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Author Topic: Baiting blacktail  (Read 4466 times)

Offline GOcougsHunter

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Re: Baiting blacktail
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2023, 12:12:15 PM »
I've never had a problem getting blacktails to eat apples. I can put a pile of apples in a random spot and almost always within 24 hours the deer will be there eating all the apples. I do remember a couple of times that it took 2 or 3 days before they found it, but at least one of those times a bear found it first and ate all the apples the first night.

That's weird - because that's totally what I keep hearing from most folks. I wonder if they're just different in different areas? (All the places I've tried bait have been within roughly 30 minute drive of Monroe, mostly to the north. Maybe the deer in that area are just strange?)

Are there other apple trees or orchards in the vicinity which might be drawing them in instead?  In my EWA spot (whitetails and muleys), we have a couple of apple trees which don't seem to get touched until mid Sept and then they can't stay away from it until the bears get up in the trees and finish them off.  It might be simply like Island Hunter stated above, they are not conditioned to eat something not natural.  Maybe their stomach biome is not prepared for it?  I have experimented with Acorns/chestnuts and sometimes the deer vacuum them up within a day, sometimes, they sit all season.   
Introduce someone new to hunting this year.

Offline ASHQUACK

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Re: Baiting blacktail
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2023, 12:25:25 PM »
This year was my 1st real attempt at baiting. The learning curve is/was pretty steep. I started in August with about 70 gallons of the first apples that fell on the ground. I located 4 spots that trails converged/intersected. I placed apples at all the intersections. I checked the piles daily and figured out which one was getting hit regularly.  I continued to bait that spot and put out a camera. I would bait that spot as needed, they always had a pile. I added corn to the pile later on as well as some other vegetables that came from the local produce stand. I put out tomatoes, strawberries, hole cob corn, cabbage, lettuce literally everything the produce stand was tossing. The deer favored sweet followed by corn the everything else. I never had to pick up anything and it never rotted. They like sweet!

Offline dreadi

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Re: Baiting blacktail
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2023, 12:31:34 PM »
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Offline metlhead

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Re: Baiting blacktail
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2023, 12:51:48 PM »
Plant some pole beans or arborvitae. They'll come.

Online highside74

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Re: Baiting blacktail
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2023, 03:34:43 PM »
Apples apples apples, then whole corn if apples aren't available. Cracked corn from the feed store will be ignored. 1 photo is a property only using whole corn the other property is using apples.

Offline kball4

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Re: Baiting blacktail
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2023, 04:34:54 PM »
Asian pears work well for me, high sugar content and put off a strong sweet smell.

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Re: Baiting blacktail
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2023, 04:38:09 PM »
My guess on the whole corn being liked over cracked its ease of eating it, ie picking it up in their mouth.
"Just because I like granola, and I have stretched my arms around a few trees, doesn't mean I'm a tree hugger!
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Offline slavenoid

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Re: Baiting blacktail
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2023, 04:47:24 PM »
I find it extremely easy to bait blacktails with apples and wet cob. I find it difficult to kill them using bait though. The ones you want to kill vanish when it's legal to do so. During the rut the big boys also walk right through the bait they used to care about. I did start peeing in front of the camera this year and I got a lot more bucks pics all of a sudden.

Online highside74

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Re: Baiting blacktail
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2023, 05:01:05 PM »
I find it extremely easy to bait blacktails with apples and wet cob. I find it difficult to kill them using bait though. The ones you want to kill vanish when it's legal to do so. During the rut the big boys also walk right through the bait they used to care about. I did start peeing in front of the camera this year and I got a lot more bucks pics all of a sudden.

Definitely not getting much buck attention on bait during the rut. But if you can keep the does around the bucks will show for the girls more than the apples.

Offline IslandHunter

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Re: Baiting blacktail
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2023, 09:08:52 AM »

All good advice. I've had apples (or carrots or whatever) sit out for weeks, and remain untouched. I've tried it in thick cover, in small openings, in large openings, in clearcuts ...

One issue I've had is finding enough apples to keep the pile fresh, especially during the early season. This year I tried gathering about 50 gallons of apples and storing them in my freezer - and I learned why you don't do that. Next year I'll see if I can free up room in my garage fridge.

Interesting. I have never had any issue getting deer to eat apples, especially when I am able to regularly bait an area. The only thing I can think of is there is something wrong with your bait or there is another abundant food source available that tastes so good they don't care about your bait.

Any farm land close to your hunting area?

Do you have a dog? Or any ideas if your bait could be taking on a scent that is keeping the deer away? I have never refrigerated my apples, always left them outside and they eat them fresh or rotten.

Maybe try some different bait types. You could put out 5 different baits 1 gallon each and see if anything interests them.


I like your comment about Boyd Iverson BT tactics I very much felt the same after reading it. Its a great book and has a ton of info but when I get in the woods only about 20% of it seems to apply to my hunting situations. I think the biggest thing I took from this book is to be successful you need to spend time in the woods and paint a picture in your mind about what the deer are doing and why they are doing what they are doing. Use every piece of new information you find to slowly detail out and correct that painting in your head and you will slowly begin to see a bigger picture and understand the deer in your area. Once you have even a tiny bit of understanding of what the deer are doing it becomes much easier to bag one.

Sounds like you are putting in the work. I am sure the stars will align for you soon enough. Lost of people find success without bait so don't feel like just because the deer aren't taking your bait means you wont be able to harvest one.


Offline npaull

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Re: Baiting blacktail
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2023, 09:23:37 AM »
The farther south you go, the more the blacktails are like mule deer. California blacktails may be the same species biologically, but behaviorally and from a hunting perspective they may as well be a different animal. I think most of the Oregon blacktails are the same creature as our WA blacktails, but maybe they're more bench-leggy where Iverson hunted I don't know.

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Re: Baiting blacktail
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2023, 09:30:10 AM »
The farther south you go, the more the blacktails are like mule deer. California blacktails may be the same species biologically, but behaviorally and from a hunting perspective they may as well be a different animal. I think most of the Oregon blacktails are the same creature as our WA blacktails, but maybe they're more bench-leggy where Iverson hunted I don't know.

My thoughts as well.👍
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Offline shadowless_nite

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Re: Baiting blacktail
« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2023, 05:38:53 PM »
As someone  who has been able to bait blacktails with success there have a been a few things here mentioned that should be echoed again as well as a few other tips...

If you are hunting blacktail deer that don't normally have access to the particular bait, let's say apples, they are less likely to hit it right away. A coastal deer deep in a nasty valley won't care right away for apples simply because it's a unfamiliar food source. Carrots/pumpkin/ corn a lot of times don't get hit for this reason.

Also as stated before, are there other local food sources within their usual range? Are you hunting around a orchard not far from another orchard or someone feeding with more feed and reliability of present food source? This year was great for apples, last year not so much. This should be noted through out the year, a orchard with early apples will get hit early, and late harvest apples will still be dropping them now. If it's not apples perhaps other seasonal food sources nearby

Also remember if your ultimate goal is to have a chance on a buck, then you should strive to attract the doe and fawns. And to attract them your site needs to make them feel safe, easily on the trail to access within their natural routes/game trail and reliability of food being present. Why would they return for food if it's constantly gone? Providing a sense of security goes beyond the season. I try to feed beginning spring/ summer when fawns are new and their mama's need a safe place for them to feed, they remember these spots and come back to them as places of sanctuary  and when other deer take note so will they and will continue through out the season later on. And ultimately over the years of a single site continue to build on it. And same goes for the bucks that fed preseason and felt safe and had reliable food available they will return after the rut in bachelor groups looking to put some meat back on their bones.

And lastly if predators are in the area it can easily blow things out, not just the bears but coyotes and cats. And of course other human pressure. Do your best to pick a area with as little of this pressure as possible. My particular area has a very aggressive pack of local coyotes that are weary of humans. To reduce the chances of attracting them during the season we take our deer out whole ungutted. I hunt a very high hunting pressure, lots of local human/livestock around private parcel. If we were to leave a gut pile the coyotes would come overnight pushing the deer out on what might be the most peak days of the season ESPECIALLY  if you plan to have others hunt the same stand. The deer however don't mind the smell of blood or even a nearby fallen deer. They will walk right over a blood trail to get some food.

I'm sure there but these things are too of my list.


Offline Humptulips

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Re: Baiting blacktail
« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2023, 08:57:57 PM »
Thay was a pretty good post!
I will just add to it in way of an observation. I have some apple trees and until a few years ago no deer. I know that sounds crazy, but I have lived here mostly since 1960 and until maybe 10 years ago I had seen maybe 2 deer passing through. Lately though there are 3 to 4 deer regular in the yard and elk come through fairly often. Until about 5 years ago they would never touch the apples. I literally would haul a couple PU loads of windfall apples off and dump them. Then about 5 years ago I guess one of them tasted them and now they eat everyone. I do not think they knew what they were before and so never touched them.
Bruce Vandervort

Offline Sliverslinger

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Re: Baiting blacktail
« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2023, 10:22:54 PM »
My deer eat a 5 gallon bucket of apples every night at my blind site. Occasionally I bring two buckets and they eat that all overnight to. Here’s the key I learned after years of doing this, take a machete and cut the apples to small pieces, you’ll be amazed at the difference. I spent hours watching deer try and eat the apples and move on before realizing that if you make it easy, the will smell them from farther and stay there way longer.
SliverSlinger

 


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