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Who hunts big pines?

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Who hunts big pines?

Old 08-14-2008, 05:36 AM
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Default Who hunts big pines?

I'm getting on some more new land this year. Its 2000 acres of pine forest in east Texas. It is surrounded by thousands more acres of pine. I have no idea how to go about hunting such a tract. Of course I'll be looking for all the usual suspects, i.e., bedding areas, food sources, water, etc. I will also pay close attention to terrain features and look for natural funnels, pinch points etc. But what else do I need to pay attention to in a large tract of pine forrest? This will be totally different than the type of land I have been hunting which consisted of a mix of hardwoods and pasture.
Any help you can offer is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Greg.
EDIT: I'm told there is a 100 acre cut-over. No one else is interested in hunting that area. I think it could be pretty productive to hunt the edges of it if I can find a nearby bedding area. What do you think?
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:42 AM
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Default RE: Who hunts big pines?

I have and do but not because they're pines. I've found numerous places over the years where some pattern took it through the pines. It could be mushrooms growing, a trail that cuts through a pine head, volunteer pines creating a hideout etc etc etc. I've shot some nice deer in pine heads or on the edge created by them. They'll be feeding in that cut over area as browse grows. Usually the 2nd or 3rd year is great until it grows too thick and then it becomes a bedding area. Walk the edges and you'll see where they like to enter and leave. It can be a high spot or a low spot, it all depends on the lay of the land. BUT, that cut over will become a major food source.
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Old 08-14-2008, 06:19 AM
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Default RE: Who hunts big pines?

I'm in the same boat as you Journeyman. I just got on a new lease in East TX. As with most of this area it is paper company land so we have pines in various stages, from cut over areas to old trees. All of the things you mention doing are exactlly what I am doing. One thing we are doing as a group is mowing (brush hogging) as many of the old logging roads and around the clearing areas as possible. This is to open up more edge area as well as allow new food to shoot up. As I am the only member looking to bowhunt I am also paying a lot of attention to the bottoms, drainage areas as this is where I am finding the only oaks on the property. We are going up this weekend to mow some more and to start trying to find spots to place our stands. Time is running short and there is still a lot to do.
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Old 08-14-2008, 06:28 AM
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Default RE: Who hunts big pines?

We had a lease for a couple years up nearClarksvillein a big pines that was surrounded by paper company land as well. I found a small pond a couple hundred yard into the woods where the trees were a little further apart than anywhere else and it seemed to be the hot spot. Hope it helps Greg, I know it ain't much
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Old 08-14-2008, 06:31 AM
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Default RE: Who hunts big pines?

I don't believe you mentioned if the pines are fully mature. If they are, it could be tough stand hunting for a bow hunter. Stalking could sure be an option since the pines stands are usually pertty quiet. Like you said, pinch points, and gully crossings are good places to start. Also if you could find an area of blowdowns, it maybe good. If there are a lot of blowdowns, you could also create some funnels.
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Old 08-14-2008, 06:37 AM
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Default RE: Who hunts big pines?

I don't believe you mentioned if the pines are fully mature. If they are, it could be tough stand hunting for a bow hunter.
Agree with this. I've got a pine thicket that's in between doe bedding areas I hunt occasionally (only had the wind to hunt it once, last year). The photo was taken from the only hardwood around. I can't get up the pines at all with my climber......and setting up a lock-on here is like giving it away.

I still have a bow hook in this tree......waiting for the first good wind in late Oct and on.......

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Old 08-14-2008, 06:43 AM
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Default RE: Who hunts big pines?

I honestly don't know if they are mature or not. I haven't set foot on the land yet. It is paper company land and they clear cut hundreds of acres at a time so I have a feeling it is a mix. I'll resurect this topic after I've walked the propertyin a couple of weeks. thank you for your responses.
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Old 08-14-2008, 06:52 AM
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Default RE: Who hunts big pines?

There are probably mature pines around the clearcut. That is where i would hunt as a firearm hunter. In thick pines the deer usually travel the edges of the clearcuts and you could be there right off their path hanging. I have killed alot of bucks in the pines near their bedding areas too.
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:00 AM
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Default RE: Who hunts big pines?

Greg, it's tough!
If it's anything like my last timber co lease, it'll be super thick underbrush everywhere. Every spot with an open shooting lane will have a box stand in it. Since I started bow hunting I haven't tagged a deer in E.TX, BUT, I've learned a lot.
1.The mature bucks don't come out in the open very often, especially if they ain't ruttin.
2. Everywhere is a feeding area.
3. I have yet to find a bedding area that I believe to be a constant bedding area.
4. If you're wanting meat, a feeder might help you pull in some young deer. The big boys I believe are smart enough to stay away.
5. Find trails and scout them thoroughly!
6. If you find a trail going through an area that is so thick that makes it un-huntable,...find a way to hunt it!!

This last one, is what I was trying to do on my last lease. Hunt the un-huntable areas. People will think you're nuts and you will think you're nuts sometimes, but this is the pattern I was seeing at my place. Don't try to mow it or bush hog it, maybe trim a few limbs here and there for shooting windows. While scouting, if you see a cedar tree go check it for rubs. (see avatar to the right of my son) We didn't have a lot of cedar trees on that lease but most of the ones that we did have, were tore up. You're right in checking the edges of mature pines especially if it borders a "new" clear cut. The problem with finding a good spot in mature pines is, it won't be long before that area turns into a clear cut.[:@] If I was still on that lease I'd be hunting trails in the thickest cover I could find. But that's me...

Good Luck,

One more thing, I would not put out cameras on the trails I planned on hunting. Just find a trail you like and setup on it.
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