Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

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Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby mauser06 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:27 pm

Makes sense about the snow falls.


I agree...I'd rather look at a week or so of snow opposed to a real recently snow. Let em lay some tracks down.


Another time I like is when it's melting. The heavy trails are easy to see. Where they've feed all winter is usually easy to see..where theyve bedded is usually easy to see. And shortly after, it's gone...and so are my tracks.

Then I like to go back right after the melt and look at it again. Find the bedding scrapes. Find the rub lines. If you plot the highlights, you can go in with some knowledge...even if you haven't picked out trees and such. You can go in, in the future with your Intel and in many places I hunt, I can expect the same movement. Unless there's been some big change.


I just moved an hour north. I'm excited to put the boots on and get out there. I need to knock on doors too and try to gain some private ground close to the house. I have spots I've been hunting for years that are public..and lots more I need to start scouting. Always drove north to hunt and fish... having a house up here is gonna be a good thing for my hunting and fishing.


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Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby tgreeno » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:07 pm

I think snow scouting and after melt scouting can both be great tools. Most all of our snow just melted so I'll be hitting it hard since our season just ended. Marsh/swamp scouting is ideal now, no snow and ice. I will be able to see exactly where they were bedding during Oct, Nov. And not have to sink to my waist in muck. It's like spring in Jan.

Then when the snow comes, I can compare the travel patterns & bedding. And backtrack those mature bucks right into their bedrooms. Hopefully it will help me connect the dots!
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Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby headgear » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:30 am

KLEMZ wrote:Following tracks backwards is a GREAT idea! You know they are moving naturally as opposed to being pushed. Good post Mauser.


This is what I do too, probably good to track them both ways if you have the time but I like to backtrack to find the beds. Interesting ovservation Maine, I usually see plenty of deer traffic in December but a lot of this dissappear sometime in January so I figure they are yarded up somewhere. I think a lot of them these days hit the edges of town where people feed them too.
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Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby NYBackcountry » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:33 am

Hey all, relatively new here. I've been doing some heavy snow scouting here in upstate NY and have a few questions.

I've been cutting tracks and walking them back to where they came from, so far I've found multiple doe bedding areas (10-15 beds in one small area). I've marked them, however here is the issue. The area is a relatively small public land spot for upstate NY, its two separate 70 acre parcels or so. I know 70 acre parcels dont sound small but there are biking trails in certain areas which some what cut down on the size of huntable area. The whole thing is surrounded by suburbs and some Ag. land, I know there are bucks in the area from talking with some people. I have a general idea of which direction the bucks are coming from, most of them have been spotted to the west of the parcel and I believe they are bedding in a swamp on some Home Owners Association land. I may be able to get access to the small swamp but I don't know how effectively I would be able to set up on it (assuming I could even get access). So do you all think time would be better spent setting up on the downwind side of the doe beds or with some more scouting see If i can identify a travel corridor to the beds and set up on that? Secondly, what are the chances those does bed are in the same area come next fall? My plan is to return to all the spots I find in the winter come spring and then stay out until the season. Our rifle season ended Dec 11th I found these beds around Xmas, so I figure they will be relatively close to in season patterns.

I've got a whole list of places to scout so I'll keep the updates coming.

Great post Maine.
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Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby PK_ » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:17 am

Snow scouting...

I been scouting for snow my whole life in south FL, still ain’t found none... :lol:
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Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby mainebowhunter » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:51 am

headgear wrote:
KLEMZ wrote:Following tracks backwards is a GREAT idea! You know they are moving naturally as opposed to being pushed. Good post Mauser.


This is what I do too, probably good to track them both ways if you have the time but I like to backtrack to find the beds. Interesting ovservation Maine, I usually see plenty of deer traffic in December but a lot of this dissappear sometime in January so I figure they are yarded up somewhere. I think a lot of them these days hit the edges of town where people feed them too.


And that is where I find them in the fall as well. Lots of overlooked spots. Deer have 1000's acres of timber to get lost in...but I tend to find many of them within stones throw of houses.

Yeah. I would have no doubts. What is interesting is that the temps here now are in the 40s and we are supposed to see rain. Which really will know the 18" or so of snow we have. Some years, we have no snow. And this close to the coast, we don't really see much yarding, where 100s of deer pile in from miles around on migration trails.

After another 3.5hrs on it today leaving my snow shoes in the truck, wow, good way to get in shape. Sloshly, slippery wet snow ...slogging it out. Went back to same bed I was on the other day. Deer are definitely feeding in an old cutover. Browsing heavy, bedding the hill with cutover behind them.

Next couple days, I am going to jump into another section. Much easier to cover mile after mile on bare ground. But part of the reason I am doing this is to get some exercise.
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Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby mainebowhunter » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:16 am

NYBackcountry wrote:Hey all, relatively new here. I've been doing some heavy snow scouting here in upstate NY and have a few questions.

I've been cutting tracks and walking them back to where they came from, so far I've found multiple doe bedding areas (10-15 beds in one small area). I've marked them, however here is the issue. The area is a relatively small public land spot for upstate NY, its two separate 70 acre parcels or so. I know 70 acre parcels dont sound small but there are biking trails in certain areas which some what cut down on the size of huntable area. The whole thing is surrounded by suburbs and some Ag. land, I know there are bucks in the area from talking with some people. I have a general idea of which direction the bucks are coming from, most of them have been spotted to the west of the parcel and I believe they are bedding in a swamp on some Home Owners Association land. I may be able to get access to the small swamp but I don't know how effectively I would be able to set up on it (assuming I could even get access). So do you all think time would be better spent setting up on the downwind side of the doe beds or with some more scouting see If i can identify a travel corridor to the beds and set up on that? Secondly, what are the chances those does bed are in the same area come next fall? My plan is to return to all the spots I find in the winter come spring and then stay out until the season. Our rifle season ended Dec 11th I found these beds around Xmas, so I figure they will be relatively close to in season patterns.

I've got a whole list of places to scout so I'll keep the updates coming.

Great post Maine.


Like I mentioned earlier, snow scouting really can really be hit or miss. Its hard to say whether those does will bed there come season. The area I am in now is covered up with does right now. Come August, they will be over a mile away. So honestly, I don't make tons of plans based on snow scouting alone. Plans on based on previous efforts and sits combined with what I am finding now.

What I do look for are rubs in the travel corridors. That tells me this same route is used on bare ground.
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Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby UofLbowhunter » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:32 am

Great post maine! This post couldn't have come at a better time, since joining the beast i havent had any snow to scout, until today! We got 1/4” of ice through the night but are exspecting 2”to 4” of snow on top of that so i am very excited to get out and scout being western ky hasnt had a snow in 3 years. I do notice that deer do some what yard but the yarding is still in there core area, now that area may grow some but its not miles from the core, if anything, its not far due to food source change, we have abundant crops around this part of the state. With no snows food is still available about anywhere!

Something that does have me thinking when there snow? Do you find bedding has moved much to more like thermal cover areas more, or they still stay with the normal bedding spots?
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Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby Boogieman1 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:57 am

Is there anything any of you have learned through snow scouting you feel that u wouldn't have discovered without it? I have given up on the chance of ever getting snow to scout on and was just curious if anybody has stumbled onto any pearls of knowledge even small lil things they would like to pass on.
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Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby mainebowhunter » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:13 am

Boogieman1 wrote:Is there anything any of you have learned through snow scouting you feel that u wouldn't have discovered without it? I have given up on the chance of ever getting snow to scout on and was just curious if anybody has stumbled onto any pearls of knowledge even small lil things they would like to pass on.


Yes. I discovered a run / travel corridor. I jumped on the trail in 1 known bedding area and followed that run for nearly 10-15 minutes right smack to another known bedding area. There are a few rubs telling me bucks used this prior to the snow. When you have lower deer densities, travel corridors are not always that obvious. And there is a point where I hunted in 2016 came inches from killing a target buck. Same spot, got 2 target bucks during daylight at same spot in December. I ran a camera in that spot from August til Jan 1st.

I would also say it confirms some thoughts I had about deer travel. Earth shattering? No. Helpful? Yes. What is interesting is that one of the bucks I killed this year died in that travel corridor, at the tail end of the first bedding area. I had an idea deer were following that edge...but again, without snow, its never that obvious. So when I hunt this again, I am not going to give up that terrain feature based on what I found this winter.

Its also going to determine some of my trail cam placements in 2018.
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Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby Boogieman1 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:24 am

mainebowhunter wrote:
Boogieman1 wrote:Is there anything any of you have learned through snow scouting you feel that u wouldn't have discovered without it? I have given up on the chance of ever getting snow to scout on and was just curious if anybody has stumbled onto any pearls of knowledge even small lil things they would like to pass on.


Yes. I discovered a run / travel corridor. I jumped on the trail in 1 known bedding area and followed that run for nearly 10-15 minutes right smack to another known bedding area. There are a few rubs telling me bucks used this prior to the snow. When you have lower deer densities, travel corridors are not always that obvious. And there is a point where I hunted in 2016 came inches from killing a target buck. Same spot, got 2 target bucks during daylight at same spot in December. I ran a camera in that spot from August til Jan 1st.

I would also say it confirms some thoughts I had about deer travel. Earth shattering? No. Helpful? Yes. What is interesting is that one of the bucks I killed this year died in that travel corridor, at the tail end of the first bedding area. I had an idea deer were following that edge...but again, without snow, its never that obvious. So when I hunt this again, I am not going to give up that terrain feature based on what I found this winter.

Its also going to determine some of my trail cam placements in 2018.

Good info thanks! What u said about low deer density is what I deal with. Even well used family group travel routes are hard to make out.Without game cams I would really be screwed. A lot of the time all I have is the terrain to go by, everyone has there challenges I guess, I would rather have mine then dealing with those frigid temps while on stand.
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Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby tgreeno » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:36 am

Boogieman1 wrote:Is there anything any of you have learned through snow scouting you feel that u wouldn't have discovered without it? I have given up on the chance of ever getting snow to scout on and was just curious if anybody has stumbled onto any pearls of knowledge even small lil things they would like to pass on.


A couple days after a fresh snow, it's amazing how easy it is to see travel patterns, and some of those bedding areas, that were not so obvious without it. IMO...You don't learn anything different with snow, it just can make thing easier to see. Compared to trying to track deer over dry/hard ground.

The sad part is, even with snow during late season, I still struggle to kill deer. Sometimes all that sign in the snow is made at night. So finding fresh sign near bedding is still the goal for me.
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Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby mainebowhunter » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:38 am

Boogieman1 wrote:
mainebowhunter wrote:
Boogieman1 wrote:Is there anything any of you have learned through snow scouting you feel that u wouldn't have discovered without it? I have given up on the chance of ever getting snow to scout on and was just curious if anybody has stumbled onto any pearls of knowledge even small lil things they would like to pass on.


Yes. I discovered a run / travel corridor. I jumped on the trail in 1 known bedding area and followed that run for nearly 10-15 minutes right smack to another known bedding area. There are a few rubs telling me bucks used this prior to the snow. When you have lower deer densities, travel corridors are not always that obvious. And there is a point where I hunted in 2016 came inches from killing a target buck. Same spot, got 2 target bucks during daylight at same spot in December. I ran a camera in that spot from August til Jan 1st.

I would also say it confirms some thoughts I had about deer travel. Earth shattering? No. Helpful? Yes. What is interesting is that one of the bucks I killed this year died in that travel corridor, at the tail end of the first bedding area. I had an idea deer were following that edge...but again, without snow, its never that obvious. So when I hunt this again, I am not going to give up that terrain feature based on what I found this winter.

Its also going to determine some of my trail cam placements in 2018.

Good info thanks! What u said about low deer density is what I deal with. Even well used family group travel routes are hard to make out.Without game cams I would really be screwed. A lot of the time all I have is the terrain to go by, everyone has there challenges I guess, I would rather have mine then dealing with those frigid temps while on stand.


Yeah. I run a pile of trail cams. Good thing here? I have acres and acres of ground that I can freely move on and no one cares. I can chase deer over square miles of woods and no one bats an eye. No one asks why my truck is parked here or there. I have a lot of permission. So if I jump on a trail, I can follow to my hearts content unless I see posted signs.
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Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby NYBackcountry » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:24 am

mainebowhunter wrote:
NYBackcountry wrote:Hey all, relatively new here. I've been doing some heavy snow scouting here in upstate NY and have a few questions.

I've been cutting tracks and walking them back to where they came from, so far I've found multiple doe bedding areas (10-15 beds in one small area). I've marked them, however here is the issue. The area is a relatively small public land spot for upstate NY, its two separate 70 acre parcels or so. I know 70 acre parcels dont sound small but there are biking trails in certain areas which some what cut down on the size of huntable area. The whole thing is surrounded by suburbs and some Ag. land, I know there are bucks in the area from talking with some people. I have a general idea of which direction the bucks are coming from, most of them have been spotted to the west of the parcel and I believe they are bedding in a swamp on some Home Owners Association land. I may be able to get access to the small swamp but I don't know how effectively I would be able to set up on it (assuming I could even get access). So do you all think time would be better spent setting up on the downwind side of the doe beds or with some more scouting see If i can identify a travel corridor to the beds and set up on that? Secondly, what are the chances those does bed are in the same area come next fall? My plan is to return to all the spots I find in the winter come spring and then stay out until the season. Our rifle season ended Dec 11th I found these beds around Xmas, so I figure they will be relatively close to in season patterns.

I've got a whole list of places to scout so I'll keep the updates coming.

Great post Maine.


Like I mentioned earlier, snow scouting really can really be hit or miss. Its hard to say whether those does will bed there come season. The area I am in now is covered up with does right now. Come August, they will be over a mile away. So honestly, I don't make tons of plans based on snow scouting alone. Plans on based on previous efforts and sits combined with what I am finding now.

What I do look for are rubs in the travel corridors. That tells me this same route is used on bare ground.



Good advice maine, I will go back and look for rub lines or larger tracks coming from the directions I think bucks are traveling towards the bedding areas. Thanks for the advice.
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Re: Snow scouting...super interesting this year. Stuff I have learned.

Postby mainebowhunter » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:27 pm

Well...today, got a little time in before the dog ended up at the vets. Took her with me for a quick shed hunt. She ended up jumping a log and caught her leg. No worse fo the wear.

it's interesting to follow these runs . Really is helping me find some really overlooked spots. Bedding pockets where ypu can see rubs along the snow trail. Think about my trail cams from last August and why these bucks were coming from one direction. There has got to be more beds in between some thick spots around these houses. Definitely going to be running some cams come early fall in some of these pinches.

This scouting really is part of my post season plan. During season some things were just not making sense. Had to change around some of my entrance spots. Also changes around some of my thoughts on wind direction.

The amount of generational sign is all over this place.

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