Why are you on edge all the time?

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

Postby Dewey » Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:47 am

BuckTrack81 wrote:This relates alot to the areas I hunt, and it all makes more sense the more times I read this post, when I look back on all the buck sign I have found through the years about 80% of it, rubs... Scrapes ... Big tracks are along edges or transition lines like magic talked about, sometimes the big woods can become overwhelming to hunt because it is so vast, one thing I have found thru the years for some reason or not the general population of deer seems to hang out along two track roads just in far enough to where you cant see them but they can see you and watch cars go by all day long, its crazy to think about really, but looking back on it the reason they do this I feel is because they come out to feed in the oaks, and travel the roads at night .. The path of least resistantance... Or as magic described using the road as an edge of some sort, i guess with this becoming a question now do you find that the bigger the buck is do they stay away from the general population more of a loner throughout the year until the rut?? The reason I ask is from my few years of tracking it seem that the bigger buck tracks just seem to go on for miles in search of a honey going through pockets of deer at times... So with that being said how do you single out trying to find a slob in the big woods without putting to much pressure on him.. Because its not like some areas where you have fields to shine in at night or to glass from where i live, do you put out cameras or just go by intel gathered from years past. And during the off season the reason I ask is most of our deer tend to relocate for the winter, do you find that big bucks are nomadic?? And stay in the same core area?? When everyone else heads south just curious to what big woods hunters have for input on this also...

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Good observations and many of the same questions I have. Interested to hear what others have to say.

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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby KLEMZ » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:09 am

magicman54494 wrote:
I think you are seeing the same thing that I am. A funnel is worthless if there is no reason for a deer to use it. The key is finding the does at that time of the year.
You talk about doe bedding areas and that they are hard to find. I agree. I would add though that doe bedding is a lot different than buck bedding. I like to use the term "pockets of deer" instead of a bedding area. I think many people are misled by doe bedding area. Does have a core area (which is actually pretty big). They also move a lot as food sources change. They also bed more randomly than bucks do.
It's amazing how fast doe groups relocate when someone starts dumping corn down.
I think your new method will produce a lot better than your old ways. I would take it one step further and actually do a lot of in season scouting. I would go looking for the pockets of does before setting up. As you said things change a lot from year to year. I have more "luck" just quick scouting an area then once I find does I set up along the edges..



It has been a full year since magicman wrote the above information. I want to check in and report my results after following magic's advice on hunting the bigwoods rut.

The area I hunted is Northerm Wisconsin vast national forest with no agriculture, no clearcuts, very few bowhunters, and very low deer numbers.
-day one (November 8th)... walked transition edges the whole day, with intention of locating pockets of deer. Had 2" of fresh snow so the conditions were ideal. Was stunned by the scarcity of deer tracks. Was not surprised by the multiple wolf tracks (sets of 5 and 6 tracks cruising thru a few totally different areas). Quite a few sets of bear tracks as well. Did discover two pockets of deer activity, both associated with small cedar swamp areas. They were not in the acorns at all.

-day two (Nov 9th)...waited till first light to walk into a doe bedding area that is between two small cedar swamps. This area is my most consistent doe bedding spot over the years. I waited for light so I could scout for tracks in the dwindling snow as I hiked to my stand. I was encouraged to see cruising buck tracks and some doe family tracks as I neared the bedding area. A 3.5 yr old busted me as I set up my stand and I saw a smaller buck run into the doe bedding later in the day. I felt it was a great day of hunting in the bigwoods.

-day three (nov 10th)...gave into temptation and tried hiking to a new spot I thought would be a good rut corridor. Old habits die hard because my plan was to NOT hunt classic funnels this year. As it turned out, a massive blowdown area kept me from reaching the spot. I regrouped and tried to hike to a new area I believed could be doe bedding (based on topos /aerials), but again was turned back by a different blowdown area. It was a frustrating day compounded by not seeing many tracks with all the walking I had done.

-day four(Nov 11th)... waited for first light and hiked into a new area I strongly suspected would be doe bedding (again, this is based on topos and aerials and my previous experience with what doe bedding looks like in this bigwoods area.) My plan was to keep checking "doe" areas until I found fresh sign, then set up quietly and hunt the edge of it. Happily, we had a skim of fresh snow which made it easy to see a few fresh doe tracks and a couple sets of buck cruising tracks. I set my LW Alpha only 10' up with great backdrop cover. ten minutes later a 1.5 yr old came past. one hour later a fat 2.5 yr old came out of the bedding cover and I killed him!

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This is not the biggest buck I ever shot, but I am VERY proud of this hunt. It is empowering to me to know I can get on bucks in the bigwoods, especially with the very low deer density in the area I am hunting. I could have sat rut funnels all week long (as I have for 25+ years) and come home empty handed. Thanks to magicman for helping the lightbulb go on for how to hunt the rut in this terrain!
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby dan » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:02 am

Klemz Thanks for the feedback! :clap:
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby Hodag Hunter » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:07 am

Great looking buck Klemz congrats. Did you get a weight on him?

Tough to tell by antler size alone but with the tough antler growing season this year do you think this could be a 3.5 year old?

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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby DEERSLAYER » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:22 pm

:clap: Great job KLEMZ!
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby oldrank » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:13 am

Nice job klemz... once again gives me a whole different way of thinking... thanks for posting

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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby KLEMZ » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:55 am

Hodag Hunter wrote:Tough to tell by antler size alone but with the tough antler growing season this year do you think this could be a 3.5 year old?


Yeah, it could be a 3.5 yr old I suppose. I did not weigh him. The typical buck in this area has a large body and a rack that is smallish compared to the body. One thing I know for sure, I would shoot him again next year if given a chance!

Having said that, I know there was a slob spending a lot of time in this bedding area. I went back the next day to scout (this was a new area to me) and there were 4 finger tracks of various ages all over the place. He walked down the same trail I shot my buck (fresh and days old), He walked down the drag trail I pulled the dead buck down. He crossed a beaver dam multiple times to an area I suspect is a bedding zone for him... a subtle point of dry ground in a thick swampy area where I found his tracks and quite a few large droppings , but no beds? I think next year I could sit the beaver dam and catch him coming back to bed at dawn or out cruising late morning, and then shift over to the doe bedding (only a couple hundred yards away) for the evening sit.

One more thought
- scouting during the actual time you are hunting gives accurate real time feedback. The fresh tracks and droppings I zeroed in on to determine the does were using this area were NOT abundant. I would call it subtle.
If I came thru next spring and tried to read the sign after sitting under snow all winter I may not have identified it for what it was. This is bigwoods and everything is spread out.
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby Black Squirrel » Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:18 am

Glad to see it all come together.
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby Hodag Hunter » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:17 am

Klemz

You make a great point about scouting during actual hunting season. The last 2 years I have been tracking exclusively during WI rifle season and areas that are typically void of deer sign are now not during the gun season.

Some spots are showing typical travel corridors where other locations are the first time I walked thru them. My take is the ever changing location of doe bedding. My findings are does May bed in some areas yearly and other areas only a few weeks and them move on.

In season scouting is a must for big woods hunting in my opinion.

Your buck, antler size only, ( can't see the body size with the picture you supplied )would make me guess 3.5 this year because of the poor growing season. Legit 2.5 by me this year had considerably smaller racks than typical. Even some 3.5s were noticeably smaller than a "normal" year.

Congrats again on your buck. He would be a definite shooter in my book this year.

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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby cwoods » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:16 am

Great thread magic. Thanks for the share.

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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby 365buckin » Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:21 am

Klemz thanks for sharing your results. It makes it so much easier to apply the knowledge magic posted when there is real life examples and strategies. Thanks for breaking down your hunt and being thorough with your write up!!!
Be in the woods as often as you can....and as long as you can!
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby Longbow » Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:51 am

Great buck Klemz!

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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby dan » Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:41 pm

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

Postby croz2173 » Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:35 pm

Wow, thanks everyone for the great info in this thread. I hunt big woods exclusively because they call to me for some reason, I don't like to deal with people or property boundaries. Its great to hear from some guys who have been hunting this stuff for so long and have so much to share. This will be my first full season trying to put some of what I have learned from this site into practice. I think this thread might be some of the best info I have gotten so far.
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Re: Why are you on edge all the time?

Postby magicman54494 » Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:52 pm

I missed the updates to this thread. Congrats on the nice buck. It sure is rewarding when a plan comes together. get back in there after that big buck. THEY ARE CREATURES OF HABIT AND WILL USE THE SAME TRAILS AGAIN AND AGAIN.
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