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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all!

My name's Steve, I'm 32, live in Porter County, and this is my first year attempting to harvest a deer. I got my 1 buck license, my gear, my information gathered, and am ready to hit it. I've been shooting a long time and love the outdoors, just haven't been hunting till now. I have wanted to a long time but I really don't know anyone to go with, so after a few years of watching videos, reading things, getting caught up on all the ins and outs, I'm gonna head out on my own. So I've got a few questions if you don't mind me throwing them all in here.

First, I have two options I'm thinking of for my hunt. My friend has a few acres with a tree stand - simple and ready to go. I can go park it there for a while and see what happens. The other option is I was thinking of going to Kingsbury Wildlife Area in La Porte County. I'd basically get out the map, plan a little route, take a harness to haul our the deer if I get one, and that'd be that.
So my questions here are - has anyone hunted in Kingsbury? Is it a good area? Second thing is, being this is my first time out, would it make more sense for me to try the simple tree stand in the back yard first, keep it simple, and then venture out farther next time? Does it matter?

I was also wondering if anyone had any good recommendations for deer processing places in the area. I am not to the point of knowledge yet where I'm gonna do it all myself. I'm gonna take it in. I know there's Jay's Deer Processing in Valpo, but anyone in this area have a favorite place they like?

Lastly, as a first timer, is there anything you would recommend to keep in mind that I wouldn't think of from reading, watching videos, practicing, shooting, hiking, etc.. I plan to of course wear camp and a little blaze orange, have my license and know how to check in, have my gun cleaned and ammo set aside, gonna use some scent blocking spray, I'll probably take binoculars as I don't use a scope at this point, and maybe some water. That's about it. Like I said if I go deeper in I'll bring a harness to haul out the deer. Anything I should keep in mind from those older and wiser than myself?

Thanks everyone! Glad to be here. If I get one I'll post about it!
 

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Snacks....
Don’t forget snacks.
When your stomach is growling and it’s cold outside it makes it easier to quit.
I’d stay out all day to maximize
 

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First off welcome. I will give you as much information as I can. First off if I were you, always go with your gut instinct in the woods and follow sign. If you have access to this small private spot with a stand, go look at it. Learn the terrain, or if theres access to any fields or creeks. In indiana smaller tracks produce giants some times. This time of year look for scrapes and rubs which usually anually start popping up end of October until the rut is over here. Sweet November no matter where you are, be in a tree. As Titanium said snacks and a good book never hurt. An extra batter pack from walmart for $9.00 that will charge your phone in the woods at any check out isle, and time. Time is the number one teacher. Spend time in the woods, learn how a deer travels in your area. Hang a trail cam. As far as shooting? practice practice practice. I travel quite a bit and have this year for sure and seen alot of deer and several several small bucks just no shooter. I have private land but I like Indiana's public land if your in the right spot. Brookville Lake is another great property. I'm hunting big oaks refuge which is extra tags for bucks in Indiana. Put in for as many draw hunts the state offers. If blind I'd go to your private spot first if you see sign of deer activity. No tracks or anything bail out and go to a public peace of property. The most important scent cover is wind direction. You always want to have the wind in your face moving to a spot and in your face down wind of the area you think they will move once you find a bedding area or trail. Acorns Acorns Acorns. Ag fields and the area around ag fields inside wood lines at 40 yards or so can be great staging areas. Deer usually go to water first wherever that may be and go to food or browse feed. The thicker the better and sign around those areas usually tell you if its a bedding area. Hunt every season if you can get a bow, hunt all ways possible and hunt anything you would eat. Just time in the woods and reading sign plus just reading the sign is what you need. The wind play the wind, you can use anything that may help yes but they'll still smell you so just play the wind first. I'd be happy to take you out and give you some chances in my areas I've found over the years.
 

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Welcome to the site. Always great to see some more NWI hunters on here. I'm from Lake County but hunt in Jasper County.

In my opinion, a spot that no one else is hunting is better than a spot that a whole lot of people are hunting. So, as long as your private land spot has some deer around it, that's where I'd be over competing with a bunch of folks on private land. That said, I've never made it out to Kingsbury.

Since you're already familiar with shooting but not hunting, be ready for "buck fever" if you get an opportunity to take a shot on a deer. Buck fever is real and can definitely be debilitating when you need to concentrate on your shot. There's no way to practice for buck fever and you'll never get the same body and mind altering experience at the range, but with experience comes knowledge and understanding that will help you the next time you have a buck in your sights. BTW, if you're not familiar with "buck fever", it is when the fight or flight instinct in your body kicks in. Adrenaline starts pumping through your system and your entire body (my legs especially) begin to shake. Your heart starts pounding out of your chest, your breath becomes more rapid and, to me, time appears to slow down significantly but your brain is running 1,000 mph. It has caused many people, myself included, to not properly concentrate on the shot and either miss entirely or make a poor shot that wounds the animal. You'll know the feeling the first time a buck walks out of the brush and is coming toward you. Find a way to compose yourself, steady your aim, take your time and make a good shot. If you find that you're unable to compose yourself, perhaps not shooting is the best option. Know that this will happen to your body, expect it, find a way to control it and then hopefully enjoy some backstraps!

As for gear, don't forget an extra pull-up rope to pull your weapon up to your tree stand and lower your weapon to the ground when you're getting down (in both cases, the firearm should be unloaded). Also pack an extra flashlight and/or batteries in case you're tracking in the dark. Pick up a grunt call if you don't have one already and use it (but don't over use it) to try and draw bucks in. Wear a safety harness if you're climbing a tree.

I don't have any good recommendations for processors in your area with the exception of Jay's, which is the only one I'm familiar with out there. There used to be a solid place in Cedar Lake, but he has since retired. I now get my deer processed in Jasper County.

Good luck and have fun! Let us know how you do
 

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Welcome!
This is my 33rd deer season,here is my take:
Go to your private property,opening day of gun season on public land can be intimidating even for a "veteran" Hunter .
Keep safety your number 1 priority!
Don't get discouraged,it is only deer hunting.
Reach out to people on the forum for advice, like you already have. Have fun and good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you guys very much for the advice! I really appreciate the warm welcome and information. To follow up a little, the thing with the private land is that it's really really small. It's a couple of acres and it's in a somewhat residential area and I think that there are deer there here and there but not a whole lot. From what I understand it's more like he put a stand up there because why not and every once in a while he gets lucky. I figure with public lands I can be more immersive and get better experience, because after all I don't just want to take a deer to take a deer, I want to have the full experience. So I was thinking maybe Saturday I would go out to Kingsbury (probably) and spend the day getting to know the place and if I end up getting a buck in my sights, well great, but I won't necessarily expect it. Then maybe after Thanksgiving I can go back based on what I saw the first time and get a real hunt on. But we'll see. I'm just so excited to get outside and be connected to it all.
My fear now is the snow! We got a couple inches up here and there may be a little more Saturday, and I didn't buy snow camo! I guess we'll see what it's like at the time.
 

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Thank you guys very much for the advice! I really appreciate the warm welcome and information. To follow up a little, the thing with the private land is that it's really really small. It's a couple of acres and it's in a somewhat residential area and I think that there are deer there here and there but not a whole lot. From what I understand it's more like he put a stand up there because why not and every once in a while he gets lucky. I figure with public lands I can be more immersive and get better experience, because after all I don't just want to take a deer to take a deer, I want to have the full experience. So I was thinking maybe Saturday I would go out to Kingsbury (probably) and spend the day getting to know the place and if I end up getting a buck in my sights, well great, but I won't necessarily expect it. Then maybe after Thanksgiving I can go back based on what I saw the first time and get a real hunt on. But we'll see. I'm just so excited to get outside and be connected to it all.
My fear now is the snow! We got a couple inches up here and there may be a little more Saturday, and I didn't buy snow camo! I guess we'll see what it's like at the time.
Sounds like a good plan to me. Keep in mind,if you and EVERYONE else stays out of your little private place, that could well be a great place for a real brusier to hole up in within a few days of gunfire!
 

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Public ground is always a gamble. There are gonna be a lot of guys there that have it all scouted out. Find the thickest, nastiest cover you can find. An island in a swamp even. those deer are gonna be getting pushed around all day. They're gonna be looking for a quiet place to hide. Remember, there are a lot of people wandering around. Keep a wide tree at your back and make doubly sure at what's behind what ever you shoot at! No deer is worth dying for! Keep in mind that more than scent, movement is a killer at deer hunting. They might wind you without freaking out, but they see you move, you are toast. Other than that, it's supposed to be fun! Enjoy it
 

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above all be safe! take lunch and set all day. don't get discouraged. these days the populations are way down in most areas.

I agree with welder. that lil patch can turn into a sanctuary when the guns start. if there are tracks there are deer. lol I have never hunted deer on public land so I cant comment much. I imagine it gets flooded with people the opening weekend. seems dangerous, in gun too , that is why I never tried it.


although last year I only heard 6 shots(literally) opening morning, including mine! it used to sound like the forth of july a few years ago. sad what the state has done with its doe exterminations. hopefully this state gets its head out of its carcass, one of these days, so we can have a thriving deer population again.

best of luck to you also! I still remember my first deer in 82 like it was last week. you will never forget yours either. when you first start deer hunting you will swear the deer will hear your hart beating. over the years that goes away and you can do it calmly. lol it takes a monster to get the hart rate up now days. try to stay relaxed so you can make a good shot. buck fever has saved many a deers life.
 

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Be very cognizant that if you are just out wandering and exploring you very well could be busting up another fellers hunt who might have put a lot of effort into it. This isn't really the best time be out exploring. That's pre season and post season stuff, in my opinion.

But to each his own, it is public land after all. Good luck!
 

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Thank you guys very much for the advice! I really appreciate the warm welcome and information. To follow up a little, the thing with the private land is that it's really really small. It's a couple of acres and it's in a somewhat residential area and I think that there are deer there here and there but not a whole lot. From what I understand it's more like he put a stand up there because why not and every once in a while he gets lucky. I figure with public lands I can be more immersive and get better experience, because after all I don't just want to take a deer to take a deer, I want to have the full experience. So I was thinking maybe Saturday I would go out to Kingsbury (probably) and spend the day getting to know the place and if I end up getting a buck in my sights, well great, but I won't necessarily expect it. Then maybe after Thanksgiving I can go back based on what I saw the first time and get a real hunt on. But we'll see. I'm just so excited to get outside and be connected to it all.
My fear now is the snow! We got a couple inches up here and there may be a little more Saturday, and I didn't buy snow camo! I guess we'll see what it's like at the time.
Welcome Steve, I live and was born in LaPorte County and have been hunting at Kingsbury off and on for over forty years. Actually it's right down the road from me on Rt. 6, you'll pass my place to get there. I myself was going there opening day of gun season but this might be my 'ol mans last year of hunting so me and my brother are going to hunt with him on the little private ground we have. He just can't get around like he used to. As far as Kingsbury is concerned I would tell ya to hunt the couple acres you have. The heydays of Kingsbury we're back in the 80's before they allowed to take does, it decimated the population and it has never recovered. We usually get a few buddies and go through the thickets to jump them out for the guys on stand . There are nice bucks there, they are far and few in between but there is also a lot of hunters. So many that no matter how you try to avoid walking by one you usually do anyway. I look at it like I have just as much chance the guy bouncing a deer to me as much as scaring one off, most guys don't. A lot of idiots out there to be honest, we've had some alterations, had some actually track the deer ya shot and tag it before. I ain't trying to bum ya out but this is what public ground is. Opening weekend of gun season would be best, after that they disappear into the refuges, it's almost unbelievable how fast they vanish. Things I take are snacks, bottle of water, toilet paper, and more warm clothes than I need. You can get lost out there so take some kind of navigation device to find your way back. Good luck to you on opening morning.
 
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