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Weekend Deer Hunting....

Discussion in 'Ohio Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by CritterGitter, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. CritterGitter

    CritterGitter Staff Member Super Mod Mod

    So, for those of you with new jobs, no time off, busy lives this will be a thread where we can all share ideas and discussion. If you can only hunt the weekends, then that means between opening day and the first two weeks of November you have 7 weekends. That's not a lot of time to figure it all out. That's 14 days. Throw in some 80+ degree days, a couple nasty thunderstorms, and some Honey do days and you might be down to about 9 or 10 days for primetime hunting. That can make it tough to get on a big boy. If you are like me and hunt public land and don't run trail cameras, it's even tougher.

    So, how do we get it done? What's the best approach? What's the most useful strategy? I say it comes down to scouting. You have got to scout, scout and scout some more. You need to do your homework especially during the off-season. Get in the woods right now if you have to. Find some of last year's hot spots. You need to have a plan of attack and be ready to adjust on the fly. If you sit in a completely useless spot for 1 or 2 days then you just reduced your odds of killing a big boy ten fold. You'll run out of time before you can dial in on him. Also, you have to be careful of tipping him off, or other deer. There's a LOT that goes into this.

    So, tell me some of your thoughts and strategies on how to get it done with minimal time to hunt once the season opens.
  2. This will be a good thread for us workers. Last year I only hunted weekends. I think you have to move around. I will not get out of my stand for lunch and go back and hunt it in the afternoon. You might as well hunt another spot. Unless you are sitting all day.

  3. New job, no time off, busy lives...resembles me to a "T" these days...

    A few minutes spent "scouting", whether it's a drive by, doing a bit of glassing or talking to the neighbor, saves me a lot of guess work and assumptions when the season opens. Of course I have been able to hunt the same properties for several years, which is advantageous. You can get to know the area well. Weekends in the woods are precious too few sometimes. Below are my rules.

    The main thing weekend warriors need to be concerned with is IMO:
    1. Be safe, your family wants you to come home in one piece.
    1. Have fun!
    2. Don't put undue pressure on yourself with unrealistic expectations.
    3. Be prepared for the times you do get to hunt. You'll have more actual time in the woods if you're not searching for gear or packing your lunch!
    4. Be safe and have fun!
    5. Repeat steps 1 through 4 :D
  4. Both my wife and I work full time and we have two kids under the age of 3. Finding time this year is going to be a challenge. Fortunately I have some private land to hunt that doesn't require a whole lot of scouting. I've been hunting there several years and pretty much know where the deer will be.

    I usually only get to hunt weekends and the occasional after work sit until the time change.
  5. I got the kids and the full time job also but I have a weeks vacation to take but ill probly split it up like 2 days on like a thursday/Friday or Friday/Monday for the rut and 3days for gun other than that weekends and the occasional after work sit being I get off work at 3:30 ;)

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  6. Here's my strategy since work+wife+kids was added to the equation:

    Part of our informal 'prenup' included a predetermined # of hunting days, and predetermined dates. That way no plans are made that might interfere. And nobody can claim they didn't know when it was coming.
    Earn a few brownie points by never complaining about the 'girl's nights'.
    Next-scouting, no scouting, rain, snow, heat wave, deer, no deer...enjoy every minute of it!

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  7. Bawana

    Bawana Staff Member Mod

    I understand the new job and family obligations! Two HUGE advantages I have, One I have private ground to hunt and can hunt right out my back door. Those days I get home an hour or two early I can be in a stand in about 15 minutes. With that being said, if I was hunting public ground I would look for spots within an hour of home. The bigger the areas the better. For me a few of the areas would be Woodbury, Tri Valley and Conesville (AEP). I would make one or two scouting trips, not necessarily to find hunting spots, but more how I'm going to get into the area, and where I can park other than the typical parking lots. Most people look for parking areas, If I can find a wide spot that allows me to get off the road so much the better. Most people are lazy, they look for the easy places to park and go from there, If I have to drive an extra 5 minutes to get away from them so much the better. Once I find a few locations, If I have the time I'll walk in and scout around some. I usually will have a WMA map with me to see if there is any interior roads or trails accessing the area I'm looking at. Very few people will venture more than a third to half a mile in on a trail, and far less than that if there's no trail. Next I'll go home and poor over the locations with google earth. Some areas won't be very good due to interior access or other things I don't like about it. I'll usually find two or three spots that really look good. So for my second scouting trip I go to where I plan on parking and walk into the area that interests me and start looking for deer sign, and then stand locations.
  8. I'm in on this one.....
    New job, wife a full time graduate student, 3 kids, 2 of which have Saturday sports and a hunting spot 2 hours from my home. I am Mr. Mom with a full time job.

    I'm not too worried about the hunting just yet. I hunt private land and I know it well. I have spots that are productive and should get me on deer. I'm more than anything concerned about hunting becoming one more chore rather than an opportunity to unwind.

    I think there is a risk that I overhunt a few spots if I don't be careful. I think I need to remember to go to where the deer should be instead of where I want to go. With limited time, I think it will be tempting to hit the old faithful stand sites over and over and miss some opportunities in other spots. I hope i can be patient and not feel like I "need" to kill a deer every time out.
  9. For me weekends are it. Takes me 45 to an hour to get to where I hunt. Scouting has played a big role. I've hunted the same public land for 8 + years now. I do.have permission to hunt 10 acres. Wasn't to hard to figure out the does love that little strech of woods. First year I was able to get a week vacation in November. Good luck everyone
  10. For me it's Sunday's only.. I'm a union gas pipeliner so 6 days a week 12 hours day 9 months out of the year and work in 4 states,wife and a 2 year old .. It makes it almost impossible to hunt .. But manage it the best I can also I am fortunate to own my own property and several private farms with alot of history hunting. But my main thing Is don't over pressure your spot hang 2 stand locations for your different winds and always be prepared for your upcoming hunts, topo maps, google earth.. Look for them pinch points and funnels.. 9 times out of 10 the pinch points I find on maps I good trails old rubs ect. 1 more thing this is my main thing when it comes to scouting.. Fresh droppings and I like to walk in my area a day after a good rain and see where deer are crossing log road or drag road or creek banks .. That may sound stupid but there are alot of people that overlook them kind of things... By the way great topic! Good luck everyone, hope I was somewhat helpfull

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  11. I started a new job back in March. I work 7-330 mon - fri. My hunting spots are within 15 to 30 minutes of home. So before the time change I can get out in the afternoons as long as its not too warm. Other than that its weekends. I hunt private and know the properties well. Plus I have already been running cams and have 8 stands hung.
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  12. Mon-Fri here..I leave the house at about 5:30PM an get home between 2 and 3 am,some Saturdays here an there...Most of my spots are very close to home...They are pressured:(,but close to home
  13. I am in somewhat the same boat. I own a grounds care Business and the fall season is one of our busy times. I coach one of my daughters selct coccer teams and a rec team for my other daughers teams, not to mention that I play 35+ baseball on Sundays. Each sport is over at the begining Nov. but then basketball starts...

    Owning my own business for the last 15 years suck's and one of the the only reason I have stayed in init for so long is the ability to hunt when I want..

    The way I get to hunt is in the morning's before the time change hunt untill 10 am in my Urban land which is behind my shop. whan the time changes I hunt the evening's. If I hunted the evenings before the time change would never see my kids or wife (gets dark at 8:30)plus practice nights for sports. If I hunt in the mornings I don't get yelled at by my wife...

    As for how I shoot deer it, I hunt when ever I can, and I try to not over hunt my places. That is the big one IMO. I have 4 other places that I hunt one is urban that I hunt at alot but I move a lot and hardly ever hunt in the same stand twice in a week. The other places are what I call weekend spot's. they range from an hr away to 35 min's and range from 100ac's to 300's and are hunted by others. Thats how I do it.. OH Yea lots of LUCK
  14. Eliminate mistakes.
    If you've done your homework you'll know which stand you want to use based on the time of day and weather conditions. You'll also know the best path to access it. Now don't blow it. Arrive as scent free as possible, sneak in slowly and quietly, and don't allow yourself to be distracted by what you did at work that day or what you plan to have for dinner that night. It takes a lot more time to scout and pattern a good buck than it does to rattle a candy bar wrapper and destroy all you've worked for.
  15. Schu72

    Schu72 Staff Member Super Mod Mod

    I'm a M-F kind of guy. Add in two kids playing youth tackle football and that equals limited time. Luckily football should end mid October so it won't eat up too much more time. Almost everywhere I hunt is a min of 40 minutes away and my best spots are about 2 hours 15 minutes away. I do have some vacation that I'll tap in early November.
  16. CritterGitter

    CritterGitter Staff Member Super Mod Mod

    This is one of my favorite replies so far.

    I will spend most of my bowhunting efforts on the public land that I have cut my teeth on over the past 18 years. I know it VERY well. I did have some climber set ups that are no longer useful (trees have grown to big). So, I have created a few new set ups. I still need to nail down maybe 2 more set ups and I'll be all set for the season. I do have an advantage this year in that I'll be able to hunt a couple week day mornings throughout the season.

    The post above makes a LOT of sense because we have a litany of distractions in this day and age. The smart phones, the games, the ipods, and all that silly stuff. Work stress and home distractions. This is big boy deer hunting. You don't want your mind in the clouds or elsewhere when that stud walks out. You don't want to have one of those "would've, could've, should've" stories. You want to be mentally prepared and ready for when that moment arrives. When you settle into your hunting spot for the morning or evening or day, you can have hours of nothing but squirrels. Then, you can have 25 seconds of booner within bow range. Do all you can to remain mentally sharp and focused on the task at hand. We all put a LOT of preparation into a season. Don't blunder it with the candy wrapper or something silly.
  17. I only hunt public land and have few vacation days to take as well. I Use Google Earth or Bing maps to help look for possible funnels, bottoms, etc. Then i will go scout these areas and look for sign, marking which ones I plan on hunting. Then I'll find a tree or two that I can use my climber in. If you hunt public, use walking trails as an advantage because the local hikers can act as deer drivers sometimes. Deer also will walk right down these hiking trails especially in the first few weeks or early mornings. Make sure your equipment is working properly and your shot is dead on. You don't want to ever have to blame a buck on your equipment. Look for other entrances that you may have to have a buddy drop you off at because there's no parking. I like to scatter my vacation days out during the rut because you never know when it will kick in. I hunt with 3 other buddies and this helps on gas for the long drive to public land and will also help your on stand scouting. Make sure you scout enough to know the woods well so you can enter and exit in the dark, and make sure not to stomp out the woods at lunchtime. Here's just a few of my tips for public land weekend hunting. All in all just enjoy the time because public land can bring a lot of down times with all of the pressure. Nothing like having deer run away and 5 min later another hunter walks past you at 8am. Also understand that you're not always going to get a chance or may never even see bucks the size of the ones on TV, especially with limited days in the woods. So fill your tag and be proud of the deer you took.
  18. Scout in the off season!! I think thats the most helpful thing ive started doing in the past couple years. Its a lot easier to find last years trails in april then it is in the middle of summer. Its always good to make a quick trip back in a few weeks before season to make sure there is fresh sign, but the majority should be done in the late winter/spring IMO. Plus i find it a lot more fun scouting when im not sweating like crazy.

    Then around this time of year, driving around and glassing can be very helpful as well. Keeping up on some of their patterns without putting human scent out is the best way to get recent info on their movements.

    I hunt mostly public land after work during the week, and a little private land on the weekends. I have a few stands that i can hang and leave up on the private land but ive started using Muddy climbing sticks and an aluminum hang on stand in order to stay very mobile. I use to carry in heavy stands and was very reluctant to move from what i thought was a "good" spot, but now i will quickly move if i see activitly in another area. Deer patterns will change slightly from year to year, and you need to be ready to take advantage of the most recent information you collect while in the woods.
  19. Have your gear ready to go. You never know when an unexpected opportunity will come up to get out of work early. It doesnt have to be in your truck but you shouldnt have to ransack the house looking for a missing glove or a pair of heavy socks.