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off season scouting

Old 02-24-2014, 06:21 PM
  #21  
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I scout whenever I can get out. I live three hours from where I hunt to I really don't have the opportunity to over scout. I try and shed hunt two or three times int he spring and see new travel routes and decide where to hang new stands. Summer months are reserved for trimming and last minute stand sites. I believe that as long as you give your land ample time to rest before the season and don't go parading through the woods in September and October you should be fine. We have farmers out checking crops all the time, as long as your sticking to where they are deer won't be too alarmed. I do use a lot of trail cams to scout and only check them every 4 to 6 weeks. I'll check them right before I really start to spend time down there hunting and try to base stand sights by pictures and cross referencing winds the days the deer were on the cameras.
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:30 PM
  #22  
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To be more clear on my opinion

The point of scouting is function not fun IMO. I love to go walk in the woods but once I know what I need to know the best thing I can do is avoid screwing it up.

Ive got a couple spots I know hold mature bucks and I know they are nocturnal until the time is right. I know where the food is, and I know where the bed is. What I do from there is I wait until the time is right. My 3 biggest bucks were all taken the first time I hunted an area that year. Those bucks lived there because the were not disturbed.

I have areas that I scout more because I just can't help it and I have areas where I hunt more. Then I have areas I leave alone until the time is right. The areas I leave alone are the ones that produce mature deer

I killed two bucks this year and both of them were in areas I hadn't hunted or scouted because I already knew what I needed to know and I waited for the right opportunity.

Obviously it depends on your situation. If your competing with other hunters you have to be more aggressive or use what they are doing to your advantage.

Hunting pressure is another factor. I hunt private property but the pressure surrounding is immense. There are a lot of deer but they are very smart and a mature deer can and will easily be scouted right out of town.

My biggest buck I'm very confident had I been up in his house he would have been long gone.

I love to scout and I will be doing so looking for antlers soon. I will also do some stand work this month but then after that I won't step foot in certain areas until November.

I could scout again in Sept but then all I will find out is deer are in the area as the conditions and movement will change by the start of season in October. All I would have really done is satisfy my curiosity because I already know they are there and I already have stands located where they will more that likely be in Oct and November.

I don't need to go find the pinch points,funnels,beds, etc I already know where they are and if conditions change I make the adjustment on they fly which is likely something scouting in the summer wouldn't have prepared me for anyway.

Now obviously its all moot if your always hunting different ground all the time or public ground.
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:20 AM
  #23  
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Here in western N.Y.we'll be lucky to get out by end of April or May.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:05 AM
  #24  
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Rock, part of what your saying is why I like to scout immediately after the season. Especially if one hunts public land, which I hunt a lot of.

Some of the areas I hunt early are very high pressure areas. Often in my area after the season ends we get clippers that blow threw giving a us fresh dusting of snow. By scouting after the season it shows me what the deer are doing when pressured. Of course I'm scouting for next year. Also, if I drive a buck out of his area at that point it doesn't matter. Chances are fair, that he or another nice buck will be in that area next year as for the most part territories are traditional if no big changes have happened throughout the year.

People tell me that I can't find scrape trails at that time of year because the scrapes are covered up. I say if you know what else to look for you can find those scrape trails, but it took me a lot of time and study to figure out how to do that. You can't learn how to do that if you don't get out there too learn it.

Scouting at that time of year also takes care of the September issue you mentioned... You don't have get out there in September because your work is already done.

As a caveat I'll say that this may be a regional scouting technique. It's also a technique that I use primarily to scout for our rifle season. Some of what I learn at this time, such as where the scrape trails are, would help during our bow season, but no doubt I would have to learn some additional scouting tactics were I to take up our early bow season. A lot changes occur in my area between mid September, and late November.

When it comes to scouting we're all going to make mistakes. But you have to put in the time, and work to learn what works, and what doesn't in any given area. You can actually learn a lot from books, and other publications, but you also have to put in your time out in field.
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:01 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Lunkerdog
Rock, part of what your saying is why I like to scout immediately after the season. Especially if one hunts public land, which I hunt a lot of.

Some of the areas I hunt early are very high pressure areas. Often in my area after the season ends we get clippers that blow threw giving a us fresh dusting of snow. By scouting after the season it shows me what the deer are doing when pressured. Of course I'm scouting for next year. Also, if I drive a buck out of his area at that point it doesn't matter. Chances are fair, that he or another nice buck will be in that area next year as for the most part territories are traditional if no big changes have happened throughout the year.

People tell me that I can't find scrape trails at that time of year because the scrapes are covered up. I say if you know what else to look for you can find those scrape trails, but it took me a lot of time and study to figure out how to do that. You can't learn how to do that if you don't get out there too learn it.

Scouting at that time of year also takes care of the September issue you mentioned... You don't have get out there in September because your work is already done.

As a caveat I'll say that this may be a regional scouting technique. It's also a technique that I use primarily to scout for our rifle season. Some of what I learn at this time, such as where the scrape trails are, would help during our bow season, but no doubt I would have to learn some additional scouting tactics were I to take up our early bow season. A lot changes occur in my area between mid September, and late November.

When it comes to scouting we're all going to make mistakes. But you have to put in the time, and work to learn what works, and what doesn't in any given area. You can actually learn a lot from books, and other publications, but you also have to put in your time out in field.
Almost like clockwork I kill the big boys where I didn't put in any time. That is how I have learned to scout less of course I put in hundreds of hours on stand watching deer and learning. I hunt terrain signs more than anything. I look at a map to see the terrain,mark my spots and I go see them in person then I hunt the spots that looked good in person. Because I'm hunting terrain I don't need to scout most of it again because it really never changes.

For example Ive got one spot where the hill side coming up out of the hollow is rolling hills with one flat slope coming up out of the hollow. The deer will be there. I don't need to go look.

Ive got another spot where a steep bank creek winds in to a steep hillside.... The deer travel through the pinch I don't need to go look.

I don't hunt scrapes and rubs etc. I hunt terrain. If I hunt scrapes and rubs etc. I see 1 and 2 year old bucks in the daylight. Finding that stuff just doesn't tell me what I need to know. It just tells me bucks are there but I already know that. I need to know where he is going to be on his feet in the day light and most of the time in my experience scrapes and rubs are not a very good indication of that specially in a high pressure situation. Even deer trails don't work for me as far as killing mature Bucks. I kill lots of does on heavy trails but Ive never killed a big bruiser buck on a heavy deer trail.

Even the 2 year old bucks follow terrain. I sat in one of my "doe stands" probably 10 mornings last year and like clock work the doe came right down the heavy trail out of the feeding area right at daybreak and the bucks veered off and followed the terrain right down the hill to a flat leading into the hollow. I seen probably at least 10 different bucks follow that same terrain with no rubs,no scrapes,no trail,no nothing. The rubs and scrapes were all up around my stand and the heavy doe trail but not one buck visited in the daylight while I was there.

Because I hunt this way scouting just doesn't help me outside of finding my terrain initially and keeping my stands maintained.

After antler season I'll be mushroom hunting just down the road from the house on public no firearm ground then I will be headed to the lake for some crappie and catfish with a few trips to southern MO for some trout fishing.

Last edited by rockport; 02-26-2014 at 11:06 AM.
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