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Kyle

I think the corn is getting me

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I hunt right between a large corn field and a dirt field. Behind me is a swamp that the deer are bedding in. Ive found hundreds of tracks in the dirt field 30yds from my stand, and not just any tracks, but Several different very large bucks are using this field on a regular basis. Here is the my issue: I found extremely heavily used trails going through the swamp all over the place and have even located their beds. But I havent seen any deer during legal shooting times, I didnt jump a single deer in the bedding area today or anywhere else on the property. They are obviously eating the corn, but would they be just staying in it all day too? Why would I be finding lots of fresh beds in the swamp area with no deer in them? I was out in the stand by 5:00am this morning and never saw a deer, and I have stayed as late as 8:45pm just to see if I can see when they are coming out. Nothing! If the number of tracks that Im seeing werent there, I probably wouldnt be hunting this spot, but seriously, I have never seen so many tracks from different deer in one area in my life! And I know they are fresh because the rain last week washed them all away. What can I do? How can you turn deer dayurnal? Are all of those deer really living in the corn? Tell me what you think.

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First off, I would not go into the deers bedding area as the nicer bucks will probably relocate.

Those heavily walked trails are most likely all does as the nicer bucks will usually walk a different route in thicker cover.

Yes, the deer could be bedding in the corn and they could also be bedding in the swamp. I might asked when you walked into the bedding are, which way was the wind blowing?

many times one sees a heavy trail and a very few does and some fawns can make a trail look like there are more deer there than there really are traveling it. Did you look at the direction of travel of the deer to see if the trail you have found is an entrance or exit route? Did you check the scat to see what deer are in the area. If the trail you are watching has scat on it, then you are hunting more than likely a bedding trail and not a feeding trail.

I would hunt a trail coming from the bedding area to the corn, set up off to the side with the wind in your favor and only hunt that stand if and when the wind is in your favor. As far as any bucks in that bedding area, I hate to be negative but if you have walked around alot in the area and also walked into their bedding area, they are most likely out of there and have relocated and will more than likely not be back to that trail. Make sure that you can get to your stand without crossing the deers area of travel and that the deer don't wind you getting to your stand.

Just because you walked into the area and did not see a deer without a doubt does not mean the deer were not there. They may have heard or winded you and left without you seeing or hearing them.

In the morning, you may be hunting a trail that is used for getting to the corn and they are using another to go back to their bedding area. Check the foot prints very closely and also check for the scat. That should show you what trail is being used for what direction of travel.

They are deer and we have to give them alot of credit.

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Great advice, thank you.

The wind was from the east this morning and I walked in on the west side of the bedding area. It is absolutely huge so I know I didnt disrupt it too bad. I'll be sure to check for scat on the trails that I will hunt off from. Im having a hard time knowing which wind is right to hunt my stand because the corn is to the east of my and the dirt field is to the west with the swamp behind me to the north. Im not sure when they are coming and going(morning or night)to the corn. I can usually tell where they are going and when by the direction of the most recent tracks but there are so many tracks, and they are going in so many directions while looping back and forth. It really is a sight to be seen. Knowing those big bucks are in there makes it tough not want to go an find them because I cant figure them out right now. I'll stay away from the bedding area from now on. Do you think it will be easier to pattern them when the corn comes off? With all of the deer activity I cant wait for the rut, it should be just ridiculous!

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When that corn is gone the game will change again. The woods area will probally be the spot to be. Maybe on the edge of the field until it is black. I hunt a area really close to the same thing.

Froggy

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What other food is around for the deer? Its possible they are going thru the corn to a different food source and hanging around there all day and coming back late to bed. I know in my area the deer are mostly hitting the beans and acorns right now. Some in the alfalfa. Corn nothing.

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Nothing else but a few acorns. The corn field Im next to isnt the only one around. It is squared off by shelter belts, and that there are a few square miles of nothing but corn. I shot a doe last sunday night, and I opened her stomach to see; it was really light in color so Im assuming she was eating corn. Im thinking about putting in a mock scrape. Maybe that will get one of those bucks to show himself a little earlier in the evening, or later in the morning?

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I use to hunt in southern MN and it was corn fields everywhere, i never hunted those stands until corn was out, the chance of seeing deer was slim to none because why would they risk coming out during the day when they have food and shelter right there. When the corn is gone your gonna see the deer flock out.

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Sweet! I hope so. I think my best bet is for a north wind. They will be most likely comeing in from behind me. Around what date is corn usually harvested in central MN?

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SEMN is the same way, when the corn leaves the deer really come out, its hard to tell if its the corn leaving or the rut, I think its a pretty good combo of both. If it were me, I'd stay away from the bedding area, and focus on the corn, corn, corn. If its a huge field, I'd set a stand on each end, and then one in the middle. When the corn comes out, spend a few nights in the corner stand not effected by the wind and see where they come out. Give it some time, every year I ask myself why I even go out before the middle of October. It will only get better, but if you know its a sweet spot, If you can, wait until the time is right, sneak in there, hunt it hard and kill the big guy.

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I often ask myself the same thing. I think Im going to leave it alone for a few weeks. I'll check it a couple times just to see if they are still on the same patterns, but otherwise Im going to wait. When I first found the spot I said to myself, "wow! this is going to be prime in the rut!"

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It's very likely there are deer staying in the corn all day. You should go in after them. If being passive in a tree hasn't been at all effective I'd get aggressive and stalk the field on the soonest windy day. Rain would be additional incentive. If you do it right it could be your best shot. Too many people seem to be intimidated by the thought of stalking an entire corn field but it is productive and a huge rush when you walk up mere rows from unsuspecting game.

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Start on the down winds side and walk cross-ways with the rows (slowley) looking down each row and looking ahead. Then moved up wind alittle farther and start over again. Just remember to move against the wind.

I shot a really nice 8 point about four years ago during slug hunting. Got within about 8 yards of him. What a rush.

Froggy

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That sounds like it would be a blast, but would it be tough to do that with a bow? Im just thinking about having a clear shot. I know you can send a slug or bullet through some brush without deflection, but you just cant do that with an arrow. Even if I do get close to them, would that push deer out of my area once they see me? Id be willing to try it if the consequences are minimal, and there is a good chance of success with a bow.

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We have done it in the past. The most ideal conditions are (like matt and Froggy said) a windy day when it is raining a little. You'd be surprised how close you can get to them in the corn. Close enough to give you a clear shot. It is also a great method in late season if someone leaves corn in. I had filled my tag a few years back, but had a buddy with an open tag. We found a corn field on a windy day - There was about 6 inches of snow on the ground. We snuck up to within 10 yards of a doe beaded down in the middle of the corn field. She had no idea we were there. Unfortunately, my buddies aim wasn't true and he missed her clean, no worse for the wear, but what a blast we had sneaking up on her.

DL

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so do you walk down the row when stalking or do you walk perpendicular, cutting across the rows? Do you set up to shoot down a row, or do you try to blast an arrow through the corn stalks and leaves across the rows?

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Right now this would be a tough tatic to do, the leaves are fairly green still so it would be like walking down a jungle. I have tried it a few times and its tough with a bow if you get really low below some of the leaves you oculd be ok.

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