Big woods, northern Michigan

Discuss the science of figuring out our prey through good detective work.
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kenn1320
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Big woods, northern Michigan

Unread postby kenn1320 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:15 am

Looking for insight to hunting this type of terrain. Rolling hills with 150ft top to bottom elevation change. Areas are timber managed. Pole/log density as well as aspen, oak, etc blocks. Initial thoughts were hill country tactics, but im thinking maybe they are bedding in the clear cuts and hitting the hills for oaks after dark. Thinking maybe the best approach is walking the clear cuts as a transition line, looking for sign.


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MichiganMike
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Re: Big woods, northern Michigan

Unread postby MichiganMike » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:11 am

kenn1320 wrote:Looking for insight to hunting this type of terrain. Rolling hills with 150ft top to bottom elevation change. Areas are timber managed. Pole/log density as well as aspen, oak, etc blocks. Initial thoughts were hill country tactics, but im thinking maybe they are bedding in the clear cuts and hitting the hills for oaks after dark. Thinking maybe the best approach is walking the clear cuts as a transition line, looking for sign.

Clear cut bedding/underbrush is tough. I have found that does bed in there on more of the outskirts and the big boy is bedded 80-100 yds further in the interior. Estrus does will gravitate toward him and he will not need to move much. His more aggressive moves and feeding are after dark. Those does will bust you if you get to close. I have still run across good bucks scent checking that exterior perimeter though. I like to set up on the downwind side of a pronounced doe runway coming out- but off the runway about 50 yds. Usually there is a scrape there too and to me is your golden ticket- especially after a rain or snow. Hills I personally stay out of. Just my experience- but too many issues with wind currents/thermals and getting spotted.
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greenhorndave
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Re: Big woods, northern Michigan

Unread postby greenhorndave » Fri Oct 23, 2020 6:32 am

MichiganMike wrote:
kenn1320 wrote:Looking for insight to hunting this type of terrain. Rolling hills with 150ft top to bottom elevation change. Areas are timber managed. Pole/log density as well as aspen, oak, etc blocks. Initial thoughts were hill country tactics, but im thinking maybe they are bedding in the clear cuts and hitting the hills for oaks after dark. Thinking maybe the best approach is walking the clear cuts as a transition line, looking for sign.

Clear cut bedding/underbrush is tough. I have found that does bed in there on more of the outskirts and the big boy is bedded 80-100 yds further in the interior. Estrus does will gravitate toward him and he will not need to move much. His more aggressive moves and feeding are after dark. Those does will bust you if you get to close. I have still run across good bucks scent checking that exterior perimeter though. I like to set up on the downwind side of a pronounced doe runway coming out- but off the runway about 50 yds. Usually there is a scrape there too and to me is your golden ticket- especially after a rain or snow. Hills I personally stay out of. Just my experience- but too many issues with wind currents/thermals and getting spotted.

I literally have only hunted 3 days in big woods of NW WI in my life, but I got surprised by a buck who had to have been bedded very nearby and he was in that 80-100 yards in the interior in relation to a clearcut. I wish I would have known to ask Mike before learning it the hard way. :lol:

For me, getting on that buck was scout-hunting into position around where multiple transitions (like 4) came together near a clearcut. That 80 yards in from the clearcut edge was loaded with his sign. It looked like a turd factory when I checked it all out after he busted me.
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headgear
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Re: Big woods, northern Michigan

Unread postby headgear » Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:07 am

kenn1320 wrote:Looking for insight to hunting this type of terrain. Rolling hills with 150ft top to bottom elevation change. Areas are timber managed. Pole/log density as well as aspen, oak, etc blocks. Initial thoughts were hill country tactics, but im thinking maybe they are bedding in the clear cuts and hitting the hills for oaks after dark. Thinking maybe the best approach is walking the clear cuts as a transition line, looking for sign.


In northern MN and hunt a lot of the same stuff, they are very likely to be in the older clearcuts but up in the best hill bedding as possible. Two of my better spots are a mess of ridges and hill tops in a 20-40acre clearcuts that have grown up. Pretty much nobody is hunting them because there are so few trees and the deer pile in. Been a swamp hunter most of my life too so don't ignore those either, in fact some of my better spots are big hills close to big swamps, bed in the hills and use the swamps as escape cover for wolfs and other hunters.
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Re: Big woods, northern Michigan

Unread postby MichiganMike » Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:46 am

greenhorndave wrote:
MichiganMike wrote:
kenn1320 wrote:Looking for insight to hunting this type of terrain. Rolling hills with 150ft top to bottom elevation change. Areas are timber managed. Pole/log density as well as aspen, oak, etc blocks. Initial thoughts were hill country tactics, but im thinking maybe they are bedding in the clear cuts and hitting the hills for oaks after dark. Thinking maybe the best approach is walking the clear cuts as a transition line, looking for sign.

Clear cut bedding/underbrush is tough. I have found that does bed in there on more of the outskirts and the big boy is bedded 80-100 yds further in the interior. Estrus does will gravitate toward him and he will not need to move much. His more aggressive moves and feeding are after dark. Those does will bust you if you get to close. I have still run across good bucks scent checking that exterior perimeter though. I like to set up on the downwind side of a pronounced doe runway coming out- but off the runway about 50 yds. Usually there is a scrape there too and to me is your golden ticket- especially after a rain or snow. Hills I personally stay out of. Just my experience- but too many issues with wind currents/thermals and getting spotted.

I literally have only hunted 3 days in big woods of NW WI in my life, but I got surprised by a buck who had to have been bedded very nearby and he was in that 80-100 yards in the interior in relation to a clearcut.I wish I would have known to ask Mike before learning it the hard way. :lol:

For me, getting on that buck was scout-hunting into position around where multiple transitions (like 4) came together near a clearcut. That 80 yards in from the clearcut edge was loaded with his sign. It looked like a turd factory when I checked it all out after he busted me.

Thanks for plug Dave lol. ;)Yeah-just my experience anyway. But yeah- if you want that "A-Ha" moment that Dan talks about for big buck bedding- post season scout clearcuts with thick underbrush. Usually its rut- based bedding, but no way your getting close to them. Your only hope is they get dumb during rut, then good luck! :D


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