In-season scouting

Discuss the science of figuring out our prey through good detective work.
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J.W.83
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Re: In-season scouting

Unread postby J.W.83 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:33 am

Bump.

This was a great thread, particularly for newer ppl to the BEAST like me that are already trying to get a plan of attack for this October.

Curious to hear how the rest of the season turned out for some of you in this thread that upped the in-season scouting this year.


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Re: In-season scouting

Unread postby DEER SLAYER 269 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:49 pm

I try to use midday and really windy damp days. HOPE THIS HELPS TRY IT
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Re: In-season scouting

Unread postby krent12 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:06 am

J.W.83 wrote:Bump.

This was a great thread, particularly for newer ppl to the BEAST like me that are already trying to get a plan of attack for this October.

Curious to hear how the rest of the season turned out for some of you in this thread that upped the in-season scouting this year.


I was/am a new beaster this past season and it 100% contributed to my kill and this thread.

I had gotta pics 2 years ago of of Bucks oct 19-22 in the morning right at daylight. I went in this year to confirm if they were there. Judging by tracks I went and scouted a field edge they were . I set up the next morning where I had known there was a scrape in previous years right on the entrance\exit trail.

Shot it right at legal shooting time working that scrape. This thread and past knowledge from the year before . Also just acting on it immediately.

Image
Pic from year prior

Image
Track I found. Multiple big tracks going back and forth.oct20 2018

Image
Oct.21 2018
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Re: In-season scouting

Unread postby krent12 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:10 am

J.W.83 wrote:Bump.

This was a great thread, particularly for newer ppl to the BEAST like me that are already trying to get a plan of attack for this October.

Curious to hear how the rest of the season turned out for some of you in this thread that upped the in-season scouting this year.


Image

I got this picture the very next morning after I shot my buck right where I found the tracks... maybe I shot the wrong one? Lol
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Re: In-season scouting

Unread postby hunter10 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:13 am

This is a great thread and has me thinking about farmland guys. These are smaller areas that some of you guys who have thousands of acres of hills and or swamp. In season scouting in farmland could show a big track or fresh sign but that deer could be in any bush along that county block since they are small and close by. I’ve found it hard to know that my in season scouting of fresh sign is indeed fresh enough that the buck is in my farm/ bedding area and not down the road from night travel. Makes it tough to not waste time doing too much random sitting to try catching up to the bucks
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Re: In-season scouting

Unread postby DaveT1963 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:47 am

My opinion, not that it counts for much:

1) - there is no right answer that works everywhere. Some areas and times are more conducive to scouting during the day and setting up on fresh sign. Others not so much.

2) there are many forms of scouting - boots on ground, aerial photos, cameras, observation sits, etc....

3) You have to be willing to blow it. I pushed my luck yesterday. Had a great gusty NE wind so I tried to move in close to a know bedding area. Got busted by some does on the fringe and they took the buck with them. It happens. Success can be a few mere yards more as Dan always says; but so can failure - you have to be able to smile and say you got me this time - then store it away in the noggin for another location or day.

4) Use weather to assist. Rain, fog and wind can be an asset - use it.

5) It Always works better for me the better I know an area. If you skip post season scouting to find beds, rut activity, food sources, don't expect to be able to overcome that 100% with in season scouting. You will NEVER know a piece of ground as well as a mature buck does. But the closer we come to that the better we know where we can look for "hot sign" without sending up an arrival notice.

6) Having some info is better than no info. If you are totally in the dark about a piece of property then by all means get in there and get after it. even if it means you risk not killing your buck. IMO it is far better to bust everything and get the info you need then to blindly hope for the best (if we are talking mature animals). If you need to go in and learn then do it, but be smart, do it once and do it thoroughly. You should walk out feeling like you found the 1-3 best tress to kill a mature buck from.

7) Do not underestimate looking at maps/photos and then making some assumptions and even guesses. It is surprising to me still that so often I can cyber scout a new piece of property, go in there and often my assumptions prove out and that is where all the sign led me. I suck at it compared to most, but it happens enough to get me doing it more consistently.

8) Humans are the only predators that feel like they need a plan rather than using their God giving abilities to hunt in the moment. we actually suck at hunting if we had to rely on our abilities rather than our tools. Learn to do both. Focus on and develop your God given abilities FIRST, then get the tools. Most hunters would be far better to focus on getting closer to their quarry rather than the current trend of a new tool to shoot further. If we are honest, most of our weaknesses are not related to the tools we have available.

9) there is no better time then to learn where pressure deer go then during season and immediately following season.

These are a few of my thoughts on in-season scouting. Hunting and scouting to me are a blurred line - to me its all hunting.... sometimes I just have a weapon in hand and a tag in my pocket. other times i am definitely thinking and planning for the times when I do.
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Re: In-season scouting

Unread postby G-Patt » Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:21 am

What works for me in Ohio is scouting mid day the day before I plan to hunt, especially if this is an area I haven't hunted or scouted before. I'll wear normal hiking clothes and a binoculars and purposefully try to gently bump deer in suspecting bedding areas. The wearing of "normal hiking clothes" seems to help a gentle bump vs. a hard bump. Why mid-day? Because this is the time of day the deer are generally bedding (reveals active bedding areas). After a gentle bump, I'll come up with a plan to set up on them the following day using wind, trails, food location, pinches and funnels. This method has increased my confidence that I'm hunting deer and not setting up on "deery-looking" spots where deer "could be," which I did too many times in the past. It also increased my encounters and shot opportunities.
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Re: In-season scouting

Unread postby strehb18 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:31 am

I'm going to give this one a bump as it has a bunch of great information in it.

How does your in season scouting change throughout the season as it goes from early-rut-late season transition? Is there specific things you do in early season that gets changed for the rut? Same for late season? Is there pcs of sign that you feel hold more meaning during certain sections of the season?
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Re: In-season scouting

Unread postby TheBuckPsych » Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:24 pm

Been so busy with school and other home things only really been out a 1/2 dozen times.
Gotta step it up.
So today walked about 5 miles of a public piece me and my bro are trying too get-a grip on.
Hunted there the other night and had some chasing action behind me.
So i scouted the outside edges not getting too close too known bedding.
The small what we call micro points is for some reason
Holding the bucks.
This is heavily hunted and it was pounded last week by shotgun doe hunters.
Most hunters know that points into marsh hold deer and this is where most of the guys were focusing.
I found brand new orange vest where one guy setup behind a blowdown facing the point tip.
He was still almost200 yards from tip so i doubt he seen anything big or mature in daylight.
So i decided. Where can i look and what are these doing.
Well the bucks at least.
I started looking on the micro points. Dam if ya know i bumped a 2 year old from one and the other is just absolutely gnarly thick and mature trees out in the sea of frag.
This particular spot has a pinch point and 2 micro points jetting out in the marsh.
There is i counted 18 rubs that are above waist high and really on trees as big as around as my leg.
Thursday night Im gonna go right at it and see what happens.
Im almost positive ill see something.
Heres one of the good ones i found
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Re: In-season scouting

Unread postby headgear » Wed Oct 30, 2019 2:44 pm

Excellent post DaveT, absolutely nailed it.
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Re: In-season scouting

Unread postby jporcello » Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:34 am

DaveT1963 wrote:My opinion, not that it counts for much:

1) - there is no right answer that works everywhere. Some areas and times are more conducive to scouting during the day and setting up on fresh sign. Others not so much.

2) there are many forms of scouting - boots on ground, aerial photos, cameras, observation sits, etc....

3) You have to be willing to blow it. I pushed my luck yesterday. Had a great gusty NE wind so I tried to move in close to a know bedding area. Got busted by some does on the fringe and they took the buck with them. It happens. Success can be a few mere yards more as Dan always says; but so can failure - you have to be able to smile and say you got me this time - then store it away in the noggin for another location or day.

4) Use weather to assist. Rain, fog and wind can be an asset - use it.

5) It Always works better for me the better I know an area. If you skip post season scouting to find beds, rut activity, food sources, don't expect to be able to overcome that 100% with in season scouting. You will NEVER know a piece of ground as well as a mature buck does. But the closer we come to that the better we know where we can look for "hot sign" without sending up an arrival notice.

6) Having some info is better than no info. If you are totally in the dark about a piece of property then by all means get in there and get after it. even if it means you risk not killing your buck. IMO it is far better to bust everything and get the info you need then to blindly hope for the best (if we are talking mature animals). If you need to go in and learn then do it, but be smart, do it once and do it thoroughly. You should walk out feeling like you found the 1-3 best tress to kill a mature buck from.

7) Do not underestimate looking at maps/photos and then making some assumptions and even guesses. It is surprising to me still that so often I can cyber scout a new piece of property, go in there and often my assumptions prove out and that is where all the sign led me. I suck at it compared to most, but it happens enough to get me doing it more consistently.

8) Humans are the only predators that feel like they need a plan rather than using their God giving abilities to hunt in the moment. we actually suck at hunting if we had to rely on our abilities rather than our tools. Learn to do both. Focus on and develop your God given abilities FIRST, then get the tools. Most hunters would be far better to focus on getting closer to their quarry rather than the current trend of a new tool to shoot further. If we are honest, most of our weaknesses are not related to the tools we have available.

9) there is no better time then to learn where pressure deer go then during season and immediately following season.

These are a few of my thoughts on in-season scouting. Hunting and scouting to me are a blurred line - to me its all hunting.... sometimes I just have a weapon in hand and a tag in my pocket. other times i am definitely thinking and planning for the times when I do.



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Re: In-season scouting

Unread postby Twenty Up » Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:08 am

Agreed with Dave, he broke it down very well.

What has helped me with in-season scouting has been having a specific plan and getting hyper aggressive when necessary.

Example:
2018 I hung a trail camera in August-September and had 2 mature bucks coming through around 9PM.
B2709C9A-DEF8-4037-AC57-E7F704AA5F15.jpeg


Due to chasing other bucks and life, I never got to hunt them until November. Unfortunately for me, this tract of WMA was only open for 7 days.

First afternoon of the hunt I scout/hunt my way in. First hunt I overthought it and pushed too far in. The next morning I hunted an overlooked funnel and had a doe bring one of my shooters in to 18 yards. Luckily for him, the light rain and an Apple iPhone was his saving grace. Not realizing the doe was directly under my stand, as I drew back she heard my rain jacket rustle and bounded off.. with the buck right behind her.
CF8388FC-5B0A-40ED-91FF-C3253F82DE3B.jpeg


The setup. Due to property lines, wind direction, deer trails and back-cover this was my best option. Roughly 6-7’ up and despite this angle, I was covered very well thanks to the cedars around me. For reference, the doe was between the fallen tree on the right and my stand.

I also had a second hot doe bring 7 bucks in 20 minutes later, with my second shooter at 34 yards. As many know, bowhunting the rut brings many heartbreaks and as fast as they all ran through, they were gone. The neighbor ended up shooting this buck and he scored in the low 140’s..

Based off of the sign & sightings, I knew this was a Buck bedding area. I immediately began scouting around noon when I got down and found multiple buck beds in the rain.
22E7BC36-F638-4B4F-8D26-A0D5AB28A4D9.jpeg


One of many beds. All marked on OnX for their respected wind directions, picked stand locations and access routes.

On the last day of the hunt I got the wind I needed him to be bedded there. I crept in to 173 yards of the bed on a very calm, dry day and setup shop. The falling thermals and terrain had me hand-cuffed, if I pushed any closer my thermals would drift towards him.

The last 20 minutes of shooting light I see a large bodied deer slowly walking through. He was at 54 or 56 yards and came right from the bedding area I had previously scouted, less than 5 days before.

A sequence of light grunts, rustling branches and throwing Gatorade bottles behind me brought him right in.. After legal shooting light.

Not the success story most guys share on here.. but with only 7 days to hunt, no possible chance to do observation sits... I had to utilize map scouting, anticipating sign, reading sign and getting aggressive to get on bucks.
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Re: In-season scouting

Unread postby CSmith » Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:24 pm

example: (Public land) in august i found a scrape in an overlooked marshy area 100yrds from the main access road, near a huge Crp field, followed a trail 80yrd that lead me to bedding, both buck an doe i assume.
got a positive I.D. on a buck bed. smelted like a buck/fresh rubs, i was pumped.
hunted it 2 man style cover 2 exit trails in different directions,.
only a doe an a fawn showed.
came back pre rut, oct 23rd A.M.
had a good visual from the stand, near that bed, 50yrds away.
multiple deer came back to bed/bedding area just before daylight,
one deer walked across the crp an bedded in a thick tree line/peninsula.
i did not no the deer bedded, thought maybe it was a young buck cruising.
big mistake! i walked out near the area i last saw the deer. in the peninsula. it was a bIG Mature BUCk! I bumped him out of his bed i never new it was there.
CONCLUSION to in season scouting.
I only hunted that spot again that day because i found the scrape the day prior to the am sit, to be opened back up very recently, along with 2 others.

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