Why are you on edge all the time?

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KLEMZ
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby KLEMZ » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:39 pm

Hodag Hunter wrote:Great buck Klemz, congrats.

Good year for nice racks in my areas this year, you see the same? Must be because of all the water/ rain we got.

Mature buck population still scary low but what is out there at least grew some nice antlers.


Thanks Hodag! I can't comment on the relative antler growth because I only spend one week up north per year basically. I will say that the typical north woods buck has a heavy body and spindly rack. The buck I shot this year had body characteristics of a youngish deer 3.5 or 4.5yr old based on track size, teeth wear, and a slender stomach area. yet carried a bigger than normal rack for the area I'd say, and it was the wettest conditions we ever had this season.


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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby KLEMZ » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:44 pm

ghoasthunter wrote:I have done similar if I see young bucks hounding a doe I'm familiar with I will hunt her bedding area the next morning even if I stunk it up because every day the bucks following her get bigger till she is bred


i agree with this observation.
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ghoasthunter
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby ghoasthunter » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:57 pm

KLEMZ wrote:
ghoasthunter wrote:I have done similar if I see young bucks hounding a doe I'm familiar with I will hunt her bedding area the next morning even if I stunk it up because every day the bucks following her get bigger till she is bred


i agree with this observation.

its something I picked up on a couple years ago and has almost worked every time I tried for it. It will change my whole game up if I see this going down.
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby Chuck B » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:09 am

Awesome thread that I have never read before. I don't hunt the "big woods" persay, but there are some similarities where I hunt in W/NW Wisconsin as we have a river system that doesn't have roads/bridges for 10 ish miles and I think the mature bucks sometimes stay down in the thick river bottoms 95% of the time.
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby Dpierce72 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:29 am

KLEMZ wrote:
Dpierce72 wrote:1. Thought: In the past, when I would see folks wandering through the woods past first light with their stands still on their back I assumed "they don't know what they're doing". Wrong assumption! At least in some instances. While I've done this in the afternoon, in the mornings I always try to be in the stand before first light (old habits die hard) but I'm learning this isn't necessary.


I will still get in my tree before first light if I know the exact tree I want to get in. Usually though, I know the general area I want to be and I need some daylight to select the proper set up once I get there.


Dpierce72 wrote:2. Question: When you refer to "big woods" is it big from a geography or timber perspective? Big trees or Big land mass? I'm assuming 'mass' and if so, are we talking tracts that are 1x1 ...3x5 ...or larger (in miles)? Just trying to relate certain properties in my mind to the discussion here.


Well, my area in northern Wisconsin is miles and miles of woods. 5 miles between roads (so 2.5miles is the farthest off road I can get). I have always considered big woods as deer not feeding in ag fields.



Thanks for the reply, KLEMZ!
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magicman54494
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby magicman54494 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:40 am

KLEMZ wrote:
So, since changing my strategy to hunting active doe bedding area based on in season scouting I have killed 3 bucks in 5 seasons for a 60% kill rate. To me, this is a stunning improvement VS the 21% kill rate hunting funnels in the big woods!

Awesome and congrats!

KLEMZ wrote:Some additional thoughts.....



- it is super important to have the lightest, most mobile set up you can, otherwise, you will be tempted not to walk with all your gear, ready to hunt. I have walked all day with my whole set up on some days.


I am always ready to hunt even if I just walked thru an area and others would have you believe that your scent just screwed it up. I have even just set up on the ground if there is very little time left.

KLEMZ wrote:- "pockets of does" is a little misleading. My experience shows me that there are terrain features to look for doe bedding, and it isn't much different than buck bedding sometimes. So, I'm not just wandering edges looking for sign, I walk edges and connect the dots between the known or likely bedding terrain.


I agree that "pockets of does" is misleading. It is real hard to describe with words. They do wander around a lot as well so their "pocket" could be quite large or moving. I like your description. A "pocket" could be a single doe and fawn hanging out in an area. Anyone searching for big trails, tons of beds, herds of deer is going to be disappointed. This stuff always sounds easy on paper but it takes a skilled woodsman to read the sign and understand it.

KLEMZ wrote:- I use to spend my annual spring scouting mission to this area trimming shooting lanes on pre selected kill trees and blazing miles of trails with reflector tacks etc. Now, I spend the WHOLE time finding bedding areas, and use GPS along with high rez aerials to make and save my access trails. No tacks needed, no wasted time trimming shooting lanes from trees that probably are not the best place to kill a buck. Now, I simply hunt the best tree based on current sign and natural shooting lanes. I may never hunt this exact tree again! Such freedom! Long live the Beast!


AMEN! 8-)
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Jonny
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby Jonny » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:41 am

KLEMZ wrote:- it is super important to have the lightest, most mobile set up you can, otherwise, you will be tempted not to walk with all your gear, ready to hunt. I have walked all day with my whole set up on some days.


This is one area I have really struggled with in the past. At best, I get 2-3 full days to hunt before I gotta head home, so I always feel obligated to be in the stand as opposed to walking around. My set-up isn't the lightest out there, but I try to keep it as mobile as I can. Definitely something I want to work on for this year.

The one piece I'm still stuck on is you mention finding the pocket of does. What gives it away that you found the spot you want to hunt? Did you bump them/see them, or just reading sign? And is there a certain terrain you are looking for like swamps butting up to a clear cut/ oak patch? Really liked your story and definitely a lot to learn from, and hopefully I'm not picking too deep into your brain :lol:
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby KLEMZ » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:17 am

Jonny wrote:What gives it away that you found the spot you want to hunt?


That is the 64 thousand dollar question!

For simplicity, let me answer in broad terms.
The most important thing I have learned here on the beast (and blood brothers before that) is you gotta hunt where the bucks move in daylight (bedding), and you find bedding by "looking where it should be". That is the golden rule! This entire thread is based on finding deer along "edges". Well, happily, both buck and doe bedding areas are rather specific mixes of topography/vegetation that can be exploited by studying maps and checking on foot to verify.

So,....how do I know when I have found "the spot"?
If I had never hunted the area before I would cyber scout potential doe bedding and walk them all, compare notes, and then go back and hunt what seemed the most active right now. However, my actual strategy (because I have hunted here for decades) is to have a daily route to a known primary doe bedding area (defined by me as usually active, but not always)...a route that takes me past some "occasional" doe bedding along the way, and then just compare sign.

Scouting conditions vary from easy (snow), moderately easy (real wet, easy to see tracks in the wet forest floor), to difficult (fluffy dry leaf litter).
If it's easy, I will walk the whole route and then back track to the bedding area I saw the fresh tracks. I have no problem back tracking in the big woods rut hunting scenario. The vast majority of deer will cross my tracks without any reaction. The real challenge comes on the fluffy leaf litter years. With the low deer density, I find fresh tracks, trails, droppings almost impossible to see in these conditions. This is when I will just hunt all day at the primary doe bedding area and observe (hope!). If nothing happens, I may repeat the process on a different primary doe bedding area the next day. I will also wait until 7am before entering the woods and fast walk a bunch of potential doe bedding edges hoping to see some bounding deer and hunt near edges where I saw them.

Once you find your general spot for the day, look for a tree that covers as many edges as possible, factoring in wind flow and natural shooting lanes. The wind flow aspect is a critical link to success. Where I am hunting, the doe bedding is usually associated with pines or thicker cover of some sort, yet my set ups are in the more open woods nearby. The difference in "air friction" between the thicker cover and the more open cover will cause swirling wind currents. What I am learning is if you set up with the wind more parallel to the thick/open edge you will be OK. If you set up with the wind more perpendicular to that edge you will have swirling winds betray you almost every time.
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby NorthwoodsWiscoHnter » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:47 pm

This thread is worth its weight in gold for a bigwoods hunter! Could literally write a book with the great info shared in this thread over the five year span!
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby bh bowhunter » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:26 pm

Great thread! New to the Beast and glad I found this thread. Much of the info here reaffirms what I suspected. I have only been bowhunting big woods seriously now for a couple years. Wanted to find places with fewer hunters and more space. Definitely found it but there are fewer deer also!

One thing that I'm not going to worry so much about is leaving scent. Had a nice buck at one of the scrapes within hours of me checking the camera and tying on a new licking branch. The last two seasons I was worried that to much in season scouting would affect deer movements around my stands. But after setting up on fresh sign in early November, I had three shot opportunities from the new spot! To bad none where mature bucks like the four I had on camera.

Also gonna hunt from the ground more looking for the fresh sign. If I find "the spot" then I will hang my lone wolf and hunt it hard. I'm still gonna have several rut stands ready to go, but I plan on being more mobile this up coming season! I've been out every weekend since January 1, and have found many new beds in the snow. Two I believe to be buck beds have trailcams close by. I'm not even gonna ice fish or turkey hunt this winter and spring, scout, scout, scout!!!

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