Deer Behavior [Archive] - | Pier and Surf Fishing Forum

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08-21-2007, 11:38 PM
So ive been living in this neighborhood about 20 years now, and tonight i saw the most deer ever in the field across from the entrance.....

its been storming like crazy here tonight with as much lightning as ive ever seen.. as im exiting the neighborhood i notice these heads, with large racks, sticking up in clusters out of the brush in the field.. theyre 4-8pt bucks in clusters of 2-3 scattered every 100 yards in groups across this field which excompasses probly 10 acres at most and is surrounded by swamp and woods...

over the years I have always seen lots of small does and fawns in this field in the evenings, but never the number of bucks i just saw tonight.

My questions are.
---do thunderstorms chase deer out of the woods, making them seek shelter in the bush like that???
---is it more to what i saw than this... i know food matters to deer as i dont hunt them.. the field consists of wild grasses and was formerly a soy field the few years before that.... A few ditches run in the middle of the field as well... I figure the bucks were transversing the ditches to access the field and not be seen....

F I LetsGoFishin
08-22-2007, 07:40 AM
Down here the deer tend to move out of the thick trees and into heavy shorter brush when ther is frequent ground to cloud lightning. Also if you have been experiancing a long dry spell they will go to fields for the newly plumped roots and eat.
As to the number of bucks where there is usualy does to me would meen the the rut is but a short ways off and they are letting there presents be known

08-22-2007, 11:26 AM
They bed down when it rains, no matter how heavy or thunder and lightning. FI hit it on the head, sounds like the rut is just around the corner. They will feed on the grass and such. The area that I hunt has a lot of white oak acorn trees as well as wild black berries and lots of watering holes.

08-22-2007, 12:26 PM
Also in the summertime the bucks are in bachelor groups. Starting in the spring the does chase the bucks away because their about to give birth. And during the summer the doe & fawn groups and the buck groups each keep to themselves. Though with a high pressure storm coming in they will share a field to put a quick feed on!;)

08-22-2007, 02:23 PM
The rut is a long way off. In the Summer the bucks are in bachelor groups. They will stay in the groups until closer to the rut. The deer will seperate from the bachelor groups and start rubbing and marking out their territory. All of this is cause by the hormones gearing the bucks up to mating season or the rut. Young bucks may stay in the bachlor groups longer than older, more mature bucks.

But to answer your questions, I have no idea why the deer decided to feed in an open field during or just after a thunderstorm. Something may have startled them out of cover, (dog, coyote). Deer generally bed down during a hard rain or thunderstorm. RD had it right about deer bedding down in short bouts of rain. In longer periods of rain deer can't stay down that long so they venture out even during periods of hard rain.

If you see a field where deer feed frequently at night there will be beds all in it everywhere. They feed a while and bed down for a while especially youger deer. If there is any natural cover in or aroudn the field the deer will use it for a bedding area as long as there is no hunting pressure in the area. When the pressure starts the deer will move down in the thickets for more cover and less danger.

My guess woudl be either the deer are bedding in and around the cover of the field and got up to feed after the storm was over. Or something jumped them up out of the swamps and they pushed out into the field and fed.

Those big deer did not get big by being stupid. I bet you can set up on or near that field to hunt and your chance of scoring before or after the rut would be low. Those deer will feed in the field at night and probably never during the day unless they are chasing a doe.


Billy J
08-22-2007, 05:32 PM
I have had lots of success in the rain,light,heavy it doesnt matter but I have not seen to much activity during a thunder storm,but deer are unpredictable crafty animals so anything is possible and I agree with finger mullet the rut is usally late october early november around here

08-22-2007, 08:27 PM
Ive been seeing deer like crazy too. Just normal deer. No outstanding bucks or anything. In one field in particular it hasnt mattered this week whether it was 2pm, 7am, or 5pm....always a deer or 4 out there. Except today, idk why but I rode around and glassed several bean fields at duck and notta. Oh well. Cant hunt any of that stuff anyway. I just like seein em.

Big Rad
08-22-2007, 09:23 PM
just like us. They are probably visable because the low level travel routes have flooded making the it hard work to get from point A to point B. I agree that the rut is waaaaaay off. Them buck are still in velvet and just hanging out:D

08-22-2007, 10:31 PM
yep, they gots fat bellies and skinny necks right now....give em 2-3 months and theyll have skinny bellies and fat necks

08-23-2007, 09:49 PM
I don't know why but I have always seen more deer activity in a rain. Especially a slow drizzle. They tend to bed down in thick cover for protection in a downpour. Maybe the increased cloud cover makes them feel secure, but they definately will come to fields earlier in the evening during a rain.
The rut is waaaaaay away. I wish it wasn't, but I'll settle for trying to pattern food sources.

08-23-2007, 11:36 PM
this was a hell of a thunderstorm, with some wind to it... and it rained soo hard for a good hour...

the backside of the field is woods, that goes down into a swamp... on the right side of the field is a small strip of woods thats probly 60 feet wide and runs back to the swamp woods connected to the backside of the field... the road is along front the field...

theres another field just like it on the other side of the strip of trees full of soy as well with swamp woods in the back and road along the front...