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Scouting methods?

Discussion in 'Bucks and Does' started by traphunter, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. traphunter

    traphunter Guest

    What tactics do you use for scouting? Me and a buddy scouted out a highland county property yesterday and jumped a big big buck out of his bed. I think that he was with a smaller buck. Do you guys think that I scared him off the area for good or do you think that its still early enough in the year that he will return back to the same area/ bedding, ect...?

    Anyway we found almost all of the deer sign yesterday around the water sources ( creeks). That makes sense seeing as it has been so hot and dry. I think that it will be the same pattern in the early bow season. So probably in the next week or two we will go hang a stand and pick out stand sites along the creek. Hopefully our setup will work out because I think it would be awsome to see my buddy tag his first deer this season.
  2. Lundy

    Lundy Staff Member


    I seriously doubt that you spooked the deer from it's area with just one encounter.

    I have almost always hunter fairly open country, farm land type stuff. My scouting has always consisted of setting up a long way from where I expect to find deer and watching the fields, fence rows, creeks, etc. It's really easy to pattern a deer in the early season. The only thing they care about until mid to late October is food, water and cover.

    You should be able to get a good pattern going on the local deer just by watching every chance you get late evening or morning depending on when you plan to hunt. I have always killed more good bucks in the evening in the early season and just the opposite during November and December.

    Once I establish some kind of routine just prior to season opening I would then set my stand no mare than one week early. This would be the only time that I have ever actually walked in the area I planned to hunt. Then, if the pattern holds I get in the stand and hope it all works. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't.

    This system is very dependent on the current food source. You can't pattern what you can't see. If they are not entering the fields in the late evening, or not until after dark it makes it tough. In PA the deer are always hitting the alfalfa fields hard in early October, it makes it pretty easy to pattern a particular deer.

    My personal opinion is the best opportunity to kill a good buck is the very first time you hunt a new well placed stand and I think the percentage of opportunity diminishes on each subsequent trip after that. It hard to be in their house once without them knowing it much less multiple times in the same location.

    Just my opinion.


  3. traphunter

    traphunter Guest

    Thanks for the reply and advice on this subject.

    In the place I am thinking about setting up stands there is a corn field on one side of the creek, and about a 15 acres patch of woods/ thincket on the other side. Behind the woods is a bean field and some grassy area. I have permsion to hunt the woods and the beans and along a stretch of the creek. After scouting around yesterday it appeared that the deer were using the woods and brush as bedding area, and were crossing the creek to feed on the corn. It didnt appear that they were eating on the beans that much. My in the early season there is going to be to set up stands along some of the creek crossing. That way I may catch the deer going to and from feeding/ bedding areas. My next trip there I am going to try to find a way to sneak through there without jumping deer from the beds or whatever else they may be doing.

    I am excited about this property because this will be the first year I bowhunted it. There are alot of other people who hunt around the area too though so I dunno. I set out a game cam there if I get the big boys pic I will post it on here. Thanks for your help, im pumped for season now

    Mossyhorns haunts my thoughts;)
  4. I can't expand much on what Lundy said, as I agree with about all of it. One thing I'd mention is watch those beans. Around here, I watch deer walk past all the corn to get to the beans. I don't belive there is a more consistent pattern than beans in the early season. The deer show up as soon as they sprout, and they are there like clockwork every night until about the second week of bow season. After that they slack off, but still feed in them a lot. If I had to pick a single time/place to kill a mature deer, it would be on opening evening of bow season on a trail leading to a bean field. Obviously, it may differ in your area, but deer are deer, and they like beans. I'm fortunate to live where I do and watch them every night, but get out there every evening you can, especially as season gets closer. Now is the best time to see what kind of deer are in the area. I've seen some tremendous bucks in July/August in the bean fields. They may very well move on before the rut, but the feeding pattern should hold into the second week of October. If you can watch the field (from a distance) a couple/few times a week and find a buck on a good pattern and everything goes well, you stand a good chance to kill that deer within the first two days of season. Like Lundy mentioned, set your stand up about a week in advance. Try to set it up when you can take advantage of a situation that will minimize the disturbance you make. Maybe a rainy morning, or a day when the farmer is out working in that area. By that time of year, it only takes one slip up to cause a buck to change his pattern. It may not be permanent, but it may be. I've done it too many times. :rolleyes:
  5. jeffmo

    jeffmo officially unofficial!!!!

    i just checked out a new area last evening.i've always had permission to hunt this area(different area but same owner)but until the last couple of years the hunting on the farm behind my house has usually been decent.
    lundy hit it right.if you don't already have a pair,get a good pair of binoculars and glass the area from a personally,i like to decide where i want to hunt early enough in the year and hang my stand as early as possible.that way there's nothing "new" in the area that may spook the deer and they're use to the stand being there.
    another preference i have is to locate my stand between where the deer are bedding and where they are feeding.when they're on the move from one place to the other they're less alert to their surroundings and that increases your chances.
    one other thing i've noticed over the years is that deer are kind of lazy.i know it sounds funny but unless they're pushed they will usually travel the easiest route they 1st stand location was basically over a down spot in a fence line.i watched deer walk several hundred yards down the same fence line just to cross at that spot when they could have jumped the fence anywhere.btw,that stand didn't move for about 8 years!
    anyway,good luck,try to keep the wind in your face and post some pics later on!