How far off of a trail do you set up? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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How far off of a trail do you set up?

Hey everyone, fairly new to hunting and new to hpa, first post..

Anyway, I'm not using a tree stand as I can only hunt on weekends on public land (from Brooklyn, obviously no hunting anywhere close by). I've been driving up to 5d for the early archery season ( ridley creek) and I found a nice little area with alot of tracks, droppings etc.. Right around a nice little funnel between two trails.

My Question to everyone is, how far off of a trail (in the woods) do you sit? Right at the edge? A couple yards in?

Side note-

Went up on saturday, and got completely blindsided by either a spike buck or a doe I walked into. Was about maybe 100 yards or less from the destination I chose on a topo map, woods got a little thick so I walked out onto the trail for a second, and he was about 50 yards in front of me, right on the trail (head leaning into the woods where the trees started, which is why I couldn't tell) and it was huge. Somehow he didn't see me, so I dropped back a bit and hid until I was able to get my binoculars on him, at which point he was walking away.

Should I be setting up at the edge of the woods in view of that trail? Or (considering theres only a 30-40 yard gap of woods before the trail behind it starts) should I get into the woods right there? Or even maybe on the trail behind it since thats the direction he was walking in?
By the way, I chose the area because the map shows a funnel right there, on a nice bench of flat land (used a topo map), its close to the creek and theres a bunch of berries and pinecones all over the place.

Sorry if this all seems mixey and if I sound like I don't know what I'm talking about, like I said, pretty new to this.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How far off of a trail do you set up?

Btw, I didn't put that smiley in the subject, no idea how it got there lol
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 05:32 PM
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Re: How far off of a trail do you set up?

Ive sat right on trails and I've say off of them. For me it depends on two things.

1) Wind Direction and where you expect the deer to come from that are using the trail.

2) Tree availability and whether or not you can climb high and have a nice backdrop.

If you dont know the answer to the first one, pick a tree off of the trail but close enough for a shot. Play the wind and watch what happens. Watch where the deer are coming from and adjust by that. This is how I generally do things and I always have a shot opportunity at some point.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 05:35 PM
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Re: How far off of a trail do you set up?

^^^What he said. I have also tried to set up in somewhat of an ambush position. For example, we have a trail that comes up a hill and hooks left. I'm set up just around the hook of that trail because they often get to the top of the hill and concern themselves with what's out in front of them.

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How far off of a trail do you set up?

thank you,
I ask because I notice in alot of videos I've seen online of deer being taken, they tend to be surrounded by trees or even walking right under the stand. The deer I saw was completely out in the open. Is there a way other then direction of tracks to tell which way he was coming and going from? He seemed to be walking uphill, away from the creek. Was about 7:30 a.m. Backdrops aren't an issue btw, thickest woods I've ever been in and I feel like I did a great job with the camo, Ill post a pic and let you guys be the judge of that though lol
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How far off of a trail do you set up?

how do you post a picture on here actually?
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 05:57 PM
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Re: How far off of a trail do you set up?

https://www.huntingpa.com/forums/ubbt...=3825#Post3825

read that thread

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How far off of a trail do you set up?



got it, how'd i do? Everyone who's seen it so far couldn't tell I'm in the picture
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How far off of a trail do you set up?

Not immediately anyway
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 06:15 PM
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Re: How far off of a trail do you set up?

Dont overthink this. The best thing you can do is get in the woods and OBSERVE. Hunting requires you to do your homework and half the fun of hunting is learning about where you are hunting and what the deer pattern is.

Fort example, I just moved to central PA. I will be hunting public land a majority of the time. I have spent a ton of time this summer scouting and hiking where I plan to hunt. Ive marked treestand locations with my GPS and found bedding areas etc. On the first day I am literally going to pick one of the trees I deemed acceptable for a stand and I will hunt it. Based off of what I see, I will adjust the next time I go out. I know I'm in the mix, but I'm not sure how the deer will be moving. This to me is part of the excitement. This is also why I hunt from a climber as it allows me to make changes quickly and easily. Have fun out there and don't overthink it.

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