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Pre-season scouting: any tips?

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Pre-season scouting: any tips?

Old 08-19-2007, 10:55 AM
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Location: Monroe County, NY / Mercer County, NJ
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Default Pre-season scouting: any tips?

This is my first season where I actually have the time and means to do any scouting before hunting season. Since I've never done this before, I really have no idea what to do. I was just going to throw on my camo and go walk around the area I usually hunt. Can anyone give me any pointers?

Thank you.
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Old 08-19-2007, 11:48 AM
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Default RE: Pre-season scouting: any tips?

If you really want to get serious about it, Wear unscented Rubber Boots and use Binoculars......

Deer Hunting and Deer Scouting

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Old 08-19-2007, 12:13 PM
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Default RE: Pre-season scouting: any tips?

By saying this is your first season and you've never scouted before , I take it your new at deer hunting and you don't know what to look for .
With that said .... you got alot to learn in a short time , I suggest you do alot of reading and maybe watch some DVD's as for going out and scouting around , it's getting alittle close to the openner to be wandering leaving your sent behind.
If you do go out make sure you wear rubber boots , some camo clothes and try to be sent free as possable , spray your self and your clothes down with some sent killer .
As you walk in your hunting area look for trails on the ground , a well used trail will be easy to spot it will be well worn and you'll see tracks in it.
Once your on a good trail , walk along side it NOT directly on it you don't to risk leaveing any human sent on it , follow the tracks to see where they take you.
Just keep in mind not to touch anything if your not wearing gloves , as you walk along the trail look for other signs such as old rubs and scraps from last year.
If you don't know what they look like , well a rub looks like a bare area on a tree where the buck was rubbing his antlers againest the bark to remove the velvet and to mark his domaine.
A scrape will look like a bare patch on the ground with paw marks and maybe a small damp spot where they have peed in it , all scrapes will have a low hanging limb or branch over it.
If you happen to come across an area where you can seemore than two or three trails crossing each other then you'll know it's a major intersection that deer use to get from bedding to feeding areas.
Also look for deer dropings / scat they leave behind , some dropings will look like rasinnets little pellets and some dropingswill be more clumped together.
Good luck on your scouting ventures and remember to be as sent free as possable , if you have more question feel free to ask.
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Old 08-19-2007, 12:35 PM
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Location: Monroe County, NY / Mercer County, NJ
Posts: 225
Default RE: Pre-season scouting: any tips?

I've hunted the last two seasons but I haven't had the ability to really invest myself into it too much... first year was senior year of high school and I didn't have my drivers license yet (and my family doesn't hunt) and last year I was at an out-of-state college. This year I finally have or have the means to get the equipment I need. The last couple seasons I just kinda went out to field edges or trails in nearby WMAs and didn't do any scouting at all. Probably also explains why I haven't shot a deer at all.

I sorta understand about rubs and scrapes, at least I've seen a few that were definitely those.

Thanks for the tips!
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Old 08-21-2007, 01:25 PM
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Default RE: Pre-season scouting: any tips?

Pickerel: First tip is to consider wearing insect repellant when you scout. You may find more bugs out before the first frost. I suppose some will decry this for leaving your scent in the woods, and they may be right. Where I hunt there are gazillions of insects called "seed ticks" that get all over your legs and cause pain and discomfort for a long time -- a week or two -- if you let them crawl around on your lower legs.

The best tip I have is to get out and walk around your hunting grounds, several times. You begin to "see" things only after you have grown accustomed to the place. Then you begin to notice things. Sure, take note of deer tracks, where the tracks cross the creeks or go to water such as ponds. If there are fences have an eye open for tufts of hair stuck to the wire that may indicate crossing points. Just look. Keep in mind that deer are prey species: other animals want to eat deer, and deer want to avoid being eaten. Look for travel routes that keep close to cover but which are relatively easy to travel. Look for natural concentration points where deer will be led to -- for example one shallow point for crossing a stream, one place where stream banks are low rather than steep and high, where the deer will generally prefer to cross the stream if they have it their way. Look for food -- berries, persimmon, apple trees, crab-apple trees, acorns, etc. This is basic scouting.

More sophisticated, serious hunters may try to spot and pick-out a particular buck that they wish to hunt. They may further attempt to determine the particular buck's movement patterns, the better to lay an ambush for this buck when the season opens. That is more involved and dedicated than my deer hunting interests. I'm more of a meat hunter than an antler hunter. A middle-sized doe will suit me just fine, and to bag a doe doesn't involve elaborate and involved scouting, typically.
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