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Author Topic: Question about Blacktail hunting in wooded areas  (Read 2108 times)

Offline UpperleftPNW

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Question about Blacktail hunting in wooded areas
« on: September 24, 2020, 02:53:35 PM »
New to this form, second year archery hunter, filled my first tag last week with a nice mule doe. I am already thinking ahead to next year hoping to get a second deer tag for Whidbey.


I have some private property available to me on South Whidbey but it is all heavily forested. Half is tall trees with open forest floor with lots of ferns and the other half is thick sticker bushes. I have seen plenty of deer in the general area, and a few in the woods I plan to hunt. I have not found much for defined game trails or food sources in the area so I think they are mostly passing through since there is a field I always see them feeding in that's not too far away. They also might just not come to the area often so I may need to draw them in with some bait or a food plot if I can get something to grow in this thick forest.

What would you blacktail experts suggest for a method of hunting this area?

My plan is to first get a few game cams in the area so i can see what's coming through and see if I can pattern anything. I will probably try using some apples or mineral lick to bring them to an area I could actually get a shot at one. I figure once I know whats in there and have them coming to my cams I can set up a tree stand or ground blind then it's just a matter of time until I get my chance at one.


Here is a pic of me with my first deer. I hope this is the first of many.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2020, 10:56:58 AM by UpperleftPNW »

Offline CP

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Re: Question about Blacktail hunting in wooded areas
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2020, 03:17:01 PM »
2nd Deer tags are never available OTC, you have to be drawn to buy one.


Offline UpperleftPNW

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Re: Question about Blacktail hunting in wooded areas
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2020, 03:49:38 PM »
2nd Deer tags are never available OTC, you have to be drawn to buy one.

Thanks, that's kind of what I thought after reading the regs but I also know Whidbey has a over population problem and not a lot of hunters so I thought maybe they sell left overs OTC.

I guess I have next year to look forward to.

Offline Special T

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Re: Question about Blacktail hunting in wooded areas
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2020, 04:11:43 PM »
Find and Read Byod Iversons Blacktail Trophy Tactics 2. Read it now, and start scouting NOW for next year. My favorite time to scout is to do so in Feb after duck season closes and the woods are similar to late season.
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Offline trophyhunt

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Re: Question about Blacktail hunting in wooded areas
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2020, 04:24:24 PM »
Congrats and welcome to the forum, nice job on your second year archery hunting!  I love to tree stand hunt blacktail, I'm sure they are 1,000 percent easier to hunt on those Islands than the main lands but honestly I've never hunted the islands.  Tree stands in thicker areas where trails come together, maybe a couple on different sides so if the wind is blowing a certain direction you can choose which stand for that day.  Just because you are up higher doesn't mean you're completely safe from the wind, but you are better off.  I try to stay in my stand all day, killed a lot of animals around noon. 
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Offline fishnfur

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Re: Question about Blacktail hunting in wooded areas
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2020, 04:45:36 PM »
You've got an incredible opportunity to do your scouting this year from now until December to figure out how the deer move in the area you have access to.  Don't wasted it.  You may know exactly how to hunt that spot next year if you put in some time this fall.  Just wear hunter orange when in the woods and don't carry anything other than a sidearm, or shotgun/.22 if you hunt Grouse.

Whidbey has tons of deer and little access.  From memory, the harvest each year does not affect the population whatsoever.  IMHO, baiting with apples is great to survey what deer are in the area by setting up cams.  Beyond that... I'd spend time getting to know the property and how deer move on it during the hunting season.

A ground blind or tree stand sounds like a great plan.  Those stickers you mentioned - if you mean Himalayan Blackberries, they are a favorite of deer all year long.  Trailing blackberries and other blackberry varieties are often their primary food source, especially once the frost has killed the other deciduous brush.  Take a close look at them.  You'll find many single leaves and growth tips clipped off if deer are using them regularly.   If I was only buying an archery tag instead the multi-season, I'd buy the Modern Firearm tag and just hunt with my bow during the best hunting days of the season - late October and four days of November.  That is, of course, if I was looking to kill a buck.  If you are happy with a doe or only want the second deer tag, then the season doesn't really matter.

Whidbey is a wonderful area to live and hunt.  Enjoy it. 
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”  - Will Rogers

Offline lokidog

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Re: Question about Blacktail hunting in wooded areas
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2020, 08:52:02 PM »
Apples are your friend. Put some out in a couple of areas with cameras and see which get hit the most. Tree stands are a good way to hunt this kind of area.

Offline UpperleftPNW

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Re: Question about Blacktail hunting in wooded areas
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2020, 08:36:59 AM »
Apples are your friend. Put some out in a couple of areas with cameras and see which get hit the most. Tree stands are a good way to hunt this kind of area.
You've got an incredible opportunity to do your scouting this year from now until December to figure out how the deer move in the area you have access to.  Don't wasted it.  You may know exactly how to hunt that spot next year if you put in some time this fall.  Just wear hunter orange when in the woods and don't carry anything other than a sidearm, or shotgun/.22 if you hunt Grouse.

Whidbey has tons of deer and little access.  From memory, the harvest each year does not affect the population whatsoever.  IMHO, baiting with apples is great to survey what deer are in the area by setting up cams.  Beyond that... I'd spend time getting to know the property and how deer move on it during the hunting season.

A ground blind or tree stand sounds like a great plan.  Those stickers you mentioned - if you mean Himalayan Blackberries, they are a favorite of deer all year long.  Trailing blackberries and other blackberry varieties are often their primary food source, especially once the frost has killed the other deciduous brush.  Take a close look at them.  You'll find many single leaves and growth tips clipped off if deer are using them regularly.   If I was only buying an archery tag instead the multi-season, I'd buy the Modern Firearm tag and just hunt with my bow during the best hunting days of the season - late October and four days of November.  That is, of course, if I was looking to kill a buck.  If you are happy with a doe or only want the second deer tag, then the season doesn't really matter.

Whidbey is a wonderful area to live and hunt.  Enjoy it. 
Congrats and welcome to the forum, nice job on your second year archery hunting!  I love to tree stand hunt blacktail, I'm sure they are 1,000 percent easier to hunt on those Islands than the main lands but honestly I've never hunted the islands.  Tree stands in thicker areas where trails come together, maybe a couple on different sides so if the wind is blowing a certain direction you can choose which stand for that day.  Just because you are up higher doesn't mean you're completely safe from the wind, but you are better off.  I try to stay in my stand all day, killed a lot of animals around noon. 

Thanks for the replies. I will get some game cams on order and get them out in the woods next time I make a trip over to whidbey. Any suggestions for cams to look at? I don't think I need anything too fancy. Would it be better to have 3 or 4 cheap cams out then 1 or 2 better more expensive ones?

Thanks for the info on the sticker bushes. The area I am in is mostly Salmon Berry. Not a lot of Blackberry around but I am guessing the deer will eat both. I will be taking a closer look at the berry patches any and trails in those areas.
 

Offline trophyhunt

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Re: Question about Blacktail hunting in wooded areas
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2020, 08:41:42 AM »
It’s worth it to secure your cameras with good bear box lag bolted to the tree, get a lock that you can’t cut w bolt cutters, cables are a joke to thieves.  I use 3 bolts.
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Offline fishnfur

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Re: Question about Blacktail hunting in wooded areas
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2020, 10:11:31 AM »
Salmonberry is heavily used by deer.  Often there is Elderberry close by, which is browsed nearly as well.  If there are areas exposed to full or nearly full sun or groves of Alder on that property, there should be Trailing Blackberry tripping you up and making a ton of noise as you pull through it.  I believe those plants plus thimbleberry supply almost all the BT needs for gaining weight all summer.  Vine Maple, Hazel, salal, Alder,  and a wide variety of forbs round out the Summer/Fall diet in wetter habitat areas. 

Regarding trail cams  - They all seem to have occasional problems.  Low price cams seem to work well for a lot of members here.  I've had six or so different brands that tend to be around $100/cam.  Bushnell and to a lesser extent, Moultrie have been the most reliable.  There are plenty of discussions about cams over in the Trailcamera section of the forum, which can be found on the main page of this site.  Personally, I'd stay away from the Chinese cams available on Amazon.  They are all variations on a theme and claim to have different brands that often look identical.  I've not had one that I'm happy with.  If you do want to try Chinese brands, then the best prices are at the source:  https://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?catId=0&initiative_id=AS_20200925090745&SearchText=trail+camera
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Re: Question about Blacktail hunting in wooded areas
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2020, 11:05:06 AM »
I've had good luck with cheap cameras since I'm only looking for timing and what is coming by, I'm not framing photos. Better battery use and not filling SD cards are more important than photo quality to me.

Offline fishnfur

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Re: Question about Blacktail hunting in wooded areas
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2020, 05:20:48 PM »
Agreed.  8 megapixel is plenty if you're just trying to find out what is in the woods. 
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”  - Will Rogers

Offline lokidog

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Re: Question about Blacktail hunting in wooded areas
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2020, 07:58:58 PM »
Fast trigger speed is a plus though.  ;)

Offline bobcat

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Re: Question about Blacktail hunting in wooded areas
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2020, 08:57:12 PM »
Aren't they all made in China? I have Primos, Moultrie, Wildgame Innovations, and Bushnell and I thought they were all made in China. But I could be wrong, and they're out in the woods right now so I can't check.

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Re: Question about Blacktail hunting in wooded areas
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2020, 10:46:44 PM »
 :chuckle: :chuckle: :chuckle: :chuckle:  Yes, of course they are.  The reputable names in cams seem to demand higher quality from their suppliers, which in turn costs you more at checkout.  Browning, on the other hand, they still suck!
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”  - Will Rogers

 


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