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100% agree! This is the type of spot I found and killed a buck from last season. I did a hang and hunt on some fresh sign that I was confident was located between two bedding areas. Not wanting to stumble around and leave a bunch of ground scent, I set up on an intersection of trails for the afternoon. That afternoon and next morning I saw multiple young bucks pick their way through an area filled with blow downs about 70 yards from me. I got down around 11 and relocated where I saw the travel and found the slightest trail that was crossing other major trails and leading straight into one of the bedding areas. At 4 p.m., a buck chasing a doe tore up the woods, which I think pulled the buck I shot out of his slumber and walking straight down my trail to check the bedding area.
It' a good way to hunt new propertys that you don't have a lot of Intel on. Travel routes or corridors are fairly easy to decipher with airel maps, at least in the areas I hunt. Find a couple thickets, find a logical route between them, get in there being mindful of wind direction, move as needed. If you can find a pinch or funnel in that travel corridor, it saves a lot of time.
 

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It' a good way to hunt new propertys that you don't have a lot of Intel on. Travel routes or corridors are fairly easy to decipher with airel maps, at least in the areas I hunt. Find a couple thickets, find a logical route between them, get in there being mindful of wind direction, move as needed. If you can find a pinch or funnel in that travel corridor, it saves a lot of time.
I've hunted "wide" corridors/ general travel areas, places where several terrain features come together, thicker edges most of my hunting life. This approach had good success with deer in general but fleeting success on mature bucks. When I started identifying specific bedding areas, buck beds and hunting closer to them my success and having opportunity has improved for both deer in general and more specifically mature bucks. I know this topic is about scouting in general but focusing on more detail for hunting mature bucks will help overall in my opinion.

Last year was the first time I actually located a tighter travel corridor/funnel that requires a specific wind direction and with the bedding location knowledge its a dynamite stand location. One that only requires the right wind and time in the stand. This is what I'm striving to find for "all" my hunts.

With TBrom's illustration, its opened my eyes to a better understanding as to why that stand is effective. It also opened my eyes with how to apply a similar approach to other areas I hunt. In some places it does literally scream out at me like never before. Hunt here not there and here's why. While in other places like the private land I hunt its not so obvious and why I think we are struggling to kill the "target" bucks. We see mature bucks but not THE buck or bucks.

I think the key element so I better understood was wind direction and how it relates to bedding, easier, more efficient travel, everything. Not something I totally misunderstood but now it is much clearer. (I'm a slow learner)LOL.

Coming in to my stand from the downwind side isn't always the best approach because a mature buck will more than likely use the same approach. Unless there is a physical barrier between my approach and the travel route of the buck like a river, pond, field etc.. Based on this some of my hunting locations would benefit from an off wind approach and stand.
 

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In the areas I hunt most travel corridors have a defined edge, usually a field, and i use it to my advantage by going in crosswind or downwind using that defined edge, knowing most bucks won't cross it in daylite. Those fields also create pinches or funnel at times the same way terrain features do in hilly or endless woods. The only disadvantage to using a field entry is busting deer out early or late. I usually wait till grey lite in the mornings to go in and wait in the stand an hour after dark to exit. I rarely use any kind of light.

One other area that I'll always hunt or at least investagate whenever I find one is a thumb jutting out into a field. Does are lazy and will bed right on the food and bucks know it. Bucks will go out of their way to check these thumbs during the rut and they also are the shortest or narrowest place to cross the field. Two reasons for a buck to be in there. Multiple approach directions make them easy to access but you'll usually bust some does out. I don't care cus the bucks don't know they're gone and I don't like hunting near bedded deer anyway. The buck I killed in Illinois last fall was taken in a thumb, first time I set foot in it.

Much of my approach is far different than tbrom's and yours. Mine doesn't involve extensive scouting or surveillance on a particular deer. Mine is more about general buck tendencies and new property's than the focused one on one other hunters employ. As I've said before, more of a shotgun approach as opposed to the precision rifle approach of hunting a particular buck.
 

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Went back out again today and found another two or three locations that look pretty promising. I have been basically walking the military crests of ridges on the leeward side. More often than not they lead to a lot of sign and look to be great locations for cruising bucks during the rut. I will probably stick to bottom land in the earlier part of the season however. Some of the places I found today with assumed buck beds look almost unapproachable without getting busted. Visibility, wind and thermals have everything in their favor. I can try hunting a side hill or above these beds where the wind won’t hit them but without knowing what direction they are heading I could just end up screwing everything up. My thoughts are during the rut I can hang back further and hunt the transition lines on the bench and catch them cruising the leeward side. Dint find many rubs again but I don’t always put a lot of stock into rubs if a area has a lot of deer crap and tracks. I have killed bucks in areas with no buck sign at all and have hunted areas loaded with buck sign and didn’t see a thing. The one area I explored today is really far back in and if I would happen to get one back there I will not be dragging it out. I will have to quarter it and pack it out.
Saw a bunch of turkey today driving up the mountain but didn’t hear any while scouting. I really wanted to locate a gobbler in one of the remote areas I was exploring today but have a good idea where to start on opening day anyhow. Seems like there are a handful of spots up there where I can count on getting turkey action consistently every year.
Hope everyone is doing well and not letting our current situation get you too down in the dumps. I know it’s wearing on me a bit. The other day I felt like I was turning into woods walker on here.
 

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Went back out again today and found another two or three locations that look pretty promising. I have been basically walking the military crests of ridges on the leeward side. More often than not they lead to a lot of sign and look to be great locations for cruising bucks during the rut. I will probably stick to bottom land in the earlier part of the season however. Some of the places I found today with assumed buck beds look almost unapproachable without getting busted. Visibility, wind and thermals have everything in their favor. I can try hunting a side hill or above these beds where the wind won’t hit them but without knowing what direction they are heading I could just end up screwing everything up. My thoughts are during the rut I can hang back further and hunt the transition lines on the bench and catch them cruising the leeward side. Dint find many rubs again but I don’t always put a lot of stock into rubs if a area has a lot of deer crap and tracks. I have killed bucks in areas with no buck sign at all and have hunted areas loaded with buck sign and didn’t see a thing. The one area I explored today is really far back in and if I would happen to get one back there I will not be dragging it out. I will have to quarter it and pack it out.
Saw a bunch of turkey today driving up the mountain but didn’t hear any while scouting. I really wanted to locate a gobbler in one of the remote areas I was exploring today but have a good idea where to start on opening day anyhow. Seems like there are a handful of spots up there where I can count on getting turkey action consistently every year.
Hope everyone is doing well and not letting our current situation get you too down in the dumps. I know it’s wearing on me a bit. The other day I felt like I was turning into woods walker on here.
I found a few beds I won't try to hunt either for the same reasons. I am thinking I will probably throw a trail camera in the area around August and pull it after the season just to see what's in there and see if I need to try to find a way to hunt the area or if it's mostly young bucks.
 

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Went back out again today and found another two or three locations that look pretty promising. I have been basically walking the military crests of ridges on the leeward side. More often than not they lead to a lot of sign and look to be great locations for cruising bucks during the rut. I will probably stick to bottom land in the earlier part of the season however. Some of the places I found today with assumed buck beds look almost unapproachable without getting busted. Visibility, wind and thermals have everything in their favor. I can try hunting a side hill or above these beds where the wind won’t hit them but without knowing what direction they are heading I could just end up screwing everything up. My thoughts are during the rut I can hang back further and hunt the transition lines on the bench and catch them cruising the leeward side. Dint find many rubs again but I don’t always put a lot of stock into rubs if a area has a lot of deer crap and tracks. I have killed bucks in areas with no buck sign at all and have hunted areas loaded with buck sign and didn’t see a thing. The one area I explored today is really far back in and if I would happen to get one back there I will not be dragging it out. I will have to quarter it and pack it out.
Saw a bunch of turkey today driving up the mountain but didn’t hear any while scouting. I really wanted to locate a gobbler in one of the remote areas I was exploring today but have a good idea where to start on opening day anyhow. Seems like there are a handful of spots up there where I can count on getting turkey action consistently every year.
Hope everyone is doing well and not letting our current situation get you too down in the dumps. I know it’s wearing on me a bit. The other day I felt like I was turning into woods walker on here.
You named he who shall not be named LOL! Speaking of him, is he banned for life? He did have some good things to say.
 

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Went back out again today and found another two or three locations that look pretty promising. I have been basically walking the military crests of ridges on the leeward side. More often than not they lead to a lot of sign and look to be great locations for cruising bucks during the rut. I will probably stick to bottom land in the earlier part of the season however. Some of the places I found today with assumed buck beds look almost unapproachable without getting busted. Visibility, wind and thermals have everything in their favor. I can try hunting a side hill or above these beds where the wind won’t hit them but without knowing what direction they are heading I could just end up screwing everything up. My thoughts are during the rut I can hang back further and hunt the transition lines on the bench and catch them cruising the leeward side. Dint find many rubs again but I don’t always put a lot of stock into rubs if a area has a lot of deer crap and tracks. I have killed bucks in areas with no buck sign at all and have hunted areas loaded with buck sign and didn’t see a thing. The one area I explored today is really far back in and if I would happen to get one back there I will not be dragging it out. I will have to quarter it and pack it out.
Saw a bunch of turkey today driving up the mountain but didn’t hear any while scouting. I really wanted to locate a gobbler in one of the remote areas I was exploring today but have a good idea where to start on opening day anyhow. Seems like there are a handful of spots up there where I can count on getting turkey action consistently every year.
Hope everyone is doing well and not letting our current situation get you too down in the dumps. I know it’s wearing on me a bit. The other day I felt like I was turning into woods walker on here.
Certainly putting in the time Steel and learning more and more about the area. What you talk about is a common theme in the mountains. All mountain hunters deal with similar hurdles. Bedding where "everything" is in their favor. Traveling so they have the advantage and feel secure. It can appear daunting at times, how do I approach? Which wind direction is best? How will thermals react? How will a buck maximize his safety and minimize his effort to travel? Where is the food in the mountains?(everywhere). You can overwhelm yourself with the thought process but here's the most important thing TBrom examples did for me. It helped me simplify my approach.

How? I shifted focus to simply identifying a buck I'm seeking exist where I'm hunting and where is he most vulnerable in that area. I changed from breaking down "connecting" buck sign, to looking at the "area" in which I found or find the best buck sign. Where in that area would a buck be most vulnerable when he's traveling and what route would be the safest and most efficient?

I scouted a stream bottom the other day. This is below the scrape area I showed pics and explained previously. While checking this stream bottom I discovered the paralleling trail and more importantly I found locations where thick rhododendron forced the deer up the side hill and around the thicket. Just like TBrom's illustration along the lake where water forced the movement, here the deer are cutting up and around the pocket of cover. I sit inside the cover on the backside as they descend back down toward the stream. The contour of the land with a light West, SW wind combined with dropping thermals a deer shouldn't smell me. They can smell above and out in front but not below. Not to say this particular spot will produce the buck I'm seeking but its making me look at things differently. I'll continue to hunt the military crest of a ridge line and close to bedding but it sure doesn't hurt to expand knowledge and options. You often hear the phrase "Think like a buck" but do most of us truly understand what that means?? Think with their nose is the best way I can describe explain my understanding. Its their best defense and offense (breeding).
 

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Got out again this morning and scouted until 11:00 . Nothing too exciting regarding deer sign but man is there a abundance of turkey up there this year. Gobblers crossing the road every time I drive up . Got out of the truck and 200 yards off the road the whole area is tore up with turkey scratch . Been hunting up there for 10 years and have never seen anything like it. Kicked up a whole flock walking in. There were birds running around everywhere. Only issue is that being it’s so close to the parking spot I may have company opening morning. Ended up finding a few other locations a good distance from there if other guys are around in the morning. Originally I was going to hunt the opener up at camp with my brother but there are just too many turkeys around to not hunt local. I pan on having the truck packed and heading directly up to camp after I am done hunting Saturday morning. Probably come home Tuesday.

Had a coyote run out of the laurel off the hill to my right and stand there broadside at 40 yards just looking at me. Pretty disgusted because I didn’t bring my gun. Last week I had a game warden half jokingly ask me if I was hunting squirrels when I had it with me and with it being so close to the opener I didn’t feel like taking any chance of going through another mini interrogation. I carry my rifle about 50% of the time I am up there and in the last six years this is the third time I had a coyote come out in front of me offering a easy shot and I didn’t have it. One time I left it in the truck because I didn’t feel like carrying it.

Besides the coyote and all the turkey I also saw a grouse, a deer and a dead raccoon which was kind of odd.

Another great day in the woods.
 

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Well... I finally went and did it. I've been kicking it around for two years as something I should experiment with because I think it could be an asset. Not certain how I'll even use it at this point but it's something I'll have as a future scouting option. I bought a drone. (Now if I can get my grandkids to set it up and show me how to operate it I might be ok.)
 

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I spent 3 hours getting it setup with the software and updates tonight. Maybe I'll get a chance to start flying it soon. Really have no idea how I will utilize it for deer. Hunted the big marsh last year and I think it could've been an asset in there. I'm thinking it will be a good resource for checking the larger cornfields to see where the bear damage is which will save a lot of boots on the ground time by pinpointing areas as starting points for cameras and scouting.
 

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90 minute flight time today (3 - 30 minute sessions). Pretty cool to play with. No idea if it will be an asset? Just trying to keep up with the times.
 

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Well with the cool weather this morning I went out to do some scouting in an area around a swamp that I've been wanting to check out for a couple years now. I walked the whole way around the edge of it and even checked out a couple high ground fingers that ran out into the swamp for bedding. After a 3 mile trip around it I was pretty disappointed with only finding 3 rubs (2 were very small trees) and 1 scrape. No beds found but did see 1 deer not sure what it was because it ran when I first walked in. I didn't even find and well used trails ! Probably won't waste my time walking back in there again !! On a good note I pulled 6 cards today and have a couple good bucks on them !
 

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Does the area get any pressure ? Could be a good spot once all the other seasons get going. I hunt a few areas that don’t have a lot of sign such as rubs and scrapes but come small game season I have a ton of deer piling in there to get away from the pressure.
 

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steel maybe I'll have to check it out a little closer to season ! It just amazed me that there wasn't hardly any trails around or running into the swamp ! There is 3 fingers that run into it with high ground and looks like great bedding but I didn't even find any old beds and I covered it pretty darn good ! Not sure about the pressure in the area because I haven't been out there in the fall ! I did do some scouting while turkey hunting out there !!
 

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When we got our camp a couple years ago they left a canoe. Since no one is using it up there in the near future I am going to get it and use it to scout and hunt with at home. It makes me a little nervous because I have very little kayak and canoe experience so I hope I don’t drowned or get in a bad situation. Hopefully once I get it out on the water a few times I will get comfortable with it. Think this could be an amazing way to hunt and a awesome experience . Especially if I can put a dead buck in it during archery.
 
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