Deer Hunting the Appalachians

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by katfish ken, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    Would like to hear your thoughts and experience on deer hunting the Appalachian Mountains. I will post mine later .
     
  2. lance

    lance New Member

    Messages:
    2,658
    State:
    kentucky
    Grew up hunting in Eastern WV late 70's mid 80's . There were plenty of deer never seen a big one tho . (Hardy co. ) It was a 3 generation hunting camp of family and friends . 5 trailers a tin shed . a 55gal. drum fire barrel . Turkey season and especially deer season will be etched in my mind forever . The oldest member told the story of Sam MCgee every year word for word . He still hunted there last year and I beleive he is up into his 80's . MR. Ed Brady good luck this season if you can still go ! It almost never snowed on that side of the mountain but when it did it was deep . I have enough stories to write a book on that place ! Well...a small book anyways . Dang Ken made think of old memories gonna make me soft !:roll_eyes::big_smile:
     

  3. flathead willie

    flathead willie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,241
    State:
    Virginia
    My first thought on hunting the Appalachians: I hate Acorns! When we have a lot of Acorns, the deer bed and feed in the same areas, which can be just about anywhere. They are hard to pattern. When there are no nuts on the ground, they usually head to grassy areas or crops to feed at night and go back up the mountains to bed during the day. It makes it much easier to pattern them and causes them to move more. This year it seems that only the biggest, most mature trees are dropping Acorns so there aren't too many. I've been having good luck hunting the edge of a small hay field and a pasture. However, the last two times I was out there in the evening, I didn't see any coming to the fields, so yesterday evening I went up the mountain about 6-8 hundred yards. I thought they might be becoming nocturnal since gun season opened, and I might catch them coming out of the thickets heading down to the hay field. I didn't see a thing.....until I headed out and saw two about 15 yards from the ground blind at the edge of the field! Mountain hunting is hard word work! Sometimes I envy people that live and hunt on flat ground or slow rolling hills. 95% of the access to the National Forest here is from The Blue Ridge Parkway which winds through the highest parts of the mountains. That means that everything is downhill from where you have to park. When you shot a deer, it seems they always run further down the mountain and you have to drag it back up to load them out. That makes hunting by yourself very hard, since there are no vehicles allowed.
     
  4. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    I guess I'm lucky in the fact that I have almost 300 acres of private land to hunt.
    It seems to me that deer are like my self Lazy.I the area where I hunt it was timbered heavily about 5 years ago. There is log roads around the hills on the flats and 5 up and down the hills. I noticed over the years that for the most part the deer will travel parallel to the flats for the most part. When there is a good acorn crop here they are hardly seen in the hay or crop fields. Like Willie said they feed and bed pretty much in the same place. We always have acorns, white oak have acorns every year and the other oaks have them ever other year. There is thicket that are on the hill sides that are on the same level as the acorns they are feeding on which makes for some tough hunting. But I have learned that the bucks won't travel the same trails as does unless he is chasing a doe. Most of the time the big bucks will travel the ridges on the down wind side of the hollow and stop ever so often and wind check to see if there is a doe coming in season down in the hollow. Most of the time they will travel the edge of the ridge on the up wind side of the ridge. Have ya ever seen any of the TV hunting shows film hunt in the Appalachain mountains??? I don't ever remember if I ever have because like Willie said It's Hard hunting. These are some of my observations and maybe this will be of help to someone.
     
  5. flathead willie

    flathead willie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,241
    State:
    Virginia
    Around here, the mountains on private property are terraced every 20-30 yards. They were done that way in the 1800s and early 1900s for farming. Just about every one has ancient deer trails on them. Now they are covered with trees, blow downs, and briers. The farm I hunt has big planted pines, that are the size of phone poles on them. The problem is trying to figure out which ones the deer are moving on TODAY. It seems like just when you figure it out, they move 100 yards up or down, to a new terrace. On this mountain it's hard to play the wind because the predominant wind tends to blow straight up or straight down the mountain, and seems to switch direction 180 degrees an hour after sun up and just before dusk. I've found the best way to go is to hunt cross wind.
     
  6. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    Don't for get the thermal currents. When the sun starts hitting the valley as it warms the thermals will carry sent up hill in the morning as it cools in the evening the thermals carry sent down the hill . So you're better of starting out a little higher in the morning and lower in the evening.. hope this helps. Them deer move up or down depending mostly on acorns that they are feeding on at least around here they do. The deer around here most of the time will not travel in the logging roads to much. They will travel between the log road and the edge of the steep below or above. The logging roads are to open for their liking.
     
  7. EKYHunter

    EKYHunter New Member

    Messages:
    319
    State:
    Prestonsburg, Kentucky
    Thanks for starting this thread Ken, cant wait to read all the posts.
     
  8. Jacksmooth

    Jacksmooth Member

    Messages:
    574
    State:
    West Virginia
    Ive been hunting these mountains all my life in WV. Never thought about that Ken til you said it, but they always seem to be on top in the mornings and bottom in the evenings. You guys are right its hard hunting these mountains but Ive had a lot of good times here! They always run scrape lines on top in the mornings and then in the bottoms in the evenings. The middle has alway just been a travel route for the here. Havent seen them stop and feed or do anything else in the middle.
     
  9. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    This Is Just my opinion And want all to understand that !!! I think hunting deer in hardwood forest is much harder than flat or rolling farm land. To hunt mountainous forest you have to be in pretty good physical shape. There is more to take into consideration than in flat land, like the terrain, the thermals would apply to rolling hills as well as mountains. The wind, How many times ya get out in the morning and have to go plum out of your way to get where ya want to hunt because of the wind?? About the time hunting season comes in is when the nuts all start hitting the ground.Find the nuts and ya find the deer. Deer in the mountains eat more nuts than grass. Your big bucks will often be eating Beechnuts, or Hickory nuts while the does are eating acorns. When the wind starts blowing which is often the case Deer will head to the clostest thicket whether it's briers, Mountain Laurel, or pine trees and I'm not talking of big pines, but the small one that are head high and as thick as hair on a dogs back. So much to consider!!! Enough rambling for now.
     
  10. lance

    lance New Member

    Messages:
    2,658
    State:
    kentucky
    What part of WV ? Grew up in Clarksburg (Harrison )co. But went to Hardy County to hunt with my great uncle thru my teen years .I still remember walking the power line right of way road ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP . Hunted Dodridge and Wetzel too . Seems like only yester day and 23 years have gone by . !
     
  11. Jacksmooth

    Jacksmooth Member

    Messages:
    574
    State:
    West Virginia
    I grew up and live in Berkeley County on North Mountain and have hunted Mineral County outside of Kesyer. I also hunt with my brother on his hunting club ground in Hardy County. I have also hunted some in Hampshire County when I was a teenager on Short Mountain and George Washington National Forrest. Other than that a few farms here and there long gone to development.
     
  12. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    About 24 years ago I spent 1 week end a month in Webster Co. area fishing through the spring and summer. Fall came around and I spent a very memorable weeks vacation in the area through deer season. There was some beautiful country and great fishing in that area. Fished mostly for trout in the Elk and Williams Rivers. The hunting was great as well, harvested tags full of deer and getting to see a Black Bear in the wild for the 1st. time there was awesome. It was a very memorable year for me.
     
  13. Jacksmooth

    Jacksmooth Member

    Messages:
    574
    State:
    West Virginia
    "getting to see a Black Bear in the wild for the 1st. time there was awesome."
    Come on back if you want to see some more bears. Theyre thick as theives now. The DNR doesnt even relocate them anymore when called to get them. They dispatch them instead.
     
  14. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    C.L.
    I would be interested in hunting the area I hunted for bear. If you would get me some info on Licenses and bear tags. when I was hunting up there resident only could get bear tags at 500 bucks a throw. Hope they are cheaper now.
     
  15. lance

    lance New Member

    Messages:
    2,658
    State:
    kentucky
    I think out of state is around 150.00 don't know about the tags . Someone will get you the answer tho . Came back from Clarksburg Sat. night and the deer are thick between Clarksburg and Flatwoods . I might hunt up there next fall I have private property to hunt in Harrison co .I better make some money this summer to pay for it !:wink: