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Old 08-13-2019, 02:27 PM   #1
Shane
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Default Sika deer

Who has experience hunting sika? We have several on our lease, but we've seen only does and fawns all summer. Haven't seen a buck in person or on camera yet. I know they're around though, as the does were all pregnant and now have fawns.

From what I'm reading, sika bucks hang out in bachelor groups away from the does during the summer (similar to elk), and then they herd up with the does when the rut gets going in the fall. What type of terrain do the bucks prefer in the summer? It's just weird we're not seeing them at all anywhere. I'm hoping the bucks come to where the does are during the rut, rather than the does leaving to go find the bucks.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:42 PM   #2
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I know nothing about Sika deer, but when do they drop their antlers? Maybe you ARE seeing them...
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ACCURACYINC View Post
I know nothing about Sika deer, but when do they drop their antlers? Maybe you ARE seeing them...
They're on the same schedule as everything else except axis - rut and hard antlers in the fall, in velvet right now, etc. I've seen sika bucks on previous leases. It's easy to tell the difference between bucks and does. Their behavior patterns aren't like whitetail or axis though.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:50 PM   #4
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All I know is they taste really good!
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane View Post
Haven't seen a buck in person or on camera yet. I know they're around though, as the does were all pregnant and now have fawns.
Nothing gets past this guy!

I have nothing to add, I just thought that was funny. And Sika bucks make a cool bugle/scream when they rut....it'll wake you all the way up.

Last edited by Dale Moser; 08-13-2019 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:59 PM   #6
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Assuming you are talking about Japanese sika.

They are very nocturnal, which is one issue when hunting them. I’ve found them to be very wary. They will start their rut here in a few weeks with the bulls roaring much like elk looking for females.

From what I’ve seen, they pattern well and I would try and intercept them early morning at a food source before they go back to their beds.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:17 PM   #7
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The males do a bugle like an elk. They will start rutting in September. They tend to hang in the deepest draws and only come out early and late in the evenings. Difficult as hell to pattern. They are also very aggressive and tend to break points early. I let a nice 4x4 go last year and haven't had any photos of him yet. But come sept he will be around.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dale Moser View Post
Nothing gets past this guy!

I have nothing to add, I just thought that was funny. And Sika bucks make a cool bugle/scream when they rut....it'll wake you all the way up.
Yeah, I'm no genius. But I can figure some stuff out.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by txtrophy85 View Post
Assuming you are talking about Japanese sika.

They are very nocturnal, which is one issue when hunting them. Iíve found them to be very wary. They will start their rut here in a few weeks with the bulls roaring much like elk looking for females.

From what Iíve seen, they pattern well and I would try and intercept them early morning at a food source before they go back to their beds.
We see a couple different kinds of sika. Some are chocolate-colored with almost black legs, neck, face and stripe down the spine. Others are more reddish-brown with white spots. They run together.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane View Post
We see a couple different kinds of sika. Some are chocolate-colored with almost black legs, neck, face and stripe down the spine. Others are more reddish-brown with white spots. They run together.
The japs are small....90-110 lbs.

I’ve seen some that have spots depending on time of year

Last edited by txtrophy85; 08-13-2019 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:47 PM   #11
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Shane, I believe you know Patton through the Greenscreen. You may want to hit him up. Seems like he's had a lot of luck calling them in with a cow elk call during the Rut.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:52 PM   #12
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I think your best bet would be to call them in with a deer feeder going off. Other than that I got nothing.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:52 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by The Cajun View Post
Shane, I believe you know Patton through the Greenscreen. You may want to hit him up. Seems like he's had a lot of luck calling them in with a cow elk call during the Rut.
Yes sir. Patton has been very helpful. I was just wondering if anyone else knew much about them too. I've had sika on our previous leases, but very hit and miss in every seeing any. Our current lease has decent numbers of sika does on it, just no bucks yet.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:57 PM   #14
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I think your best bet would be to call them in with a deer feeder going off. Other than that I got nothing.
^^^^this. Similar story to yours; I killed a big one a couple years ago.
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteoak View Post
The males do a bugle like an elk. They will start rutting in September. They tend to hang in the deepest draws and only come out early and late in the evenings. Difficult as hell to pattern. They are also very aggressive and tend to break points early. I let a nice 4x4 go last year and haven't had any photos of him yet. But come sept he will be around.
This is pretty consistent for what I have seen and learned hunting with Sika the past 10+ years. Deep and thick draws, not patternable on feeders, aggressive towards one another/often break points and they rut real hard.

From what I gather, most of the Sika in the hill country are mutts. Like you Shane, I've seen sika standing side by side that look very dissimilar from one another. Most of the sika will change from reddish-orange with spots during the summer to jet black in the fall; some stay mostly dark year round and just get spots in the summer. The thick mane on the bucks/bulls comes with the winter coat.

I think you are going to have some great hunts this year trying to call them in. Like whiteoak said, unless they are rutting around--they are usually in the steepest, narrowest and thickest canyons.

Last edited by Patton; 08-13-2019 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:00 PM   #16
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I hunted this deer for 3 years....shot and missed him twice; once in 2015 and again in 2017 before taking him in late September of that year.

He was a whore monger and when you would see the does he would appear. He was bright rusty red with faint spots in early august then dark dark brown in September.

He was easy to read....in the mornings he was on his way back to bed on a high saddle on a ridge in some thick cedar and in the evenings he would make his way down off the hill to water. He must have gone down/back up over 300' of elevation each day. I walked that route several times and it was a beating...I would use it to train for Colorado before my elk trips.

anyway, he was a very visible animal. I kept bumping him early in the morning on my way to the blind. they would hang out in some oaks before the feeder went off. after a few times I got in the blind at 5 am and waited him out, that was his undoing.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:52 PM   #17
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They were rutting hard on our lease last year during bow season. I generally have velvet bucks growing on camera late spring, then never see them again. I did see one doe in person, but let her walk. One guy shot a really nice sika buck opening morning of rifle season last year. His blind is in a very rocky area.

Last edited by outlook8; 08-13-2019 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:08 PM   #18
Shane
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Those are some nice bucks!

I saw a really big sika buck with a herd of does during bow season a couple of years ago on our previous lease. They were out in the middle of an open pasture. That was the only time I saw the buck. We saw a couple does a couple other times on that place. They rarely came through our lease. We see them on camera every day on our current lease. Looking forward to the rut. Hopefully the bucks will come out of hiding to chase all the does we have on the place.

Last edited by Shane; 08-13-2019 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:09 PM   #19
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Yíall are making me want to hunt a sika buck.


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Old 08-14-2019, 08:06 AM   #20
denimdeerslayer
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Those are some really good bucks!!
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:28 AM   #21
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I was a guest of a buddy on his Del rio lease. They had a few scattered throughout the lease, but I remember him always saying, “Staying around water is your best bet for Sitka.” He ended up shooting one on a chum pile near a water trough not long after that. Obviously all animals need water, so it might be useless information, but it worked for him.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:59 AM   #22
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Shane. Best advice is go spend the night out in late Spetember. They will be real vocal at night about 3-4 in the morning. Sound simulation to elk. I always saw them very early up high on ridges in thick brush. Almost never saw them out in open unless it was night
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:10 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane View Post
We see a couple different kinds of sika. Some are chocolate-colored with almost black legs, neck, face and stripe down the spine. Others are more reddish-brown with white spots. They run together.
I think these are both same variety, just different color variations. From my experience, they seem to like to hang out up one hills primarily but will come out in fields to eat - mainly very early and very late. They do make a really cool whistle / bugle, like a mini elk. cool animals and wary. They often hop, kind of like a mule deer when the get scared.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:17 AM   #24
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Those are some really nice bucks, a couple of the biggest I have seen anyone take. I have seen many of them mounted throughout the Hill Country and people will say they are really good ones. However, several of the ones we killed were bigger than any I had seen mounted and I think the ones posted above are slightly bigger than any we killed.
I think they are probably pretty regular visitors to the open fields at night. If you could find a good travel route from the field to the bedding area in the hills and can get in early, that might be another option in addition to trying to call.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:47 AM   #25
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Since we are talking about Sika, I hope you don't mind me posting this video Gets me amped up about hunting them! I'm going to try and cover some ground and call them in this October. Hopefully the monster I called in twice last year (sent you video of one of them Shane), wants to play again because I won't hold back this time
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:58 AM   #26
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I was hoping you'd post that, Patton.

They're cool critters. I want one bad.
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:01 AM   #27
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Right now, all I have are these. Hoping they attract a big buck when the rut kicks off.

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Old 08-14-2019, 11:33 AM   #28
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Wish I had cell signal where I hunt for a cam like you.. I've seen doe/fawn families like that turn jet black and chocolate when they get their fall coat. Winter coats are pretty but those dark red/roan coats with the spots and black stripe...beautiful.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:07 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BowhunterB View Post
Those are some really nice bucks, a couple of the biggest I have seen anyone take. I have seen many of them mounted throughout the Hill Country and people will say they are really good ones. However, several of the ones we killed were bigger than any I had seen mounted and I think the ones posted above are slightly bigger than any we killed.
I think they are probably pretty regular visitors to the open fields at night. If you could find a good travel route from the field to the bedding area in the hills and can get in early, that might be another option in addition to trying to call.
The one I Posted is no.28 archery SCI. Scored 109Ē even. They donít differentiate the subspecies in North America which is a shame

Jim shockey holds the record for archery jap sika, his scores in the low 80Ē range.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:11 PM   #30
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Are those dybouski (? Spelling) sika?
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:16 PM   #31
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Quote:
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Wish I had cell signal where I hunt for a cam like you.. I've seen doe/fawn families like that turn jet black and chocolate when they get their fall coat. Winter coats are pretty but those dark red/roan coats with the spots and black stripe...beautiful.
Yeah, they're really pretty. The others are darker with fewer and fainter spots...
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:02 PM   #32
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Are those dybouski (? Spelling) sika?
Hard to tell exactly without being there but they look like Japs to me.

They dybowskis in wintertime are normally a gray and the japs a chocolate color
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:02 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torqman View Post
Are those dybouski (? Spelling) sika?
Hard to tell exactly without being there but they look like Japs to me.

They dybowskis in wintertime are normally a gray and the japs a chocolate color

The bucks are also 50-75lbs bigger
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:18 PM   #34
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Two years ago, I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I was hunting whitetails from a spot that hadnt been hunted in a long time, on family land. It was almost dark. I was looking at some does, and all of a sudden they both jerked their heads up. I looked where they were looking and this dark critter was walking across the pasture. Got binoculars up and said to myself "holy ****, thats a sika buck!" He walked across that field unsuspecting, like a dang cow. Once he got to about 120, he didnt go any farther. Hes not a giant but hes on the wall now, and filled the freezer. Cool critter.
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:02 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patton View Post
Since we are talking about Sika, I hope you don't mind me posting this video Gets me amped up about hunting them! I'm going to try and cover some ground and call them in this October. Hopefully the monster I called in twice last year (sent you video of one of them Shane), wants to play again because I won't hold back this time
Luck of the Draw | Texas Sika Bowhunting - YouTube


Nice video.


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Old 08-14-2019, 03:20 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patton View Post
Since we are talking about Sika, I hope you don't mind me posting this video Gets me amped up about hunting them! I'm going to try and cover some ground and call them in this October. Hopefully the monster I called in twice last year (sent you video of one of them Shane), wants to play again because I won't hold back this time
Luck of the Draw | Texas Sika Bowhunting - YouTube


Nice video.


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Old 08-14-2019, 03:23 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txtrophy85 View Post
Hard to tell exactly without being there but they look like Japs to me.

They dybowskis in wintertime are normally a gray and the japs a chocolate color

The bucks are also 50-75lbs bigger
Ya hit the nail on the head!
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:35 PM   #38
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Will the Sika doeís jump into a feeder pen thatís made out of hog panels?


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Old 08-20-2019, 10:28 PM   #39
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Are the bucks this spooky? Zach and I had this doe and then a group of 5 sika does at under 10 yards this morning.

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Old 08-21-2019, 03:16 AM   #40
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I had a young bull/buck show up at my slice of Texas in RS about 7wks ago. Saw him once on camera then he vanished. Last week while chatting with the neighboring property owner, he mentioned he had shot a really cool looking Sika deer. Showed me a pic and sure enough it was the same young Sika buck I had seen on camera. When I asked him why he shot such a young buck (4" antlers ) he said "Well, I had never killed one so I shot it". What an idiot!
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:58 AM   #41
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Quote:
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I had a young bull/buck show up at my slice of Texas in RS about 7wks ago. Saw him once on camera then he vanished. Last week while chatting with the neighboring property owner, he mentioned he had shot a really cool looking Sika deer. Showed me a pic and sure enough it was the same young Sika buck I had seen on camera. When I asked him why he shot such a young buck (4" antlers ) he said "Well, I had never killed one so I shot it". What an idiot!


Thatís Rocksprings for ya lol reminds me of the neighbors that shoot axis bulls half grown out when we had the same bull be over 30 inches the season before..


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