Hill scouting with snow or no snow?

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Wolfofmibu
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Hill scouting with snow or no snow?

Postby Wolfofmibu » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:12 am

Hey guys , just curious if scouting with snow in the hills would be benificial or not. Would Most of the sign and bedding be buried ?. Or do the bucks seem to still use the hills even with the snow just as much in the season?. I can’t scout these hills religiously since they are miles from home so just trying to make it worth the trip. Suggestions ?


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Jackson Marsh
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Re: Hill scouting with snow or no snow?

Postby Jackson Marsh » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:48 am

No snow is better for sure, but if I have time to scout, I'm going to scout whether there is snow or no snow. If you only have certain days or times to scout, I would scout. If you can pick your days/times to scout, waiting until there is no snow would be beneficial.

Even if you cannot see the individual fall beds in the snow (the deer vacate the area in winter), a guy should be able to anticipate bedding areas based on location (leeward) and terrain features.

Say you are walking a leeward ridge, and notice some rubs leading out to a small micro point (with good cover), on the side of the ridge with a good drop off.

In a lot of cases you can find a few spots that are flat, scrape the snow away to bare ground and find deer hair. If there are a few rubs in and around these areas, you have most likely found a buck bed.
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Re: Hill scouting with snow or no snow?

Postby dan » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:34 am

There is benefits to scouting with, and with out.
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Re: Hill scouting with snow or no snow?

Postby Dewey » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:54 am

The first time I ever scouted hill country was with snow and that was a tremendous help for figuring out how the deer used the terrain to travel and bed. For the first timer I highly recommend having at least a little bit of snow. This really shortened the learning curve for me and when applying what I learned from the Hill Country DVD I was able to get on buck beds very easily. Going back the next time with no snow I knew exactly what I was looking for by then and it made it so much easier.
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Re: Hill scouting with snow or no snow?

Postby Wolfofmibu » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:44 am

Jackson Marsh wrote:No snow is better for sure, but if I have time to scout, I'm going to scout whether there is snow or no snow. If you only have certain days or times to scout, I would scout. If you can pick your days/times to scout, waiting until there is no snow would be beneficial.

Even if you cannot see the individual fall beds in the snow (the deer vacate the area in winter), a guy should be able to anticipate bedding areas based on location (leeward) and terrain features.

Say you are walking a leeward ridge, and notice some rubs leading out to a small micro point (with good cover), on the side of the ridge with a good drop off.

In a lot of cases you can find a few spots that are flat, scrape the snow away to bare ground and find deer hair. If there are a few rubs in and around these areas, you have most likely found a buck bed.


Thanks for the tips Jackson :). I’m thinking I’ll give it a shot now and try again when it melts to piece it together .
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Re: Hill scouting with snow or no snow?

Postby Wolfofmibu » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:45 am

Dewey wrote:The first time I ever scouted hill country was with snow and that was a tremendous help for figuring out how the deer used the terrain to travel and bed. For the first timer I highly recommend having at least a little bit of snow. This really shortened the learning curve for me and when applying what I learned from the Hill Country DVD I was able to get on buck beds very easily. Going back the next time with no snow I knew exactly what I was looking for by then and it made it so much easier.



Interesting , I like your approach Dewey . I’m going to try it out and see how it pans out. I’ve already watched the hill dvds so that helps . Thanks for commenting !
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Re: Hill scouting with snow or no snow?

Postby daveynewman » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:42 am

Snow for me a few years back was an eye opener. It helps u learn alot. Then as u get more experienced when the snow melts u can still pick out beds and trails just as easy.
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Re: Hill scouting with snow or no snow?

Postby Babshaft » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:15 am

Is there anyway to take advantage of snow to help in scouting marsh and swamp terrains?
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Re: Hill scouting with snow or no snow?

Postby Jackson Marsh » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:09 pm

Babshaft wrote:Is there anyway to take advantage of snow to help in scouting marsh and swamp terrains?


Snow is great to track bucks to their bedding areas as well as the trails they prefer. I know in some marshes bucks can relocate in winter, but I've found good areas based on winter tracks. I killed my biggest partially based on winter tracks.
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Re: Hill scouting with snow or no snow?

Postby strutnrut716 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:45 pm

I'm taking advantage right now of our 5 inches of snow in Wis in the marshes. Makes it easy to see how deer move in and out of bedding areas. Plus its much easier to navigate with frozen ground underneath.
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Re: Hill scouting with snow or no snow?

Postby Babshaft » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:02 pm

strutnrut716 wrote:I'm taking advantage right now of our 5 inches of snow in Wis in the marshes. Makes it easy to see how deer move in and out of bedding areas. Plus its much easier to navigate with frozen ground underneath.
Jackson Marsh wrote:
Babshaft wrote:Is there anyway to take advantage of snow to help in scouting marsh and swamp terrains?


Snow is great to track bucks to their bedding areas as well as the trails they prefer. I know in some marshes bucks can relocate in winter, but I've found good areas based on winter tracks. I killed my biggest partially based on winter tracks.


Thanks very much guys I really appreciate the help! I’ll be busting through some swamps tomorrow!
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Re: Hill scouting with snow or no snow?

Postby MikePerry » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:03 pm

I love scouting in the snow, like Deeey said it really helps you learn how deer use the terrain. We get a lot of lake effect snow around here, got 180 inches already this year broke some record today according to the national news, and we usually have snow on the ground well into mid March so I really have little choice but to scout in snow. Not all bedding and travel routs found in the snow will be used in the fall by any means but you can use your intell gained from in season scouting , scouting in the snow and scouting after the snow melts to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
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Re: Hill scouting with snow or no snow?

Postby Babshaft » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:12 pm

MikePerry wrote:I love scouting in the snow, like Deeey said it really helps you learn how deer use the terrain. We get a lot of lake effect snow around here, got 180 inches already this year broke some record today according to the national news, and we usually have snow on the ground well into mid March so I really have little choice but to scout in snow. Not all bedding and travel routs found in the snow will be used in the fall by any means but you can use your intell gained from in season scouting , scouting in the snow and scouting after the snow melts to put the pieces of the puzzle together.


Thanks for the help Mike. Same deal where I’m at. Picked up another 8” today. There’s lots of snow (it’s what Canada’s known for I guess haha) and from the scouting I’ve done the deer seem to have moved out of the swamps and marshes I expected them to be bedding in once they froze over. Maybe not all of the bucks though.

Time to work a little harder and play hide and go seek tomorrow.
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Re: Hill scouting with snow or no snow?

Postby brancher147 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:54 am

dan wrote:There is benefits to scouting with, and with out.


Yep. It seems like when I have snow to scout I wish for bare ground, and when I have bare ground I wish for snow. The other day I scouted a ridge with no snow on east side but snow on west side which was nice. I prefer to see old scrapes and beds without snow, although you can kind of see where they were even with snow if you know where to look. And snow is a pain on really steep terrain and cliffs where I usually hunt.

A light snow cover (less than an inch) on the ground only is ideal for me. It is easy to walk in, and does not completely cover up old sign. You can really see the terrain features a lot better also, and it is enough to see tracks and trails better, and it does not change how the deer use the woods. If you start getting 6" or more the deer will begin to use the woods and terrain a little differently.

Ideally I will scout a place with snow and then go back without snow to fill in the blanks, or vice versa.
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Re: Hill scouting with snow or no snow?

Postby SidewayZ » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:26 am

Dewey wrote:The first time I ever scouted hill country was with snow and that was a tremendous help for figuring out how the deer used the terrain to travel and bed. For the first timer I highly recommend having at least a little bit of snow. This really shortened the learning curve for me and when applying what I learned from the Hill Country DVD I was able to get on buck beds very easily. Going back the next time with no snow I knew exactly what I was looking for by then and it made it so much easier.


I agree, scouting with a lite snow really helped me as well. I still use in a few spots that are real low density deer populations. It definitely seems easier in my spots that have more deer in my opinion, mostly because there are just more beds not that because the tactics dont work. In low densities the snow just helps me get there faster.
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