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Hunting big woods.....

Old 02-21-2007, 12:00 PM
Dominant Buck
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Default Hunting big woods.....

I've been thinking about this, lately. If you hunt big woods.....what's your strategy? What are the food sources (assuming the ansence of crops)? We hunt deer (at least I do) by patterning their movements to the best of our abilities. In "Big Woods"....what prompts them to move? Why are they moving?

Serious questions.....
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:10 PM
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Default RE: Hunting big woods.....

I like to hunt near water sources when i am in the "big woods". Deer here really seem to follow rivers, creeks and hang just on the outskirts where the vegatation is changing from willows to poplar. I like to find conveient places for animals to cross the river such as a beaver dam and hang out there also. There will be 20 different trails that come together into one to cross a dam so it is a type of a funnel.
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:11 PM
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Default RE: Hunting big woods.....

There going from the mast ie; acorns, hickory nuts grapevines etc to their bedding areas,( sunny slopes when the weathers cold or where they can see and smell danger coming. Look for the travel routes, gullys , drainage, rhododendrons etc. Get out there now and find there trails in the snow.
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:14 PM
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Default RE: Hunting big woods.....

There is a great book, which i am currently reading, its called Hunting Big-Woods Bucks (Secrets of tracking and stalking deer). It has a bunch of great information about big woods buck. You might check it out.
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:32 PM
Dominant Buck
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Default RE: Hunting big woods.....

I admittedly don't hunt big woods. I'm trying to understand what people who do hunt big woods are looking for to pattern their deer.

I hunt an old farm.....that's adjacent to an old farm....that's adjacent to an old farm. I KNOW where "my" deer are going (they're going to an acorn flat or a soy bean or cornfield). I know where they sleep. In my neck of the's pretty simple to identify the food sources. I would assume it's that way in most people's hunting areas.

Big woods just make me wonder. It must be tough to pin them down to a certain area.
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:40 PM
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Default RE: Hunting big woods.....

It does take a while to pin down travel routes for deer inbig woods. I hunt mainly big woods that are public land as well. You can literally walk miles into the woods without seeing a field or road. I try to hunt where multiple ridgetops come together. Usually the deer are using these areas to avoid going down the steep ridge sides and through the ravines. Find an oak flat that is dropping acorns and you can guarantee the deer will be there sooner or later. Hunting new areas is tough at first because it can take a long time to figure out where the deer are traveling to and from.
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:48 PM
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Default RE: Hunting big woods.....

If you hunt big woods.....what's your strategy?
Scout as much as possible. Winter time (snow) is a great time to scout. I look for prior year rub lines and I pay attention to track size.

I look for small game trails with rub lines which usually run perpendicular to heavy used trails. I also look for convergence trails crossing reveins or natural funnels. I also looking for this sort of stuff in thick stuff, that are not necessarily bedding areas.

Deer in the big-woods that I hunt mainly graze. Identifying only one food source is tough. But apples in the fall are always a good bet.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:06 PM
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Default RE: Hunting big woods.....

Food, food and more food. If you can find where they are feeding and some bedding areas, set up between the two and you will see deer. There may not be any food plots, but you can really see an area where they have been eating acorns cause the leaves and ground are all dug up. I took my best buck deep in the woods where they were feeding on acorns. One advantage to hunting big woods is that they move earlier since they feel more concealed in the woods.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:28 PM
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Default RE: Hunting big woods.....

GMMAT i hve two really hotr stands in my stretch of woods one is on a land bridge wher three trails intersect one coming from a bedding area going and then splitting to go to a small pond and the other goes across a small strectch of swamp to end up in an old overgrown wheat feild the other stand site sits right on the edge of a bedding area wher a trail comes out following an old fence behind this spot there are some beaver cuts and some ponds if i were you i would concentrate on old pastures new young tree growth mast (acorns and such) beaver cuts and maybe try stilll hunting thick cover
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:31 PM
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Default RE: Hunting big woods.....

I grew up hunting big woods deer in Vermont and my buddies property I hunt in Oneonta, NY is pretty much big woods hunting. I learned a lot about deer movement, you kind of have to that way. I would start the same way you describe. Find what and where they are eating. Then look at wind movement/terrain features/possible bedding areas. I really hunt certain terrain features that force the movement in certain areas.........saddles, certain stream crossings, etc.
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