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If You Didn’t Score This Past Year, What Will You Do Different Next Year?


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Just curious if you didn’t shoot a deer in 2023, what would you like to do different in 2024?

Lots of answers to the question and many ways to skin the ‘cat.  

Maybe some helpful hints from the masses could be of use to you?  

Maybe you had a great time and don’t give a rat’s ass if you do shoot a deer, that’s ok too…….just move along.   :)

I know of a couple local guys that didn’t have any luck this past  year but their efforts were rewarded with some new ideas & hope for next year, that is exciting to hear.



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2 years in a row of getting skunked. Not sure what I could do differently as a majority of our club was successful and we took the average amount of deer we always do it’s just for the second year in a row I was not able to pick the right stand at the right time. Plenty of deer where killed out of stands that I sat in at one point or another just nothing came by when I was there.

I do limited scent control but do think about the wind, food sources etc. when thinking on where to sit.

Maybe I should go back to not thinking about it that much and just go sit where I want.  

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Had plenty of deer sightings so happy there,did score on a BB opening of gun but blew it on a really nice buck during bow due to low pine limbs and saplings(my neglect)

Biggest thing I need to change for next season is cutting more shooting lanes/grooming trails for access to different stands as I didn't move around much this year due to trails being covered in shit.waited till last minute to cut a trail or two for wheeler access if needed n that was it.Hoping to get a small plot in aswell

Edited by Doebuck1234
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I was lucky in my limited time this year to take one of the targets and a skipper spike during the holiday hunt.  However my focus is more now on bow hunting than gun. I have a piece of public I’ve hunted on and off the last 3 years and have plenty of big deer on camera even during daylight.  So my focus will be breaking down that property front to back.  I have 2 regular cams getting deployed there this winter and maybe a cell.  I found good runs during a rifle drive and walking it during the holiday season.  I don’t think I’m too far off just been focusing on the wrong ridge. 

I was asked to go in on a piece of land to purchase or lease but just doesn’t make sense for me.  I have enough opportunities on public each year I would rather spend my money on more efficient gear than leasing something or buying land with someone.  There is a 10acre piece my wife and I want to buy but that may be a couple years from now. 

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39 minutes ago, will12785 said:

More scouting and more shooting in the off season.

Did you miss one……I feel your pain.  Did you hit and loose one…….I feel your pain. 

“Shoot more, shoot more often” is a good mantra to run with.   Homemade cardboard silhouettes of deer placed at random ranges (made without a head to maximize refrigerator boxes!)  can aid in accuracy and range estimation.

Scouting season started today……. :)

From now until green up a guy or gal can learn much.  

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Hopefully guess which property to hunt better during the rut. No chasing seen by me this year. I hunted mostly 3 properties. The day I picked one, another one went wild and vice versa. Sometimes you guess right, sometimes you don’t.   

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2nd year in a row that I got skunked during bow season.  I was targeting a single buck this year, but he was a ghost during archery so I had very few sits where I thought I might be in the game.  After realizing he was a ghost, I tried like hell to get in range of a doe just to fill the freezer.  But it never happened ... again ... same as last year.  I could only get in range of small / young bucks.

I did end up taking a couple of does opening weekend of firearm season and was able to catch up with my target buck the first weekend of muzzleloader.  My two oldest boys were also able to take multiple deer each - freezer is full and a successful season overall.  It just sticks in my craw that I can't seem to put it together during bow season the past couple of years after having success for 25 years in a row before that.  

So what will I do differently?  Likely not too much besides some additional scouting, moving some stands, and trying to get more spots to hunt.  I have a third boy who will start hunting this year, so my main goal will be to get him on deer.  

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Every season is different. Just because I was successful this yr, definitely doesn't mean I will be next year.

I try to figure out there movements/patterns each fall. 

This yr, the amount of mast crops made them difficult to pattern. If I was only 80 yrds off in picking the area they wanted to feed through, I'd see nothing. 

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