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Old 10-14-2004, 03:25 AM   #1
TDH
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Tazewell, VA
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Default Finding deer feeding area in Big Woods

I hunt in the coalfield in S. West Virginia where farms don't exist. I always have trouble finding the feeding areas that deer visit. The only food they have are scattered out through the mountains. The area is all mountains with a few strip jobs. It is hard to find a place between the bedding area and feeding area when you don't know where the feeding area is located. Any tips on this problem?
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Old 10-14-2004, 06:33 AM   #2
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Default RE: Finding deer feeding area in Big Woods

Since you don't have ag crops to key on you'll need to know what kinds of mast are available and when . Once you've scouted which oaks , persimmons , etc. are likely to produce earlier in the year then those are the trees/bushes you set up on . Also look for water sources , lions don't camp out near waterholes for no reason . Pay special attention to any choke points between cover and water .
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Old 10-14-2004, 10:49 AM   #3
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Default RE: Finding deer feeding area in Big Woods

Acorns from white oaks are one of deers' favorite foods. At least in Georgia, there is a big acorn crop this year.
I like to look for a spot with a bunch of white oaks that is near thick cover where they might bed. Also near water like kevin says.
If you are looking for bucks, then look for rub/scrape lines and set up near one of those if you can find them. They will use these a lot in pre-rut. During rut they will also spend more time where the does are. I got a buck last year in early December near a doe bedding area by using a doe grunt. He came right at me.
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Old 10-14-2004, 11:07 AM   #4
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Default RE: Finding deer feeding area in Big Woods

I'm in the same boat as you. I hunt in the Catskills in NY and the area I hunt is very mountainous and heavily forested with almost no fields at all. I usually try to find an area with a lot of acorns or beechnuts. When it is a bad mast year, it makes things much tougher. My father and I cleared out about an acre this year and planted a food plot. We are already seeing deer coming in to it. It's not a bad option if you own some land.
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Old 10-15-2004, 02:18 AM   #5
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Default RE: Finding deer feeding area in Big Woods

Thanks for the info. guys. It sounds like JPM has the same situation. I have done really well in my hunting tactics but I wanted to learn more about early hunting season. I usally hunt funnels and saddles that a deer could possible travel from one side of the mountain to the other. It has produced many deer but I wanted to try and increase my chances by knowing why they will choose to cross at a certain point. Thanks
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Old 10-15-2004, 11:44 AM   #6
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Default RE: Finding deer feeding area in Big Woods

TDH, on the mountain that I hunt there are a couple very old rock walls that are in extremely bad shape. They run through what used to be a field and is now completely grown in. It is a low point between two large hills. I have caught deer many times walking right next to this wall when going from one hill to the other. There are a few other places also, where deer will run fencelines or old rock walls. I don't know why they do this, but I have been pretty successful hunting these areas. Also, most of the mountains that I'm hunting are made up of pine and hemlock, but usually these areas are hardwoods in between the pine and hemlock areas. Do you have any swamps in your area? There is only one in my area, but deer definitely hole up in there. It is nasty hunting, but worth the effort. It's nice to know there are some other people out there who have the same hunting problems that I face. I get so jealous when I read peoples posts and they talk about hunting huge farms and agricultural areas.
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Old 10-15-2004, 08:55 PM   #7
 
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Default RE: Finding deer feeding area in Big Woods

i hunt the allegheny national forest in nwpa. this time of year the deer are feeding on any kind of nut or fruit they can find. i do a ton of scouting and try to pattern the animals but it's next to impossible to do. there are so many different reasons why deer do the things they do. weather, lunar (some say), food supply, water supply, cover, funnels, human pressure you name it, it effects the way deer move, feed, and breed.
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Old 10-16-2004, 08:17 AM   #8
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Default RE: Finding deer feeding area in Big Woods

JPM I have no swamps in WV just steep mountains. I have done really good but I want to focus on why.

It is hard to pattern the deer but I was wanting to find out why when I hunt saddles, funnels the deer cross in a spacific place. I try to find the deepest saddle on the ridge line and it has been working. This work during the rut. If I can find out what they are feeding on then I might find a better spot to hunt. It is hard in open woods.
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Old 10-16-2004, 05:09 PM   #9
 
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Default RE: Finding deer feeding area in Big Woods

also i would like to stress that the best way to TRY to pattern the deer's habits is while they are in transition. although i don't believe deer bed in the same exact spots each and every night, i do believe that they have favorite places to bed down depending on the weather. there are streams all over the place where i hunt so it is impossible to try to figure out their favorite drinking holes. try to find out the funnels they use to go from bedding to feeding and then where they go for cover when they are pressured. it's a lot of babble i know, but i'm just thinking and typing.
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