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Foggy Mountain

Early season scouting

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It’s nearing season. Probably someone reading this is wanting to learn. Lots of threads involve modern techniques but perhaps someone doesn’t wish to or hunts areas or states where bait,cameras, etc aren’t allowed. How would one go about picking spots? 
I think a great way to help new folks and some older ones that may not have thought of a few things would be to lay some thoughts out.

Idk if any saw Bowhunting October Whitetails, one of the best hunt videos ever imo. Rick Blase talks about finding what’s less. If food is in short supply find the primary food source and concentrate on that. If bedding was of lesser availability concentrate there. Kind of like hunting turkeys out west to help some understand. There’s only so many roost areas so find them first right. 
I’ll also add if we were in a severe drought, I’d add water to the mix.

In most of NJ bedding areas are all over. Most commonly an early season technique would be concentrate on food sources and preferred ones at that, specifically at the time of year we’ll be hunting. Jewelweed is a very moisture laden plant. You can actually see the water in stalks. Right now the deer are hammering it some places. Dont lay any eggs in that basket though. It’ll be over soon enough and I’ve never seen deer in jewelweed hunt season.  Set your mind to scouting forward. Plan your season by scouting what’s to come. 
 

I can lay some ideas out later and I wanted to leave room for others thoughts comments. This thread could be an interesting topic imo. If anyone has questions or would like to add something don’t be shy. 
 

I can’t help remember seeing a post I believe Bonefreak wrote about acorn flowers. He concerned about the fall. You guys think he’s thinking out? 
 

 

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Not sure if guys don’t want info or are just waiting on more so I’ll add a little more and see if anyone joins in. 
So you gotta decide if you’ll be keying in particularly on a particular cover type. Say you have farms or mountains. 
One thing I should add, if the place is littered with trails, quad paths it’s not normally a spot I’d even consider. Too busy for me though they can at times produce. I’d just avoid them. 
In NJ at least where I hunt corn is planted right to the woods. The deer don’t walk in and out. They basically stay inside. There’s food, water sits in the rows and plenty of cover. 
I’d use corn only as a mental note for now. Most cornfields have edges lined up with stands. That alone would make me not consider them. They’re also very easy to get to. Bear in mind most often as soon as corn is harvested the deer seem to walk in fields like it’s still up. This usually lasts a few days. There are exceptions. 
If I was driving and saw harvest equipment, I’d get ready to leave work early the day after they left. The hunters on the edge typically ain’t pressuring the deer inside so I’d not worry so much these couple days on that. If guys are there already though. Find another spot. 
Bean when green is one of the best draws, yellow not so good and brown only ok. If you have a green bean field without a bunch of guys you should have good hunting. Glass from a distance. I’m no fan of putting pressure on an area just before hunt season. 
Remember I said plan your hunt. Watching the bean change, corn grow and ready for harvest you’d be thinking ahead. Not do much where deer are today unless you’re hunting today. Scout ahead. This goes for any food source. 
Mountains are where I primarily hunt. I’ll add more later

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I think early season scouting is a waste of time unless you are conducing inventory of what you have at the time of inventory. There is only one constant about deer movement and that is a constant change. What you see today is not there tomorrow and for sure seeing something, or not seeing anything in July or August has no relation to what your get to see in your stand come September. IMO

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I remember seeing deer while posting in August for many years. See lots of deer and nice bucks. Then when the season opens, they seem to disappear. As the weather changes, the deer also change. I never saw early season scouting as a good sign of the upcoming deer season. It may be encouraging to see but that's it. 

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Guys that’s exactly what I’m saying. You need to scout ahead. Hard to read from words where exactly you’re coming from so excuse me for that. 

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Posted (edited)

Notice I said nothing about scouting deer? It is irrelevant and I think I alluded to that. 
Scout areas the deer are going to be. 
I need to be clear though scouting itself if you’re using nature itself is no waste of time. 
Let me help explain. Lots of guys understand the draw power of say apples. Let’s not talk about orchards. Most are unhuntsble by many or have slaughter permits and are super hunted. I’d avoid them. 
So you know where some apple trees are in the woods. Check the progression. If apples aren’t forming you don’t need to worry about that tree. 
One of my personal big tactics is to go into oak ridges mid summer mid day. 
As bonefreak was worried about future drop I’d def be as well. This is most typically the type hunting I do. 
When I walk into this ridges I have binoculars. I look into trees. Are acorns growing? How many? What type. Remember preferred food sources. White oaks first typically and even among them preferred types. 
Oak ridges mid day mid summer aren’t deer hangouts. You can go into them an not alert deer. 
Note as many locations as you can. (Referring to dif areas)  Remember them. Once season gets close you can check for activity. As the preferred food depletes you move to the next, than next. You’re planning your season. Staying with the deer stomach. Most times deer are attached right? 
Another observation I don’t hear anyone talk about. Actively worked (by squirrels) trees often have fresh cuttings beneath them. Once they turn brown and dry you should consider switching trees to active ones. White oak trees tend to be a short lived hunt tree but they can be awesome. Many times oak ridges arent crowded if on a mountain. All considerations an I’m discounting no ones ideas either. Just trying to help someone start getting thoughts 
 

Edited by Foggy Mountain
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8 minutes ago, Foggy Mountain said:

Notice I said nothing about scouting deer? It is irrelevant and I think I alluded to that. 
Scout areas the deer are going to be. 

And when you scout the area where you think deer will be in what exactly are you scouting for?
What do you mean by scout ahead?
Most of us hunted the area we are hunting for a while. We know the general areas they will be in. When the season starts we make adjustments by the MRI because deer change their movement constantly. I can learn more useful information in the first two hunts of the season than scouting for weeks in July or August. 

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5 minutes ago, Lunatic said:

And when you scout the area where you think deer will be in what exactly are you scouting for?
What do you mean by scout ahead?
Most of us hunted the area we are hunting for a while. We know the general areas they will be in. When the season starts we make adjustments by the MRI because deer change their movement constantly. I can learn more useful information in the first two hunts of the season than scouting for weeks in July or August. 

Sorry was editing post. Hope that clarifies

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Posted (edited)

Hey lunatic so  you understand. I’m not debating styles. You said you’ve been hunting a while. What about someone has no one? This is who I’m trying to reach. You’re certainly welcome to add ideas

Edited by Foggy Mountain

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23 minutes ago, Foggy Mountain said:

Notice I said nothing about scouting deer? It is irrelevant and I think I alluded to that. 
Scout areas the deer are going to be. 
I need to be clear though scouting itself if you’re using nature itself is no waste of time. 
Let me help explain. Lots of guys understand the draw power of say apples. Let’s not talk about orchards. Most are unhuntsble by many or have slaughter permits and are super hunted. I’d avoid them. 
So you know where some apple trees are in the woods. Check the progression. If apples aren’t forming you don’t need to worry about that tree. 
One of my personal big tactics is to go into oak ridges mid summer mid day. 
As bonefreak was worried about future drop I’d def be as well. This is most typically the type hunting I do. 
When I walk into this ridges I have binoculars. I look into trees. Are acorns growing? How many? What type. Remember preferred food sources. White oaks first typically and even among them preferred types. 
Oak ridges mid day mid summer aren’t deer hangouts. You can go into them an not alert deer. 
Note as many locations as you can. (Referring to dif areas)  Remember them. Once season gets close you can check for activity. As the preferred food depletes you move to the next, than next. You’re planning your season. Staying with the deer stomach. Most times deer are attached right? 
Another observation I don’t hear anyone talk about. Actively worked (by squirrels) trees often have fresh cuttings beneath them. Once they turn brown and dry you should consider switching trees to active ones. White oak trees tend to be a short lived hunt tree but they can be awesome. Many times oak ridges arent crowded if on a mountain. All considerations an I’m discounting no ones ideas either. Just trying to help someone start getting thoughts 
 

If I am hunting new property I do this. I study topo and maps. I go one day and verify and supplement what I saw on the map with actual boots on the ground. Then I get the hell out of there and don't go back until I am ready to hunt. I do must of what you call scouting while actually hunting sine I am a firm believer staying out of the woods is a key to harvesting a mature animal.

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I’d like to add one more thing. My attempt is not at pushing my ways. Only to give someone some information as to the old ways. Please understand that

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So lunatic, if you wouldn’t mind. We know someone on here is reading and totally lost. 
If you were to tell someone how to even begin to get close what should they be looking for in your opinion. So many can’t learn anything in a couple sits and won’t know an area. How would you advise them? 
I hope this doesn’t make you uncomfortable the more guys chime in here the better

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I had a buddy who is no longer alive who killed numerous nice bucks every year.  He baited constantly but not in a pile.  He would scatter it in a 75 yard circle around his stand.  His theory was that deer are browsers and prefer to move while they eat and that his constant presence there in the large area around his stand spread his scent all over the place so the deer got use to it and were not afraid of it.  

Of course there were lots of does there eating so when the rut came the bucks knew where to find does.

Worked for him!  

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