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Author Topic: UPDATED SUCCESS!! Help target a blacktail buck I caught on Cam  (Read 5346 times)

Offline p_m_clean

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UPDATED SUCCESS!! Help target a blacktail buck I caught on Cam
« on: September 14, 2021, 01:19:55 PM »
I got my Buck. Check post later in this thread Post #33.

New ish bow hunter going into my 3rd season. I was able to fill my first tag last year on a doe.

This year I have set my sights on taking a blacktail on my parents property in island county. I know there are a few deer coming through the property and have had a game cam out for the past few weeks near an apple and peach tree that have been dropping lots of fruit and I have seen deer there almost every night.

I caught this nice (at least for me) 3 point on a few occasions, and I am pretty sure its the same deer I got on cam last year. The only time I have ever gotten a pic of this thing during shooting hours was on Halloween last year right at 11:00 am.

I have a multi season permit this year so I have more opportunity to hunt and will have a chance to hunt during the rut

I am trying to put a plan together to bag this buck. Right now I have my cam out in a clearing I know they go through and have someone drop a few apples in the area every few days to make sure they continue coming through. I will be in the area sporadically on the weekends throughout the entire season, and will plan on being there as much as possible during the rut.

Other then putting in the time and being in the right place at the right time any suggestions on how to increase my chances?

Should I continue dropping apples in the area?
Is there any way to draw the deer out during shooting hours other then just waiting for the rut and hope he slips up?
Once the rut hits should I try rattling antlers, use doe urine, or try bleat calls?

When it comes down to it I will be happy bagging anything, including a doe. My wife and I really enjoyed the venison from last year and we are just about out.

Sorry for the bad quality pic. I will be checking the cam this weekend and will update with better pics if I have some.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2021, 09:32:50 AM by p_m_clean »

Offline Grousehunter19

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Re: Help target a blacktail buck I caught on Cam
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2021, 09:47:06 PM »
I’m a new hunter as well - 2 years of deer hunting. Last year I had bucks on camera at night. However at the end of October the rut happened. This meant that the bucks were chasing the Does around at night and so the does started to eat during the daytime as they had less time to eat at night. This in turn meant the bucks started coming out during the day. So if you have does coming in as well the same thing might happen.

Second thing is depending on when he first comes to the apples you might be able to backtrack and ambush him in between his bedding area and the apples. It works even better if you know where he is bedded because then you can just hunt him in his bed. If you are set on killing this bucks keep the apples out - that is if does are also feeding from the apples. This will hopefully keep this buck in the area unless a bigger buck pushes him out. Because he will be interested in breeding the does.

Again I’m new to hunting and have yet to bag a deer. However I experimented with bait piles last year. Try putting out corn, unless you have a free or cheap source of apples. Corn is generally cheaper and so can save you some money.

Offline dilleytech

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Re: Help target a blacktail buck I caught on Cam
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2021, 09:13:33 AM »
What do you mean you can hunt straight through the rut with the multi season tag? You understand your still restricted to the general season correct? Which means you can’t hunt the rut.

Offline Grousehunter19

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Re: Help target a blacktail buck I caught on Cam
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2021, 10:42:47 AM »
When does the rut happen in your area? The deer around me start the rut during general firearm. And so can be hunted during the rut with a general MF tag or a multi season permit.

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Re: Help target a blacktail buck I caught on Cam
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2021, 11:14:57 AM »
When does the rut happen in your area? The deer around me start the rut during general firearm. And so can be hunted during the rut with a general MF tag or a multi season permit.

Early November. They are “starting” to show interest in late October and are “ending” in late November but in general we don’t get the hunt “the” rut.

Offline Grousehunter19

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Re: Help target a blacktail buck I caught on Cam
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2021, 11:26:50 AM »
For me the peak rut for blacktails was the week of the 23rd last year. I have a buck mating on camera that date. And the only picture in the day I have of him in that time period are from that week.

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Re: Help target a blacktail buck I caught on Cam
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2021, 11:31:58 AM »
I'm just gonna say it.
Your at the point on no return....
The hardest part of the quest,from game cam to freezer.
I would offer advise ,but I'm still trying to figure it out.
Goodluck.👌👍👌👍👌
Two birds in the Bush is always better than one in the hand-that way you can always go to the Bush and hunt another day .conservation=Better hunting.
Wrote by hunter399

Offline p_m_clean

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Re: Help target a blacktail buck I caught on Cam
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2021, 02:04:47 PM »
What do you mean you can hunt straight through the rut with the multi season tag? You understand your still restricted to the general season correct? Which means you can’t hunt the rut.



I hunt Archery and got a milti-season permit. So I can hunt during any season with any legal weapon. Usually with archery and without a multi permit you get early archery in September and Late Archery in December so you can't hunt during the rut with a standard archery tag.

I’m a new hunter as well - 2 years of deer hunting. Last year I had bucks on camera at night. However at the end of October the rut happened. This meant that the bucks were chasing the Does around at night and so the does started to eat during the daytime as they had less time to eat at night. This in turn meant the bucks started coming out during the day. So if you have does coming in as well the same thing might happen.

Second thing is depending on when he first comes to the apples you might be able to backtrack and ambush him in between his bedding area and the apples. It works even better if you know where he is bedded because then you can just hunt him in his bed. If you are set on killing this bucks keep the apples out - that is if does are also feeding from the apples. This will hopefully keep this buck in the area unless a bigger buck pushes him out. Because he will be interested in breeding the does.

Again I’m new to hunting and have yet to bag a deer. However I experimented with bait piles last year. Try putting out corn, unless you have a free or cheap source of apples. Corn is generally cheaper and so can save you some money.


Thanks for the info. I need to get some more cams out and see if I can figure out the route they take and where they are bedding. The challenge I have is I am on private land so I am limited to the property lines. I am guessing they are bedding in the deep brush I cant get to or hunt them in either way. Good advice on the corn. I have tons of apples but they will all be fallen in the next few weeks and I will be out of bait. I will try some corn.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2021, 08:59:08 AM by p_m_clean »

Offline fishnfur

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Re: Help target a blacktail buck I caught on Cam
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2021, 07:14:58 PM »
DilleyTech is correct.  MS tag gets you  archery and Muzzy seasons and the Modern Firearm season that all MF tag holders hunt (mid-oct - Haloween) plus 4 days in mid-November. Multiseason tag also allows you to hunt the late season by archery or ML depending on the unit and the dates.  You must to have a "quality" hunt tag or similar to hunt the first two weeks of November.  Technically, the peak of the rut is somewhere around the 10th of Nov with some variation every year.  Peak of the rut though biologically means the point-in-time when the majority of the doe are receptive to and actually doing the nasty.  If you read scientific papers regarding the issue, this is the time they are referring to when they state "peak of the rut".

Hunter's here and everywhere from what I 've observed, consider the rut to be when the bucks are chasing the doe hardest up until the time that they are not leaving the doe they are with until they breed her.  They will stand near or besider her in a stupor and follow the doe wherever she goes (most cases.  Bigger cagier bucks may push them to a hidden/safe place)  Bucks are very vulnerable between the time chasing starts and peak of the rut occurs.  Once the peak occurs, they are not moving much at all till their current doe has been bred.   Anyways, your best dates translate to the last week maybe, and last four days, for sure of October.  Those are the best dates to be in the woods.  The next best days are the four days in Late Buck that occurs in mid-Nov.

Enough of that noise.... regarding your questions, apples are a great draw for all deer in the early season.  Bucks tend to stick to their nocturnal behaviors until they start to chase and often even late -  these bucks will only hit the apples at night (IMHO).  You could train a deer with apples to come in during the day but without daily feedings over a long period of time, the chances that a buck older than a year or so will come into feed on apples in the middle of the day is almost nil unless they are already comfortable being around humans. Repetative baiting of doe with apples could potentially have them coming in to eat apples during daylight, and if the timing is right (late October with an interested buck on her tail), you might catch a buck following a doe in during daylight.  Not a high quality bet in my mind.  Years and years of game camming deer in my back yard, where I have five apple trees,I have has only captured daylight bucks between the 8th and 20th of November.  Thousands of videos.  Very few bucks - maybe five or six.  Again, in my mind, this is a low percentage hunt.

So the question is, considering you have access to a spot,, how do you hunt it.  Deer are creatures that live on edges.  If there is a brush row or significant patch of brush anywhere on the property, then expect bucks will use that to stay as hidden as possible as they travel just inside the break between brush and open space.  They are like vampires.  They want nothing to do with being exposed in their environment.  Darkness is preferred.  So anyways, if the property is all grass with some apple trees or no real hiding or travel area for deer during daylight houts, I'd hunt somewhere else.  You need to hunt where the deer are, which is in the shadows. 

Rattling and grunting are great tactics to use in the woods, or at least along an edge where two distinctly different terrain or flora types meet - Alder/fir. forest/meadow, cliffs/lowlands.  Can you use it to call a buck into a spot where he would not normally go....?  Naaa, except for the rare occurance where the unexpected happens.  You don't want to base you hunt plans on luck bringing bucks to you. 

Hope that helps.  Good luck!
“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 p_m_clean

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Re: Help target a blacktail buck I caught on Cam
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2021, 08:58:05 AM »
DilleyTech is correct.  MS tag gets you  archery and Muzzy seasons and the Modern Firearm season that all MF tag holders hunt (mid-oct - Haloween) plus 4 days in mid-November. Multiseason tag also allows you to hunt the late season by archery or ML depending on the unit and the dates.  You must to have a "quality" hunt tag or similar to hunt the first two weeks of November.  Technically, the peak of the rut is somewhere around the 10th of Nov with some variation every year.  Peak of the rut though biologically means the point-in-time when the majority of the doe are receptive to and actually doing the nasty.  If you read scientific papers regarding the issue, this is the time they are referring to when they state "peak of the rut".

Hunter's here and everywhere from what I 've observed, consider the rut to be when the bucks are chasing the doe hardest up until the time that they are not leaving the doe they are with until they breed her.  They will stand near or besider her in a stupor and follow the doe wherever she goes (most cases.  Bigger cagier bucks may push them to a hidden/safe place)  Bucks are very vulnerable between the time chasing starts and peak of the rut occurs.  Once the peak occurs, they are not moving much at all till their current doe has been bred.   Anyways, your best dates translate to the last week maybe, and last four days, for sure of October.  Those are the best dates to be in the woods.  The next best days are the four days in Late Buck that occurs in mid-Nov.

Enough of that noise.... regarding your questions, apples are a great draw for all deer in the early season.  Bucks tend to stick to their nocturnal behaviors until they start to chase and often even late -  these bucks will only hit the apples at night (IMHO).  You could train a deer with apples to come in during the day but without daily feedings over a long period of time, the chances that a buck older than a year or so will come into feed on apples in the middle of the day is almost nil unless they are already comfortable being around humans. Repetative baiting of doe with apples could potentially have them coming in to eat apples during daylight, and if the timing is right (late October with an interested buck on her tail), you might catch a buck following a doe in during daylight.  Not a high quality bet in my mind.  Years and years of game camming deer in my back yard, where I have five apple trees,I have has only captured daylight bucks between the 8th and 20th of November.  Thousands of videos.  Very few bucks - maybe five or six.  Again, in my mind, this is a low percentage hunt.

So the question is, considering you have access to a spot,, how do you hunt it.  Deer are creatures that live on edges.  If there is a brush row or significant patch of brush anywhere on the property, then expect bucks will use that to stay as hidden as possible as they travel just inside the break between brush and open space.  They are like vampires.  They want nothing to do with being exposed in their environment.  Darkness is preferred.  So anyways, if the property is all grass with some apple trees or no real hiding or travel area for deer during daylight houts, I'd hunt somewhere else.  You need to hunt where the deer are, which is in the shadows. 

Rattling and grunting are great tactics to use in the woods, or at least along an edge where two distinctly different terrain or flora types meet - Alder/fir. forest/meadow, cliffs/lowlands.  Can you use it to call a buck into a spot where he would not normally go....?  Naaa, except for the rare occurance where the unexpected happens.  You don't want to base you hunt plans on luck bringing bucks to you. 

Hope that helps.  Good luck!

Thanks for the info and advice. The property is 5 acres with about 4 acres mostly clear and completely surrounded by dense 15 - 20 year old alder forest on one side and older growth ferns and large cedars and maples on the other side. I got the okay from a few of the neighboring property owners, mostly in the older growth to hunt. The alder forest is full of game trails but just about impossible to get through. I have found multiple trails about 10 yards inside the brush line around my parents property in the area I can hunt. Sounds like my best bet would be to camp out on these trails at first and last light and hope something comes through, and if I do that during or around the rut then there is a chance I could catch a buck chasing down a doe. Apples or bait could be useful to catch them on cam and if I do it often enough possibly train them to come through the specific trail I am on more often then they would otherwise.

I have also heard a lot about the 10 - 11 AM time frame being a good time to catch deer stretching their legs or getting a mid morning snack. So I am thinking I will camp out on the trail early and late, then still hunt around 9:30 - 11:30 AM to see if I can find where they bed.


I will be on the property this weekend. I will report back any trail cam pictures or updates.

Offline fishnfur

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Re: Help target a blacktail buck I caught on Cam
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2021, 11:28:22 PM »
Doe will get up and feed somewhere around 11:00 am regardless of the season.  It makes no sense to me why.  :dunno:  It seems that should change with the timing of sunrise.  Regardless, that's what I've observed over the years.  They will will often move around quite a bit to feed, sometimes a hundred or more yards, kids in tow, before bedding again. 

Bucks on the other hand - not so much so.  I believe that at this time of year, older bucks will stay bedded almost all day.  They will often stand, stretch, scratch, pee, and maybe grab a bite to eat from their immediate surroundings. Then they bed again and stay there till sometime around sunset. This is a classic setup for those hunting clearcuts with a firearm.  Glass all day till something moves, then shoot fast. In your spot though,  I'd guess that if you're not hunting in the immediate vicinity of their beds, then you will never see them move.   You never know what a small spike or forkie might do - that's a crapshoot.  You might get lucky.  At/near the end of Sept., the bucks may start to get the itch and move bedding areas closer to where doe frequent.  There's a ton of deer on Whidbey and probably Camano as well.  That increases your odds greatly.

Odds are that any bucks near that property are bedding in the old growth.  Doe have no/few problems spending a lot of time in Alder.  It's just not dark enough to make bucks feel safe this time of year though.  Darkness equals safety to them.  Anyways, hunting inside the edges and steering clear of the open areas will give you your best opportunity on that property. Archery for BTs is tough.  Good luck!
“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 p_m_clean

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Re: Help target a blacktail buck I caught on Cam
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2021, 01:17:06 PM »
Doe will get up and feed somewhere around 11:00 am regardless of the season.  It makes no sense to me why.  :dunno:  It seems that should change with the timing of sunrise.  Regardless, that's what I've observed over the years.  They will will often move around quite a bit to feed, sometimes a hundred or more yards, kids in tow, before bedding again. 

Bucks on the other hand - not so much so.  I believe that at this time of year, older bucks will stay bedded almost all day.  They will often stand, stretch, scratch, pee, and maybe grab a bite to eat from their immediate surroundings. Then they bed again and stay there till sometime around sunset. This is a classic setup for those hunting clearcuts with a firearm.  Glass all day till something moves, then shoot fast. In your spot though,  I'd guess that if you're not hunting in the immediate vicinity of their beds, then you will never see them move.   You never know what a small spike or forkie might do - that's a crapshoot.  You might get lucky.  At/near the end of Sept., the bucks may start to get the itch and move bedding areas closer to where doe frequent.  There's a ton of deer on Whidbey and probably Camano as well.  That increases your odds greatly.

Odds are that any bucks near that property are bedding in the old growth.  Doe have no/few problems spending a lot of time in Alder.  It's just not dark enough to make bucks feel safe this time of year though.  Darkness equals safety to them.  Anyways, hunting inside the edges and steering clear of the open areas will give you your best opportunity on that property. Archery for BTs is tough.  Good luck!

Again thanks for the advice and info. Spent some time on the property this weekend, saw a nice buck on my way to the property Friday night which got be excited for the weekend but not a lot of action in the woods. There is one doe that comes through on the regular and I caught it on cam during shooting hours a few times, so that might be a good option to full the freezer. No other bucks on Cam but I know they are around.

Offline fishnfur

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Re: Help target a blacktail buck I caught on Cam
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2021, 06:47:42 PM »
That's a good looking buck!  He's got some shoulders on him. 
“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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Re: Help target a blacktail buck I caught on Cam
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2021, 07:06:34 PM »
I would find the thickest crap close to where this buck has been pictured. And look for small clearing with a little opening in the thick that gets daylight. And glass, glass, glass. Checking out every flicker of light for an ear or a tail.
It can be tedious but it also pays off. Blacktail Bucks do not travel like Mule deer do. They stay near a "Home Zone" that offers easy access to multiple feed sources. That "Home Zone" can be the most unlikely places, as long as it is thick.
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Offline p_m_clean

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Re: Help target a blacktail buck I caught on Cam
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2021, 10:11:36 AM »
I would find the thickest crap close to where this buck has been pictured. And look for small clearing with a little opening in the thick that gets daylight. And glass, glass, glass. Checking out every flicker of light for an ear or a tail.
It can be tedious but it also pays off. Blacktail Bucks do not travel like Mule deer do. They stay near a "Home Zone" that offers easy access to multiple feed sources. That "Home Zone" can be the most unlikely places, as long as it is thick.

Haha it's all thick crap. Can't even get through most areas, and I definitely can't get through quietly. But I do see a lot of deer sign all through the thickest areas.

In the area I am hunting there is an area roughly 4 acres of older growth trees and with sword fern covering the ground. This entire area is easy to navigate. There is an old logging road that goes along this area. One side old growth and ferns, the other side thick sticker bushes that go for 1/4 mile or so up hill. I have my cam on the logging road. I catch them on cam almost nightly when I have apples out, and every 3 - 4 days when I don't have bait out. So I don't think think it's one of their main paths but they are definitely close.

Any thoughts on weed wacking a trail through the thick stuff to get access? do you think this would affect the deer? I always hear they like the thickest areas, but I have also heard they like to take the path of least resistance. I am wondering if I find a heavily used trail I can clear a path to get access to a shooting lane on the trail. Or just clear the trail a bit so I can follow it easier without making a ton of noise. I am just not sure how clearing the trail will affect the deer.

I also need to get a few more cams up. After working one cam I am seeing how having multiple up would help figure out the direction, path, and timing and give me a better shot at finding them during shooting hrs.   



 


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