Mountain Laurel hunting tactics - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Mountain Laurel hunting tactics

In the last couple of years I have started to hunt whitetail in patches of mountain laurel. Just wondering what tactics do you utilize? Thanks

Last edited by Homey88; 05-07-2019 at 09:15 PM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 08:40 PM
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Everyone knows that there ain't no Mountain Lions in PA.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 12:08 AM
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Hunt the entrance or exit or hunt from a high vantage point and find the shooting gaps. Try to reach your stand, if in the laurel, without using the deer trail. Arrive early and leave late. Waugh!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 12:11 AM
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That's bear country deers hate laurel, nothing to see there. Deers hang out in nice oak flats and visit the local food plot and only bed in swamps.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 02:57 AM
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I like sitting along the edge and looking into the patch from the downwind or off wind side. A lot of deer will run the edge. Look for the exit/entry trails along the edge and set up with wind in mind for the intersecting trails. I also prefer hunting the flatter of the laurel/rhododendron patches. Side hill patches I like either setting up along a ridge line where I can see down to side hill trails or find a bench on the side hill and set up just above. Overlooking a "flat" of rhododendron produces the best deer sightings for me. They come and go from all directions. Bedding can be found just about anywhere in the patch but they usually prefer a ridge line where it then drops off.

I've also just plowed my way into the center of a patch, climbed a tree and seen lots of action.

These examples are primarily for rifle season. I really like them in rifle season because the deer very typically pick their way through the patch offering better shooting opportunity. During bow season, I've tried all the above and found my best action along the edge. Also where you usually find the best deer sign.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 04:35 AM
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Guy I know who hunted laurel with rifle for years would take a tree stand and get about 6-8 ft up a tree and sit....let them look over the tops a bit....seemed to work.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 06:35 AM
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Heres a great way NOT to do it!

I tried still hunting through it, as quiet and slow as possible. Just as I was about to exit the patch,(just a few acres), I caught a movement. A small herd of four must have stayed just ahead of me the whole time. These other guys posts seem a better stradegy.

Remember.... they're full time deer......we're part time hunters!
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses! Greatly appreciated!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 09:42 AM
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Was hunting from .a treestand in an oak flat about 6 yrs ago and saw several groups of deer all including at least 1 buck travel thru the area from several directions. There was about a 75 yd. round patch of laurel that each group passed thru and would pause in before exiting. They evidently felt safe inside it. Eventually a decent 7 point with a doe came out on my side and I shot the buck with my .257 Ruger #1 International, first day I had hunted with it. I moved my stand just inside the edge of that patch and killed 3 bucks in the next 4 years and could have killed a bear but decided I did not want too, just enjoyed watching it. It seemed that spot of laurel in an otherwise open oak flat was a magnet to deer that had been bumped by others. When my son still loved in PA he would still hunt along the edges of laurel thickets and killed several nice bucks doing so. This has all been on public land or land open for anone to enjoy hunting. Not much open private land left, everyone buys their little patch, posts it, gets up a tree and complains no deer moving .
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 10:31 AM
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JasonN harvested a very nice piece of laurel a few years ago in bear season. Unfortunately, he was trying to shoot a 400lbs plus bear hiding on the other side of it.

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