How Do You Know You’re Hunting Too Much?

running whitetail deer

What do deer do when they feel pressured? Well they run of course and wave that big white flag telling you Good Bye and Better Luck Next Time. When will the deer come back? Like any situation with animals or humans, they wait until the coast is clear. Will they ever come back if the coast is never clear, I wouldn’t.

One of the cardinal rules of deer hunting a piece of property is to not over hunt or over pressure that property. Like most of us where I hunt in Illinois, our properties are all less than 100 acres and less than half of that is timber. We have to pay even more attention not to overstay our welcome in the woods.

This year “WE”, myself and rest of my family, have broken that rule and now we are paying the price for it. With the combination of my Dad and brother retired and hunting during the week and me coming in on the weekends, we are sitting in our once deer abundant treestands scratching our heads and wondering what happened to all the deer we were seeing weeks ago. We are coming up with all kinds of excuses like our neighbors screw it up, people trespassing, the deer are nocturnal, other farms still have standing corn or global warming has them all screwed up. Some of the those excuses are legit and some are straws we are reaching for. Although our neighbor does still have standing corn and they are they only farm left is the whole area. So that excuse may be more legit then we really realize. But the simple fact is, we screwed it up. I did it, my Dad did it, my brother did it and maybe a few others that came along for the ride. But it was our fault. So now what?

Is our hunting done for the year? Of course not. The deer will return if we let them. This time of year in farm country, the deer patterns change by each pass of the combine. With very minimal pressure or no pressure at all from us, they will filter back into the home we provide them and go about their normal lives. We have our first gun weekend coming up in less than two weeks so our goal is to take a break from deer hunting until then. Take this opportunity to to go chase a bird somewhere or actually spend a weekend around the house taking care of some long overdue items on the list. The simple fact is, the passion and drive of a hunter to get out in the woods isn’t always a good thing. Think about how often you are hunting. Think about how much walking around your doing in the woods. Minimize your presence as much as you can and you will enjoy more wildlife. Just don’t do what we did.

Salt Life