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Got a crossbow; "best" time to go for deer?

Discussion in 'Bowhunting' started by ab8jc, Jul 2, 2007.

  1. Trying to schedule some vacation time around hunting season. When should I try for? I have already taken gun season off -- should I try to bowhunt well before gun season, close to gun season, or later in December, say the week before Christmas?
     
  2. First week of Nov, to the week before gun season. Remember the Youth season weekend, bc you will have to wear orange, and the deer to get skittish. If I had to pick a week, it would be the 2nd week in Nov. generally speaking. If you don't want to deal with rabbit hunters, go the last week of Oct. There are a lot of deer moving then as well.
     

  3. BuckHunter10

    BuckHunter10 Hunting 24/7

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    I would take a week off to hunt the rut alot of deer activity and a better chance for a bigger and better buck.
     
  4. Definately hunt the rut - that's one of the benefits of bowhunting in Ohio for deer. The rut is AWESOME! Each year it's different, but that's what they make weekends for, right??

    GOOD luck to you!
     
  5. Thanks for the replies, guys.

    I should have pointed out, I'm after meat, not a trophy buck, if that makes a difference.

    If not, would you go for the week before Thanksgiving (12-16th, which is followed by the Youth gun weekend), or would you go for the week before that, the 5th - 9th?
     
  6. If you are able to do so I would start hunting anytime even earlier in the season. Granted the rut will give you the most all-day activity but anytime prior to that can definitely give you opportunities whether your intent is to fill the freezer or the wall. One of the biggest advantages of archery season is that it is so long and gives you many opportunities to hunt. There is no need to feel pressure to get your deer because there is always tomorrow or next week.

    So my advice to you is to start in early October as that will not only give you shooting opportunities but it will also allow you to get familiar with the hunting area/terrain, the deer patterns, etc. And another important thing is it will give you a chance to work out all of the hassles and mistakes that can so often accompany a novice hunter. While I don't consider myself a novice I am also far from an expert and thus I too like to use the early season to work the rust off the skills. I can set my stands, clear my lanes, etc.
     
  7. crittergitter

    crittergitter Multi Species Angler

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    I agree with BKR! If you're after meat then go the first week of October. Maybe just take a couple days off instead of a whole week. You'll be amazed at the difference in how deer behave that time of year as opposed to gun law time.

    Be sure to practice plenty and know your max range limit. You want to be dead-on when the opportunity arrives.

    Good luck!

    CG
     
  8. I see more deer real early in the season than at any other time. They will be much more laid back and easy to get close to.

    I have always also had good look around Halloween and the week after (this is usually pre-rut or early rut). Nothing gets the girls moving like the boys chasing them around and there is always the chance that a bruiser will walk in on you.

    I usually take more time off in the beginning of the season and if possible, I take off the entire gun season. More opportunities definitely during the early bow season.

    All that being said, the extreme late bow season can be fantastic if we get good snow and cold weather. Last season it blew for me but in past years this has been a good opportunity for catching them out and about for food.
     
  9. For a beginner (not bashing you - we are all beginners at one point) I agree that you should get prepared to hunt the beginning of the season. The deer are very easy to pattern since they are still on late summer patterns of bedding and feeding. The weather is also much more pleasant and will not be a factor (other than scent) Just watch you area from a distance and you will know where they are coming out to feed and which fields they are using. Also, as others have mentioned the deer are very relaxed at this point in the year and have not yet been pressured.

    My only other tips are to practice with your bow and make sure you are comfortable making shots from 0-30 yards. It is a great idea (IMO) to set a maximum shot range with your crossbow and stick to it! I used 20 yards my first couple years hunting with stick and string. I still practice shooting at all kinds of ranges, but limit myself to 30-35 yards maximum after almost 2 decades of bowhunting (I have only made a couple shots in this range as you will find with patience most deer will come closer if you let em; most deer you bow kill will be within 25 yards). Don't think because that X-box shoots fast that you can make 30-50 yard shots, etc.. - waaaaaaay too much can happen in the field. Take only good broadside shots & remember to pick a spot when you take your shot - aim small, miss small is our moto!

    If you plan to hunt from a treestand practice shooting from a treestand before you actually hunt (and use a safety rope). Try to get in the woods as much as possible and try to get used to seeing deer so you can keep your nerves together when the time comes. The more deer you see, the less "buck fever" you will notice.
    Also, try to get used to identifying adult deer from yearlings. This is harder than it seems (especially form 20 ft. in the air) and comes with experience. Look at the head and the length of the nose, etc. and that is a huge help.

    Sorry to be so long (I don't want to seem like I am preachin at you); I just wanted to provide you with what I thought was helpful.

    Feel free to pm me anytime to talk bowhunting or to discuss any aspect of hunting for that matter.

    Best of luck and welcome to the club!

    Fool
     
  10. Appreciate the replies, folks.

    Fool, definitely no offense taken -- I'm askin' 'cause I know I don't know anything, and your reply is most helpful to this n00b!
     
  11. i scout early but i always wait until a good frost, then its balls to the walls !%
     
  12. I've always enjoyed last two weeks in October to thanskgiving time is great for me to bow hunt, others have thier set times, they consentrate and it works for them, The best time as a young hunter just starting out is anytime you can go, With a bow you should be shooting targets now getting your bow tuned in and your confedence just as high, if you shoot now you'll be somewhat ready to pull on a deer when the time comes, I love bow hunting and do it 99% of the time, guns fun and it has it's place with others, just for me it's Bow, Get out in the woods, thats the only place you will really learn,