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A good problem to have...what would YOU do?

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A good problem to have...what would YOU do?

Old 09-20-2012, 05:06 AM
  #1  
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Default A good problem to have...what would YOU do?

Hey guys. New to this forum, but not at all new to hunting. I live in upstate NY. Anyway, I'm looking for some advice. A couple months ago, my dad decided he was looking for a change of pace career wise, and took a job as a caretaker for an estate. This property is 600 acres, and we have sole hunting rights. The owner lives in NYC and only visits the mansion a couple times a year, and "doesn't have time" to hunt. So with the season fast approaching, I've been scouting it when I can get out there (I live an hour away), and so has he. Trails cameras have been placed and we've started to put together a few pieces, but this puzzle is far from complete (and let's face it, this is hunting...it's never complete).

Some background on the property. 600 acres, about 85% wooded. Lots of beech and ash with some grown in fields. Quite hilly in some spots, with lots of logging roads running through it. Large open field on top, connected to a large swamp. A couple small ponds on the property. I've hung some stands in good looking funnels and know for a fact that I will be putting my climber to good use. But what would you do? How would you go about hunting a new property on relatively short notice. We haven't had the opportunity to establish food plots and don't want to disturb the woods too much, trying to scout it this close to the season. It's been a long time since I've had to figure out new property like this, aside from state land. Thanks guys!

-Zach
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:33 AM
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Just get in there and hunt it as much as you can. Spend time in the stand and you'll learn. At this point I do a lot of small game hunting. Do that while you scout. 600 acres is a good sized chunk of land, you won't learn it all right away. But just get out in the woods and you'll figure out the spots in time. Use google earth, thats a big help for me.
-Jake
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:06 AM
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If it were me, I'd get a gps, a few sandwiches, some water and hunt dark to dark if you can. I'd go a few times with the objective of covering ground, noting things like funnels, feed, sign, etc. I'd take stands periodically based on fresh sign say for up to an hour, but I'd move more than stand.

During these first hunts if you put a guy on stand in a spot that your planned route may bump a deer to, that can work real well.

Once I had a good feel for the land and the deer movements, I'd set a few stands. If you and your dad both sit stands for a couple hours and at a predetermined time one guy to moves to the other guy, this can often get deer moving toward the remaining stander. Then you can move to a new stand, and often bump deer back to the stander you just left. Musical stands if you will.

You have nearly a square mile, have fun with it.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:15 AM
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+1 for Google Earth. Zoom in as much as you can and get a good idea of the geography. Google Earth is nice when you are dealing with a property that is far away. I've used this method to help on very large stretches of State Forrest land here in PA. It will give you good starting points and then you can learn more once you are able to get boots on the ground and move around in it. It's also nice because you can see actual elevation changes when you move the map around. For me this is easier than looking at a topo map. Use this to find the nice pinch points near water sources and go from there.

Good luck. Doing almost 95% of my hunting on public land, I'd love to have this problem to deal with.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by HighUpHunter View Post
Hey guys. New to this forum, but not at all new to hunting. I live in upstate NY. Anyway, I'm looking for some advice. A couple months ago, my dad decided he was looking for a change of pace career wise, and took a job as a caretaker for an estate. This property is 600 acres, and we have sole hunting rights. The owner lives in NYC and only visits the mansion a couple times a year, and "doesn't have time" to hunt. So with the season fast approaching, I've been scouting it when I can get out there (I live an hour away), and so has he. Trails cameras have been placed and we've started to put together a few pieces, but this puzzle is far from complete (and let's face it, this is hunting...it's never complete).

Some background on the property. 600 acres, about 85% wooded. Lots of beech and ash with some grown in fields. Quite hilly in some spots, with lots of logging roads running through it. Large open field on top, connected to a large swamp. A couple small ponds on the property. I've hung some stands in good looking funnels and know for a fact that I will be putting my climber to good use. But what would you do? How would you go about hunting a new property on relatively short notice. We haven't had the opportunity to establish food plots and don't want to disturb the woods too much, trying to scout it this close to the season. It's been a long time since I've had to figure out new property like this, aside from state land. Thanks guys!

-Zach
Zach,

I would eliminate all of the consistent habitat areas. For example similar hardwoods, similar swamp, similar field areas...basically shade out all of those areas on the map...EXCEPT the habitat changes. For example where a mature hardwoods transitions into a swamp at the base of a ridge. Add in a water source, pond, creek etc. and you have 4 habitat changes coming together in 1.

Concentrate on areas away from the roads...and hone keep your focus on the most remote areas.

I bet you can eliminate 90% of that 600 acres. And that's the key...eliminate those large similar habitat type areas...and ignore them. Stay focused on those changes.

Then, when you have those changes, highlight them, all. Look for Xs or Ts of habitat change lines...hunt those and hunt those areas for good access for yourself and for downwind stand locations. Also, focus on stems per acre for the better bedding areas...especially raised islands of daytime security cover surrounded by high stem counts of low bush, hardwood regen, early successional growth...etc.

Good luck...Sounds fun, but don't get to bogged down in the details. The details will kill you
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:58 PM
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Google Earth is THE greatest tool for deer hunters since the nitrogen filled scope! Before the internet I lived and died by aerial photo's, but they were always of questionable resolution and certainly weren't updated very often. I have 2 P&Y 8pts & a 154" 14ptr gunkill that I killed DIRECTLY because of spots that I picked via topo and aerial maps on a farm I used to hunt in southern MO several years ago.

Using "overhead views" can save you literally YEARS of boot leather, sweat and time. They also let you know EXACTLY how the lay of the land is and how everything relates and exact position to other areas. You might "think you know" that a certain trail, or ridge or spot or whatever is a certain direction away from your current spot but many times you might be off slightly... especially if the distance is 1/4-1/2 mile or more apart!

A HUGE, MONSTROUS, AMAZING tool I've come to REALLY swear by is the Google Maps app. on my Droid phone. NOTHING beats holding an aerial map in your hands while standing ON the property and having that gps precision. OHHHH if I would've had this technology back several years ago on other properties I hunted in other states!

Walking on the ground with "live action, birds eye view" capability in your hands at the same time is dang near like cheatin!
HL

ps
First thing I'd do is look for saddles in those ridges (via topo maps) and ESPECIALLY saddles where 2 or more ridges connect, then go check those out. Deer in hilly, ridge dependent terrain are ALOT easier to hunt and predict than deer on featureless, flat sections of land. Imagine the ridges are roads and you are trying to intercept the cars/deer. In this case, large intersections (the saddles) are obviously where you'll have the most traffic confined to one central area. A good funnel like the multi-ridged saddle will be a great spot FOREVER, you'll be able to hunt them year after year after year because they are essentially choke points. Some deer travel ridge tops, some travel parallel in the middle between the top and bottom and yes I've even seen some deer travel the bottom (hollows) of the ridges but REGARDLESS which they travel, they MUST come through those saddles! Consider the ridges like spokes on a wheel, the hub is the one common place and THAT'S where you want to be. The deeper back in the woods and the more ridges that "hub" has the BETTER spot it's going to be.

Last edited by HatchieLuvr; 09-20-2012 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:57 PM
  #7  
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Welcome to the forum Zach.
Well you should have plenty time to do some in season scouting with the extended season this year!
You got a bunch of good suggestions, but a tract that size can't be easily figured out without putting the boots to it! Sounds like your dad hooked you up!
Good luck
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:23 PM
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When I read the title of this thread I was hoping highup was dating twins and the sister wanted you too!

Guess only that's only happened to me.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:19 PM
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Thanks guys. Lots of great information. I actually use Google Earth all the time, as well as Bing Maps. Combined with topo maps, I've been able to successfully plan and execute public land hunts. Trying to apply this same knowledge to this new area as well, and it's always nice to get perspective from others. I love the Google Maps app on my Android as well.

We've had a couple of different leases over the years, but both were considerably smaller than this. That being said, both had similar characteristics to this property. This property really came as a blessing. The farm I grew up hunting, which my dad had been hunting for 25 years, was leased this year. Went and pulled my stands and went to work figuring this property out. I have tons of hang ons and ladder stands, and a few blinds, but the climber will be getting the most use this year as we go to work exploring and having fun. Once I start to figure out an area, I'll put a stand up. Now it will just depend on the wind and my schedule.

-Zach
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:23 PM
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If allowed in Your State I would put out some salt and mineral licks around there and scout for some open area's where You can start putting out food plots....we usually disc up a few spots this time of the year and later so the rain and snow wears the area's down and then we disc and plant those spots in the spring time.

Personally I like to walk and scout an area I'm going to hunt just to get a down to earth feel for all the different terrains and potential spots/area's to Hunt on and change it up little.I would also look for any new and old Rubs lines and fresh scrapes to see where the Deer travel.Have fun and enjoy Your new Hunting Spot!

Last edited by GTOHunter; 09-20-2012 at 07:31 PM.
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