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Deer Scouting in July/August Questions?

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Deer Scouting in July/August Questions?

Old 06-28-2015, 11:39 AM
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Question Deer Scouting in July/August Questions?

DISCLAIMER: I am very new to hunting, started last year, so please bear with me on some of these questions, Thanks -Jake


So guys, as I have posted in a previous thread, I have recently come upon new hunting property up here in New York. I have been scouting the new land a few times now. I think I know what I am looking for when I am out in the field, but my question is more about the actual deer themselves.

The property that I am scouting is very heavily populated deer area. By this I mean whenever I drive past there are almost always deer in the alfalfa field and whenever I have been out to scout the wooded section, which is about 4 times so far, I have seen/spooked deer EVERY TIME. This is what I am worried about. I think I know where I am going to place my stand but I want to do some more scouting, but I am afraid to go deeper because it seems the farther in I go, the more deer I spook. (I have gone in at several different times a day). So recently I have not gone scouting because of the fear of spooking off more deer.

So here are my questions: When I go in and accidentally spook the deer, will this chase the deer right off the property so that they don't come back during the season? Or is it still early enough, being June, to spook them and have it make no difference?

If by me scouting this area and unintentionally scaring the deer can be a major problem, what should I do because I definitely need to do more scouting? If not, are there any precautions I can take to avoid spooking them?

Thanks for your time!
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Old 06-28-2015, 01:21 PM
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Try to find another way on to the property where you are less visible and the wind is not blowing your scent towards the deer.

If you continue to do what you are doing the deer will adapt towards you spooking them and change their habits. That means you may see little or no deer this fall when you normally see a lot of deer in the spring/summer.

Worst case scenario is the deer change their habits and you will spend the next few seasons figuring out what the deer are doing. Even my favorite spots end up changing every so often as the years go by. It all a challenge and part of the fun....don't get discouraged and be an optimistic hunter.
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:03 PM
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What I do is watch them from a distance. I try to find a spot with a good view of their feeding area and use a good pair of binoculars. Well before dawn, with a moon, is a good time to scout.

I avoid going into their bedding areas. Watch where they come out of cover and into the open, they tend to use the same paths over and over. They may not use the same feeding area every day, but often return to the same spots periodically. If you watch long enough you'll be able to tell one Deer from the other and you can somewhat plot their habits.

Really not much for them to eat in the woods, that is where they hang out. They do the majority of their feeding at night on the forest edge or in the fields or meadows. They usually sleep in the brush during the hottest part of day.

I watch the Doe, where ever the Doe are is often where the Bucks show up when the rut starts. The Bucks can come in from a long distance, miles and it is often a waste of time trying to plot their habits before hunting season. I most always see Bucks during rut I've never seen before, the Does usually stay fairly close to home. When I say close to home, I mean in a broad sort of way, they may move a half mile or more during their normal travels. The Doe with fawns tend to wander less. It all depends on the amount of forage that is around and if they are getting a balanced diet. And how much they are molested or bothered.

I try to pick out specific Doe, learn to recognize them and plot their habits. Often the larger Doe seem to be group leaders, when and if they start to gather.

I've found spots on my lease where there is most always a breeder Doe (plus or minus a hundred yards or so). A good spot to set up for a Buck.

The Deer are kind of between a rock and a hard spot. They have to feed heavy while the forage is good before winter hits. The shorter the days the longer they feed. Hunters tend to drive them into the heavy brush and deep woods. Buck can be the exception, but they will usually be where the Doe are. Bucks may not feed much during the rut.

The best shot you are likely to get is broadside, in the open, head down feeding, at a round 40-50 yards. That shot is what I scout for and where I tend to set up my stands.

When they first come out of the woods or brush they are often pretty spooky. Once they settle in to feed they are a lot less likely to bolt.

Depends on the lay of the land, but a single spot is unlikely to have the same breeze, morning and evening.

Many people scout the trails between where the Deer bed down and they move to food and ambush them near the middle of their travels. Which is also a viable strategy to scout for. Though moving into a stand near a path can be a little rough. You don't want to use the Deer path. Most people cut a new backdoor path into their stands when they set up in the woods. Which is a lot of hot sweaty work in the late summer or early fall.
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Old 06-28-2015, 05:38 PM
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Yes, thanks for the tips. Ill definitely get my binos out and start scanning the alfalfa field for their entrance and exits. I will also try to find that broadside treestand placement shot as well! thanks
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Old 06-29-2015, 06:20 AM
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That Alfalfa field may not be there in hunting season. They may move on to another spot to feed. But where they break cover to feed may stay pretty much the same.
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Old 06-29-2015, 06:41 AM
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Something you may want to think about is planting Winter Canola a month or two (Sept. maybe depending on climate) before the Deer season starts. Winter Canola will germinate late in the year, grow sprouts or small plants, then go dormant during the winter and start growing again in the spring.

Canola sprouts (small plants) are sweet (natures anti freeze) and draw the Deer much like Alfalfa does.

I pay around 50 cents a pound for Winter Canola seeds. You can scratch them in with a rake, you don't need to plant them. You can put out a decent plot with 20 KG, (fifty pounds) of seed. You just need a little rain so they germinate.

Deer seem to love Canola sprouts.
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by MudderChuck View Post
Something you may want to think about is planting Winter Canola a month or two (Sept. maybe depending on climate) before the Deer season starts. Winter Canola will germinate late in the year, grow sprouts or small plants, then go dormant during the winter and start growing again in the spring.

Canola sprouts (small plants) are sweet (natures anti freeze) and draw the Deer much like Alfalfa does.

I pay around 50 cents a pound for Winter Canola seeds. You can scratch them in with a rake, you don't need to plant them. You can put out a decent plot with 20 KG, (fifty pounds) of seed. You just need a little rain so they germinate.

Deer seem to love Canola sprouts.
Thanks for the advice man, really appreciate it
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:49 AM
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Default Patterns change in the fall

One important factor others have mentioned is that the deer patterns change in the fall, as the food sources change. Then they change again during the rut. If you have acorns in your area, especially White Oak acorns, the deer will tend to feed on those in the fall, when you're actually hunting. If you have a really good mast crop (lots of acorns), then the deer will feed well and may not move as much. If you have a very bad mast crop, then the deer may try to find other food, or, in really severe cases, move to where there are more acorns or other food.

Once you find a good, mature White Oak, look for game trails nearby and set up along those, especially within bow shot of trail intersections. The trails may not be heavily travelled until the mast crop starts to fall heavily and/or the crops are out of the fields, but you can usually see where the major ones are if you know what to look for, even if they've been neglected since last winter. If there are human-made trails in the woods, the deer (especially the less mature deer) may use them if they have not had hunting pressure in the past there.

Good luck!
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