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Scouting do's and don'ts


FeniQuest217

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Wanted to get thread going with regards to off-season scouting for bucks. I know summer is a good time because they won't remember seeing us there come september. But was wondering if we could get together some of the tips, tricks, and absolutely DO NOT for scouting. Haven't put up any cams , tho the area i hunt with a friend in Sussex he said hes putting cams up when we scout that area, we have 3 stands setup covering a lot of ground near each other.

I was going to scout one of the WMF's where i hunted for winterbow, look for rubs and other sign for when i bring my self climber.  Is there a time considered too late for scouting? ex; I'm looking to a lot of Fall bow in september, so scouting in august would be  a no, correct?

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most scouting should be done Feb-April, when you can clearly see beds, paths rubs and past scrapes. This time of year I stay out only to put minerals out and wait to hang cams around July 4th. I'll check them once early Aug. and stay out till season opens.

In season, I scout walking to stand to see if I see any pattern changes. In season scouting is important and with your climber you can easily make adjustments.

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I scout all year long for different reasons.  In august, i do a lot of scouting to hone in on a target buck(s) summer pattern before changing to a fall pattern (food based).  Throughout the season i continually scout honing in on what deer are doing NOW.  Rut hunting usually consists of targeting certain doe groups are particular terrain features that take a traveling buck from point A to B.  Winter bow focuses on a food pattern once again close to bedding areas.  Its very important to scout like you are hunting.  Scout using the wind, know the terrain, have a preplan on what and where you are scouting.  Scouting should never consist of blowing deer out of any area if done right.   Post season scouting is very useful if you can decifer when the deer made particular sign and why.  Change tactics as deer change throughout the seasons and you will always be more successful 

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I don't scout off  season but a couple of cams over mineral for entertainment. During the season I really don't scout as well, I just hunt alot and I react to what I see while hunting. It takes me a couple hunts to figure out where they are and move accordingly. I use 3 cell cams to help me get MRI without actually scouting. It works 

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I have a pretty good idea where I'm going to start to hunt in the fall by what I've seen the year before, but that is never a given on public land.  Deer change habits year to year on public land.  A place can go dead if the dominant bucks get taken out.  I'll scout all year, and throughout the season, starting first with the places I plan on hunting early season so I can get out of there and not go back in there again until season starts.  Cameras are out after turkey season to see what's still in the area, and I'll move them around all summer to see what's in other old and new spots.  Usually I go in to put up a camera on a trail , then again to take it out in a week or two, and that's it.  Don't want to lay down a lot of scent or spook them too often in one spot.  This year I'm trying a couple mineral licks .  Going to remove cameras off them this week to move them to other areas, and leave the deer alone on the licks all summer.  I think that would be better than constantly going back in with another type of bait.  I hunt from natural blinds, so I'm always looking for a new hiding spot that looks promising.  I hunt the same way, always moving so the deer can't pattern me in any one spot, and looking for fresh sign.  By the end of August I take the cameras out, and might continue to scout only in places I haven't hunted or planned on hunting.

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3 hours ago, Gobblengrunt said:

I scout all year long for different reasons.  In august, i do a lot of scouting to hone in on a target buck(s) summer pattern before changing to a fall pattern (food based).  Throughout the season i continually scout honing in on what deer are doing NOW.  Rut hunting usually consists of targeting certain doe groups are particular terrain features that take a traveling buck from point A to B.  Winter bow focuses on a food pattern once again close to bedding areas.  Its very important to scout like you are hunting.  Scout using the wind, know the terrain, have a preplan on what and where you are scouting.  Scouting should never consist of blowing deer out of any area if done right.   Post season scouting is very useful if you can decifer when the deer made particular sign and why.  Change tactics as deer change throughout the seasons and you will always be more successful 

I think one of the benefits i had late last season was with the snow (which i will never do again bc it was so deep and took me forever to get into my stand, this was that big storm) but at least was able to see where there tracks were. Theres a few corn fields where i placed my stand near during winter bow figuring they were scrounging for food but when the snow came, nothing could be eaten. I noticed how they mostly walked along th treelines, and seldom were there any tracks in the open. But definitely think the golden rule a lot of people miss with scouting is what you are attesting to, having a plan, update your tactics, etc

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I scout all year long, every chance I get. Buck patterns change during the rut but generally doe stay pretty consistent unless there is a lot of people traffic spooking them all the time.  Stay away from the beds when you find them and set a couple camera's out  in areas leading to and from the bedding areas. Anybody can kill a young buck it you want a old buck you got to learn his habits and put the time in.

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Once the season is over is a great time to scout.....I don't do much scouting as I know the property well.....But in January I put a my cell camera out in a area I've been wanting to hunt for sometime.....within a few hours I got a picture of a shooter, and late February I put out my minerals and continue to do so once per month, and the shooter buck is coming in, and I know of other big bucks  in the area. Hanging a stand around this time next month. Cameras are great, but Cell Cameras are absolutely game changer

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I leave several cams from march til august in some areas. Once august hits I add many more cams to other areas. Cams are in spots I hunt every year but I also use 3-5 in new areas that I am not set up in. I let the cams tell me where I should hunt. If I need to move in for a hunt or two on one of the cams in new areas, I will either use my climber or use the cover available and hunt from the ground. I also have found some nice spots while squirrel hunting. So no matter what game I am hunting, I am always scouting for deer spots. 

My one don't is that I do not assume because a spot looks like a good spot to hunt deer that it is. I use the cam to help me decide. Sometimes it requires setting up a couple cams in the area. But I do not set up until I have confirmation that what I am looking for is present.

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