Home Forums Hunting Deer Hunting 2016 deer season and lessons learned

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  • AvatarLundImpact1675
    Post count: 260

    I hope everyone was successful in punching all their deer tags this season. I never had a P&Y or B&C provide a shot opportunity this year, but I was very satisfied and grateful for the 2 does I was able to harvest with my bow and mature buck I took with my muzzleloader. I bought 3 tags this year and was able to punch all of them and I feel extremely blessed to have gotten to enjoy another season. To celebrate, I took my wife and 2 daughters to Hickory Park yesterday afternoon for “lupper” and sundaes. I think it is extremely important to acknowledge and thank my family for their support and sacrifices from 9/1-1/10 every year.

    What are your key lessons learned and takeaways from this deer season? Mine are the following:

    1. Based on Iowa Sportsman broadhead testing results, I tried Slick Trick Viper Trick 100 broadheads for the first time this season, and they are bar-none the best I’ve ever used. I was able to execute double lung pass through shots on both does this season, one at 12 and the other at 17 yards. Neither deer went more than 75 yards before expiring. One of these broadheads I accidentally buried into a piece of split red elm during a practice session, and after extracting from the wood and re-sharpening with my broadhead wrench/sharpener it was surgical sharp and good as new. Very tough, accurate, and deep penetrating heads.

    2. At the end of this season, I need to take all my tree stands down, bring them home, and perform maintenance and buy new straps. I leave my stands in the woods for many years at a time, and this maintenance is way overdue.

    3. I need to focus on fence jumps for more effectively funneling deer next season. In many places I need to fix fence anyways, and with some old scrap wire I am going to splice in high spots and create additional low spots to steer deer past my sets. This will be especially handy for making deer movement more predictable once I have my food plot established.

    4. I need to invest in a new scope and rings for my muzzleloader. While the Konus 3x10x44 that came with my Accura has decent glass and I like the BDC reticle, it has limited eye relief. This causes me to use lighter loads than I would like (scope bite), takes longer to get on target and focus, and makes me hesitant to let my daughter shoot the gun. The Nikon Inline XR BDC 300 has 5″ of eye relief, better glass, and effective BDC, and I will be buying one of these for next season. This will let me work up hot loads for long distance shooting as well enhance my daughter’s ability to shoot the gun. To make cleaning the rifle easier, I am going to partner the new scope with some Leupold rings and knock off bases.

    5. In order to draw and hold more deer on my primary property, I need to establish a food plot.

    6. Now is the time to inventory all my hunting clothes and find replacement gear on clearance. My 80s and 90s layering approach is too binding, and the new insulation and materials available should reduce the bulk and improve my mobility and comfort for next season.

    7. I need to get all my guns broke down, deep cleaned, and back in the cabinet for the off-season.

    8. I need to focus more time on getting my daughter in the woods with what is left of this season (squirrels and rabbits) and next season (early muzzy)

    Post count: 9152

    I need to make sure I have the boys both ready for youth season. I need to get a couple dual person stands up and blinds set out for youth season. My focus is to get both of the boys deer this fall.
    I am not going to get antlerless tags this coming season. I think in seasons to come with the boys hunting I will back off on the smoothies if we are focusing on killing more deer and not just bucks.

    Post count: 4985

    1) Never post a pic of a nice deer on I.S.
    2) Follow #1.

    Post count: 291

    I like the fence idea and have thought about doing that myself. It’s amazing how they will avoid crossing at high spots if a low spot is even kinda close. Have you thought bout making some spots where they ca go under the fence? We have several spots where the deer prefer to go under the fence

    1) Evergreen stand wherever possible are far superior. Way more cover and was never noticed in an evergreen stand.

    2) I am getting a heater body suit. I have the good clothes and such but when I was hunting over late season I couldnt keep my feet warm.

    3) This season reiterated that deer hunting is all about right place right time.

    4) I spend too much time looking for deer moving where they are irrelevant to me and it does me get busted once in awhile. I need to focus more on the areas that I can actually cover…

    I am already looking forward to the 2017 season two new pieces of ground to hunt that look very promising but we shall see how they turn out.

    Post count: 830

    Shoot the first deer you see as you may not get another chance. Hence my bow season sitting 27 times in a stand.

    Post count: 657

    DON’T forget to look through your peep sight for so unknown reason (after 15 years of bowhunting and never doing it before) when your biggest buck EVER is sneaking past you at 33 yards 👿 👿 👿 👿

    Other than that minor problem 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 It was a great 👿 👿 👿 season, filled with years of memories (nightmares)! 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿

    Post count: 260

    x2 on evergreen tree stands. When available, they are my first choice and offer several advantages:

    1) Usually you can climb up the low hanging branches without any tree steps or ladders and very limited trimming
    2) Once you get to where you want to hang your stand, you can trim limbs and branches very “locally” significantly reducing the noticeable change at ground level
    3) Hanging stands is easier and can be safer as you have branches and limbs to lean on and hook up harnesses to
    4) Usually you don’t need to screw-in or attach hangers for gear or bow/gun due to available branches
    5) They offer maximum back cover and concealment
    6) If cedar, juniper, or other berry producing species, you can crush the berries and rub on your outer layers for supreme cover scent. You can also collect these berries and store them in a zip loc for cover scent in other locations

    Post count: 205

    I learned to not shoot varmints while in a ground blind because your arrow won’t stick in the ground like it does when you’re in a tree and you’ll lose it. I also learned that I need to just take my time before making a shot so I use the right pin and avoid giving a buck a haircut. Lastly I learned to not drop my release while walking out of an unfamiliar property where I dont have a set path, because it will be impossible to find.

    Post count: 1066

    Less can produce more. Picking the right days and locations to hunt beat hunting every day in the same locations, hands down.

    Don’t aim for the heart when a double lung shot opportunity is available. Shoulder bones can magically block an arrow.

    Don’t start hunting until the week b4 Halloween.

    Take the kids more and spend less time solo hunting.

    Spend time in the off season getting rid of coyotes.

    Passing on does b4 rut can pay off during and after rut.

    Study aerial pics and topographical maps more.

    Praying for deer pays off!!!

    Post count: 2495

    Ground blinds blow down a lot. Get better stakes.

    Must use ground blinds with heater during the late season with kids. Even if it isn’t cold to you it is cold to the kids. I tried dressing a layer less so I could gage how cold he would get and it didn’t work.

    Hunting with kids is hard, specially out of trees. With that it is so dam enjoyable when they are successful. My 11 year old killed his first buck with a muzzy and then a few weeks later took his first deer with a bow.

    I have a bad habit right now of rushing shots with a bow. Going to try a back tension release this off season to see if that helps. Also getting a new bow.

    Going to spend more time shooting with the boys. My older boy struggle pulling his bow back in the tree. I am sure a year will help a lot but I think shooting more this summer will build that strength. The 9 year old is a bigger kid so he will have less problems. I would like to see him get strong enough and accurate enough to bow hunt next year.

    I need to find a better way of doing stands with the kids. Two men kind of suck but putting hangers next to single ladders also isn’t great Any suggestions?

    I want to get better at filming. I filmed 95% of my hunts but I basically just get the kill shot on video. Cool to have but I would like to just do a little more.

    Relax and enjoy it more. It is funny I love it so much but then I put a lot of pressure on myself to kill good deer. I don’t want to take away the fun.

    Post count: 260

    This is great stuff guys and let’s keep this one going. I can relate to the vast majority of the comments so far, and am also looking for suggestions on improving our kids’ hunting experiences.

    Regarding ground blinds and the wind, I use some plastic high wind stakes from Cabelas that are like a foot long and have lots of edges for more surface area. You can probably find even better stakes at REI or another camping store.

    HARD ground blind lesson– If you have a blind set up in the timber or on a fenceline with a lot of trees, ALWAYS take them home at the end of the season. All it takes is one dead limb to crush your roof, break a hub support, or tear a big hole in it.

    Ground blind question– What is the best way to set these up without overstressing and breaking the zippers?

    Post count: 1908

    ALWAY ALWAY Follow the rule if in doubt back out. if you hit a high shot or bad one, just give it over night.

    Shoot does early to work out the kinks in your hunting, if you can shoot them you can shoot bucks during the rut.

    Always carry two pairs of hunting gloves. in case one falls out of your pocket.

    If the hunt seems to go bad, stick it out. Last year I shot at the biggest buck at that time I had ever seen in a stand. Missed it. Got a second chance.. Missed again. Tried for a third and dropped my last arrow.. Watched it walk away and considered just leaving.. didnt.. climbed down got my dropped arrow and low and behold, the buck came back and I made a good shot. Only ran 40 yards. So stick it out. you never know.

    Finally Impart your knowledge on others. like this.. Be it kids or some guy/gal that is new to the sport. Help them out. It pays off.

    Post count: 2495

    I struggle with backing out. I hunt for meat so I hate doing it unless conditions are really perfect.

    I just thought of another. I decided to watch the video of my kids hunt. I swear to much. I need to cut that out when I have a camera rolling video.

    Post count: 2928

    Quote by: maxx

    I struggle with backing out. I hunt for meat so I hate doing it unless conditions are really perfect.

    Me too. Sometimes I just REALLY want a visual confirmation if even from a far, but it’s taken me a while to learn that is seldom in my best interest.

    Quote by: maxx

    I decided to watch the video of my kids hunt. I swear to much. I need to cut that out when I have a camera rolling video.

    A friend of mine a few years back filmed a duck hunt and I was told unless my duck blind language got cleaned up, I wouldn’t be on his Youtube Channel….his loss. 🙄

    Post count: 1364

    I need to warn my wife further in advance when I am going hunting because I always travel to deer hunt. I guess writing it on the calendar a week before isn’t enough.

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