No where to be seen…
Right when it comes time to hunt, all those deer you have been seeing the past few weeks…
All of a sudden, they have disappeared.
Well, don’t worry. There are a number of explanations for why your deer have vanished.
Checkout the list below, hopefully it can help you locate those elusive deer.
7 Reasons Why Your Deer Might Have Disappeared
1. Heavy Hunting Pressure
Here’s the deal, if you are hunting an area that has seen a lot of traffic from other hunters, don’t be surprised if the deer are scarce.
Deer have evolved for thousands of years to avoid prey and survive. A lot of human hunters in the area is very likely to drive the deer elsewhere.
This happens every year in the week after opening day when truck loads of hunters wear out the dirt roads through popular public land.
You basically have 2 options:
- Hunt somewhere else (private land?).
- Hike your way in away from the truck loads of road hunters.
2. Weather Change
If you have recently experienced a major weather change, specifically rain, temperature, or pressure, then those deer that have been behaving one way for weeks may decide to change up their behavior.
Your best bet in this scenario is to follow their lead and change up your behavior as well.
A lot of times when this happens you will see deer that have been out in the open head for cover. So naturally what you want to do is start hunting in thick cover. For more tips, checkout our article on how to hunt deer in thick woods and brush.
3. Lack of Food Source
Just like us humans, deer prefer some types of feed over others. When their favorite food source starts running scarce, you can expect them to switch it up and looking for a different area to feed.
One way you can prevent this in the future is to plant your own feed plot.
4. Wild Fires
Anyone who lives out on the west coast knows, these last few years have seen a major uptick in wild fires. As a result, insane amounts of smoke and ash have been dumped into the air. We personally have hunted areas adjacent to wild fires and the smokes seems to cause a deer to change behavior.
Probably due to thousands of years of evolution, deer have learned to be alerted by the smell of smoke and may migrate as a result. Be aware if you are planning to hunt a smoky area near a fire, the deer may be more scarce than usual.
Deer are programmed to survive. It is what they spend every day of their life trying to do. They are highly attuned to predators in the area and if they sense they are in danger, they will not hesitate to migrate elsewhere.
Baby deer even use their spots for concealment to hide from predators.
The two main predators that are likely to cause this are bears and mountain lions.
Mountain lions are notorious for causing deer to disappear. Let’s just hope that the deer decided to leave the area and didn’t have a run in with a cat.
6. Nocturnal Shift
Sometimes a shift in temperature can cause deer to alter their sleep routine. If you are doing most of your hunting at night, try switching it up and hunting early morning or vice versa.
7. Late Season
If you are hunting late in the season and don’t seem to be seeing as many deer as you did earlier in the season, it is possible other hunters may have beaten you to the punch. This may only apply if you are hunting public land but it is still a possibility and something you should consider.
Nothing is more frustrating than when you are anticipating some good hunting and don’t end up seeing anything. We hope the list above can help you pinpoint why your deer seem to have disappeared. With any luck, you will be back on their trail in no time. For those of you looking for more help, checkout our article on deer hunting tips.