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deer hunting in mountain laurel

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deer hunting in mountain laurel

Old 11-13-2012, 11:44 AM
Fork Horn
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Default deer hunting in mountain laurel

does anybody have any tips on hunting in thick mountain laurel and swamps? im hunting in massachusetts with lots of laurel. im finding out that there feeding in the clearcuts at night then going to thcik laurel during the day. will deer bed in the laurel? i have swamps that are in the high contry with the laurel, will they go to this? any input would be greatly appreciated. should i hunt the edges of swamps and laurel etc. this is my first year in this mountain laurel country. ive gotten some big deer on camera in the cuts at night but nothing during day. i dont want to give up just yet.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:33 AM
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Location: Southern New Hampshire
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I could literally write a book on hunting in mountain laurel but I'll try not to do this here. For New England, this cover is possibly the best there is however, it can be very difficult to hunt from the ground. My approach is to seek out where I feel would be the main bedding area based on the sign, especially for doe's. I like to cut my own trails through it, which allows the deer an easy pathway preferably cutting past any large oak trees and they will definitly use them. I have even taken the time to cut two to three trails that intersect one another once I have determined my stand placement. I will also cut a trail from the opposite direction directly downwind to the stand from where I will be entering from removing any and all debris that could possibly give me away if stepped on and then rake it down to the topsoil. This allows for a quite sneak into my stands in the dark before first light and allows me to determine the deer movement based on their tracks in the soil. It's important to have your stands high (25') above the canopy to give you the best visual of the area. This allows for me to see any deer long before they see me when they finally do get up to feed. You may notice that during the rut any active buck in the area will typically make his scrapes just outside the laurel area on a natural run and I like to key in on a position near by. Not to close as bucks tend to bed close by their scrapes during daylight hours checking them periodically throughout the day. This is when I typically will catch them. I also don't use any scents as I feel this puts "mature bucks" on alarm which can reduces my chances. The main key is to make sure my stands are high over the human scent column facing a N – NW wind. Of course this is all done long before the hunting season even begins to allow the deer time to get use to their new enviorment. It can be done during the season with just a short trail directly to your stand but is more effective if done before hand with some thought. Good plan for next season if you feel it's worth the time.

This is some of how I hunt it and have been very successful, others here may have a different approach.

Good luck!

Last edited by 7MMXBOLT; 11-14-2012 at 05:23 AM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:08 AM
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7MM definitely gives great advice. But I'm guessing that if you are asking this question just now that you do not have time to do all of that prep work. So, you need two things to make this work. You need to find where the deer are travelling at, and you need to be able to see ( not easy in this stuff). First find some decent trails that are being used. Then find a way to get a shot off in these areas. Use a tree stand, sit on the ground and cut shooting lanes, use the natural elevation if there is any. Someway find a way to see. Once you are where the deer are moving, and you can see to get a shot off, then you will need to simply wait. Remember your scent control, watch the wind.
Another effective way if you have multiple people is to push these areas out.
good luck
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:55 PM
Fork Horn
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thank you 7mm. u could of wriiten a book. i really like this area. and dont want to give up. there is some big deer in this laurell
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Old 10-20-2013, 03:31 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Sep 2010
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I just found a new state park, and the ranger told me the deer are in the thick mountain laurel. He drew me a map, I did some scouting. The entire woods are just thick laurel, and other low bushes. It's so thick in there, maybe 20-30 yard visibility at most.

I'm a ground hunter in big open woods, and not even sure how to deal with this thick stuff. The visibility is a major limit, and I think it's going to hurt my chances of seeing anything in there.
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Old 10-20-2013, 03:43 AM
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once the rut kicks in, the bucks will skirt the edges of the clear cuts looking for receptive does, find a spot where several trails intersect at the edge of a clearcut and hang a stand, find the staging area and spend a lot of time in the stand.
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