Jump to content
Foggy Mountain

Early season scouting

Recommended Posts

7 minutes ago, Bill from NJ said:

Fred,

With authoring of 3 books, You sir are one of the folks I would like to hear from, since you have the expertise and skills.

I have read of plenty, and seen plenty of guys setting up trail cameras, etc. through the years.

To me this is like shooting fish in a barrel. Date and time stamp with pix of quarry.

The pix shows the animal eating corn or whatever at the bait pile 5:45 am every day.

These Folks then get out of their car, walk in 50 yards and sit and wait.

Seems like no one puts in the time and energy to actually hunt anymore.

It would be very informative for those with vast knowledge to share this information to keep this sport alive.

Please Share some of this information on what to look for while reading a Topo Map, etc.

Thank you in advance for you kind input.

 

Thanks-- no expert here.  Just alot of Hiking + Hunting. Most Guys do either one or the other.  I keep both Scouting + Hunting Journals. After  either a Hike or Turkey Hunt, I will write a few lines.    I take a Topo Map with me and if, I see Sign leaving a Trail of Woodsroad, I do some Bushwhacking to see what is up with the Spring or Fall Turkeys and why they like that particular area.  I write that down later. Kind of Old School.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, nickmarch said:

When I started hunting 50 years ago we all baited.  I stopped baiting a few years later.  I found that I saw many more bucks.  I look at historicaerials.com now and at sites  with color infrared aerial photos.  I look for places where 3 or more different types of vegatation meet.  Deer are creatures of the edges the more edges you can find the better!  The strange thing is that most of the places where multiple types of vegatation meet are very close to blacktop roads where dirt roads meet.  The hunters usually drive far up the dirt roads and ignore the spots close to where the blacktop meets dirt.  

Thanks Nick. That was some very good information.:up:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Fred Flintstone said:

Thanks-- no expert here.  Just alot of Hiking + Hunting. Most Guys do either one or the other.  I keep both Scouting + Hunting Journals. After  either a Hike or Turkey Hunt, I will write a few lines.    I take a Topo Map with me and if, I see Sign leaving a Trail of Woodsroad, I do some Bushwhacking to see what is up with the Spring or Fall Turkeys and why they like that particular area.  I write that down later. Kind of Old School.

Thanks Fred,

Keeping a notebook handy and jotting down the information helps with someone like me who's not the sharpest knife in the drawer. 

Keeping  notes lets you recall the info better later when you have some down time. Helps to remember.:up:

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Foggy Mountain said:

So will bikers, hikers and dog walkers but you could do what you like you’re experienced. A new person would be best to avoid them on account of too many factors coming into play. 
I was kinda alluding to deer though. Be great if we could share similar ideas turkey or bear season for instance. 
I didn’t wanna muddy the water too much by addressing different game, someone new could get easily confused. But if you guys would like to add that’s ok. Just think of the hunters we’re targeting.
 

If one is going to do alot of Bushwhacking through heavy Foilage and avoid Trails + Woodsroads- then the Threat of Lyme Disease is greatly increased.    Be careful Scouting this way..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, nickmarch said:

When I started hunting 50 years ago we all baited.  I stopped baiting a few years later.  I found that I saw many more bucks.  I look at historicaerials.com now and at sites  with color infrared aerial photos.  I look for places where 3 or more different types of vegatation meet.  Deer are creatures of the edges the more edges you can find the better!  The strange thing is that most of the places where multiple types of vegatation meet are very close to blacktop roads where dirt roads meet.  The hunters usually drive far up the dirt roads and ignore the spots close to where the blacktop meets dirt.  

I hunt spots like that. I am not afraid to wave to the guy driving down the paved road from my treestand. The largest known buck in the area last season I spotted in exactly that type spot. It was 10am and on our way to get a bite to eat. 75 yards from paved road the buck and doe cross right in front of my truck. They were within 15 yards of me for several minutes. Then they headed towards the paved road but stopped when I pulled up again. Another staring match. The problem was they were too close to houses or that buck would have been in my truck instead. I hunted that buck all winter bow but never laid eyes on him but had hundreds of pics of him. I did figure out my mistake. It was where I was parking. If he stays in the area this season I will park in a different spot. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Fred Flintstone said:

If one is going to do alot of Bushwhacking through heavy Foilage and avoid Trails + Woodsroads- then the Threat of Lyme Disease is greatly increased.    Be careful Scouting this way..

Said nothing bout bushwhacking. More of a leisurely walk. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Fred Flintstone said:

 I do some Bushwhacking to see what is up with the Spring or Fall Turkeys and why they like that particular area.  

 

1 hour ago, Fred Flintstone said:

If one is going to do alot of Bushwhacking through heavy Foilage and avoid Trails + Woodsroads- then the Threat of Lyme Disease is greatly increased.    Be careful Scouting this way..

 

25 minutes ago, Foggy Mountain said:

Said nothing bout bushwhacking. More of a leisurely walk. 

Now I'm confused. 

Should I "Bushwack" my way into thick areas or not. 

The State of NJ frowns upon cutting vegetation of any kind.

Especially on their WMA.:nonono:

 

 

Edited by Bill from NJ
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Bill from NJ said:

 

 

Now I'm confused. 

Should I "Bushwack" my way into thick areas or not. 

The State of NJ frowns upon cutting vegetation of any kind.

Especially on their WMA.:nonono:

Sounds dangerous with ticks carrying Lymes disease.

 

Don't know what Foggy does-- but, I always apply Deep Woods Off. Walk first on Trails or Woodsroads until, I reach my area to leave the Trail. Same as alot of people do.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Herd Buck said:

I am interested in hearing more from Lunatic and others that use topo maps, google maps, etc to scout what exactly do you look for to identify a likely bedding area? Or what resource do you recommend to learn?
 

I spend a lot of time walking the woods and waste a lot of time this way... would love to learn more about how you guys use maps most effectively. 

Great book right here. Teaches you all about topo maps

https://www.amazon.com/Mapping-Trophy-Bucks-Brad-Herndon/dp/0873495039

  • Like 3
  • Agree 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Herd Buck said:

I am interested in hearing more from Lunatic and others that use topo maps, google maps, etc to scout what exactly do you look for to identify a likely bedding area? Or what resource do you recommend to learn?
 

I spend a lot of time walking the woods and waste a lot of time this way... would love to learn more about how you guys use maps most effectively. 

there's plenty of ways to look at topo and edge habitat. I'll start with google earth and may use Caltopo which had lots of different layers. Anything that might have infrared layers will show heavy and lighter cover. Also, anytime you can find creeks and swamp edges...get boots on the ground there and check it out.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bill from NJ said:

 

Now I'm confused. 

Should I "Bushwack" my way into thick areas or not. 

The State of NJ frowns upon cutting vegetation of any kind.

Especially on their WMA.:nonono:

 

 

always use Permithrin....never have a tick on me...and I've gone thru some thick stuff.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up hunting public land and have hard plenty of hard lessons along the way. While in college I spent a TON of time in the woods. That’s really when I began to learn and become consistently successful. The biggest style I learned, hunting new ground is learning to hunt into the woods and hunting active sign. I would walk in, mobile, and learn new areas and when I find fresh sign I would hunt it. I would become successful on does and young bucks and occasionally a mature buck. Finding oak flats, rubs, scrapes, droppings, and learning what deer bed in. Do you know how long it took me to find an answer of one of the biggest questions I ever had! “Where do deer bed?” That was a question I would search for all the time. I found the answer in the woods! It was ridge knolls, it was behind a fallen tree, it was in a tall CRP field, in a hedgerow along a cornfield. You wouldn’t have found that anywhere back in the day, now there are more resources on just that. 

 

Stepping up my game I learned how to hunt hunters. Big deer on pressured public simply do not live where people hunt or at least frequent. Boots on the ground learning where people don’t go, over looked spots, and tough to get to spots. You need to understand spots change as pressure changes. One of my best big buck public land spots was a small piece that never got hunted and was a nasty little hill. It’s since been discovered by others and hunted hard and now is close to void of deer. As pressure changes you need to change. 
 

My latest step in upping my game is learning to hunt buck beds. It’s been a couple year process for me of learning. I haven’t gotten to the point where I hunt a single bed specifically, but I do hunt general bedding areas which has increased my success a TON. I’ve also recently become obsessed with Big Woods hunting which helps with pressure but is tough physically and mentally. I’ve only seen two mature bucks in the last four years but they are both on my wall and keep me going back for more. However I still do a lot of what I would call farm hunting too. 
 

Another big lesson for a newer hunter is kill deer. Don’t get caught up in the hype of big bucks. That comes with time. But you need to learn to kill. Seeing deer and killing deer is a big difference and a learning curve itself. Learning when to stand, when to draw a bow, when to click the safety off your gun, understanding deer behavior, what that tail down means or what the ears pinned back are. The frustrating jerking of a deers head up and down when they are trying to figure you out. When a deer is nervous and slowly moving off versus a comfortable deer walking in, giving you time. Understanding what a deer does when it goes down wind or when they hit your scent trail from where you just walked in. My father used to tell me, it’s not like TV, your not getting that perfect broadside shot on a totally unhunted deer, in a 6 acre food plot, you need to make the shot happen. That was a great lesson that takes time. Also learning how to gut a deer, figuring out a good system to get your deer out of the woods. These are all things that are learned by killing deer and becoming proficient at them over time. Those deer will be making your heart jump out of your chest. Let that arrow fly or bullet soar and enjoy the bounty. Don’t let what other people think or say about shooting a young deer. Enjoy it! 
 

Hope my learning journey can help someone else starting their journey. Reading and watching is great, however boots on the ground is a must so you can put to test what you’ve learned or watched on certain resources. Oh and year long trail cameras has taught me a ton over the years. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every trip out is a scouting mission. I think the best time to scout to find sign is before spring green up where all of the previous years sign is much easier to find. Rubs, scrapes, trails , beds etc stand out. Also look for old treestands as they were put there for a reason as someone previously found it to be a good area to hang a stand. 

Concentrate on finding food cover and water. 

You find those 3 you will find whitetails. 

Use google earth or bing maps to look over the entire area. You can find ag fields, water sources, field openings, pinch points , edge lines   terrain changes etc. 

Glass ag fields in close proximity before season, it will give you a good idea of whats around. 

Trail cams and bait can help with that too. 

Findi the main bedding and main food source for the time of year you are hunting. 

Look for intersecting trails between the two. 

I stay out of bedding areas until I know bucks are cruising for does 

If you continually bump deer out of their beds the spots not going to be good for long. 

Pay attention to wind directions and have a strategy to enter and exit stands without alerting deer. 

Dont let the deer know they are being hunted. 

Once they catch on, it becomes much more difficult as they change their habits. 

Shoot a couple deer, learn how to blood trail and gut. 

Learning how to hunt big deer requires skills you learn from putting time in the field. 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Foggy Mountain said:

So will bikers, hikers and dog walkers but you could do what you like you’re experienced. A new person would be best to avoid them on account of too many factors coming into play. 
I was kinda alluding to deer though. Be great if we could share similar ideas turkey or bear season for instance. 
I didn’t wanna muddy the water too much by addressing different game, someone new could get easily confused. But if you guys would like to add that’s ok. Just think of the hunters we’re targeting.
 

Well Foggy- your Title is (Early Season Scouting) in the " Scouting" Forum. So, I jumped in with some Fall Turkey ideas as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...