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How do you scout/hunt Big Woods?

Old 10-11-2007, 12:00 PM
Giant Nontypical
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Default RE: How do you scout/hunt Big Woods?

Jimmy...Deer LOVE beachnuts...Many hunters don't know this, they drop a small triagular mast that is soft and sweet, like candy....They will prefer this over the red oaks...That's where I would be...

After this...When I step in a big woods, I look for differences in habitat...If you can find 2-3 different habitats that come together, deer will be there...Kinda like a bass following structure...

Also, could you carry in a few pounds of white ladino clover, plant on that power line for future years??? It's high in protein and deer will flock to it...Just spread it on the ground, no need to till the ground...We have done this to a power line back home and it works...Most hunters don't notice....
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Old 10-11-2007, 12:03 PM
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Default RE: How do you scout/hunt Big Woods?

Well, some of us only get a few days of hunting. In a new area, you can waste your whole trip scouting. And my technique has never left my wall(s) empty and of course my freezer, my parent's freezer, my cousin's freezer and so on.
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Old 10-11-2007, 12:16 PM
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Default RE: How do you scout/hunt Big Woods?

Have to agree with ihunt1975. Aerial photos and topo maps are a life saver in big woods.There are some great hunting books out there that tell how to use the information to your advantage and things to look for. Transition zones, water sources, food. The food is the one thing I like to see when actually walking land, the browse level and different types of foods available. You would be surprised the foods deer eat that many of us don't even know. A local conservation office or natural resource office can often give you lists and even pictures of preferred wildlife foods in the area, very valuable info. I don't know how old the cutovers are you are mentioning but after a couple of seasons there will be a ton of deer level browse in there and I would investigate those areas thoroughly. jmo
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Old 10-11-2007, 12:24 PM
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Default RE: How do you scout/hunt Big Woods?

No, I understand, my son's in the same boat right now in California, but we've never had any problems filling our freezers either by gathering intel on the hunting area and increasing our odds. I'm not saying you have to spend your whole trip scouting, but sitting one spot on a whim doesn't always cut it.

Again, all I'm saying is get out there, look around and figure out what's best. Miles of hunting property would be invaluable to me, therefore I would get as much info as I can on as much area as I could so I could find those potential hotspots.

Animals do not always hang in an area that may look good to you. You just never know unless you look around a little. Just a little teeny tiny bit...just a wee bit.
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Old 10-11-2007, 03:28 PM
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Default RE: How do you scout/hunt Big Woods?

Corn suree makes it easier

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Old 10-11-2007, 10:20 PM
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Location: Maine
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Default RE: How do you scout/hunt Big Woods?

Big woods hunting is very different especially in the Northern part of Maine. I also agree with the topos and arial photos most of the time but if your in Northern Maine there is not very good odds on getting a recent topo or arial photo. On the topo that doesnt really matter elevations, ridges, points and saddles will obviously still be the same but certain skidder trails wont be on it that are there now and old ones that are on it will be all grown up. Butyou can draw those in yourself so no big deal. You said there was some choppings.Hunt the breakline. Thats the edges where the chopping meets the woods. The deer will travel all around that chopping but may not enter it until night. Find and hunt food sources like mentioned and also bedding areas.Alsoyour cedar swamps are hot spots and lots of them are natural funnels.Your best bet and most successful way of hunting Big Woods is fresh snow. Pick up a good buck track and follow.You will learn a whole lot about the deer in the area as well. Where they go what they do etc. You can bag a monster this way. Oh and if you want recent arial photos of areas you can pay someone to take them and its not that expensive.
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Old 10-12-2007, 10:20 AM
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Location: jorden lake, NC
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Default RE: How do you scout/hunt Big Woods?

big ole pile ole corn should do the trick. set you a feeder up, place stands on both sides for wind changes. if you can bait that is..
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Old 10-12-2007, 12:16 PM
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Location: Camden,MO
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Default RE: How do you scout/hunt Big Woods?

The power line and ridges sound perfect. Especially during the rut. Those bucks will run the ridges and edges of the powerlines checking for hot does.
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Old 10-13-2007, 06:51 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Chetek, WI
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Default RE: How do you scout/hunt Big Woods?

Hm.... I see we all have our own ideas... Ill contribute my own.

1. Look for heavily used trails. Try and follow them, they may lead to their food and water supply. Set up your blind in a tree that is right next to the trail, let them come down, and start hurlin lead =P Or set up near their food or water supply. Although, dont trust every trail. Those ones may just be a very large herd moving through the area, and they may never use it again.

2. Look for places where trails and tracks are everywhere. When that occurs, the deer use it it move through different areas.

3. If you find scrapes/rubs, hunt that area, the big boys are hangin around,

4. Once you find a sufficient spot, place bait/corn/whatever they eat in the area. The deer will know that the food is there, and they will stay.

My 2 cents.
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Old 10-14-2007, 09:51 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Winnipeg, Mb, Canada
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Default RE: How do you scout/hunt Big Woods?

I know the exact difficulty that you are facing. For bow season I am working a couple a fields close to home (in assistance to a couple of elderly farmers that I know with deer problems eating their gardens/shrubs etc.) Right wind, right placement, like fish in the barrel. I've been patterning them out for the last couple of weeks and there's a group of 8-10 does followed by a bach. group of 6 bucks (2 small, couple/side, 3 nice 4x4's and a huge 5x5). I could have taken any one of thedeer (except the big boy) a number of times now but just holding out for the big boy. Hopefully this week I'll get it just right. I'm not saying this is easy hunting esp. trying to nail that big buck but it sure is less difficult when compared to the big woods hunting I do in the northern Manitoba interlake with ML and rifle. I've mentioned on this forum before (and somejust bocked), the ideaof keeping a hunting journal for the large big woods area. I've found that once you have located a good rub line, and or area of scrapes, that specific area will be used over and over year after year by thesame buck. Now I'm talking areas where these deer more than likely have had no to very little contact with humans. (Other than road hunters that I see crawl down the one logging road that disects the 30 sq. mile area, 5-6 road hunters a year just driving back and forth all day....I have seen 6 other hunters off the road and back in the bush in over 30 years of hunting this area). That's no pressure. I believe in the path of least resistance. Even though the woods are thick the big bucks always have escape corridors that are fairly open that they travel in and out of their thick daily hiding spots. The first thing I do is check my journals toremind myself of the areas of high sign over the last few years. I check these areas first and then move out from there. I then look for the corridors and try to determine the buck's safe area. I get close but not close enough to spook any holed up buck. Then to me it is up to the wind. I believe that when the buck leaves his safe spot (with out any pressure), he will more often than not start off directly into the wind.DoI have any scientific studies for this, no, just decades of watching, recording,and hunting this type of the area. I always bring a pair of garden pruning snips with me so that I can trim out a shooting lane or twowhen I am walking the woods. I'll set up east of the corridor that I am hunting in the morning and west of the corridor in the evening (using the sun) because the wind in almost 100 % of the time from the north. Travel the ridges when you are looking for these corridors. There are usually a trail or 2 that will lead in toa swampylow area or an area that is thick with willows andthick bush. Then find your north and try from there.This strat. has worked for me many times and I have harvested a number of excellent bucks. Is this system perfect? No, but I believe it increases my oppertunities. And though some might not agree, In the big woods where there is little pressure my journals have also increased my oppertunities.
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