I have blogged and said on TV many times: “The NUMBER ONE THING that will kill your big-buck hunting is too much pressure.
How much pressure it too much?
This article from the QDMA references a study where researchers put GPS collars on mature bucks and monitored their movements and habits:
“They found that at 1 hunter per 250 acres, minimal effect could be seen in the way bucks move. However, at 1 hunter per 75 acres bucks responded by choosing thicker cover (and) they traveled less… observation rates/hunter success decreased… and once the season opened, it only took three days for bucks to change their behavior…clearly there is a breaking point where having too many people in the woods affects your ability to view and harvest mature bucks.”
In my experience, and overall, 3 days is about right. However, I’ve hunted many places where, once the guns start booming on opening day, it becomes hard if not impossible to see a shooter after day 2.