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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm looking for advice guys. Today marks the sixth morning I've sat in my stand without seeing a single deer, and I'm at a loss. I grew up hunting in PA and NY and have based my setup on those experiences and am wondering, as this is my first season in the South, if my 'northern' hunting methods are out of whack. Prior to moving down here I would go hog/deer hunting around Camden, AL with great success, although that was semi-guided and left little for me to do other than wait and pull the trigger.

I just can't make sense of it. I'm alone on 100 acres of tree farm that funnels out to my stand, with sign all over the place but not seeing deer, except two does I kicked out while stalking. I picked a spot with the sun rising to my back, obvious sign of deer passing through and bedding, 15yds from a watering hole that sweeps around into a little crick that feeds into a classic cypress tree swamp. To the north gives me up to 200yds of sight and thick enough that one needs to be on their toes in order to make sure no deer slip by. I cut some shooting lanes, thinned a little brush, but mostly left it alone as the tree farm did a good job of creating natural lanes, all funneling into the watering hole. I dumped some corn around and being close to the swamp, I mixed up some of the hog bait LovToHogHunt suggested (a 2 gallon batch and only added cornstarch to thicken it up) and dumped that around too. I'm hearing shots every morning and know my neighbors are using dogs, but not one thing has moved by me, to my knowledge.

It's one of those spots that you know a monster buck should pass, it's thick, has water, food, hog bait.....but no deer. I've got some corn, jello, yeast and beer fermenting in the garage, gonna try that as well as I've heard it will attract hogs and deer. Besides my Alabama hunting, this is the first time in 20 years I've hunting around corn (illegal up north). I've been using a weak grunt call every 10-15 minutes too, getting into the stand 45 minutes before light and doing a decent job of covering my scent, I think. I bought a feeder, but the guy next property over just had 4 cameras and his feeder stolen, so I'm hesitant to put it out. I uploaded a short video from my stand so you can see what I see. I'm just wondering if it's time to move....although I'm sure the next day a stud buck will walk through.

Suggestions? What am I missing guys? Better attractants out there? I'm patient, but starting to feel like the deer know something I don't =) :whistling:

VIDEO
http://www.viddler.com/explore/claysvids/videos/11/

Thanks for your help-

Clay
 

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Welcome to the December lull. Happens every year about this time. Different areas are different and with the moon the past week deer movement has been slow. I only seen 5 deer Sat and Sun. I wouldnt put out to much fermented corn if you are deer hunting, not sure but Im guessing regular corn would be better. Id leave the grunt calling to a very minimum right now. Only use it if you see a buck and you are trying to get his attention, a grunt call is not the most effective tool in FL with the way the deer ratio is, save it for closer to the rut.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Welcome to the December lull. Happens every year about this time. Different areas are different and with the moon the past week deer movement has been slow. I only seen 5 deer Sat and Sun. I wouldnt put out to much fermented corn if you are deer hunting, not sure but Im guessing regular corn would be better. Id leave the grunt calling to a very minimum right now. Only use it if you see a buck and you are trying to get his attention, a grunt call is not the most effective tool in FL with the way the deer ratio is, save it for closer to the rut.
Splittine, what stage of the RUT are we in here? As up north, we would be headed toward the tail end....I'm guessing that it's just starting? As per the deer ratio, can you expand on that? Thanks man, lots to learn around here...
 

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Put the feeder up tommorow & fill with corn, take a shovel and a bucket and get rid of that other crap, set the feeder for ten seconds at 6:15am and again at 4:00pm. Don't return for ten days and leave the grunt call at home when you come back. Let us know how it works out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Put the feeder up tommorow & fill with corn, take a shovel and a bucket and get rid of that other crap, set the feeder for ten seconds at 6:15am and again at 4:00pm. Don't return for ten days and leave the grunt call at home when you come back. Let us know how it works out.
Thanks! I have off work until after the New Year and want to be in the field, but I'll try your suggestion and stalk hunt for the next two weeks and come back to it....GREAT ADVICE!!
 

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Not to answer for Splittine, but I have seen spotted fawns in the last week, Deer gestation is 200 days so their mom was bred around the end of April, most spotted fawns (around here) show up around the middle of October, meaning the doe was bred in March. Others will argue but I think our rut starts the first week of February and runs thru March. As to the deer ratio, on an average I would guess it to be ten does to every buck, translating to - With that many girls in the woods, there is no need to waste energy fighting over them, a lot easier to just walk over the next hill and find a hot doe that you don't have to fight over
 

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Splittine, what stage of the RUT are we in here? As up north, we would be headed toward the tail end....I'm guessing that it's just starting? As per the deer ratio, can you expand on that? Thanks man, lots to learn around here...
The "Rut" is the end of January into Febaury depends what area you are in, but with the ratio all messed up the does will come into heat at alot of different times so is there no real hard core rut. The deer population is out of whack, way to many does per bucks so the grunt calls are hit and miss in Fl. If there is 5 does to 1 buck he doesnt have to compete to get his fix. You will not see the full rut action like you might up north, not saying it doesnt happen cause it does but you dont have all these bucks looking for does.
 

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what are your trail cams telling you, that is the key, they may have gone noctrunal so your feeders timer should only be set for daylight hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
what are your trail cams telling you, that is the key, they may have gone noctrunal so your feeders timer should only be set for daylight hours.
No cams- The adjacent property had 4 stolen this past month from trespassers,so I'm not sure I want to risk the investment....
 

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well then there goes any chance of knowing what is going on...so my only guess is they have gone nocturnal if you are seeing fresh sign, do the feeder times in the daylight.
 

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deer

well, if you hunt like all the guys on tv then i think that may be your problem. i don`t see how in the hell those guys kill a single deer. If they were to come to south alabama and climb 20 feet in a tree, move around, talk, joke, fart and all the other crap they do. They would never see a single deer.

other than that, december lull.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
well, if you hunt like all the guys on tv then i think that may be your problem. i don`t see how in the hell those guys kill a single deer. If they were to come to south alabama and climb 20 feet in a tree, move around, talk, joke, fart and all the other crap they do. They would never see a single deer.

other than that, december lull.
Thanks for the insight...just me in the stand, I'm pretty good at keeping my mouth and rear-end shut, so it must be a lull
 

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Deer do a couple of things everyday...eat and sleep. Find the cover, find the food, then get in the middle. It's really that simple in theory, but harder in reality because they can cheat by going nocturnal. Maybe relocate your stand away from those openings and more towards the cover to catch them emerging while there is still enough light to shoot.

Rut: You will see more midday movement from mid-Jan to mid-Feb as somewhere in there is the height of the Panhandle rut.
 

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I agree with Splitter on the December lull and the current moon phase, but about 10 days or so ago there were some NICE bucks taken in S.E. Alabama.
If poachers were all over my neighbors property , I would be concerned.
pressure ='s nocturnal activity
 

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Deer get 99% of their water from the leaves they eat so I wouldn't worry too much about focusing on that. 100 acres, you should/could have a few spots so you can play the wind. If you don't want to risk feeders getting stolen, plant food plots next season.

Be patient and take a very stealthy walk about midday at the end of doe days and see what you see.
 

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I read your post and you mentioned everything about your set up but WIND DIRECTION ! Hunting the wind right is the most important tactic you can use while hunting . Wrong wind equals pressure on your deer and hunting a small piece of property you cant afford to pressure your deer . By the way your set up looks like a good one . Stay after it. Like Splittine said December is hard hunting . Good Luck!
 

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FWC study released this year says the median conception date is around Feb 10th in that area. You have not missed the rut. I would change your time of hunting. Hunt in the middle of the day. The deer may just be transitioning through your place. Also agree that you likely are being busted by the wind.
 
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