Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
  • Advertisement

HB Store


mainebowhunter
500 Club
Posts: 3277
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:45 pm
Status: Offline

Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby mainebowhunter » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:10 pm

Forgive me in advance for babbling on :lol: Be honest, most of my buddies have hung up there gear and none are interested in anything deer related this time of year. What I am finding now, DIRECTLY impacts my hunting next fall.

So normally, most of my snow scouting...well, I avoid it lol. I just don't enjoy it all that much. BUT this year, cabin fever has been kicking me hard so I am out every chance I can get. I also need exercise so I put my snowshoes on my metal frame backpack and even its only for a couple of hours, I start scouting. One buck has me going nuts and I am bound to find out as much as I can about him for 2018. I think snow scouting will benefit greatly if you can find a mature buck that sticks close to his core area.

1. Bucks are using bedding areas I hunt in the fall more than I thought. EVERY single bedding area I have checked so far has multiple beds being used. Its interesting to follow the runs and see deer STILL will not bed randomly even in the winter. Still have all their preferred, elevated bedding.

2. Not all bucks shift out of there core areas during the winter. I have 1 buck that is a giant 8pt. I have chased him for 2 yrs, 3rd year coming up. That buck is using all the same beds, same travel corridors he used during the season. Pretty easy to follow his tracks, his beds are quite a bit larger than the other deer. I found 1 of his sheds, tomorrow I will be looking for the other side. Because he is spending time here, the beds are getting used. The only thing that is throwing a wrench into it? Another buck has moved in from 1 mile away that I was also looking for. So his sign is now getting mixed up with my #1 buck. That makes it a bit harder to sort through who is who.

3. Some bucks do shift. And much of what I see with those bucks do not always apply. It can be misleading. Except, many of the bedding areas are seeing use by them as well (by the sign, I am guessing) I looked for a super nice 8pt with stickers about a mile away with cams and never found him (buck mentioned above). But I did find a pile of generational sign, however no pics of him. So snow scouting that area, there would not be as much to learn.

4. Travel corridors are getting used the same way as they were during the fall. Big tracks and long strides are running the old rubline that I found early in 2016. Buck is traveling in and out of the area in relation to ALL of the rubs I have found. I am also finding new travel corridors that are connecting bedding areas.

Heres to snow scouting 2018! I will be in the woods on snow every chance I get this winter. I am going to try and keep this updated with stuff I find over the winter.


User avatar
Dewey
Moderator
Posts: 22323
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:57 pm
Location: Wisconsin
Status: Online

Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby Dewey » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:15 pm

I have been trying to tell guys around here the same thing for years but everyone says winter patterns and bedding are completely different and snow scouting is a wasted effort. Your observations match mine 100%.
mainebowhunter
500 Club
Posts: 3277
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:45 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby mainebowhunter » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:21 pm

Dewey wrote:I have been trying to tell guys around here the same thing for years but everyone says winter patterns and bedding are completely different and snow scouting is a wasted effort. Your observations match mine 100%.


To some extent they are right. BUT certain bucks, if they stay in their core areas, there is a lot to learn. I do see areas that get used completely different. If a buck moves 1-2 miles, your going to be mislead. With enough time scouting though, you can kind of decipher between the 2.
User avatar
Edcyclopedia
Posts: 9621
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:54 pm
Location: S. NH
Status: Offline

Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby Edcyclopedia » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:25 pm

Gr8 post and work, you deserve it brother.
I hope you can keep this an active thread with your findings?

Your buddy Denver ;)
Expect the Unexpected when you least Expect it...
mainebowhunter
500 Club
Posts: 3277
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:45 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby mainebowhunter » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:32 pm

Another thing that I have found difficult that is slowly changing is the amount of sunlight. These days are SHORT. Even cutting work at 2pm, only gives me a couple of hours til dark.
mainebowhunter
500 Club
Posts: 3277
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:45 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby mainebowhunter » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:32 pm

Edcyclopedia wrote:Gr8 post and work, you deserve it brother.
I hope you can keep this an active thread with your findings?

Your buddy Denver ;)


Not sure Dallas would appreciate that :D
KLEMZ
Posts: 1173
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:28 am
Location: SE Wisconsin
Status: Offline

Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby KLEMZ » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:48 pm

Cool thread maine, I will be following along. How much snow is on the ground right now? Could you tell what they were feeding on? I would bet you can discover some travel route from the bedding where he is vulnerable to hunting.
mainebowhunter
500 Club
Posts: 3277
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:45 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby mainebowhunter » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:14 pm

KLEMZ wrote:Cool thread maine, I will be following along. How much snow is on the ground right now? Could you tell what they were feeding on? I would bet you can discover some travel route from the bedding where he is vulnerable to hunting.


Just about to my knees. Probably 18" to 24".

They are feeding on rotten apples, any trees that have fallen. Found a small shed where buck was browsing buds on a dead poplar. They have moved on closer to houses guessing so any bushes next to houses. They have been on an old garden and compost pile.

I have discovered 1 travel route that connected a bedding area. Came inches from killing a mature buck off that run in 2016 during December as he entered the acorns. That's a big find. I also could see how that buck used the edge when he entered and it connected to a big bed I found in the spring.
mainebowhunter
500 Club
Posts: 3277
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:45 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby mainebowhunter » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:25 pm

KLEMZ wrote:Cool thread maine, I will be following along. How much snow is on the ground right now? Could you tell what they were feeding on? I would bet you can discover some travel route from the bedding where he is vulnerable to hunting.


If deer moved to yards...scouting would probably be ineffective.
User avatar
Hawthorne
500 Club
Posts: 3464
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:13 pm
Location: michigan
Status: Offline

Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby Hawthorne » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:47 pm

Good topic! I think there is something to learn anytime of year on a scouting mission. I went yesterday in the snow to a piece of public I’ve been keeping tabs on for 2 years but havnt hunted it yet. Hung a cam there in September. Had a real nice buck on cam twice in late October. Really learned some good things yesterday and I think I’m ready to hunt this place this fall with this being my 3rd winter gathering info.
Take your bow and a quiver full of arrows, and go out into the open country to hunt some wild game for me.

Genesis27:3
mauser06
500 Club
Posts: 1211
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:11 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby mauser06 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:53 pm

Interesting observation from Maine...you'd think if anywhere saw a pattern shift, it'd be up north.

I see some yarding and shifting. But a lot of times I agree..mature bucks do their own thing and stick with it.

I think 2014 I scouted a Marsh. Found a rub line with great rubs. I couldn't figure out the bedding. His tracks in the snow still followed that rub line...but I couldn't follow them to bed.

Hung a camera and had a parade of deer. And, that buck. Probably him several days after he shed. First pic was Valentine's day.
C

I got a lot of scouting to do...and going to start as soon as I can.


I carry a GPS. I mark points of interest. I will start a track when I'm on a good run.

I almost always have the GPS when I'm in the woods just to mark stuff I stumble into. Even in woods I don't intend to deer hunt..never know when I'm "in the area" and have time for a quick hunt or whatever.


Snow is great to see how they travel the land. You can study it and find their weak points. And, of course, the important...the beds.

In snow, I like to follow them backwards. I wanna see where they came from..I don't care so much where they go when I jump them...I do..but I wanna find the natural bed first. Beds after they are jumped are tougher to decipher sometimes. I've seen them lay down and kinda wait on me.. always with a good advantage..but spots that I just don't think are places he normally beds..

Snow is definitely a great learning tool...but you do have to look at it and figure out if it's normal use or winter use.
mainebowhunter
500 Club
Posts: 3277
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:45 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby mainebowhunter » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:13 pm

mauser06 wrote:Interesting observation from Maine...you'd think if anywhere saw a pattern shift, it'd be up north.

I see some yarding and shifting. But a lot of times I agree..mature bucks do their own thing and stick with it.

I think 2014 I scouted a Marsh. Found a rub line with great rubs. I couldn't figure out the bedding. His tracks in the snow still followed that rub line...but I couldn't follow them to bed.

Hung a camera and had a parade of deer. And, that buck. Probably him several days after he shed. First pic was Valentine's day.
C

I got a lot of scouting to do...and going to start as soon as I can.


I carry a GPS. I mark points of interest. I will start a track when I'm on a good run.

I almost always have the GPS when I'm in the woods just to mark stuff I stumble into. Even in woods I don't intend to deer hunt..never know when I'm "in the area" and have time for a quick hunt or whatever.


Snow is great to see how they travel the land. You can study it and find their weak points. And, of course, the important...the beds.

In snow, I like to follow them backwards. I wanna see where they came from..I don't care so much where they go when I jump them...I do..but I wanna find the natural bed first. Beds after they are jumped are tougher to decipher sometimes. I've seen them lay down and kinda wait on me.. always with a good advantage..but spots that I just don't think are places he normally beds..

Snow is definitely a great learning tool...but you do have to look at it and figure out if it's normal use or winter use.


Yep. Mine is GPS/Phone ALWAYS with me. I mark some of the stuff as "Winter (whatever)" that way I can come back and verify at some point in the the spring or coming fall.
KLEMZ
Posts: 1173
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:28 am
Location: SE Wisconsin
Status: Offline

Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby KLEMZ » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:27 pm

Following tracks backwards is a GREAT idea! You know they are moving naturally as opposed to being pushed. Good post Mauser.
mainebowhunter
500 Club
Posts: 3277
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:45 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby mainebowhunter » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:37 pm

mauser06 wrote:Interesting observation from Maine...you'd think if anywhere saw a pattern shift, it'd be up north.

I see some yarding and shifting. But a lot of times I agree..mature bucks do their own thing and stick with it.

I think 2014 I scouted a Marsh. Found a rub line with great rubs. I couldn't figure out the bedding. His tracks in the snow still followed that rub line...but I couldn't follow them to bed.

Hung a camera and had a parade of deer. And, that buck. Probably him several days after he shed. First pic was Valentine's day.
C

I got a lot of scouting to do...and going to start as soon as I can.


I carry a GPS. I mark points of interest. I will start a track when I'm on a good run.

I almost always have the GPS when I'm in the woods just to mark stuff I stumble into. Even in woods I don't intend to deer hunt..never know when I'm "in the area" and have time for a quick hunt or whatever.


Snow is great to see how they travel the land. You can study it and find their weak points. And, of course, the important...the beds.

In snow, I like to follow them backwards. I wanna see where they came from..I don't care so much where they go when I jump them...I do..but I wanna find the natural bed first. Beds after they are jumped are tougher to decipher sometimes. I've seen them lay down and kinda wait on me.. always with a good advantage..but spots that I just don't think are places he normally beds..

Snow is definitely a great learning tool...but you do have to look at it and figure out if it's normal use or winter use.


Much of Maine they do yard. Just not so much here on the coast. We just don't have the snow depths of interior Maine, Northern Maine. Living 15 miles from the ocean tends to moderate temps and precip.
mainebowhunter
500 Club
Posts: 3277
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:45 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby mainebowhunter » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:40 pm

Another thing I try to wait for is snow on the ground for as long as possible so I can see a weeks worth of movement. I am not trying to kill the deer so fresh sign is not as important to me as recent sign.

Return to “Deer Hunting”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Crazy4bucks, daveynewman, harold, mdtreehugger, PAbowhunter, Polish Hammer and 4 guests