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Your method for in-season scouting on public land

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Your method for in-season scouting on public land

Old 11-10-2011, 07:02 AM
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Nontypical Buck
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Default Your method for in-season scouting on public land

I didnít have much time to scout before the season this year (just busy with life, wife and kids!), and though I really liked one spot that I found, I need more than one for sure. I personally find scouting public land difficult, primarily because the hunting area is so large, even when compared to most large tracts of private land. There is just a ton of possible areas to cover, and itís not always easy to find the areas that the deer are using ďnow.Ē And of course, you donít know who is trekking in and out and ďdisruptingĒ things when you arenít there.

The other thing thatís difficult is that, during the season, I would never go into the woods to scout without a gun. But when Iím in the woods and on the ground with a gun, I canít just bring myself to tromp on through in order to find a good stand site, so I end up still hunting while looking. The problem with that is you simply donít cover much ground when you are still hunting. Maybe 100 yards every 2-3 hours.

So what do you do? How do you cover a large enough area that you are able find current sign and plan accordingly? Is it best to dedicate yourself to a scouting session and forget worrying about being busted by nearby deer?

Midwesterners, keep in mind that Iím talking about east coast woods here, where many times there are no significant topographic features you can spot from a satellite image or topographic map.
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:14 AM
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just go still hunting. see what ya can...definitely dont go on the weekends..go monday or so, most guys are at work, and it wouldnt disturb anyone.
on the otherhand, might as well go on the weekends, cause everyone is messin up everyone elses hunt anyways lol
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:24 AM
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LOL I do try to take off a few times during the week, and you're right, it's pretty dead. But (as long as you are up a tree), I think the busy times are good because the influx of people really causes the deer to get up and move.
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:41 AM
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If you need to find a good spot then just take your gun and go. It's public land, so it's not like you'll be disturbing your private land. I'm sure lots of people tromp through. Take your gun, in case you get lucky and see something, and dowhat you need to do.
My typical strategy for public land is to get farther in than most other people, and then let them move deer to me. Gun season can get crazy with deer movement on public land. If you sit still, deer will pass you.
-Jake
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:05 PM
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im just the opposite of the previous post.... the trouble with getting back in there farther than everyone else is thats wat everyone else is tryin to do too! Im sure that tactic works well also but ive found that hunting the very edges of a public land area are just as effective.
as far as scouting goes i think your just gunna have to do it, as stated before, go ahead and take your gun cause i promise way crazier things have happened in the deer woods haha.
you wont have to worry about spooking the deer out of an area because they are always getting spooked out of areas. You walking through on them is just another person they have to avoid that day.
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:46 PM
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Deep south,

I should have clarified more. It depends on the public land I'm on. If it is a smaller area, then you are right. The edges and smaller sections pay off. I almost got a nice 9 point doing just that in central Ohio last year. I set up in a brush row that was about 20 foot wide and only about 200 yards from the parking lot. The 9 point came right past me, unfortunately all I could see was rack and ears.
In the bigger areas, like it seems that he is talking about, I like to go way back in. Most guys are not willing to do the work if they were to get one that far back, so they don't even bother.
-Jake
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Old 11-10-2011, 03:14 PM
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Personally that's why I don't hunt public land. I would hate to have done my homework, set up a great location, got in pre-dawn and set up sat for 30 minutes to an hour in the dark waiting for shoot time, be smak in the middle of prime hunting times in a great spot only to have some Yahoo come strolling in scouting or otherwise and @#% up my whole morning.

I like to know who's where and I like them to know where I am when I hunt with onthers. All that said, I don't mean to be rude but you should have figured all this out durring the off season. If sunday hunting is still off limits where you hunt, then by all means, go out on a sunday and get your work done when when you won't have any chance of interfering with someone else.

Just my $.02 and I do not mean to offend you. Just sayin'...how would you feel about it if you were the other guy? Good luck either way.
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:04 PM
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I usually don't go until the third or forth day. I just can't get out to hunt. However, I find that the end of the first week and the second week works really well for me. I walk around when the sun is really hitting the slopes and catch a lot of deer up and moving around 9:00 to 11:00. I then eat lunch and take a nap in the woods until about 2:00 and start moving again. It is easier to spot deer that are up and moving than bedded deer. Look hundreds of yards ahead of yourself , if they have been shot at the deer will watching that far to. It sounds lame but it works well for me. I don't really still hunt, but I am moving slow and stop a lot to look around. Once the leaves are down noise is not that relevant. Unless you are in really thick stuff the deer will see you long before they hear you. Walking around hunting is the best way to scout public land. All that pre-season scouting is wasted after 10:00 in the morning on the first day.

Last edited by Gunplummer; 11-10-2011 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 11-11-2011, 05:44 AM
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We dont have the giant tracts of wooded ground but we do have some pretty good size areas of nothing but cattails, weeds and thickets where the deer can be anywhere.Even bowhunting I scout on the go most years.During the evening ill either take my bow into a promising looking area and find a good elevated are where I can see for aways or pack a stand in and get up a tree.Take some binocs with you and scout everything within sight, if I find deer moving through that area I will either relocate accordingly the next morning before light or wait and go back in the next night to where I seen the most movement.I move around a lot, Im constantly looking for different places to try and some years I very seldom hunt the same spot more than once or twice with the exception of my actual stands {I prefer hunting from the ground}.

Someone else touched on it but you dont always have to go deep into things to find the best deer.Some of my favorite spots ive found glassing areas from the road at daylight and dark.Everyone wants to get away from the roads and parking areas, a lotta times they walk right past great spots on thier way to the middle of nowhere.

Sucky part about scouting on the go is you burn up a lotta time looking, the fun part is when it comes together you never really expect it and it generally happens fast.
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:44 AM
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I go in there the day before I hunt and scout.
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