Opening day Virginia [Archive] - Glock Talk

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iiibbb
11-18-2006, 09:03
This year sure makes up for the 10 nearly wasted days last year.

Got one buck on muzzleloader opening day.

Got this one this morning for rifle opening day. I heard him behind where I was sitting. He was a little over 100 yrds off walking abreast of me. I was setting up for a long shot, but he turned down toward me. I let him close to about 50 yards and got him in the shoulder and he dropped right where he was walking. Both deer I got this year while they were moving.

Both bucks were about the same size.

Good luck everyone... stay safe.

iiibbb
11-18-2006, 09:07
here's the pic

suckersrus
11-18-2006, 10:30
I'm jealous.

We have 0 degrees with a wind chill of -25.

And no deer.

I was born and grew up in Virginia. I plan to retire in about a year and return to VA. I really miss the hunting there.

Let one go, will ya? For me.

Nice buck! You must have found a good spot. What happened last year?

iiibbb
11-18-2006, 10:42
Last year the rut came early, it was really warm, and there was a bumper acorn crop so the deer really had no reason to move around.

Last week was pretty warm... lows around 50. It was right at freezing this morning when I sat down.

I hunt national forest as well as a friend's property. I think the odds are better on the NF, but my friend's is very convenient and I can sleep an extra hour.

Last week I hunted NF, this morning I went to my friend's and will probably hunt the rest of the season there because there are doe limitations on NF; it's doe-day every day at my friend's. I've used up my buck tags.

Last year I saw only 2 deer and only had a shot at one of them... This is only my 3rd year hunting so I'm sure my view of what is 'good' hunting is skewed. I've been pretty lucky so far. I got my first deer ever 20 minutes into my first day ever.

vafish
11-18-2006, 16:13
Why is there a red ribbon in his antlers?

iiibbb
11-18-2006, 16:47
This picture was right before I was loading him. I use the webbing to drag him to the road; scoots along the dry leaves pretty well. Then I go get my cart or car.

stooxie
11-18-2006, 20:14
Congrats!

I tried today, as well.. Alas, it was pizza for dinner and not venison. :sigh: To rub it in, I must have heard 50 shots ring out betwen 6:20am and 8:00am. That was all private land, too!

So what was your strategy? Did you "know" the deer would show up thanks to pre-season scouting?

-Stooxie

iiibbb
11-18-2006, 20:25
I scout some... but I don't know if I can claim to know anything. My hunting mentor pretty much just tells me to find a spot... sit down and shut up. He's not much for scents and tracking and all that stuff... I'm new enough at this that I am easily influenced by deer lore... he talks me out of stuff like scent-free underwear - I had a bad year last year :) Anyway... he uses all his tags every year.

My strategy on NF is to arrive earlier than most and get to the top of the ridge about 40 minutes before we can shoot so I can get settled and get quiet. As other hunters roll in over the course of the day, they tend to drive the deer to me. Most hunters don't work as far off the road as I do in the NF. I rarely see anyone up where I hunt. Also, the spot I favor up there is at a saddle, so deer coming from the other side of the ridge like to cross there.

My friend's place is about 30 acres amongst several thousand of contiguous private holdings. I suspect the deer are moving. I'd only heard maybe 2 other shots way off this morning.

I don't have much of a strategy there. I know a spot that people have gotten one every year they've ever hunted there, and decided to sit there. There's deer sign all over his property really. I think no matter where you sit down you're in a good spot. I'd rate spots at his place more by how comfortable and well hidden you are.

Ultimately there are a lot of deer here. I don't think special strategies are necessary. Just sit down and be quiet.

suckersrus
11-18-2006, 22:38
I hunted Virginia with some of my relatives a few years ago.

THERE WERE DEER EVERYWHERE!

I could not believe how the population has exploded. When I was growing up there, hunters were lucky to see 2 or 3 deer in a 2-week season.

The last time I hunted, I took 8 deer in the 2-week season. There were a few deer in every patch of woods (in farm country).

I prefer 1 of 4 ways to hunt those little patches of woods:
1. Find a vantage point and watch -- sooner or later deer will move in or out or cross between the patches of woods.
2. Stillhunt the woods. (will push the deer out for other hunters)
3. Stand hunt in the woods (most popular).
4. Quietly, get close, then call them out. (my favorite).

Any of these metheods can be used in NF thickets.

Which part of the state are you in? I grew up in Draper, where the golf course is now.

iiibbb
11-18-2006, 22:45
I'm in the New River Valley

stooxie
11-19-2006, 08:06
Originally posted by iiibbb
I scout some... but I don't know if I can claim to know anything. My hunting mentor pretty much just tells me to find a spot... sit down and shut up. He's not much for scents and tracking and all that stuff... I'm new enough at this that I am easily influenced by deer lore... he talks me out of stuff like scent-free underwear - I had a bad year last year :) Anyway... he uses all his tags every year.

My strategy on NF is to arrive earlier than most and get to the top of the ridge about 40 minutes before we can shoot so I can get settled and get quiet. As other hunters roll in over the course of the day, they tend to drive the deer to me. Most hunters don't work as far off the road as I do in the NF. I rarely see anyone up where I hunt. Also, the spot I favor up there is at a saddle, so deer coming from the other side of the ridge like to cross there.

My friend's place is about 30 acres amongst several thousand of contiguous private holdings. I suspect the deer are moving. I'd only heard maybe 2 other shots way off this morning.

I don't have much of a strategy there. I know a spot that people have gotten one every year they've ever hunted there, and decided to sit there. There's deer sign all over his property really. I think no matter where you sit down you're in a good spot. I'd rate spots at his place more by how comfortable and well hidden you are.

Ultimately there are a lot of deer here. I don't think special strategies are necessary. Just sit down and be quiet.

Interesting. I pretty much did the same thing. Set up a stand in a grove with almost a 360 view of 27 acres usually plagued with deer. They must have the DGIF season calendar hanging up somewhere! :( The only two seer I saw were bedded down right next to me and walked off at about 6:00am. Too early (and dark) for a shot.

So what is the window of opportunity? Is it just in the transition times, i.e. dawn and dusk or do you figure you could run across something any time of the day?

Thanks!
-Stooxie

iiibbb
11-19-2006, 19:02
Originally posted by stooxie
Interesting. I pretty much did the same thing. Set up a stand in a grove with almost a 360 view of 27 acres usually plagued with deer. They must have the DGIF season calendar hanging up somewhere! :( The only two seer I saw were bedded down right next to me and walked off at about 6:00am. Too early (and dark) for a shot.

So what is the window of opportunity? Is it just in the transition times, i.e. dawn and dusk or do you figure you could run across something any time of the day?

Thanks!
-Stooxie

I've shot all my deer in the morning. Most before 8 am... all before 10 am.

360 view might not be a great thing. If you can see it... it might be able to see you. The places I sit (usually against a large tree or rock) have zone of fire, but I can monitor most of what's going on around me. I usually hear them before I see them, so there's been time so far for me to adjust my position for a shot before they've really come into view.

My mentor has gotten them at all times, but more in the morning... a little less in the evening... but he's taken them mid-day.

noway
11-19-2006, 21:01
Solid looking antlers and nice deer :)

Care to provide details in mzl'er and bullets used?

iiibbb
11-19-2006, 21:58
Originally posted by noway
Solid looking antlers and nice deer :)

Care to provide details in mzl'er and bullets used?



I use 245 gr powerbelt aerotips with 100 grains 777 pellets. Easy to find... easy to load... easy to clean. I can get 2" groups @ 100 yrs off a rest and about 4" groups freehand. Good enough I think. I'm not anal about ML accuracy given that my shots are going to be under 100 yards. People look for MOA accuracy... all I care about is "minute of deer".

My muzzleloader is the same gun in the picture, but with the 209x50 barrel on it. Scope on that barrel is a Leupold 2-7x30 VXI. Scope pictured on my .308 barrel is a 3-9x40 VXII. If I had it to do over I'd have 2-7x30 on both... or even a 1-4x20. However, I'm pretty satisfied with what I've got. The 3-9 is better for long shots if I ever had to make them. I'd feel pretty good about shots out to 300 with my .308.