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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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^^^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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Discussion Starter #5
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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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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Discussion Starter #11
Thats the thing, I have little to no time to scout =[. I did go the previous week, but I didn't find any spots I thought would be good so I had to wing it during the hunt and go based on the map, was actually more then shocked I crossed paths with a deer. Do you think me seeing him before I got setup was why I didn't see anything else the rest of the day?
 

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I would go in looking to learn the woods and deer sign in the area that you plan to hunt next year. Pick out early season mid and late spots for multiple wind directions. If you get one this year, well that icing on top of what you learn. Next year you will be WAY more prepared. But its only my second year hunting and I haven't taken my first deer...
would have if I had a doe tag day 1 archery first 20 minutes of my first sit ever. Didn't have one shot the rest of the year/season.


Good luck and be safe!
 

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So you bumped a deer prior to getting set up? Thats pretty normal especially if you are heading into the woods in the afternoon and sitting until dark. Theres literally a billion reasons why you may have not seen a deer the rest of the sit. Sometimes the deer just are not there....

Some guys see deer almost every time they go out. Some dont see deer at all. It's certainly not easy, but it isn't complicated either. Find bedding areas, commonly use trails to a food source and even water in the middle of the woods. These are all places you will see deer. I understand you dont have time to scout and thats fine. Consider each sit part of your scouting. Take notes and learn every time you go out. Make sure to limit your movements and that you dont stink. Play the wind. It will all come together. The good news is, its early. You have a full month to figure it all out. The best part is, once the rut hits, the deer could literally be ANYWHERE. All bets are off and you will likely run into some deer.


SIDE NOTE: This site has a ton of information. You can search through old threads and learn a ton. I do this all the time and find some really great information amongst the hoopla and funny business
 

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!0 feet-15 yards depends.You mention a creek bed.Are you hunting down low in the bed?Bad move deer will nail you.Swirling wind in a bottom land creek or pasture.Get up higher your laying down scent.IMO worst place to hunt is down low with heavy sign.Examine the edge for sign.You want to see them fight?Rub antlers?You don't want to be in heavy traffic areas.I probably taught you too much already.However I want you to post that buck on here.
 

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I rarely sit in one place....Mostly still-hunt. But once in a while I will see a certain spot that just says Deer.

In that case, I like to be about 15 to 20 yards downwind of the trail sitting against the base of the biggest tree in that particular area.
 

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Sykotik said:
But once in a while I will see a certain spot that just says Deer.
Happened to me on Monday. I went through an area I came across earlier this year. I had planned to just check it out a bit and then move on to the stand I had planned on hunting for the afternoon/evening. I never left until dark. It's one of those spots that screams DEER TRAVEL THROUGH HERE! They didn't that day

But I will certainly be spending some more time there!

Oh, relative to the topic; With my binoculars, I could see my truck from where I was sitting.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everyone, really appreciate all the good advice. By the way, I actually bumped into him/her sometime between 6 and 7 a.m while I was looking for an area to setup. Had I been there 40 minutes earlier I probably would have struck gold.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The area I'm setting up in has 3 levels of elevation, the creek obviously being the lowest, with two trails above it each on a different "shelf". I set up, and most likely plan to setup again where the two trails meet, one goes uphill toward higher ground (a lot of droppings there) and the other stays on the level of elevation its on parallel (but slightly uphill) to the creek, which is the trail I bumped into the deer on. When he walked away, he walked through the woods going up toward the higher shelf. So based on what you said, I should setup on the higher trail?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
By the way I feel like I should specify, I don't mean game trails, I mean like full sized (about 6-8 feet wide) trails
 

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you probably mean old logging roads ! deer are lazy just like humans and take the path of least resistance and use these as travel routes! just remember that in the early morning and at dawn you will have thermals to deal with also ! in the morning I would always setup on the upper side of the trails 20-30 yds unless you have a very strong wind !! also try to find a way into your spot without walking the trails the deer will be coming in on keeping the wind and bedding areas in mind !!
 
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