Where to begin

Chuck11

5 year old buck +
Chuck - Check out the Chasing Giants podcast, your property sets up similar to Terry Peer's (and mine also FWIW).

Ridge or bottom fields and draws / hollows off of or parallel to them.. IE Hill Country :emoji_sunglasses:

I just wanted to say thanks again for recommending this podcast. It has completely changed my mentality about hunting and I'm only on episode 29. So much good advice that I've broken out a dedicated notebook and started taking notes for things to remember and plans to look into in the future. Thanks friend. Much appreciated.
 

Chuck11

5 year old buck +
Also, caught a picture of this guy this morning. Looks to be about a 2 year old with good antler structure.

Picture.JPG
 

BenAllgood

5 year old buck +
With that much food and that many deer already using it, I would concentrate on learning where they spend the daytime and finding how to access and hunt around those spots. And, if those spots aren't conducive to you hunting around them, then make other spots more attractive for bedding. Take your last day or two of rifle or close to it and completely dissect it, noting bedding, major scrapes, trails, etc.
 

Chuck11

5 year old buck +
With that much food and that many deer already using it, I would concentrate on learning where they spend the daytime and finding how to access and hunt around those spots. And, if those spots aren't conducive to you hunting around them, then make other spots more attractive for bedding. Take your last day or two of rifle or close to it and completely dissect it, noting bedding, major scrapes, trails, etc.
Would you do it the last couple days of rifle, or wait until the first snow to make it really obvious where those things taking place? In your experience which is going to yield better results?
I would agree that understanding how the deer are utilizing the property is going to be the key to hunting it for sure.
I'm not very experienced in scouting if I'm being completely honest. I know how to spot a scrape or a rub for sure, but picking bedding out has been exceptionally frustrating for me. Any tips you can give in that area?
 

Chuck11

5 year old buck +
Also, another idea i had was to walk the property with my camera and take a bunch of video and good photos to really explain how its laid out and give better explanation of whats going on down in those woods. I could definitely do that the last couple days of rifle season. And it would really help me to go through it from a distance as well and help me to ask questions in a more direct manner.
 

BenAllgood

5 year old buck +
Would you do it the last couple days of rifle, or wait until the first snow to make it really obvious where those things taking place? In your experience which is going to yield better results?
I would agree that understanding how the deer are utilizing the property is going to be the key to hunting it for sure.
I'm not very experienced in scouting if I'm being completely honest. I know how to spot a scrape or a rub for sure, but picking bedding out has been exceptionally frustrating for me. Any tips you can give in that area?
If you filled your tag or don't expect to, I'd scout. You can even still hunt through it. Just try to keep the wind in your face and walk through it very slowly stopping often. If you have to backtrack to walk through another area to have the wind in your favor, do that. I'd want to know what the deer are doing at the time you are hunting. Going slow, you can jump deer, then go to the beds. You can learn a ton about deer by doing that. You might push some deer out, so maybe have your dad watch the exits.
 

Chuck11

5 year old buck +
If you filled your tag or don't expect to, I'd scout. You can even still hunt through it. Just try to keep the wind in your face and walk through it very slowly stopping often. If you have to backtrack to walk through another area to have the wind in your favor, do that. I'd want to know what the deer are doing at the time you are hunting. Going slow, you can jump deer, then go to the beds. You can learn a ton about deer by doing that. You might push some deer out, so maybe have your dad watch the exits.
If we haven't filled tags by the end of the week, or if we fill them early, I will do just this. I'm really curious about the deep back of the property anyhow. I still have plans to go back after the first snow as well. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll be posting the results of what I find in about a month or so.
 

Bassattackr

5 year old buck +
I just wanted to say thanks again for recommending this podcast. It has completely changed my mentality about hunting and I'm only on episode 29. So much good advice that I've broken out a dedicated notebook and started taking notes for things to remember and plans to look into in the future. Thanks friend. Much appreciated.

Glad to hear! Don has a different approach than many, but very "common sense" to me.. His record speaks for itself.
 

Bill

Administrator
I'm not very experienced in scouting if I'm being completely honest.

3 plus beds a few feet apart are doe groups. Look for flat spots and fallen trees, does like that. A single bed that is a few feet from an easy escape is a buck bed. Bucks like over head cover even if it’s just a low branch or two. Bucks bed together but not as bunched up as does. Kneel down in the bed and figure out why it is attractive. If your ground is hilly bucks will bed about 1/3 of the way down a hill with an escape feature, ditch, deep drop, thicket etc. Most people wouldn’t believe it but in open ag country a lot of mature bucks will bed in the open but close to an escape. A cedar tree in tall grass 10 foot from a thicket will always have a buck bed under it.

Don’t forget the poop. Deer stand up from a bed and poop. Does typically drop raisins, bucks drop a clump of raisins stuck together. (That’s not proven just my theory) :emoji_thinking:

Don’t walk the woods. Walk the woods and ask why. Why is this trail here, why is this bed here. And don’t over think it. Deer are just as lazy as us. The path of least resistance is the best path.

Until the rut, then all bets are off.
 

TreeDaddy

5 year old buck +
3 plus beds a few feet apart are doe groups. Look for flat spots and fallen trees, does like that. A single bed that is a few feet from an easy escape is a buck bed. Bucks like over head cover even if it’s just a low branch or two. Bucks bed together but not as bunched up as does. Kneel down in the bed and figure out why it is attractive. If your ground is hilly bucks will bed about 1/3 of the way down a hill with an escape feature, ditch, deep drop, thicket etc. Most people wouldn’t believe it but in open ag country a lot of mature bucks will bed in the open but close to an escape. A cedar tree in tall grass 10 foot from a thicket will always have a buck bed under it.

Don’t forget the poop. Deer stand up from a bed and poop. Does typically drop raisins, bucks drop a clump of raisins stuck together. (That’s not proven just my theory) :emoji_thinking:

Don’t walk the woods. Walk the woods and ask why. Why is this trail here, why is this bed here. And don’t over think it. Deer are just as lazy as us. The path of least resistance is the best path.

Until the rut, then all bets are off.
This is great fun for me

Real life deer behavior is fascinating

bill
 

BenAllgood

5 year old buck +
I'd check this spot out, right here.
Screenshot 2021-10-28 082232.jpg
 

Troubles Trees

5 year old buck +
Would you do it the last couple days of rifle, or wait until the first snow to make it really obvious where those things taking place? In your experience which is going to yield better results?
I would agree that understanding how the deer are utilizing the property is going to be the key to hunting it for sure.
I'm not very experienced in scouting if I'm being completely honest. I know how to spot a scrape or a rub for sure, but picking bedding out has been exceptionally frustrating for me. Any tips you can give in that area?

Bill gave solid advice a couple comments above! I have always thought big clumps (as opposed to a pile of single raisins) that look more like a human turd were bucks, that was only from an observational standpoint, no science behind it that I have ever read.

When I am trying to figure out what deer are doing on a new piece of land I usually take the crappy rain days during Bow Season and very slowly pick my way through it while hunting and keeping the wind in my favor. Less impact as the rain helps the scent disappear and rain helps cover your sound as well.

Preseason I will set up an observation stand far back from the spot and use optics to see what deer are doing, this can be misleading as food sources are plentiful and different at that time but the main travel routes don't change. This is sometimes hindered by alot of foliage but I have had success doing this.

Gun season is always snowy and cold, once everything grows I have planted shrubby stuff in such a way that I can walk the perimiter of my property without getting spotted and my wind direction is typically only bad at the bottom. Post season you can do a walkabout more often without screwing up your hunting and the snow is always helpful for adding older details. Pick a day that it hasn't snowed for a week or so and you literally have a weeks worth of inel on deer movement.

Hope it helps bud! Good luck out there.
 

Chuck11

5 year old buck +
All of that is helpful. BenAllGood, I've had my eye on that area for a while. I just didn't want to get too intrusive with that area before hunting this fall. I was supposed to deploy and not even hunt this year, so I was preparing for that and not for hunting. So when I found out in September that I was no longer deploying this year, I immediately tried to get a plan together before it got too late in the season to even get stands out. So my year is going to be mostly guesswork on travel corridors and feeding spots.

To back that up, the bean crop failed in those Ag fields this year, so the farmer basically let it grow over with native grass this year, and is currently working to get winter wheat in now. So there's not much of a food source right now other than browse and some acorn and persimmon trees. So figuring out where bedding and food is is a top priority for me for the next year. If I can locate bedding then finding their travel corridors to food will be easier to scout going forward, and even planning for backup food locations for if crops fail again to keep deer from completely moving to other areas. A lot to plan, but I really want to go slow and not make things worse for us in implementing any plan.

THE PLAN:

First and foremost, figuring out the travel corridors that they use regularly is going to be first. Strengthening bedding areas and then keeping them sanctuary is going to be second. Finding the ambush points and creating stand locations and access, clearing shooting lanes will be third. And mock scrapes and well planned trail cam locations will be the 4th. I think I can accomplish all of that with a few strategically planned trips next year. Should be pretty low intrusion after the first couple of months and will give us a clearer picture going forward. From there it will be practicing good hunting discipline and making mistakes and improving on them year after year, and finding out what the deer are missing and filling that need.
 

Chuck11

5 year old buck +
Also, after listening to that Chasing Giants podcast with Don Higgins and Terry Peer, as well as some other videos where they discuss topography and terrain features I'm very interested in seeing how the areas with the red arrows are being utilized by the deer and seeing if there are ways to successfully create hunting locations over them if they are heavily utilized. I see a lot of people talking about corners and especially those C shapes.

The two yellow Food icons, the one to the north is an enormous White Oak tree, and the one to the south is a native persimmon tree. I'll be marking any other natural food sources as I do more scouting as well. These are just two known food locations. Right behind that north oak tree we found massive rubs and scrapes and bedding just inside the treeline where I'm assuming a buck is/was bedding to catch the wind coming over the top of the hill and catch anything approaching.

Update.PNG
 

Chuck11

5 year old buck +
Bill gave solid advice a couple comments above! I have always thought big clumps (as opposed to a pile of single raisins) that look more like a human turd were bucks, that was only from an observational standpoint, no science behind it that I have ever read.

When I am trying to figure out what deer are doing on a new piece of land I usually take the crappy rain days during Bow Season and very slowly pick my way through it while hunting and keeping the wind in my favor. Less impact as the rain helps the scent disappear and rain helps cover your sound as well.

Preseason I will set up an observation stand far back from the spot and use optics to see what deer are doing, this can be misleading as food sources are plentiful and different at that time but the main travel routes don't change. This is sometimes hindered by alot of foliage but I have had success doing this.

Gun season is always snowy and cold, once everything grows I have planted shrubby stuff in such a way that I can walk the perimiter of my property without getting spotted and my wind direction is typically only bad at the bottom. Post season you can do a walkabout more often without screwing up your hunting and the snow is always helpful for adding older details. Pick a day that it hasn't snowed for a week or so and you literally have a weeks worth of inel on deer movement.

Hope it helps bud! Good luck out there.

That is one thing that I believe is true. And those are what I'd like to use the first real snowfall to try and establish. The main travel routes. Should make a lot of other pieces fall into place.

I really appreciate all of the advice. I'm taking notes and will be utilizing everyone's suggestions in the best ways I know how.
 

PatinPA

5 year old buck +
All of that is helpful. BenAllGood, I've had my eye on that area for a while. I just didn't want to get too intrusive with that area before hunting this fall. I was supposed to deploy and not even hunt this year, so I was preparing for that and not for hunting. So when I found out in September that I was no longer deploying this year, I immediately tried to get a plan together before it got too late in the season to even get stands out. So my year is going to be mostly guesswork on travel corridors and feeding spots.

To back that up, the bean crop failed in those Ag fields this year, so the farmer basically let it grow over with native grass this year, and is currently working to get winter wheat in now. So there's not much of a food source right now other than browse and some acorn and persimmon trees. So figuring out where bedding and food is is a top priority for me for the next year. If I can locate bedding then finding their travel corridors to food will be easier to scout going forward, and even planning for backup food locations for if crops fail again to keep deer from completely moving to other areas. A lot to plan, but I really want to go slow and not make things worse for us in implementing any plan.

THE PLAN:

First and foremost, figuring out the travel corridors that they use regularly is going to be first. Strengthening bedding areas and then keeping them sanctuary is going to be second. Finding the ambush points and creating stand locations and access, clearing shooting lanes will be third. And mock scrapes and well planned trail cam locations will be the 4th. I think I can accomplish all of that with a few strategically planned trips next year. Should be pretty low intrusion after the first couple of months and will give us a clearer picture going forward. From there it will be practicing good hunting discipline and making mistakes and improving on them year after year, and finding out what the deer are missing and filling that need.
Do you have contact with the farmer? You could ask if you could broadcast some rye in strategic areas along the field edge. You could probably still get some growth yet. The edges never amount to anything anyway as far as crops go.
 

Chuck11

5 year old buck +
Do you have contact with the farmer? You could ask if you could broadcast some rye in strategic areas along the field edge. You could probably still get some growth yet. The edges never amount to anything anyway as far as crops go.
That is definitely on the plan for next year, I don't think the property owner would mind, but I'm not sure about the farmer. The edges of the field is kind of what I had in mind as well.
 

Chuck11

5 year old buck +
For good stand placement, always consider..

1) Access
2) Access
3) Stand placement
4) Also access

You do listen to Don Higgins. :emoji_grinning: Lack of Human intrusion, access. Words used most in the podcast.
 

Bassattackr

5 year old buck +
You do listen to Don Higgins. :emoji_grinning: Lack of Human intrusion, access. Words used most in the podcast.

Bill Winke is a big proponent of this as well. It really does make a huge difference.
 
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