2018 Scouting Reports

Discuss the science of figuring out our prey through good detective work.
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Wannabelikedan
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Re: 2018 Scouting Reports

Postby Wannabelikedan » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:33 pm

Burnt a little over 7 miles in the riverbottom today. Hit an overlooked spot I should’ve capitalized on back during the rut. Got the details nailed down there and pushed on. Wind bumped 4 bucks and a couple does on the back side of the slew. The lead buck looked pretty solid and the other 3 weren’t too shabby. Gonna dig around the other end of the slew they were headed to at a later date. Pieces are coming together over this place.
This the overlooked spot I had an encounter with a 2.5 8 point during the rut. Mostly a doe bedding area but it can be an early season magnet with the oaks in the area. Several beds on multiple winds.
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Searched this area of blowdowns and found a few beds. These seem to be more attractive for solitary bucks and single doe/fawns. Almost walked past this bed but these tine marks caught my eye.
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Bed is in between the fork of a blowdown.
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Rub leading into another bed.
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Bed
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Another bed with an old rub in it.
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This bed was inbetween hog rooting in a blowdown. Droppings in bed.
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Doe bedding area I found in a thick willow flat. Found a heavy trail with several big rubs on the south end of it.
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Something you don’t wanna find. Sows with piglets will make “nests” out of vegetation to help keep them warm when temps get fairly low.
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Halonhunter6
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Re: 2018 Scouting Reports

Postby Halonhunter6 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:06 am

After finding my first known buck bed today while scouting hill county has me puzzled. I found a spot with several beds on a small point with some worn to the dirt with white hair in them. Leaading up to the bed was some rubs and lots of droppings but once in the bed it was so thick you couldn’t see out but the buck would have the wind and thermals in its favor with the multiple bed locations on the point. Below the beding was big horizontal rub with more dropping’s and a few trails leading up into the bedding area. My question is security more important or is being able to see the most important? Either way the buck has the upper hand on anything trying to reach it he will smell or hear anything coming.
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Re: 2018 Scouting Reports

Postby RidgeGhost » Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:43 pm

Halonhunter6 wrote:After finding my first known buck bed today while scouting hill county has me puzzled. I found a spot with several beds on a small point with some worn to the dirt with white hair in them. Leaading up to the bed was some rubs and lots of droppings but once in the bed it was so thick you couldn’t see out but the buck would have the wind and thermals in its favor with the multiple bed locations on the point. Below the beding was big horizontal rub with more dropping’s and a few trails leading up into the bedding area. My question is security more important or is being able to see the most important? Either way the buck has the upper hand on anything trying to reach it he will smell or hear anything coming.


I think for the most part in hill country they live and die by their sniffer
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Jonny
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Re: 2018 Scouting Reports

Postby Jonny » Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:29 pm

RidgeGhost wrote:
Halonhunter6 wrote:After finding my first known buck bed today while scouting hill county has me puzzled. I found a spot with several beds on a small point with some worn to the dirt with white hair in them. Leaading up to the bed was some rubs and lots of droppings but once in the bed it was so thick you couldn’t see out but the buck would have the wind and thermals in its favor with the multiple bed locations on the point. Below the beding was big horizontal rub with more dropping’s and a few trails leading up into the bedding area. My question is security more important or is being able to see the most important? Either way the buck has the upper hand on anything trying to reach it he will smell or hear anything coming.



I think for the most part in hill country they live and die by their sniffer


I agree. Look at it this way. If you see something move, can you immediately identify it and determine if it’s a threat? Can you guarantee you just did it before it saw you?

Smell is immediate identification. Hills are the ultimate bedding for deer because they can essentially smell the greatest percentage of the area around them. The only thing that pushes them out of the hills into marshes and swamps, is predators. I would bet deer would pick hills over swamp for living quarters if they had the choice and one wasn’t hunted hard.

So to answer your question, I believe smell is a whitetails greatest weapon. Eyes can be deceiving, and ears can’t tell sources of noise apart. Noses don’t lie
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Re: 2018 Scouting Reports

Postby TheBuckPsych » Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:11 pm

Halonhunter6 wrote:After finding my first known buck bed today while scouting hill county has me puzzled. I found a spot with several beds on a small point with some worn to the dirt with white hair in them. Leaading up to the bed was some rubs and lots of droppings but once in the bed it was so thick you couldn’t see out but the buck would have the wind and thermals in its favor with the multiple bed locations on the point. Below the beding was big horizontal rub with more dropping’s and a few trails leading up into the bedding area. My question is security more important or is being able to see the most important? Either way the buck has the upper hand on anything trying to reach it he will smell or hear anything coming.


Sounds like to me that point has different beds for that buck for different winds so keep in mind when you wanna hunt that point the wind will always go over his back and he will look down wind from a bed. And i think they can see better than we think when they are in the thick. Yet the thicker it is the safer they are gonna feel. Like one of those beds on my video that i posted and found yesterday. Its like a cave or a room surrounded by a blowdown or huge tree with vegetation around it
Like a bedroom
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Re: 2018 Scouting Reports

Postby Motivated » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:24 pm

All day scouting today. Found 3 graves (from the 1800's, not the shallow unmarked kind). Found and eagle's nest, dead 8 point, dead coyote, fell through ice, found several more beds and setups, saw hundreds of swans, geese, and ducks. Also found a crab, which was not expected here in Indiana.

Hung a camera but forgot batteries, oops! Next time...
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Re: 2018 Scouting Reports

Postby Dewey » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:09 pm

Back on January 1st when it was well below zero I tripped over a very solidly frozen buck in the cattails on my way out to an island to hunt. An antler broke off when I tried to pull him out. Very surprised it was untouches because there are a lot of coyotes around. Looks like it thawed out and the darn yotes finally found it. Mother nature makes sure nothing goes to waste. Even the hide was gone. :o

January 1st
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Today

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stash59
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Re: 2018 Scouting Reports

Postby stash59 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:09 am

Just got in from a short scout. Didn't really find anything bed wise. Did find some higher rubs. Just gotta dig deeper to see if any beds are nearby.
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Re: 2018 Scouting Reports

Postby ihookem » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:35 pm

I scouted 3 miles yesterday and it was quite interesting. I kicked up 2 does and tracked them a bit but the snow was only 1/2". I went a bit further and saw sown very fresh beds, surely does and not the same ones I kicked up. There were three of them. Almost sure they got up and walked away cause they sensed the other two deer on a run. They know deer don't just run in February for no reason so off they went. They did not run . They walked down a river and crossed it and into a patch of cattails that was an island in the river about 100' X 300'. They went in there so I circled the cattail island and they did not come out . I would have seen the tracks cause there was enough snow to see the tracks on the river. I could not possible have been more than 30 yds from those deer. I never seen or heard them in any way but I know they knew I was there. I didn't push it though. On my way back I found so many buck rubs and beds in an area I couldn't believe it. It is so thick I have decided I will not go in there to hunt it cause the trees are scattered and the brush is so thick only luck would send an arrow anywhere with out it deflecting. I must have found a dozen beds that seem most like buck beds. Debs on high spots in the cattails with several rubs inside 20'. I'm sure many are doe beds but they all seem like single beds. Must have found 50 rubs, but they are all small.
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Re: 2018 Scouting Reports

Postby justdirtyfun » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:42 pm

Today was a hill country scout focused on winter/nw wind bedding. The plan was stay on military crest and circle a small and large leeward ridge that was new to me.
Overall it went well. Saw more beds than I can count. One bedding point had a layout that would work for a beast hunt. Tree picked out just beyond sight and sound. Close to a thermal hub type scrape. Also the best travel route off that point comes past kill tree. Access should be good. :dance:
Kept moving and plotting GPS points . Not many beds were looking like THE BED. But by staying with a plan I was efficient and finding how they used the territory. One other area felt more like a primary bedding area. Left a cam near a community scrape facing the bedding.
Pressure from other hunters had me avoiding some of this area. It might play to my advantage now that I understand the layout better.
Promised my dog a new antler. ...no luck.
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Re: 2018 Scouting Reports

Postby Wannabelikedan » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:25 pm

Got out for about 3 hours yesterday to hit one potential overlooked spot and nail down a spot I sat during the rut. Overlooked spot had decent sign for early season and some rut activity. If the red oaks turn out heavy this next year, it will definitely be enticing. Beds were unclear but I found a good tree to observe movement if acorns are drawing. Access is gonna be tough so early season will be more favorable.

Follow up on the second location was really productive. I had a shooter come through this spot the second week of November right at last light. Unfortunately for me, I gave up on the hunt too early and my bow was on the ground when he came through. Found 3 separate bedding areas along this stretch. One set up for a N wind, one for an Easterly, and a primary bedding location that covers a S-E wind.

Easterly wind bedding backed by a blow down in some horsetail reed. It hasn’t seen much action since early season and probably doesn’t get used unless the primary is full. The small willows scattered amongst are what really give this spot cover earlier in the season when leaves are still present.
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This is the bed in the primary spot. Had the largest rubs and specific beds marked with rubs. Probably had the most distinct bed location I’ve seen so far this post season.
Bed in front of blowdown with old rub in the back and front of bed.
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Bed behind blowdown. This bed is the most distinct bed so far this year. Sapling in bed had tine marks on it.
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Big rub on a cruising trail south of these beds
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Re: 2018 Scouting Reports

Postby Jackson Marsh » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:44 am

Nice work wannabelikedan

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