? Transition zones? Etc. Draw it out on Google Earth maps.....then get to walking in the off season.

Once on the ground you'll find his primary corridors via his rub lines and occasional scrape. When you find a rub of some significance, flag it or immediately note on your gps/phone, then note the side of the tree the rubs primarily damaged the tree.....that's his general direction of travel. Walk lazy circles in that general direction and you'll soon find another....and another....and another....now ya got him. Now staging areas (close to food and bedding) via his rubs....scrapes too. Note all of this on your map. As you note more and more things a "picture" WILL emerge.

Then, using your map figure out where he's more vulnerable IN THE DAYLIGHT. Then, once you've located several of his vulnerable spots, figure out the easiest ingress, egress, and prevailing winds for each spot

Then get in there in August and sweat your butt off building highly disguised ground blinds....blend em in but good.

The good thing is this, once he's dead (or retired 😉 ) another dominant buck WILL move right in and take over the territory. So your hard earned honey hole blinds will still be highly viable.

Last edited by Slicefixer; 12-30-2019 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 12-30-2019, 01:00 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slicefixer View Post
Naw.....he'll have several ways, both in and out, with a couple being his prime routes.
I'd do a few things....

First.....STUDY Google Earth.....where's the food and where's the cover? Where are the travel corridors between the two? Watersheds? Transition zones? Etc. Draw it out on Google Earth maps.....then get to walking in the off season.

Once on the ground you'll find his primary corridors via his rub lines and occasional scrape. When you find a rub of some significance, flag it or immediately note on your gps/phone, then note the side of the tree the rubs primarily damaged the tree.....that's his general direction of travel. Walk lazy circles in that general direction and you'll soon find another....and another....and another....now ya got him. Now staging areas (close to food and bedding) via his rubs....scrapes too. Note all of this on your map. As you note more and more things a "picture" WILL emerge.

Then, using your map figure out where he's more vulnerable IN THE DAYLIGHT. Then, once you've located several of his vulnerable spots, figure out the easiest ingress, egress, and prevailing winds for each spot

Then get in there in August and sweat your butt off building highly disguised ground blinds....blend em in but good.

The good thing is this, once he's dead (or retired 😉 ) another dominant buck WILL move right in and take over the territory. So your hard earned honey hole blinds will still be highly viable.
There is a big scrape 10' from the tripod. Rub line down the hill. I'll be all over your suggestion this off season. There are several bucks that are using this trail system. A couple of future champions.
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Old 12-30-2019, 02:02 PM   #29
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Shut the feed off except in daylight. Set up a pop up an the edge and a big pile of hand corn. Get the wind right and kill him first hunt
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Old 12-30-2019, 02:05 PM   #30
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Good luck getting him I bet that buck is going to be hi 50s once you get him on the ground .


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Old 12-30-2019, 02:13 PM   #31
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Sniper hog light! Sounds like you've gotten some pretty good info. I'm with everyone not wanting to get in a tripod several hours before daylight.
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Old 12-30-2019, 02:40 PM   #32
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There is a big scrape 10' from the tripod. Rub line down the hill. I'll be all over your suggestion this off season. There are several bucks that are using this trail system. A couple of future champions.
CONSISTENTLY putting yourself IN position on deer 4.5 and up takes a lot of work....at least where I've done most of my deer chasing. South and west Texas, KS was easier, on some ranches a breeze, but on most spots it's still a serious challenge.

In NE TX/SW AR/WC LA mature bucks are pretty tough to get an eyeball on, much less a pin or crosshair. Swamps, dense hardwood bottoms, overcuts/select cuts, clearcuts, over grown pine stands, etc are a tough ticket. On top of that the deer are really pressured, year round, in a lot of it. So if they survive to 3.5 they're already pretty rare, 4.5+ and they're very lucky and very smart.

As a result you'd better be very serious, very patient, be willing to do what most aren't, and know your stuff.....best info, lay of the land, etc etc etc. Even then you've still got to be very fortunate....

I read it all.... Murphy Ray, Gore, Brothers to Kroll....MSU research, TT research, etc etc Quite a bit of "it," the early info in particular, simply didn't pan out to be true, at least in my area. Dr. Kroll's stuff DID for the most part....at least before he went full tilt with the commercialization, etc. No wonder as his early research was in the piney woods and hardwood bottoms of east Texas....exactly like that of which I was very familiar.

Anyway, the info IS out there if a person wants to go find it. I just read an interesting study regarding a whitetails vision....grey to them is bright blue.....no more grey camo for me. Sad to say I didn't know that....hehehe

Anyway, I've jabbered too much.....

Great luck to you....the chase is the fun part IMOP....😉
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Old 12-30-2019, 09:00 PM   #33
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Long sit in the tripod has been ruled out. We've (son and myself) got a plan. Going to take the game to him. Hope to file a good follow up story on Monday. We'll see...

Thanks for the tips and suggestions.
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Old 12-30-2019, 09:09 PM   #34
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All I got is this time of year we ain’t staying home. Weather is nice girls are out ain’t no telling where your going to find him. You just got to be there
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Old 12-30-2019, 09:14 PM   #35
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Whatever you have been doing isnít working. Switch it up. Catch him going to and from the feeder, walk in early from a different direction, hunt all day, I donít know just throwing out suggestions.


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Old 12-30-2019, 09:25 PM   #36
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Whatever you have been doing isnít working. Switch it up. Catch him going to and from the feeder, walk in early from a different direction, hunt all day, I donít know just throwing out suggestions.


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Much to my chagrin and embarrassment, it took me until the drive home yesterday to remember the old saying: "The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again, and expect different results". Switch up coming.

Just hope it's not too little too late. We'll see...
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Old 12-30-2019, 09:39 PM   #37
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Good luck. I’ve done the insanity approach many a time in years past and finally have become more flexible. More heads are on the wall as a result. Best of luck with the new approach!
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Old 12-31-2019, 12:00 PM   #38
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Mike if you can sit in a tripod all day or even 2-3 hours where we hunt you are one tuff dude!

I ve always thought it's more important to find how and where they leave after they have full bellies. Their guard is down a little.

We set our feeders to throw 2 seconds at 11, noon and 1pm during the rut. Just in case a big boy runs thru chasin for mid day sits.

Good luck this weekend.
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Old 12-31-2019, 04:59 PM   #39
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If you know where his bedding area is at< I would post up with in a 100yds or so of his bed. Wait all day. The moon is coming up in the midday, overhead in the evening. Back half of the day should be good movement. As stated above, when he is headed to bed, he will be vulnerable. One thing on his mind, sleep. Perfect opportunity to slip an arrow through his rib cage.

If you are dead set on hunting the feeder, I would go fishing. He obviously has you pegged. If your stand is wide open with no back or front cover, he will obviously see you.

Go hunt that son of a buck and let your instincts direct you on what to do.

Last edited by lovemylegacy; 12-31-2019 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 12-31-2019, 05:03 PM   #40
lovemylegacy
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Shut the feed off except in daylight. Set up a pop up an the edge and a big pile of hand corn. Get the wind right and kill him first hunt
Put some 'nilla on it and its a lock!
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Old 12-31-2019, 05:53 PM   #41
trophy8
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A 160” buck this late in the season. Back up on a hill a smoke that dude with a rifle.



I had to play a similar game with my avatar buck(165”). I got in real early. No lights. Scent control on point. Killed him the second weekend of the season at 18 yards at first light. I was bumping him somehow. So I changed my approach.
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Old 12-31-2019, 05:53 PM   #42
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Double post
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Old 12-31-2019, 07:49 PM   #43
nursejenn
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A 160Ē buck this late in the season. Back up on a hill a smoke that dude with a rifle.



I had to play a similar game with my avatar buck(165Ē). I got in real early. No lights. Scent control on point. Killed him the second weekend of the season at 18 yards at first light. I was bumping him somehow. So I changed my approach.


No! Stick it out, hunt the trails like everyone else said and he will slip up... mine did!

Nothing better than hunting hard and finally getting the one youíre after WITH A BOW if thatís what you want. I did it 2 years in a row and it took me longer this year...

Good luck OP!
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Old 12-31-2019, 08:58 PM   #44
mikemorvan
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If you know where his bedding area is at< I would post up with in a 100yds or so of his bed. Wait all day. The moon is coming up in the midday, overhead in the evening. Back half of the day should be good movement. As stated above, when he is headed to bed, he will be vulnerable. One thing on his mind, sleep. Perfect opportunity to slip an arrow through his rib cage.

If you are dead set on hunting the feeder, I would go fishing. He obviously has you pegged. If your stand is wide open with no back or front cover, he will obviously see you.

Go hunt that son of a buck and let your instincts direct you on what to do.
Not hunting the feeder any longer. Maybe never. The feeder will stay, but after thinking this out, we're (son and myself) going to slip in behind them in mornings (9:00ish), and sit all day. Catch them going away from, or going to, the feeder pen. I expect we'll be down the hill, close to the river, from the pen. There's lots of brush on that hill. I can't believe i let myself get so complacent and lazy in my hunting. Very disappointed in myself. We'll see how the weekend goes. I plan to stick with the bow. Son will have rifle. We'll be able to cover both sides of the hill / point. As my dearly departed grandmother would say - "we'll see...".
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Old 12-31-2019, 09:00 PM   #45
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Mike if you can sit in a tripod all day or even 2-3 hours where we hunt you are one tuff dude!

I ve always thought it's more important to find how and where they leave after they have full bellies. Their guard is down a little.

We set our feeders to throw 2 seconds at 11, noon and 1pm during the rut. Just in case a big boy runs thru chasin for mid day sits.

Good luck this weekend.
I can sit all day. But not on a tripod. 3.5 / 4 hours is all i can do though. Old hips.
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Old 12-31-2019, 09:57 PM   #46
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I can sit all day. But not on a tripod. 3.5 / 4 hours is all i can do though. Old hips.
I was visioning you sitting on top of that hill in 25į temps with a 30mph north Texas zephyr hitting you in the face for 3 hours.
We don't own a tripod Inclosed blinds with buddy heaters for our soft crew

I hope you give him some Easton fever this weekend. I'll be out there if ya need anything.
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Old 12-31-2019, 10:06 PM   #47
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I was visioning you sitting on top of that hill in 25į temps with a 30mph north Texas zephyr hitting you in the face for 3 hours.
We don't own a tripod Inclosed blinds with buddy heaters for our soft crew

I hope you give him some Easton fever this weekend. I'll be out there if ya need anything.
This why i can only go 3.5 / 4 hours. Muck Boots, plenty of layers, and it all lasts for about 180 minutes. The last 30 - 60 minutes are tough. I do have my back to the wind so that helps. I like tripods, but those days may be coming to an end in the next 2 - 3 years. They're a young mans game.
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Old 12-31-2019, 11:16 PM   #48
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Is picking up a gun an option? No shame in that.
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Old 12-31-2019, 11:41 PM   #49
Razrbk89
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If you’ve bumped a buck that age off of a corn feeder more than once and he keeps coming back, he’s got nothing else of quality to eat and I’d imagine you have his goose cooked if you move further up the trail. Wouldn’t even bother baiting further up the trail if he’s still coming. Old guy is hungry with no other food options.

If gun hunting is an option and I knew where he was, I’d get some buddies together and try a drive. Maybe you could push him out and get someone would get a shot.
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Old 01-01-2020, 03:07 AM   #50
lovemylegacy
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Not hunting the feeder any longer. Maybe never. The feeder will stay, but after thinking this out, we're (son and myself) going to slip in behind them in mornings (9:00ish), and sit all day. Catch them going away from, or going to, the feeder pen. I expect we'll be down the hill, close to the river, from the pen. There's lots of brush on that hill. I can't believe i let myself get so complacent and lazy in my hunting. Very disappointed in myself. We'll see how the weekend goes. I plan to stick with the bow. Son will have rifle. We'll be able to cover both sides of the hill / point. As my dearly departed grandmother would say - "we'll see...".
Yes we will! Expecting some pics. Hunt the terrain features, he will use them to his advantage.
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