Author Topic: 2013 Whitetail Season  (Read 6268 times)

Niccolum

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2013 Whitetail Season
« on: December 01, 2013, 08:55:24 PM »
The 2013 regular firearms season for whitetail deer kicks off tomorrow morning at 6:59am here. We've had archery in season since mid-October, and I might try my hand at that next year, but this year it's strictly the long gun. I'll be heading out to my usual place this year courtesy of a good friend. Unusually for Pennsylvania where the first day of regular firearms season on deer is almost a universally accepted school holiday and kids head afield at 13, I'm new to hunting and just got into it in my mid-30s. This is my third year out and while I'm out for meat as well as antlers, I'm going to hold off on taking an antlerless until the end of the season try to be patient for a good-sized buck.

Wanted to throw something out there for 2013 deer hunters - share your stories, successes, failures, why you're out, etc.

nelson96

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Re: 2013 Whitetail Season
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2013, 09:06:33 PM »
Good luck to you Niccolum.  Are you mentoring a youth or an adult?

My wife, two daughters and myself, had a great season of mule deer hunting (harvested two bucks).

Offline Frugal Upstate

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Re: 2013 Whitetail Season
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2013, 04:30:54 AM »
Next weekend is the last weekend of Regular season here...hubs got a buck & doe in a special hunting trip, but nothing at his regular hunting grounds.  We are getting them processed at a local place-$70 ea, you get your own deer back cut, frozen and vacuum sealed :).

He'll take our 10 yr old son out this homing weekend now that the pressure is off just to hang out for the morning & observe w him in the stand.  Father son time & teaching the kiddo to enjoy it.

Good luck!!

Offline hutchsteaders

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Re: 2013 Whitetail Season
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2013, 08:08:06 AM »
Good luck! Our regular firearm season just ended here in Maine. No deer this year for me. Next year I intend to take advantage of the archery season.

Offline BamaPrepper

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Re: 2013 Whitetail Season
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2013, 11:12:25 AM »
This year is the first year that I have taken an active interest in hunting (I have gone whitetail hunting a few times before, but not really being serious about it).  I have been getting ready for several months now and rifle season opened on November 18th.

I went over to Alabama (about 60 miles west of Montgomery) and hunted a family friend's land for three days this past weekend.  After seeing a good amount of movement too far off to take a shot on Friday and Saturday, I was starting to get a little down trodden, but I decided to stick it out and stay with my plan of hunting all three days. 

Sunday morning, I crawled into a tree stand at about 5:30 and set in for the wait, but given that I was heading home later that morning, I had to come out of the field by 8:30 at the latest (or face the wrath of my wife  ;D).  I saw a decent amount of movement really far off all morning, and at about 7:45, a big doe walk out of the woods about 25 yards from my tree stand.  She was so close, I could have thrown the bullet at her.  Needless to say, I took the shot.  She fell about 30 yards into the woods that she came out of, and it was relatively easy to get her to my truck. 

My wife was a little irritated at not being able to leave to head home on time (it took a little while to get the doe gutted and cleaned), but I am very happen with the way the hunt went. 

Nothing to crazy, but since it was my first real hunting trip, I am extremely excited!!

Bamaprepper

Offline skas

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Re: 2013 Whitetail Season
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2013, 06:12:48 PM »
Didn't get drawn here...So, I went out for dove last Friday (5 dove + a cottontail) and am hoping to go out again Friday morning...

Niccolum

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Re: 2013 Whitetail Season
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2013, 06:09:59 AM »
No exciting news to share after the first day. I was in the stand at 6:30 and sat until just after noon and then shifted position from 12:45 until 5:15. I saw at least 20 deer including four spike bucks and a huge, fat six point that I was dead on with until I realized he was a point short (western PA is 4 points on a side). That was incredibly disappointing. One of the doe came right up to my stand and just stood there looking at me, as if taunting me. I have an antelerless tag but I wasn't willing to take one yet because ideally I'd only pay for one dear to process. Otherwise he would have been a goner just for seeming to make fun of me.  ::)

Back out Friday morning. Pesky work and the need to care for my family....

nelson96

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Re: 2013 Whitetail Season
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2013, 07:15:41 AM »
I was in the stand at 6:30 and sat until just after noon and then shifted position from 12:45 until 5:15.

It wasn't until I started watching hunting shows on t.v. that I realized you easterners hunted that way.  I have to hand it to you, I would have quite hunting years ago if I was stuck in a tree stand or a blind for hours on end.

Niccolum

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Re: 2013 Whitetail Season
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2013, 04:05:04 PM »
It wasn't until I started watching hunting shows on t.v. that I realized you easterners hunted that way.  I have to hand it to you, I would have quite hunting years ago if I was stuck in a tree stand or a blind for hours on end.

Usually yes, although this morning I actually still hunted up on a bedded-down doe I could see through the scope on the stand far in the distance. I got within ~15 yards and was watching it. It was a tiny doe so I didn't take a shot and it finally jumped up and ran off when I tried to push through a thicket right at it. Wouldn't do that routinely around here - I'm surprised the noise didn't cause her to run earlier. Either I'm super-silent (doubtful) or this doe was very used to people.

I went out yesterday and today but still no joy. Yesterday I didn't see a thing, but it was sleeting, raining, and very windy. Assuming everything was sheltering from the weather. Overnight it shifted to snow, we got about 2", and then it stopped. I only had about 3 hours this morning to be out. There were fresh tracks and beds all over the place, but I only saw one tiny doe. A friend hunting with me took a shot at a fat doe about 150yds out but we're pretty sure he missed. Never found blood with the tracks.

Not sure what next week holds. The 14th is the last day of the season and I probably won't get out until then. I'm going to take the first decent-sized doe I see for some meat. I'm regretting on passing on all the doe I saw Monday.

nelson96

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Re: 2013 Whitetail Season
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2013, 04:40:49 PM »
Yesterday I didn't see a thing, but it was sleeting, raining, and very windy. Assuming everything was sheltering from the weather. Overnight it shifted to snow, we got about 2", and then it stopped.

Rainy weather is great to hunt the timber because they can't hear you coming as easy.  Snow is great too, because you can track and know that the tracks you see this morning are fresh if it snowed the night before.

Niccolum

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Re: 2013 Whitetail Season
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2013, 04:57:48 PM »
Rainy weather is great to hunt the timber because they can't hear you coming as easy.  Snow is great too, because you can track and know that the tracks you see this morning are fresh if it snowed the night before.

Yeah, I love hunting in light snow - enough to show the tracks and blood well but not high enough to soak my boots or, worse, make longer walks through the woods tougher.

Unfortunately I don't usually have the opportunity to still hunt much. Where I hunt is usually with a group of friends on their property (a set of brothers) and while it's a nice property for stand hunting, it doesn't really lend itself to stalking. Today happened to be different because I was there only with one friend and he had gone quite a ways off tracking the doe he shot at. Some year I'm going to figure out a good, large space - maybe up in the national forest - and try some stalking.

nelson96

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Re: 2013 Whitetail Season
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2013, 05:10:27 PM »
Yeah, I love hunting in light snow - enough to show the tracks and blood well but not high enough to soak my boots or, worse, make longer walks through the woods tougher.

Yea, deep snow sucks.

Unfortunately I don't usually have the opportunity to still hunt much. Where I hunt is usually with a group of friends on their property (a set of brothers) and while it's a nice property for stand hunting, it doesn't really lend itself to stalking.

Most of the hunting is done on private property and on lease's back east isn't it?  We definately have an advantage here, with all the public land available.  Many of the timber company's let you hunt their property too, though their roads are often gated.

Niccolum

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Re: 2013 Whitetail Season
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2013, 06:10:24 PM »
Most of the hunting is done on private property and on lease's back east isn't it?  We definately have an advantage here, with all the public land available.  Many of the timber company's let you hunt their property too, though their roads are often gated.

Yes, there's tons more public land in the west - huge state parks, federal parks, BLM land, etc. Pennsylvania has a pretty wide network of State Game Lands but most of them are small here in the west part of the state and they're crawling with hunters. The big ones are in the middle of the state - also crawling with hunters. The Game Commission estimates that there are 750,000 hunters in the field on the opening day of regular rifle season. Most of the good land for hunting is private farms. Many of them actually rent out deer leases. There's one place down the road from where I hunt that advertises a lease for $1495 for the season. Hunting here is very hard for a newcomer who doesn't already have access to land - either their own or through some form of family or friend relationship. You can't just worry about your spot, you have to have a reasonable ability to cross property borders to retrieve your kill if you don't drop it close to where you shot it. Lots of land it posted no hunting, usually to preserve access for the owner or protect a deer lease. All in all, it's quite complicated.  :-\

Ref - http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/state_game_lands/11363

nelson96

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Re: 2013 Whitetail Season
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2013, 06:24:04 PM »
One benefit you do have is that many property owners grow food plots specific for deer hunting and you can bait if I'm not mistaken?

.

Niccolum

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Re: 2013 Whitetail Season
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2013, 06:34:37 PM »
One benefit you do have is that many property owners grow food plots specific for deer hunting and you can bait if I'm not mistaken?

No, both are actually against the law here except for coyote hunting. You can only hunt in "areas" that haven't been baited or had food on them for more than 30 days. Hunting near food is only permissible if you're near "accepted farming" or if the PGC is doing some sort of habitat management to cull a herd. Lots of people have gardens and put out salt licks, but the licks have to be gone before the season starts. The game commission officers drive around and look for them! Sometimes out near Philadelphia they'll have special regulations to permit baiting during late archery season (late December/early January) if enough harvest wasn't reported -- they have a crazy deer problem out there but the laws of Philadelpia Co. and the surrounding areas are really limiting in both where you can hunt and what you can hunt with.

Offline racer038

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Re: 2013 Whitetail Season
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2013, 08:02:40 PM »
Modern gun is over in Kentucky.  My area allows an unlimited # of antlerless with the proper tags.  We harvested a total of five, one nice 9 point and the rest does. I'm kinda overpopulated so we pretty much take all the meat we want for ourselves.  It's hard to justify taking a deer to mount, with a shoulder mount costing $400 or so.  You can buy lots of preps for $400 and that mount will be left behind if SHTF.  I have a guy process mine, $75 per deer, add $0.60 /lb for burger and $3.00 for summer sausage / bologna.  It can get a little pricey if you take him a small doe, so we work the smaller ones up ourselves and take the larger ones to him.  Bow season is open through Christmas Holidays, so I hope to take a couple more does for some folks that could use a little "free" meat. 

Offline cheryl1

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Re: 2013 Whitetail Season
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2013, 10:21:59 AM »
In indiana you can grow food plots but no baiting during deer season

Offline bcksknr

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Re: 2013 Whitetail Season
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2013, 01:12:54 PM »
     Wisconsin's gun deer season ended last Sunday. Fewer hunters were out this year, probably due to the cold and no tracking snow. Also the Vikings/Packer game was on Sunday of opening weekend. My son got a doe and an eight point buck. I got a doe. As regular gun deer season ended, muzzleloader deer season opened. I had other commitments, so I didn't go out. However, an additional doe only modern rifle season will open when muzzleloader season ends. We have tracking snow now and even though it is bitterly cold, I've seen a few doe moving in our woods. As tired as I am from processing venison, I'll probably go out and try to fill my last doe tag. All in all i'ts been a very good year for us.

nelson96

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Re: 2013 Whitetail Season
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2013, 01:30:04 PM »
     Wisconsin's gun deer season ended last Sunday. Fewer hunters were out this year, probably due to the cold and no tracking snow. Also the Vikings/Packer game was on Sunday of opening weekend. My son got a doe and a eight point four point buck. I got a doe. As regular gun deer season ended, muzzleloader deer season opened. I had other commitments, so I didn't go out. However, an additional doe only modern rifle season will open when muzzleloader season ends. We have tracking snow now and even though it is bitterly cold, I've seen a few doe moving in our woods. As tired as I am from processing venison, I'll probably go out and try to fill my last doe tag. All in all i'ts been a very good year for us.

Congratulations and good luck in your upcoming hunts.

By the way, I fixed your post  ;D

Offline RationalHusker

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Re: 2013 Whitetail Season
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2013, 03:03:44 PM »
I missed bow hunting season due to a back/should injury.  But shotgun season is underway in Iowa.  We are getting a good dusting of show today, which should continue overnight.  Winds seem to be setting up well for me in the morning.  Temps have dropped, so hopefully the deer will be up on their feet and moving, and highly visible.  My property is an arterial street for deer (they move through, but don't concentrate or bed down.  Four steps and a nibble...repeat).  I have 2 landowner tags.  I hope to fill one in the morning...seems like the conditions are going to be almost ideal.  However, the deer seem to have pretty random patterns on my place, for some reason.  This is my 3rd year hunting there...wish me luck.

Hunt safely, everyone.