Opening day nightmare - what do you do?

Ridgerunner

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Messages
396
A scenario that is probably occurring more and more every year across the west as hunting the high country continues to get more popular. You've prescouted out a basin with no trail and a herd of bachelor bucks in it only to return the day before the opener to find another hunter camped in the same basin those bucks were living in. My question is now what? You plan of glassing up those undisturbed bucks is out the window, or is it?
 

fillthefreezer

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
2,804
Location
eatonvile, wa
ive often wondered if scouting with a partner, would it be effective to have one watch them while the other bumps them softly and find the escape route and plan b so that if this scenario happens, youve got a first step to finding them
 

Slim Jim

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2012
Messages
2,320
Location
Las Vegas, NV
That's always my biggest fear. It is public hunting so I don't get mad but I do try to locate a couple of different bachelor groups within 2 or 3 basins so that I have a plan AB,&C
 

HellsCanyon

Senior Member
Rokslide Sponsor
Joined
May 29, 2012
Messages
3,474
Location
Lewiston ID
A scenario that is probably occurring more and more every year across the west as hunting the high country continues to get more popular. You've prescouted out a basin with no trail and a herd of bachelor bucks in it only to return the day before the opener to find another hunter camped in the same basin those bucks were living in. My question is now what? You plan of glassing up those undisturbed bucks is out the window, or is it?

Couple guys that we both know Brian, continue to do well every year in their spot because they have the escape routes down pat and know where they can shoot from. Most years they have 2 guys in that same basin and almost always they manage to get their deer... But I think that may be a more unique situation than most.

One thing I've learned no matter what is to have a plan B, C, D, E...etc Depending on weather, other hunters, and forage conditions I am trying to go in with a basic understanding or educated guess on where the bucks will move to with multiple combinations of the above factors.

Mike
 

Hardstalk

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
1,094
I have had it happen to me. Ended up running into the hunter before I ran into his camp. We worked together and became friends. We shared notes and all was well. This was archery season. I have noticed a bit of a difference when everyone is packing a rifle around the hills. No one wants to be quite as friendly.
 

Jared Bloomgren

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
849
I have had this happen to me. I kooked for another area close by where those deer may have moved and have had luck locating them somewhat close by. I have even been able to find the same deer still in the same basin. Some deer will take a lot of pressure before they pop smoke. A lot depends on the basin.
 

actionshooter

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
741
Location
Wa
I have had this happen twice in the last 4 years, such is hunting in Washington.
You have to plan for it and have a back up.
Three years ago I was in a pretty good spot I had scouted in the summer and only one other guy was in the area during season, not a problem. The next year there were over a dozen with one guy camped right where the bucks feed.
 

RosinBag

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
3,087
Location
Roseville, CA.
Just go a couple basins over. Those deer are not going to run ten miles. They will bust out and be in the same general area give or take a couple of basins, especially if it was only one or two hunters.
 

trophyhill

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
1,887
Location
Tijeras NM
my fix would be to go to my back up spot and if that didn't work i'd go to my back up to my back up spot :)
 

robby denning

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
11,856
Location
SE Idaho
That scenario usually signals the beginning of a long hunt that may require you to return after the pressure drops. Now if they are younger bucks, they may be back the next few days, but old bucks leave for a longer spell, often the rest of the season. As Rosinbag says, though, they don't go 10 miles.

The days of hunting undisturbed bucks during a rifle seasons on the opener, is pretty much over, unless you have a great draw tag or hunt the country not published for big deer. The good news is that you can still kill good bucks, just a lot harder. Wish I had better news.
 

evan williams

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
1,628
Location
Colorado Springs
With the amount of hours that I put in during the summer at the shop scouting isn't always a great option! I rely HEAVILY on google earth and topo scouting late at night once I am off work for a few hours. I get to know the terrain and everything ahead of time a look for areas of cover and spots where a mature buck might move to escape pressure. Cross my fingers where I have been hunting CO I haven't encountered any yet :)
 

Muledeernv

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
958
Location
Yerington,Nv.
I had this happen to me and my son on his archery tag scouted and had bucks in bed the night before opener. Opening morning out the bucks to bed then had two guys hiking through the bottom of the basin and bucks were gone but this helped me find there escape route.my son was able to get a shot at the bigger buck buy missed had to go back to work that night so we didn't get a deer but made me look at the escape routes better and utilize google earth for next year.
 
Top