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snow and how to use it

Old 11-13-2018, 01:21 PM
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Spike
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Default snow and how to use it

Since we might be getting some snow soon in the northeast, I was wondering what the best way is to use it for deer. Simply follow the tracks? I've never tried to track a deer before. Any tips?
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Old 11-13-2018, 06:53 PM
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A classic way is to get out at first light after a nighttime snow fall. Stillhunt and try to get on a good, fresh set of tracks. You should read up on judging tracks) but one rule of thumb is that a big buck's footprint is large enough to lay a 30-06 shell across it. Follow the trail in a stillhunt and keep looking ahead to see if you can spot him, especially when you can see the tracks at a distance. If you can parallel the trail, that's good, as a buck often checks his back trail and that way you aren't directly on it. Carefully scan downed trees and other cover where the big boy might have bedded down (Binoculars are excellent for this). Be very alert if the trail starts leading to the end of a ridge, a slope, cedar trees, etc. There'a good chance he's bedded there. Bucks also like to bed on slopes. If you find yourself creeping lengthwise on a ridge, try to stay off the crest, rather stay on the slope so you aren't silhouetted against the sky. In any case, he'll often situate himself to get the wind at is back so he can use his nose to tell what's behind him and his eyes will tell him what's front

Remember, if he sees or hears or smells you first, it's usually game over. You have to go slow. Stillhunters have an old adage: never to take a step bigger than your boot. Pause a lot and be looking into cover, especially if you have reason to think he might have gone in it or toward it.
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Old 11-13-2018, 07:38 PM
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Father forkhorn gave some very good advice.

This is one if the reasons I like hunting the big public lands instead of the small private chunks, even though I may have better luck in small wood blocks.

The best advice I can give you is go slow, and learn as you go. Every track is a learning experience .I love still hunting, and theres nothing better than a fresh snow to cut a track in.

Go slow, always looking ahead. Learn what the deer like to do and you can begin trying to guess ahead.

I can't say it enough. Go slow

i think this is a dying skill among most hunters for two reasons. Land access is one of them. Some of these trails will lead you on several miles of distance throughout a day. You have to have a big chunk of land to do that. The other is most eastern hunters spend most of their time in tree stands now it seems.

There is nothing more rewarding to me than shooting a tracked deer in it's bed, when it never even knows your there. I've done that several times with a rifle and once with a bow. I hope to do it with a recurve bow one of these days as well.
​​​​​​ Good luck and good tracking.


-Jake
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Old 11-13-2018, 08:28 PM
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Here's a couple you tube videos that shows some good tracking. This first video shows the challenges it can bring as the guy tracks two different bucks over two days . Bumps then multiple times and even misses his first shot. But he stuck with it by keeping on the track. Circling around a Chunk of private land and picking up the track again and finally is able to get one of the bucks.
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​https://youtu.be/oB2_YXeY_9I

This second video shows how quickly it can come together for a new tracker in the South hunting in snow for the first time.

https://youtu.be/Zb9NNu6AQss

This third video shows how a big track can be deceiving. They manage to get up close onto the little fat buck though and have a few good tips in there as well.

https://youtu.be/C8cPQZqud1Q

there are lots of articles and videos online of tracking deer. As well as some books that your local library probably either has, or can get on interlibrary loan: "the deer trackers" and "on the track" by Richard bernier... He also has a you tube video that's like an hour and a half long on tracking. I haven't watched it, but there is probably some good stuff there.

"How to bag the biggest buck of your life" by Larry Benoit and " Benoit bucks" and " big bucks the benoit way" by Bryce towsley are also very good.

That gives you some info to get started. Nothing will beat boots in the snow on a track though .

Did I mention to go slow?
-Jake
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:32 PM
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Spike
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Awesome advice, many thanks. Looking forward to getting on some tracks.
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:53 AM
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In a soft snow 4" inches or less...a buck will drag his feet while walking, while a doe will not. A buck's track will meander from side to side a little bit, while a doe tends to walk in a straight line.
Of course...a bigger deer snow bed is a sign of a mature deer. If you see a fresh deer track turn off, in say, a (90 degrees or more) in a direction from the way it was heading and circling back a little bit --- it might be a sign that the deer is preparing to bed down, so that he can watch his backtrack for predators.

Not to mention: A bigger deer dropping is a sign of a large deer.

If you see frost in the deer track --- It is a sign of an older track.

Last edited by Erno86; 11-15-2018 at 10:39 AM. Reason: added a sentence
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Old 11-15-2018, 10:56 AM
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Special thanks to Bocajnala:



Last edited by Erno86; 11-15-2018 at 10:59 AM. Reason: link work
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