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question for deer hunters

RRPRRP Posts: 22,058
edited 12:22PM in Off Topic
We live in a somewhat rural area of Illinois so we see wildlife on a routine basis. In addition our property butts up to a 240 acre wild life park so we probably see even more than most of our neighbors do. Today I had just left home - without a camera of course - when deer began running from a field across the road in front of me and then into the woods. I counted exactly 20 of them! That's a new record for me. Once we had 11 in our side yard, but 20 was an amazing sight. I saw nothing that may have spooked them, but is it that common that 20 deer would stay together? BTW there were no fawns and I assume all were does.
L, M, S, &  Mini
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  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Very common, especially if your area is snow covered and they were anywhere near a food source. Food is scare this time of year so they often stick together and feed where they can find sustenance.

    Don't assume they were all does (though they likely were). Down here the bucks have already begun dropping their antlers. I don't know about up there, but down here they start dropping around New Years Day (some before that), but the majority drop them in mid to late February.

    No such thing as a fawn right now. The deer that were born earlier this year would be near about full size. Deer only breed in the late fall/early winter and deliver fawns in the early to mid spring (the timing varies by region).
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,020
    deer find food sources in the winter, they need food ;) there is something around thats keeping them there, they dont want to be moving around expending energy without food
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,020
    you type fast and i dont hunt, but thats an easy one
  • The other thing to add to Rods statement is that it is very common for deer to heard up this time of year. There is no competition except for food. The does will begin to get off on their own when it comes time for the fawns to be born in the spring, till then they stay together a lot.
  • Herding and food this time of year.....
    I have had as many as 30+ in my yard and have counted over 70 on the 4 mile trip from from Pole Creek (almost home from town) to my house this time of year!
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i saw 18 in a weekend once, but never all at once. :laugh:
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • KokemanKokeman Posts: 819
    We saw 16 to 18 of them today while heading up to look for eagles. They were moving around to much to get an exact count.
  • very common to see that many, in fact, there've been times growing up that I'd see 30, 40, 50 in a day, in various grouping quantities.

    Also, depends on the type of "running" they were doing - if it was a simple trot, they probably weren't spooked - but if they were really booking it through the field, then something definitely spooked them - perhaps a hunter walking in the woods, or another predatory animal...

    Also, during hunting season, they become crazy because their space is getting invaded by trespassers (hunters), so I've actually had a deer run down from a ridgeline because it got spooked by a hunter, and almosts ran over me as I was leaning up against a tree, looking up at the ridgeline - he got about 4 feet away before he saw me & then he immediately stopped in his tracks, snorted, and bolted in another direction to my side. It all happened so fast I didn't even have time to raise my gun.

    Another time during deer season, I was driving down a country road & a few deer (probably 3-4) darted in front of my truck, and one even jumped into the side of my truck!! I didn't hit him, HE hit me!!

    So yeah, they can react very strangely when humans are invading their habitats & they are getting shot at B)
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    For what it's worth, deer don't know they're being shot at. They know they are being pursued by a predator, but the sounds and smells of gunfire don't phase them.

    Normally deer are acting crazy during hunting season not because they're spooked from being hunted but because hunting seasons are set to intentionally coincide with breeding season (aka "the rut" in hunting circles). A few females in a group of 3-4 or a few males in a group of 3-4 are either being chased by one dominant buck in the case of the does or the group of bucks are establishing dominance and territory.

    The chasing that goes on will make deer absolutely nutty. When you hear stories of deer running into houses or parked/non-moving vehicles it is because they are chasing one another to either escape a butt whoopin or a breeding. They're not running from guns or hunters. When they're spooked by a hunter they will try their best to sneak away undetected.
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