rutting bucks/cattle fences

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by Bigeight, Mar 26, 2020 at 6:43 PM.

  1. Bigeight

    Bigeight Active Member

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    Getting geared up to hunt IA for the 2nd time ever. First time out was a great experience, was able to harvest a great buck, and see a lot of good ones.
    This time out, we are targeting some different areas that are still private land, but totally different terrain/situations.

    Some of the best sections that we have at our disposal are smaller sections (40 acres) of woods/drainages that butt up next to larger chunks of private land that are owned by cattle farms. These "seem" to hold a lot of deer. They have about 200 acres of woods, with maybe 400 acres of pasture on them. The woods obviously has a cattle fence that is RIGHT on the property line. About 4' tall. These are on nice ridges that flow from one property to the other, and we located some nice pinch points, etc. that would be nice stand locations when we go back in Nov. They would bank on influxes of bucks between the 2 properties. There are faint trails crossing them like you would expect, but nothing like you see where there aren't any fences.

    Knowing most deer when traveling their bedding to feeding route will travel the path of least resistance, how much stock do you put in low/4' fences when it comes to bucks during the rut ??

    I am a flat lander in MI with NO cattle fences in my past experiences. What are your experiences with the RUT ??? Bucks cruise like normal and just jump them when they come to them? Or are they going to follow the normal bedding to feeding patterns by deer the rest of the year and parallel them, almost sectioning off the movement ?
     
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  2. catscratch

    catscratch Well-Known Member

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    All bets are off during the rut, especially if it's a traveling buck that doesn't know the area well. With that said... leaving a gate open or wiring two strands closer together is a great way to manipulate deer movement. Think about this; if you wire or prop a bottom strand up so that it's easier for does to cross and it becomes a heavily used trail (in a location that is perfect for your stand and predominate wind patterns) what does that do for you during the rut?

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
     
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  3. Bigeight

    Bigeight Active Member

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    Totally with you. If it was my land, and I owned both sides, I would definitely tie down a section, or leave a gap. This is private property and the neighbors cows are at risk. So I would like to leave a decent distance between the property line and my stand. In case I kill one, it still has 60 yards or so to die on the land I have permission on. Hope to pick off Bucks fluctuating between properties if that is a "normal" circumstance. If they run a ridge and hop a fence normally like it's no big deal during the rut I'll be there 60 yards later with an arrow waiting for them. If the "norm" is to instead of continuing on the ridge they parallel the fence. I will have issues.
    No clue what bucks do during the rut under these circumstances
     
  4. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    There's a lot of pictures of rutting bucks jumping cattle fences to shortcut to get where they want to go. And I rarely see does in a cattle pasture, but have seen rutting bucks cutting through them regularly. I'd set up by the lay of the land, with the wind to my advantage, rather than planning on a fence funnel. A rutting buck has one thing on his mind, and it isn't a fencepost.
     
  5. davidhelmly

    davidhelmly Member

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    Good luck Bigeight, IA is a special place!!
     
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  6. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    If you can get a tag. It's too much trouble to get a tag for a lot of nonresidents. Which is partly what makes it good.
     
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  7. davidhelmly

    davidhelmly Member

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    You're right, my wife and I both have enough preference points to draw, just waiting for the right opportunity.
     
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  8. Baker

    Baker Well-Known Member

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    If your question if a 4' cattle fence will effect buck movement { or any deer movement for that matter } the answer is no. Not during the rut or any other time.

    Regarding where a buck might be during the rut see cat scratch's post. They are apt to be anywhere
     
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  9. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    The problem is, you can't get drawn every year, so having a great hunting spot there is going to need to be a cost shared spot with some other people. Going back to a certain spot every fourth year or so isn't high on my list of unforgettable experiences. One of my biggest likes in deer hunting is returning to the same tree, or rock, or whatever, year after year. These traditions are as important or more so than filling a tag with most hunters.
     
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  10. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    If you are looking for a good spot check with a friend of mine, Clifford Martin @ Radix Hunting in Milton, Iowa. He leases out farms for deer hunting and has some great hunting spots.
     
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  11. Tap

    Tap Well-Known Member

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    A 4 foot fence is nothing to a deer.
    I've personally watched deer jump a 9 (yes NINE) foot fence, and BTW, it was in Iowa. It was a sheep-type fence, so deer couldn't go thru it, they had to jump it. I couldn't believe my eyes. They jumped it from a stand still. Standing right at the fence, and in a blink, up and over.
    But deer still want to cross at a low point when they can.
    The Wensels talk a lot about hunting fence crossings. They like to pinch down the top strand when permitted. But they also like to string a higher "false strand" on either side of the crossing. It makes the real top strand appear lower at the crossing. Its a visual thing to the deer that its an easier place to cross.

    Any time I scout along barbed wire fence I look for deer hair in the barbs. It often shows a crossing that otherwise go unnoticed.
    When I find hair in a fence, I always pick it out. I will check that crossing again for hair each time I'm there.
    The presence (or lack of) reoccurring hair can be a clue as to how often that crossing is used.
    I suspect hair in the barbs is probably not from a large antlered buck. Does, fawns, and small bucks will go THRU the fence but a big rack will most likely go OVER the fence and therefore, not leave hair in the barbs.
     
  12. catscratch

    catscratch Well-Known Member

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    If it's a rut only hunt and you are worried about whether the bucks are going to follow a fence/ridge or follow a path to a crossing I would go to basic pinch point and terrain hunting. Your ridge should provide both at certain spots. For me I also like to be aware that bucks tend to travel downwind and parallel to main trails when I set up hunting spots.

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  13. Jeff H

    Jeff H Well-Known Member

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    Thinking of Rut only situations the bucks are going to be where ever the does are. So if you're going to make a crossing , make it for the girls, the boys will follow regardless of any obstruction. I'm not sure if I understood correctly but Are you thinking of manipulating the fence between a property you have permission to hunt and one that you don't? I'd be very careful about that if that is the case.
     
  14. OkieKubota

    OkieKubota Moderator Staff Member

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    They will cross that fence anywhere they like...They “May” walk a few feet to a easier to cross location if one is real close but they aren’t going to just walk the fence line all the way to it. I have a 4 foot bar wire fence completely around my place with high tensile wire and does and young bucks barely even lose stride when walking straight through it between the wires or under it. Big racked bucks don’t even expend any effort hopping over it anywhere they happen to be. I see terrain and changes in vegetation type and edge as much bigger way of determining where a mature buck may travel...
     
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  15. Bigeight

    Bigeight Active Member

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    Most of the property line fences out there are older, slightly beat up and definitely have weak spots or sections that are easier to cross that have worn out trails crossing the property lines.

    The situation that I am asking about is a smaller chunk of timber, maybe 25 acres??? that I have access to. It butts up to a couple hundred acres of really good looking timber. It has a VERY new fence on the property line. It's tight, no weak spots at all. There is a ridge that runs from the property I have access right down the middle of the 200 acres across the fence. Definitely would not mess with the neighbors fence.

    Looking across the line you can see a massive deer trail coming up it, then it hits the fence and the deer parallel it. Rubs all over that ridge. If the bucks jump it and follows the ridge, it allows me to stay high, hunt 2 ridges and keep the wind in my favor. If they parallel it like the does probably do, I'm out of the game.

    The other spots that stick out like a sore thumb to hunt are in bottoms/lower areas where I think the wind would swirl like crazy. The chunk I have access to has a lot of buck/deer sign with a lot of potential. Obviously with a smaller property, you sure would need to bank on new bucks showing up from that larger section of timber cruising for does.
     
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  16. OkieKubota

    OkieKubota Moderator Staff Member

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    Unless that is a 6 or 7 strand barbed wire fence with a post every 6 ft I can guarantee it is not tighter than mine. Deer will cross that fence wherever they want to. A barbed wire fence is no deterrent from movement between properties...
     
  17. Jeff H

    Jeff H Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like a pretty good set up.
     
  18. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

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    If it were me, I would ignore the fence and hunt where the sign and my instincts told me to, keeping wind direction and scent stream paramount.
     
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  19. Oakseeds

    Oakseeds Member

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    I haven't read all the responses so forgive me if some one has already posted similar info. I hunt one area that has two incredible pinch-point locations. One is perfect ... no fences, killed a nice buck there on opening day last 3 years. The other one gets traffic but common fences (woven wire with 2 strands of barbed wire . they can easily jump) make it very difficult to hunt.. My easiest answer, if she jumps over, he'll be right behind. Otherwise, as you note, it's the path of least resistance.

    Having read other posts here, I,m definitely with Jeff. Especially with the caution about manipulating fence lines. Farmers in my locale get livid when someone cuts/manipulates a fence (frequently a beat down) a fence; especially if they think it is a hunter. The adjoining landowner may/will complain, and - I assure you - the guilty party is not likely to hunt the property again The landowner granting permission has to live with the neighbor 12 months a year. If you see sign of a good trail/pinch point, ask the farmer where you hunt - diplomatically - if s/he would mind if you contact the owner of the adjoining property to ask if you can open a 4' wide section ... promising to return it to the same or better shape after hunting season. I'd even offer a $100 "easement" fee ...if your traveling to hunt there, and it's really prime, another $100 ain't squat (your fortunate some outfitter hasn't grabbed it up). That's what I'd do.
    They'll use it and you should have an outstanding hunt.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020 at 3:28 PM

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