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Hunting thick cover.

Old 10-16-2019, 03:48 PM
  #11  
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yeah, in my opinion and from what I hear from most of the guys I hunt with,
theres a different and in most guys opinion a bit more rewarding sense of accomplishment
when you use a handgun with open sights to get up close and drop game.
Ive used a 357 mag revolver dozens of times, it works just fine , a 357 mag revolver with a safe but
a stiff load of h110 and a gas check, 158-170 grain hard cast bullet in the vitals is very effective,
that being stated a 357 mag is certainly lethal in practiced hands ,
but Ive had more well hit deer run a short distance once hit with a 357 mag than with a 44 mag revolver
either is lethal, yet it occasionally takes a few seconds for the deer to realize the resulting internal damage
so it may run a short distance before the obvious damage manifests itself in loss of mobility in the deer.

Last edited by hardcastonly; 10-16-2019 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:14 PM
  #12  
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Fyrstyk54, I remember the first time I stalked through laurels in Virginia, and it immediately occurred to me that even at 4x, my optic was way overpowered. I ended up missing a doe at nearly point-blank range (later got a 60-yard shot at a bedded 10-point buck, which ultimately worked out nicely).
Were it not for the fact that laurels are not the entirety of the habitat where I hunt, I would immediately see a .44 Magnum with a long barrel (or a short-barreled rifled slug gun) as the best option. But quality .44s seem to be expensive for just a "backup gun." One's got to be determined to use it as a primary weapon to make the investment.
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Old 10-21-2019, 04:59 AM
  #13  
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Younggun308: I have a 2X scope on my Freedom Arms 353 (357 mag) that I hunt the laurels with. Just enough magnification to pick a hole in the laurel to thread a bullet through. Most of my shots are in the 10-35 yard range. Can't see much farther than that in that stuff.
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Old 10-21-2019, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by BTaxidermy View Post
I’ve recently acquired a hunting farm that is mostly crop but has 3-4 acres of grown-up field surrounded by fence rows that the deer really use for bedding. Any suggestions on how to hunt it?
I usually try to figure out where they sleep and where they feed and try to set up somewhere between the two. I avoid getting too close to bedding areas. Deer react in a few ways to trespassers, they panic and bolt, they move slowly keeping a distance and cover between them and you or they hide in place. IMO successfully hunting Deer is learning their habits, running them out of there bedding area is a one-shot deal. They may return or the may move on and find another.

I occasionally come upon a Deer or Hog sleeping, usually not in their preferred bedding area. The outcome is usually an explosion of movement and a fraction of a second shot chance. I usually don't see them until close and they move. I don't see shape nearly as well as I see movement. More often they sense me coming and keep cover and distance between me any them as they move out of their bedding area. Most bedding areas have a back door.

A good pair of binoculars helps, many times I've noticed an ear twitch or a tail-flick before I was able to pick out the whole deer.

Changing from naked eye or binoculars to rifle scope is a learned skill, though I have to admit I seem better at it than most. Some of it is hand-eye coordination, some learned.

I have two-three firearms I use for thick brush or young Birch forest, One is a slug gun with a holo sight, one is an autoloader 35 Remington with a fixed 6X scope and the last is my combo rifle shotgun with a fixed 4X scope. The holo sight is by far the quickest, but I really don't have much trouble with the other two 4X or 6X. I rarely to never shoot any Deer until I've studied it a little.
I hunt a lease and hunt it for years, decades. Part of what I do is try and improve the Deer population not deplete it over a period of years. I try to improve the herd. I keep the best Doe around and cull inferior Buck. The only bragging rights I really care about is having big beautiful healthy breeding Doe on my lease. I have one Doe on the lease now that is bigger than most Buck, ginger red and has unusually long legs, a really beautiful creature. I make deals with the surrounding leaseholders to leave her alone. I don't shoot their trophy bucks if they wander onto my lease.

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Old 10-21-2019, 08:30 AM
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Two tactics I've used in the thick brush is to cut a lane through the brush. A winner in two ways, the really good bucks, those that have lived through multiple hunting seasons, rarely break cover in daylight. They are more apt to daylight feed-in a cleared lane than in the open. And the cleared lane grows grasses and young growth they prefer as forage.

Another is to cut a clearing in the middle of a high brush plot and put up a high seat overlooking it. Works for Deer or Hogs. And a good spot to put up a feeder, salt lick or ground bait. The wise older Deer prefer the cover. Something you really have to do months in advance of hunting season.
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Old 10-21-2019, 09:16 AM
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most of the guys I hunt with in the thicker brush here in florida prefer a shorter barrel shotgun
Ithaca and H&K and remington all have local proponents
carbines in various handgun calibers and cartridges like the 30/30, 35 rem have a strong following
Ive used a over/under browning 12 ga an Ithaca semi auto 10 ga,and a revolver in 357 mag or 44 mag on many hunts and certainly a marlin 44 mag lever gun if I hunt where shots over 50 yards are occasionally seen, you certainly won,t need masive power even a 357 mag revolver works, but I like to try different tools to see how they work out.
now keep in mind, the ranges where we hunt in florida seldom exceed 40 yards and 50 yards is a rare long shot, most shots are taken at under 40 yards , in very thick brush.
the pictures below are more open areas but might give you some ideas,
killing deer is easy enough, its getting in close enough to do the job un-detected thats a bit more difficult.





Last edited by hardcastonly; 10-21-2019 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 10-21-2019, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Fyrstyk54 View Post
Most of my shots are in the 10-35 yard range. Can't see much farther than that in that stuff.
It's thick, and looking any distance at all is like piecing together a puzzle.
Might I ask, how do you move through areas like that? Seems the deer love to bed on the edge of that stuff, at least during the day. I always wonder if sound gets dampened or even louder under those canopies. Last deer I shot my dad and I had taken a breather under some laurel after scaling a ridge, and about 10-15 minutes later we got up to move along the edge and the deer just bolted downhill from the laurel, stopped, and offered a shoulder shot. I wonder whether I'd seen others had we moved a little deeper into the laurels.

Where I hunt there's a lot of bears that bed in the laurels at the highest elevations, but deer seem to favor the border area between laurels and deep woods, or even little islands of laurel.
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Old 10-22-2019, 03:40 AM
  #18  
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moving through the brush without alarming the game is a learned skill,
first you can,t beat the deers nose so that forces you to hunt with the wind flowing toward you
or no more than 45 degrees or so from strait toward you,
next remember the

heres a few tips in no particular order

(1) watch the wind, your scent will flow down wind far faster than you can still hunt thus you need to keep any breezes in your face,
carry a small can of unscented talc powder to check wind , just drop a puff of powder and watch the wind move it

(2)learn to shoot skeet, it comes in handy when you need to react and shoot a fast moving game

(3) wash your clothes with non-scented detergent without color brightners and add a couple table spoons of baking soda to a large trash bag , and maybe a couple handsful of pine needles,
store the clean clothes in the trash bag
Ideally, change into those camo clothes as close to the hunt area as you can so you have less potential to pick up non-woodland odors like food and smoke and fuel

(4)if theres any decent trees use a tree stand thats at least 20-25 feet tall as it tends to disperse scent above the game
once up in a tree stand be patient, it may take your observing for several hours a day for several days, before you see game
if you don,t see game in three days change locations by at least several hundred yards.

(5) if still hunting, walk in an irregular pattern, take 5-6 steps stop, for 1-2 minutes minimum,
4-5 minutes is better, look over 360 degrees and try to stop near brush that breaks up your outline
take notes and use a map to sketch out game trail locations, food plots, bedding areas,
stay alert, learn the topography of the area
if you start aimlessly walking around, plodding step after step... not being observant,
game will detect and avoid your area, and you very quickly

(6)sight in your rifle to hit a inch or two high at 100 yards

(7) a lower power scope in the 2,5X -4x range with a 40mm-50mm front lens and heavy cross hairs helps in lower light and tends to increase your odds of seeing game.

(8) try to keep your arrival in the area quiet, slamming car doors, radios,playing , flashing head lights ,on, engines idling, loud talking is counter productive.

(9) never piss anywhere near your tree stand

(10) carry anything you need in a backpack, ideally in several larger zip-loc bags to limit odors
many things you never thought of like a leather knife sheath , rain ponchos,and foods, retain odors

(11)try to get into decent physical shape, you will not be dragging out game if you have a heart attack under the physical stress.
your not trying to look over the whole area, your trying to find game, slow down and be observant watch the wind and be aware of everything around you in all 360 degrees
you need to see game before it sees you, that won,t happen if your strolling aimlessly through the area like a human in a shopping mall.

(12) don,t expect even well hit game to drop instantly, when hit!
follow up on every shot you take, its very common for even well hit game to travel 20-60 yards after a bullet impact to the vitals
even a 10 ga slug through both lungs won,t always instantly drop game in its tracks every time.

read this thread
https://www.huntingnet.com/forum/whi...xperience.html

one of the big parts is reason number (1) and number (5) you won,t sound like a human,
humans just plow through, deer are in no hurry, if you move through brush like that.
(a couple yards , stop and observe, wait several minutes... repeat ) you don,t sound like a hunter)


if you get frustrated or have little patients see number (4) (this is usually much more productive


a couple of drops of cover scent on your boot toes and soles may give you a couple extra seconds to shoot as the game might hesitate to identify you
but most people just don,t have the patients to still hunt correctly, if you plow through brush trying to cover distance, the game instantly recognizes the sound as danger


https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/tinks-10-skunk-scent

Last edited by hardcastonly; 10-22-2019 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 10-22-2019, 05:44 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by younggun308 View Post
It's thick, and looking any distance at all is like piecing together a puzzle.
Might I ask, how do you move through areas like that? Seems the deer love to bed on the edge of that stuff, at least during the day. I always wonder if sound gets dampened or even louder under those canopies. Last deer I shot my dad and I had taken a breather under some laurel after scaling a ridge, and about 10-15 minutes later we got up to move along the edge and the deer just bolted downhill from the laurel, stopped, and offered a shoulder shot. I wonder whether I'd seen others had we moved a little deeper into the laurels.

Where I hunt there's a lot of bears that bed in the laurels at the highest elevations, but deer seem to favor the border area between laurels and deep woods, or even little islands of laurel.
I find the deer in my area travel and bed in the laurels, especially once the shooting starts with the season opener. I still hunt to the edge of the laurels, into the wind. I then put on some heavy wool socks over my boots to dampen my footfalls where I can walk upright. I believe I spend more time on my hands and knees in the thick laurels as attested by the worn out knees on my hunting pants. As I said in an earlier post, I have taken a good many shots from the prone position while in the laurels. Many times I can only see the legs of the deer unless I get low enough to see the body. More than once I have crept up on bedded deer to with in 25 feet. They seemed almost as surprised as me when we discovered each other. One other thing I noticed. Scent seems to hang in the laurels. I put on a cover scent even though I hunt into the wind, but many times I have actually smelled a deer before I have seen them. In those cases, it was a rutting buck that i could smell.
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Old 10-26-2019, 11:00 AM
  #20  
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Thank you guys for all the input!
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