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Off season scouting...tips, advice, hints, comment

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Off season scouting...tips, advice, hints, comment

Old 02-09-2002, 09:01 PM
  #1  
Typical Buck
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Default Off season scouting...tips, advice, hints, comment

Since this is a "HUNTING" forum. I thought I would post an off-beat yet original "hunting" question for folks. What do you people do in the off season in regards to scouting to assure you success in the upcoming year? Me, personally, I take a walk through my woods periodically to check the signs of deer activity. With snow on the ground and bare woods with all the leaves fallen off the trees it becomes much easier to nail down the patterns of deer in the area. Everything stands out..trails are much easier to notice. Feeding areas are obvious with all of the fecal matter everywhere. Bedding areas are obvious with the melted snow clearly indicating where the deer like to spend the majority of their time. And a cherished set of shed antlers clearly point to the potetial of bucks that have survived the hunting season and are going to be growing, hopefully, a larger set of horns the next year. I love the off-season as much as the on-season. It's exciting! When the wife allows, I will even sit in a stand every so often to see what I can see in the way of deer and their herd's inventory. Although patterns now will be much different compared to next October, there is a huge amount of information available now that can be pertinent to next year's pursuit. Do you agree...what do you do as far as scouting in the "off-season"?
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Old 02-09-2002, 09:23 PM
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Default RE: Off season scouting...tips, advice, hints, comment

When I have to I scout. BUT, I've been hunting the same little 100 acre patch for 3 or 4 years now. I have them figured out. Yes patterns will change, but not a lot normally. I'll do some strolls in mid August, hang a couple stands, pick out several places for my climber and that's it. Guess what.... I already know where most of those spots are... but I use it as an excuse to go to the woods.
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Old 02-09-2002, 09:25 PM
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Default RE: Off season scouting...tips, advice, hints, comment

I do a little shed hunting, so I guess you could say I scout a little, but not much. I have been hunting the same areas for years, so they use basically the same trails yr. after yr. A lot of my decisions on where I put most of my time in depends on what crops are planted in the spring and the mast crop.
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Old 02-09-2002, 10:31 PM
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Old 02-09-2002, 11:16 PM
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Default RE: Off season scouting...tips, advice, hints, comment

I do the majority of my scouting this month and next...as you mentioned, everything stands out...trails,bedding areas,rubs,scrapes,and big sheds. I spend a lot of time searching the terrain between bedding areas, looking for something that will funnel buck movement;erosion ditches,creek crossings,brushy fencelines,etc. During the rut, I hunt these locations frequently as bucks are moving between bedding areas looking for 'hot does'.

I also do as much stand work as I can. Once I've located a tree I like, I return with a lightweight treestand,climbing sticks,long pruner,and a hammer a nails(for hanging my backpack and bow). The area will have 6-7 months to cool off and all I have to do next fall is hang my stands and hunt<img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>.It takes a lot of time,but come bow season...it pays off.


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Old 02-10-2002, 12:34 AM
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Default RE: Off season scouting...tips, advice, hints, comment

I usually look for shed antlers, and look for the deer signs. Like you said, the patterns of the deer right now are nothing like they'll be next season, but it's good to see the local herd. Right now most of them are bunched up and you can see the herd and the quality and info them.
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Old 02-10-2002, 11:12 AM
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Default RE: Off season scouting...tips, advice, hints, comment

Post season is a favorite time for me as well.As mentioned it is at this time when all the buck sign is laid out for me to record.I usually head to the woods wearing a small day pack loaded with a small trimming saw a note pad and a 14.4v cordless drill and several 7&quot; lag bolts so that I can ready a good number of new locations.Of course, I'm always on the look out for shed antlers.There's nothing like fnding a &quot;booker&quot; while your setting up stand locations.I have found it usefull to record as much info as I can in my note pad because you'll find it gets difficult to recall alot of what your learning a full 9 months before hunting season.Now, if I can just stick to deer without turning a post season scouting day into a pre season turkey trip????
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Old 02-10-2002, 08:39 PM
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Old 02-10-2002, 09:20 PM
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Default RE: Off season scouting...tips, advice, hints, comment

I do the same as you wolfen.
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Old 02-11-2002, 07:28 AM
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Default RE: Off season scouting...tips, advice, hints, comment

This is how I do it in the &quot;Big Woods&quot;, as soon as the snow is gone and that won't be until April-May, there is a window before spring green up and that's when I hit it hard - real hard. Don't care where I walk, I put on the miles. I look for the &quot;blue print&quot; from last fall. All the tell tale signs the deer left last year are all real visibible. I then stay away in the summer and fall. First time I go back is opener of Bow. Good Luck!
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