Welcome to TheOhioOutdoors
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Login or sign up today!
Login / Join

Hunting "Mature Whitetails" in Ohio.

Stressless

Active Member
944
52
Keene, OH
@Fletch I respectfully disagree with the outfitters statement and doe kills. This is my opinion.
.... Everyone gets pissed at outfitters, well guess what they are probably one of the best things to improve a deer herd in an area... Reason being they have antler restrictions and therefore deer get to get a little older...

Yet he never shoots a single doe and holds out for a good buck.... We need more deer hunters like him....

Outfitter: The parcels around me are ~100 acres. The outfitter has "leased" the adjoining 1,800 acres and in the first year or two I agree with you, didn't shoot med sized deer and kept a respectable distance from the private property. ... then ... once he rotated hunters in and shot all the mature bucks in the 1,800 acres he made bait piles along the entire private property and baited/baits them HEAVY Jun- Feb. Camera on every pile - about 50-60 bait piles. IF he sees a mature or decent buck with a pattern he puts a hunter in the stand and kills it for $. IF they were private owners - there is generally a limited amount of tags and 'inconsistent' ability to hunt correctly and effectively. I've had to invest an incredible amount of time, labor and $ to try and keep some mature bucks from falling prey into the See and Shoot Outfitter that makes $ off our public resource.

Does. Along with the issues above the outfitter doesn't shoot ANY does - the ballooning doe population and consistent harvest of almost every mature buck around me has caused a unbalanced herd - Shooting mature does is the proper way to manage a herds size and M/F proportion. I agree to not shoot does if one is trying to rebuild a herd after some 'event' and as a wildlife manager you want to increase the herd. IMO does also make far better table fare.
 

giles

Village idiot and local whore
Supporting Member
35,311
190
In a bar
So with the overpopulation of does, the bucks aren't traveling?

ODNR has preached that for years and we didn't want to listen.

Hugh Hefner didn't go to the bar to find ladies.
 

Jackalope

Dignitary Member
Staff member
35,233
235
So with the overpopulation of does, the bucks aren't traveling?

ODNR has preached that for years and we didn't want to listen.

Hugh Hefner didn't go to the bar to find ladies.

Of course they would. Fewer does means fewer bucks being born. Fewer bucks being born mean a lot of hunters settle for lower age class bucks. More traveling bucks means more of the already fewer bucks get killed easier. All of it means fewer deer on both sides of age and sex spectrum.
 

giles

Village idiot and local whore
Supporting Member
35,311
190
In a bar
Of course they would. Fewer does means fewer bucks being born. Fewer bucks being born mean a lot of hunters settle for lower age class bucks. More traveling bucks means more of the already fewer bucks get killed easier. All of it means fewer deer on both sides of age and sex spectrum.
I can agree with that. So could it be that someone in the area has created a perfect space? Habitat, food, security and lady's. Take a look at @Boarhead and his set up. Or @Spencie and a few others on here that strive to create the perfect mix of all this. I would like to think that there is someone in every area doing something like this. Or large areas that do this naturally by not allowing hunting.

I can really agree with Stressless comment about outfitters. And that goes down the same idea of all hunters literally killing an area. Amish also do this on a large scale. But the guy taking a buck every year is also the problem. I am guilty of this, but I don't care to kill a giant. I am perfectly happy with good enough as long as it comes with a good story.
 

giles

Village idiot and local whore
Supporting Member
35,311
190
In a bar
Interesting
The things that make you go hmmmmm. Lol

The mind of a bi-polar person can really put a spin on things and how you view them. The problem often goes full circle and ends up being the fault of one's self. I should've probably started another thread, but I guess it all goes back to having mature deer to hunt being a factor. Now we are getting into why an area might not have mature deer and that is a discussion in itself.
 
  • Like
Reactions: finelyshedded

Sgt Fury

Sgt. Spellchecker
I am perfectly happy with good enough as long as it comes with a good story.
C0BF5C8C-8583-484D-9DDE-B16E2D1A0342.jpeg
 
  • Like
Reactions: Spencie

Boarhead

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
I can agree with that. So could it be that someone in the area has created a perfect space? Habitat, food, security and lady's. Take a look at @Boarhead and his set up. Or @Spencie and a few others on here that strive to create the perfect mix of all this. I would like to think that there is someone in every area doing something like this. Or large areas that do this naturally by not allowing hunting.

I can really agree with Stressless comment about outfitters. And that goes down the same idea of all hunters literally killing an area. Amish also do this on a large scale. But the guy taking a buck every year is also the problem. I am guilty of this, but I don't care to kill a giant. I am perfectly happy with good enough as long as it comes with a good story.
I stopped messing with food plots several years ago and used to bait several years ago but sure don't miss doing it anymore as we have big ag fields all around us so their is always plenty of food. I do put mineral down just for getting pictures as I don't think they can eat enough of it to really make a difference on rack size, some bucks just have that it factor and are gonna grow big racks, i will dump a little corn right after season to see what bucks survived and when the majority have dropped their antlers before we start looking hard for them.
The 2 farms I hunt are 360 and 184 acres and are capable of holding a good deer population.
Genetics, good cover and low human intrusion will allow bucks to get older. The one farm I hunt has crp fields and that is some of the best cover for deer as long as u stay out of them.
I do know every farm around us has other hunters so their is plenty of pressure but most are bowhunters ,their are gun hunters but most sit and no big deer drives which helps alot.
The key is to keep intrusion to a minimum and allow the bucks to feel safe like JB stated.. sit back and observe what they are doing and how they are moving...we stay out of the bedding areas other than a couple times during shed season.
Now on killing does we never shoot too many, some years only a couple...I know less does means the bucks will search more but our farms can hold alot of does and like Dave said having the lady's there sure helps.. and it sure draws or helps keep the bucks in the area and may draw in some new ones.
Myself I am hunting for mature bigger racked bucks that's what trips my trigger and just enjoy hunting like I grew up doing using the wind and terrain to my advantage but still giving a buck the wind he wants but setting up where you can catch him before he catches your scent, at some point you will always end up with deer downwind of you but that is where I have faith in my scent smoker..the buck I killed this year was using the wind like he should but still got by me and ended up downwind of me and raised his head up when he caught my scent but smelled the smoke and never reacted.
I do agree with a statement Don Higgins said about baiting in Ohio.
If he picked right now Iowa would be the best big buck state out there but that Ohio only needs to change one regulation and in 3 years it could be the best big buck state out there.
That one regulation would be to stop baiting...now that one will prob piss alot of people off but this is about big mature bucks.
The reason is with baiting their are alot of immature bucks getting shot over bait every season,I get it is an easy way to get kids on deer or someone their first buck but nothing wrong with teaching someone to hunt not just sit over a pile.
So cover,genetics,low intrusion pressure and good food sources are what allow bucks to get old and big,
IMAG0526.JPG
Screenshot_20210206-102018_Gallery.jpg
plus having the time to hunt them will allow a guy to up his odds of killing one of them but some are still gonna travel and get shot on the neighbors nothing u can do about that one.. happens to guys every year.
These are 2 bucks we were hunting 2019 season that were shot on neighboring farms the one was 232 inches and my buddy almost killed him the Saturday b4 gun season chasing a fawn,he ended up about 3/4 of a mile down the creek 2 farms over and was killed first day of gun season still with the fawn..the other would have been 170s but broke a dagger point off in front of his right browtine killed on farm next door.
Screenshot_20210206-102212_Gallery.jpg
20190827_102500.jpg
 
Last edited:

giles

Village idiot and local whore
Supporting Member
35,311
190
In a bar
The Hunting Public did a podcast a week or so ago about habitat and really bashed ohio hard with explanations why. I think it was am hour 20 or so, but worth it to me. I sent it to Ric yesterday to listen to. Episode 143
Screenshot_20210207-112745_Castbox.jpg
 

Boarhead

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
@Boarhead you are spot on.... except I’m not into the scent smoker. My scent control system works though. My goal is to some day have the caliber of bucks that you do.
Yep the smoker isn't for everyone but I have had great results so far using it. Amazing the deer I have had down wind with no reaction or watching them raise their heads up in the air and then going back to normal.i really need to take some video of the deer doing this sometime.
Whatever works for each hunter and having confidence in what you do is what matters most.
 

Spencie

Well-Known Member
4,052
128
Constitution Ohio
Yep the smoker isn't for everyone but I have had great results so far using it. Amazing the deer I have had down wind with no reaction or watching them raise their heads up in the air and then going back to normal.i really need to take some video of the deer doing this sometime.
Whatever works for each hunter and having confidence in what you do is what matters most.

I have a very elaborate system topped off with a scent crusher machine/closet. Once in a while a deer down wind pops its head Up but goes back to its normal routine. More often than not it’s a fawn or year old.
 

giles

Village idiot and local whore
Supporting Member
35,311
190
In a bar
I have a very elaborate system topped off with a scent crusher machine/closet. Once in a while a deer down wind pops its head Up but goes back to its normal routine. More often than not it’s a fawn or year old.
We used my scent crusher closet for this evenings hunt along with scent free showers. Had a nanny freak a little on us. Made me wish I had finished it with a smoke.
 
I honestly believe my two biggest bucks and the others I have taken in Ohio in the last 10-15 years have been a result of using the scent smoker. My droptine buck I am certain was 100% downwind of me at 30 yards as he circled in and around me. Shot him at 30 yards but had him as close as 15 but just couldn't get turned quick enough. My buck this year if he wasn't downwind he was very close to it, perhaps parallel to my scent, from where he came out into the opening for the shot.

I started out this year not pre-smoking my clothes like I usually did and Allen and I both had a couple interactions where deer became alert and slowly moved off, some did blow at Allen. We talked about it and decided we would smoke the crap out of our stuff that next morning and each hunt after before going out. Definitely seemed to help as we were back to deer smelling something but not really knowing what it was and not getting alert to it. Hunt the wind doesn't always work when they get in behind you in a spot you don't expect.