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Legacy -The 2020 Season-


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Tommy’s been hunting a very special deer for two years. He’s not the only one hunting this deer it’s very well known.
Have recent pics, it has survived another year. Pretty cool.


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Tommy’s been hunting a very special deer for two years. He’s not the only one hunting this deer it’s very well known.

Have recent pics, it has survived another year. Pretty cool.

 

 

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It’s amazing that deer has made it another season. I hope he gets it next season!

 

 

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Deer numbers are way down all over this state, except very isolated areas being private back yards, parks, and of course all the places you can't hunt, and some of those "spots" are very thin. I talk to people from the niagara to st. lawrence down to the pensy line in the south. There are none to very few deer being seen let alone killed. I am sure we all have our theories, but in reality we will never know. I do know our season is too long and to generous in tags. Insurance companies are paying the state to to allow more deer to be harvested so they don't have to payout for deer/car collisions. If this dismal trend continues i can only imagine what the future will bring. The real sad part is we will never be able to change anything the state does because they see it a lot different then the sportsman.

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6 tags and 83 days of deer hunting in my area.  With no safety zones anywhere near me. 

That means if you have 2 sons in your household you have 18 tags to fill not saying it would be easy to do but holy **** certainly not impossible if you're not picky. 

 

I'm pretty sure most of they guys on here could fill their tags every year with ease if that was the goal. Luckily most hunters manage deer better than the DEC

 

 

Edited by HOLY DIVER
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  Long time reader and never post but I think after reading 87 pages of this that I will comment.

 

  If I went by my normal signs and methods for hunting, I would say yes, with the drought we had this year something has happened and the deer population is way down. All my fellow hunters saying the same thing. BUT changing my hunting method I absolutely disagree. I used to sit in watch over a food plot and would be able to fill the freezer every year. It was warm and comfy in my blind. With the drought this year, the food plot didn't fair well and the sit and watch didn't do me any good. My game cameras showed a few deer but they wouldn't come out where I could see them and it was the same few deer over and over. A couple does and a couple trash rack small bucks.

 

  I decided to change things and moved back into the woods a short ways and instantly started seeing deer. I also noticed the does were coming right up to my cameras (located off to the side of trails) and giving me nose and ear pictures which meant they weren't as hidden or secretive as I had thought when I put them out. If the does were finding them then surely the big bucks know they are there and that would be why I wasn't getting many pictures of them. When I did, it was just once and never again. I then started checking after dark on those snow covered nights with the moon bright and to my surprise it was not unusual to see 15 to 20 deer in what little food was left in the plot - night after night. They had gone nocturnal (entering the field anyway) and avoided my cameras quite well. When I sat on stand back into the woods I was seeing deer staging to enter the food plot.

 

  Talking to a local butcher shop, the guy there said he had 400 deer in the first three days of season and had to turn them away after that not having enough freezer space. He is located in 8R but of course takes deer from all over.

 

 So, I believe they are still there but their patterns have changed this year. Maybe just in my little area (8W) but that's what I have seen. My season ended with the freezer full once again after I moved back into the woods a bit. Just my thoughts on it for what it's worth. Maybe others have seen similar this year.

Edited by darkeagle10x
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Deer numbers are way down all over this state, except very isolated areas being private back yards, parks, and of course all the places you can't hunt, and some of those "spots" are very thin. I talk to people from the niagara to st. lawrence down to the pensy line in the south. There are none to very few deer being seen let alone killed. I am sure we all have our theories, but in reality we will never know. I do know our season is too long and to generous in tags. Insurance companies are paying the state to to allow more deer to be harvested so they don't have to payout for deer/car collisions. If this dismal trend continues i can only imagine what the future will bring. The real sad part is we will never be able to change anything the state does because they see it a lot different then the sportsman.

I agree in a general statement but there are way fewer hunters out. I hunted hard the last few days of muzzleloader on state land in deep snow. Logged over 7 miles one day. Never cut a human track. Saw plenty of deer. It's about thinking outside of the box. Sure it's not the 90's but there are way more mature bucks now then I can ever remember. The deer that are around can't be hunted from the same stand multiple times. Each area is different but now is the time to scout, go look for tracks, sheds, make plans for next years attack, gps points of interest also figure out how hunters push deer and learn escape routes. Figure out easy entry without bumping deer. One of the biggest things is leaving a property alone when you need to and going in for the kill when the bucks are moving.. To me not seeing deer is saying it's had too much pressure.

Love this thread congrats to all that killed and to all that gave it hell!

Happy New Year

 

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The last few posts were excellent. Very thought provoking. I was never a "camera guy", as we practically live on the water April--mid October. Rushing to get boats winterized always provides conflict with my preferred bowhunting.

This year was different. For the lack of having anywhere else I took on a small lease just to have a place to hunt other than the back 9. The covid shutdown drove me nuts last Spring and I dove into trail cams pretty hard to keep my sanity and to try to learn the new spot.

I have never worked harder and had less results at Whitetail hunting than I did this past season. Yes, primarily on a "new to me" spot but the biggest change was THE CAMERAS. 

Just as mentioned in above posts, many "one and done" pictures or despite extremely cautious approaches just night pictures of targets--even in cover.

I have come to the conclusion that my camera practices are the culprit. Where they are placed, the brand, frequency of checking them, are all up for analysis. Before anyone asks- no, I have not gone to the "cell" cams yet. Is this where we are now with NYs educated herd? Sure you don't have to visit them as much but do they spook the targets less? 

I would love to hear observations on the benefits/damages that trail cams create--primarily on older/wiser deer--and I realize that that isn't just bucks--matriarch does changing routines can definitely alter everything. 

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They are 100% worth it just for the human activity part. Your decision to hunt a stop can be vastly altered. For example you have not had a day time pic of a shooter at all. But there is one walking at night. 1-no cell cam, hunt it and find his home core (extremely carefully) . 2- keep human activity as low as possible till you do get him on camera during the day. I have not found it to spool deer. Maybe a mature buck will know its there and avoid it some. But we have got pics I them smelling them leaning on them. Sleeping directly in front of it. Amd if someone else is sneaking on you have then caught in real time. Pending they. Dont steal it. Even using a cell link to adapt to a camera u can get into for as little as 50$ using a camera you have now. And spend 3-5$ a month on plans. I. Personally. Have killed my last 2 bucks with info gained from them. Last years buck walled 200yds from me and I never knew it without the camera. I saw it waited 2 hrs nothing came by me repositioned near the camera. Guessing which way he went and 30 min later he comes walking back that trail and gave me a perfect 30yd shot while I sat on the ground.

The last few posts were excellent. Very thought provoking. I was never a "camera guy", as we practically live on the water April--mid October. Rushing to get boats winterized always provides conflict with my preferred bowhunting.
This year was different. For the lack of having anywhere else I took on a small lease just to have a place to hunt other than the back 9. The covid shutdown drove me nuts last Spring and I dove into trail cams pretty hard to keep my sanity and to try to learn the new spot.
I have never worked harder and had less results at Whitetail hunting than I did this past season. Yes, primarily on a "new to me" spot but the biggest change was THE CAMERAS. 
Just as mentioned in above posts, many "one and done" pictures or despite extremely cautious approaches just night pictures of targets--even in cover.
I have come to the conclusion that my camera practices are the culprit. Where they are placed, the brand, frequency of checking them, are all up for analysis. Before anyone asks- no, I have not gone to the "cell" cams yet. Is this where we are now with NYs educated herd? Sure you don't have to visit them as much but do they spook the targets less? 
I would love to hear observations on the benefits/damages that trail cams create--primarily on older/wiser deer--and I realize that that isn't just bucks--matriarch does changing routines can definitely alter everything. 


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It always cracks me up how nobody ever comments on what a great job the DEC is doing. This state is very diverse.

I hunt 3 different areas of the state. Otsego, Oswego (NZ), and Ontario counties.

In Otsego and Ontario I saw the same amount of deer I usually see.

On my own land in Oswego County I saw way less deer. 2 properties within a mile of me were logged heavily and that is where a lot of the deer were. Find the food and you will find the deer.

Each of us only sees a tiny piece of the state and we never get a good look at the big picture.

From my perspective where I hunt there are plenty of deer and the age structure is slowly getting better in all 3 areas.



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It verys even within every WMA or town or farm for that matter.  Can't complain we all have great opportunity in NY.   It would be impossible for the DEC to micro manage every town.  We have seen a huge swing in my area over the past 20yrs for the better and even then we got 6 tags apiece. 

 

 IMO hunters manage the deer population and quality not the DEC.  

 

 

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Ohio update...

I was hoping to do a play by play while I was there but cell phone signal was awful. 

Long story short... 11 guys in camp and one shot fired. The very first day one of the guys had a shooter chasing a doe at 1130 in the am. He believes he shot the deer really far forward. They spent the afternoon along with the next morning searching for the buck but no luck. All in all, everyone at camp witnessed very little deer movement. Personally I saw 6 does/fawns total over the course of 4 days. Day 1 am/pm and Day 2 am/pm I spent in a box blind overlooking a cut bean field on the end of a big block of woods. Day 3 am/pm I spent on stand on the top of a ridge/ pinch that was a travel corridor. Day 4 am I spent in that same ridge/pinch stand. Day 4 pm I spent on stand on the edge of a cut corn field. Each of these sites had an additional corn bait pile within range and some also had a mineral site. Overall very impressive hunting ground but deer movement was minimal. The hunting ground reminds me of 9H area in our stand. Rolling hills, and agriculture. The deer are there but they were as nocturnal as they could possibly be. To put it in perspective the ridge/pinch set was baited with 150# of corn on Thursday afternoon. By the time I hunted there Monday morning you could barely tell that corn was ever dumped there.

Overall I have no complaints about the trip (minus the deer activity). The lodge, the guests, the owner, the guides, they were all great. Of course I would have love to see more deer and of course that is a huge part of the experience.

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I won't be the idiot who says, "that's why they call it hunting".

 

Duh, I just was.

 

Sorry to hear you didn't connect. Sounds like a fun trip and great group. 

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5 hours ago, Gill-T said:

Seems to me Rob you have enough good deer spots that you could start a NY guided deer business. Why go to Ohio?

 

The reason for Ohio was just to extend my hunting season. I have enough hard work into my stuff here that I didnt want to take away from my time here during the season but the idea that Ohio has a muzzleloader season in January was very inviting.

 

But what if I told you that I am losing 95% of the land that I currently hunt? Unfortunately that's the case for 2021 and the future. If it wasn't for the pandemic I wouldn't have had it for 2020. Losing all this ground is one of the most depressing things I have had to deal with in a long time. The amount of time that I have spent on these properties in the past 15+ years is crazy and to have them taken away is truly heartbreaking. Long story short is I am aggressively looking for new grounds for 2021 and so far it hasnt been good.

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4 hours ago, Legacy said:

 

The reason for Ohio was just to extend my hunting season. I have enough hard work into my stuff here that I didnt want to take away from my time here during the season but the idea that Ohio has a muzzleloader season in January was very inviting.

 

But what if I told you that I am losing 95% of the land that I currently hunt? Unfortunately that's the case for 2021 and the future. If it wasn't for the pandemic I wouldn't have had it for 2020. Losing all this ground is one of the most depressing things I have had to deal with in a long time. The amount of time that I have spent on these properties in the past 15+ years is crazy and to have them taken away is truly heartbreaking. Long story short is I am aggressively looking for new grounds for 2021 and so far it hasnt been good.

Feel bad for you. You work hard at this and to have it yanked away truly sucks

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