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Anyone good at reading topo?

Old 06-08-2013, 10:25 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,186

The topo appears to be drawn in increments of 20' elevation lines. Looks like 1200-1220 is about the max elevation.

As already stated the "closer" these lines are to one another, the steeper the incline. Deer often use a ledge lijke trail about 1/2 way down these steeper drop offs to ease between bedding and feeding areas. Down this way, for whatever reason, deer will habitually travel almost dead center of a dropping off ridge, heading to/from the ledge's point.

I would agree with the comments about what appears to be a utility ROW, the location of ag felds, ponds, creeks etc.

What I cannot tell is are the woods filled with acorn bearing oaks? Are there areas of good browse along the edges such as honey suckle? All of this sort of information you will discover during scouting. I'd be looking for creek crossings. As pointed out it appears to be a few naturally occuring funnels due to the topography. Might be the best place to start looking for evidence of frequent travel. If you have not hunted this area much, be on the lookout for small trees scarred with 1-3-year old rubs, because this might be an indication of traditional territorial marking patterns.

Good luck and hope this helped.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:00 AM
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Sounds like to me that the deer are pressured there. I draw this conclusion from no noticeable trails coming out and crossing the line. Deer here at least will scatter where crossing openings if they have been pressured very much in the past. I would follow the line while in the woods roughly 20 to 30 yards. This should allow you to find the trails they use before crossing the line. Also almost due south of your marker/cabin is a place the looks like saplings or small shrubs growing across the line?? If that is the case deer will try crossing there where they can receive some cover from the opening.

Now I am looking southeast of your marker/cabin and it looks like a skidder trail running towards a field? If so they make great trails to watch for deer traveling. Skidder trails or logging trails make great deer trails if you can spend the time setting and watching them.
Good Luck on your scouting.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:39 AM
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Thanks. As far as pressure it doesn't really get any during bow season. They gun hunt the heck out of it and have gotten very nice bucks but nobody hunts bow around there. M father n law has been there 30 years but never bow hunts so not sure what's up. I'll check power line again. I did notice as I walked up power line about 30-40 from top of ridge it flattened out for a minute. Like a shelf on the power line. Would that be a good spot to check the wood line for entry and exit trails?
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:47 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: NE Kansas
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Originally Posted by chopper29
I've walked the power line and its hard to believe but no used trails I could really see. I'd think they cross though because its a large tract of woods on other side of it as well. I'm gonna put a couple cameras there to see what's shakin
That spot will pay off eventually.

That shelf you mention earlier might make a good funnel. See if you can figure out if it forces deer to move in a certain direction and set up an ambush.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:47 AM
Giant Nontypical
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I'd take the time if you have it and walk the entire piece of property. You'll find what you're looking for with a little boot leather and patience!
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:31 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: North Idaho
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Originally Posted by Topgun 3006
I'd take the time if you have it and walk the entire piece of property. You'll find what you're looking for with a little boot leather and patience!
This...theres got to be some trails going to the water...follow them back and find your self a good spot to ambush them with a bow.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:03 AM
Giant Nontypical
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I look at all maps available, topo, ariel, whatever, come up with a plan based on travel and food supplies. Google maps/earth often go around the area and often you may see where other hunters park and enter, good if your new to the area.

After that and searching hunting web sites related to the area for any info hunters give out (typically hunters can't shut up about a place ) I then make a scouting trip, off season and early before it gets thick with a gps in hand that already has possible spots imported to it. Ispend a day following trails entering new way points along the way and making notes of how to hunt it (what kind of shots I think will have to be made).

With this info I return to the puter and build a map using mapping software. With this map I can return years later, early in the morning, go to a selected spot and be effective. First time in is always the best. One of my software's allows for pictures to be added. I know what I'm looking for and what I'll see when the sun comes up.

With the info acquired setting a few stands right about now will get me going. I say a few because once hunting guess's will either be confirmed or denied and adjustments made accordingly. I don't expect season one to produce much and am happy with taking anything. By season 4 though it's a whole different ball game. I know what I need to do and how to do it, stands are set and every hunt is productive in some way. Be patient and spend the time up front being smart, don't stink up the place, don't shoot your mouth off about it, and do your best not to educate the game.
I never scout like I hunt, if I spook game I want them to be looking for what spooked them when I hunt and not what I am when I hunt, it works. When I hunt animals hardly ever know I'm there, when I scout they see me coming from 100+ yrds. away. I even take a leaf blower along and clear paths to stands so that when I enter to hunt I'm silent and they are looking for that crazy blower. Deer also like clean ground because it means food has been uncovered.

Another trick you can use if you can't hunt where they travel is to drop trees that direct them past you. They look for the easy path, you just have to give it to them and not spook them when they do.
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Old 06-10-2013, 02:09 PM
Fork Horn
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Originally Posted by Psylocide
Great explanation Forkhorn.
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:37 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: NE Kansas
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Originally Posted by OpticsCamp
thanks, guys!
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Old 06-15-2013, 04:51 PM
Typical Buck
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Location: Helenville WI USA
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Hilly terrain is really pretty easy to read and predict deer once you understand it. I produced a major DVD called "Hill country" Deer bed on the points over looking the valleys, mature bucks prefer to have the wind comeing from above and behind them and bed right where the daytime thermal up draft connects with the wind "the thermal tunnal"... In the picture I posted mature buck bedding is most likely in the spots I marked.
Red dots= West wind bedding
Yellow= North
Blue = East
Pink = South

Purple spots are some likely hunting spots...
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