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How to make summer scouting suck less?

greg728

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2021
Messages
208
Location
Pennsylvania
Most of my scouting was done in early spring before green up but I’ll be running cams and I’m always wondering about areas I may have missed. I’m in the woods less now that everything is grown in but I still need to hang more cams that I’m waiting on. This is easily the worst time of the year for me. It’s still 4 months away from deer season for me and I’m constantly getting nailed by skeeters, getting chased by yellow jackets and on the lookout for snakes. I bomb my scouting clothes with permethrin regularly but aside from that is there any bug spray/deterrents or other tips you guys use to keep flying insects away? For snakes I just use a big stick to poke around in lay downs, rocks and high grass before walking through and pray. I don’t own snake boots but I’ve been wearing my lacrosse knee high boots. I used to own snakes so I appreciate them but I would appreciate them more if I wasn’t stepping on the kind that really sucks to step on.
 
Most of my scouting was done in early spring before green up but I’ll be running cams and I’m always wondering about areas I may have missed. I’m in the woods less now that everything is grown in but I still need to hang more cams that I’m waiting on. This is easily the worst time of the year for me. It’s still 4 months away from deer season for me and I’m constantly getting nailed by skeeters, getting chased by yellow jackets and on the lookout for snakes. I bomb my scouting clothes with permethrin regularly but aside from that is there any bug spray/deterrents or other tips you guys use to keep flying insects away? For snakes I just use a big stick to poke around in lay downs, rocks and high grass before walking through and pray. I don’t own snake boots but I’ve been wearing my lacrosse knee high boots. I used to own snakes so I appreciate them but I would appreciate them more if I wasn’t stepping on the kind that really sucks to step on.
Picardin spray or topical works well too and doesn’t damage gear. Made by Sawyer’s too. Also a Thermacell.
 
I have no idea how you guys deal with snakes… I hunted in PA snake country, I assume snake country, with a foot of snow on the ground and I was still petrified the entire time, every open rock ledge I found I skirted around, there is no amount of money you could pay me to walk through deep grass or thick stuff this time of year with even a 1% chance of a snake like that within 100 miles of my location…. :tearsofjoy: :tearsofjoy: :tearsofjoy:
 
I can honestly say I've never owned a thermocell, never needed it much here in northern Michigan once season starts. Only really early season hunts do I see any mosquitoes and that's not enough to justify the gear for me. That said, I hate buzzing, flying insects . . . much respect for you southern guys who have to deal with them all year.

For this reason I'm with @chaded. I try to do my scouting early and once the deer flies, gnats, black flies and mosquitoes break out in force I prefer to stay out of the woods. I'll do a few observation sits later in the summer once antlers are developing better but I soak down in deet for those sits.
 
I have no idea how you guys deal with snakes… I hunted in PA snake country, I assume snake country, with a foot of snow on the ground and I was still petrified the entire time, every open rock ledge I found I skirted around, there is no amount of money you could pay me to walk through deep grass or thick stuff this time of year with even a 1% chance of a snake like that within 100 miles of my location…. :tearsofjoy: :tearsofjoy: :tearsofjoy:
You don’t get them up by you? We have a ton of timber rattlesnakes and copperheads. I keep getting assured that the rattlesnakes will let you know if you’re too close. Copperheads are a different story. Also there’s the chance a rattler won’t even rattle and he’ll tag you without warning. We have a ton of black bears too but I usually make a lot of noise to let a potential sow with cubs know I’m there. The biggest fear for me though is the snakes. Seeing them doesn’t freak me out.. It’s not seeing them that makes me uneasy.
 
I have no idea how you guys deal with snakes… I hunted in PA snake country, I assume snake country, with a foot of snow on the ground and I was still petrified the entire time, every open rock ledge I found I skirted around, there is no amount of money you could pay me to walk through deep grass or thick stuff this time of year with even a 1% chance of a snake like that within 100 miles of my location…. :tearsofjoy: :tearsofjoy: :tearsofjoy:
That and yellow jackets. I got too close to a nest last week and ran faster than I’ve ever ran before in my life. Out of all living things wasps are easily the biggest a holes.
 
You don’t get them up by you? We have a ton of timber rattlesnakes and copperheads. I keep getting assured that the rattlesnakes will let you know if you’re too close. Copperheads are a different story. Also there’s the chance a rattler won’t even rattle and he’ll tag you without warning. We have a ton of black bears too but I usually make a lot of noise to let a potential sow with cubs know I’m there. The biggest fear for me though is the snakes. Seeing them doesn’t freak me out.. It’s not seeing them that makes me uneasy.
No snakes like that where I hunt, zero, and if there was I would move, further East of me yes they exist... I pray they don’t head this direction. I’m sure like most things in life it’s what someone is used to but bears have never bothered me, I grew up running bears with hounds and have been in close situations more times than I can count.
 
I go early morning and get it done by 10 or 11 when it is hot. Drink plenty of water and add a Gatorade in the mix about 3 waters to 1 Gatorade. I also carry salt to take with the water sometimes. For mosquitos and chiggers, I spray all my clothes with permethrin and deep woods off 40%. Any less than 40% the bugs just treat it as a condiment. We have snakes galore, mostly water moccasins and copperheads. I usually just wear rubber boots and watch where I step and put my hands. Copperheads are the worst. Moccasins will usually move and let you know they are there. A copperhead will just lay there like a sick and I just about stepped in the middle of several while scouting. I can't stand those things.

I try to get 90% of my scouting done post season and during turkey season. Post turkey season is going into high priority spots I fund earlier and dialing them in.
 
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Where do yellow Jackets hang out? I don't recall running into bees ever in the woods so I don't know what to watch out for.

There was a nest of some type of bees coming out of the ground in my yard and I poured gas in it after they stung me a few times in 3 seconds while cutting the grass.
Lit it and watched it burn for quite a while. A few bees escaped, but not many.
 
Where do yellow Jackets hang out? I don't recall running into bees ever in the woods so I don't know what to watch out for.

There was a nest of some type of bees coming out of the ground in my yard and I poured gas in it after they stung me a few times in 3 seconds while cutting the grass.
Lit it and watched it burn for quite a while. A few bees escaped, but not many.
Most of the one's I have run afoul of have been nested in the ground.
 
Here in Florida, I wear snake boots, jeans and a long sleeve light weight Colombia type shirt where I can roll up/down the sleeves on it. Spray the hat down and head out. In GA or AL I'll wear a light weight hooded long sleeve shirt. ill spray Off around the top of my boots, but I end up picking ticks at the end of the day. Thunderstorms/Lightning are a bigger issue down here than just about anything else.
 
These kinda threads are so cringe ......hahaha


Ok, living in fla pretty much my whole life I think I must be kinda an expert on this......the first thing u need to do is have a predetermined route/destination/goal for that day. Use the tech and cyber scout as much as u can. In my case majority of the places I hunt are walk in only so I want to be riding my bike down the improved roads before sunup getting to the area I want to explore hopefully as the sun peaks. Ur quick drying clothes ( long pants and long sleeve shirt that's tucked in) should have been treated with permethrin the night before. Whites and light colors is what id recommend...easier to see ticks and dark colors attract our biting flys. If u want to be weird about snakes then wear the appropriate stuff but it 100% isn't needed. I'm normally in Crocs or barefoot. I can't/won't comment on the hunting related gear u should bring but what I got when I go scout is a compass, reflective tacks, flagging tape, gallon of water, rangefinder, a length of rope and a long 4 step aider, a mesh bug headnet, lightweight gloves, and ur walking stick. I want to be riding back to the truck by 10-10:30...11 at the latest. For me scouting this time of year is only an AM thing. It's still 90 degrees at 8pm so afternoon trips don't really interest me at all.

The mindset need a to change a little....if u go out barnstorming u gonna get worn out and dehydrated so much faster now vs hunting season. I can cover 2x or 3x as much ground during the cooler months vs summer. If I find a nice shady cool spot I'm taking a break and rehydrating.....drink lots of water. Charlie horses = u dehydrated. pee smell a little funny = u dehydrated. Heat exhaustion and stroke sneak up on ya...it's got me multiple times and I've seen it happen to plenty of other people while working thru the years. A bandana or neck gaiter dipped into the creek or pond it a luxury...... 1 thing I'm experimenting with and can't sign off on yet is my daughter gave me this little water atomizer/mister thing. It's pretty small and doesn't weight enough to notice. It charges USB. U open a cap and put a small amount of water inside..maybe 3 or4 tablespoons?....u push the button and it atomizers the water and a tiny little fan blows it out of the nozzle. It definitely cools ya off but I haven't decided yet if I like it enough to permanently add it in with my other gear
 
I go early morning and get it done by 10 or 11 when it is hot. Drink plenty of water and add a Gatorade in the mix about 3 waters to 1 Gatorade. I also carry salt to take with the water sometimes. For mosquitos and chiggers, I spray all my clothes with permethrin and deep woods off 40%. Any less than 40% the bugs just treat it as a condiment. We have snakes galore, mostly water moccasins and copperheads. I usually just wear rubber boots and watch where I step and put my hands. Copperheads are the worst. Moccasins will usually move and let you know they are there. A copperhead will just lay there like a sick and I just about stepped in the middle of several while scouting. I can't stand those things.

I try to get 90% of my scouting done post season and during turkey season. Post turkey season is going into high priority spots I fund earlier and dialing them in.
Pardon the slight thread slide, but I bought these a while back and they really help with muscle cramps during and after I've been out there over exerting myself and not drinking enough.
Medi-Lyte Electrolyte Replenishing tablets
 
Rereading I sure do sound like Captain obvious hahahaha

Stopping and slowing down and taking breaks should be the main takeaway. The mesh bug net is ur best friend
 
I go early morning and get it done by 10 or 11 when it is hot. Drink plenty of water and add a Gatorade in the mix about 3 waters to 1 Gatorade. I also carry salt to take with the water sometimes. For mosquitos and chiggers, I spray all my clothes with permethrin and deep woods off 40%. Any less than 40% the bugs just treat it as a condiment. We have snakes galore, mostly water moccasins and copperheads. I usually just wear rubber boots and watch where I step and put my hands. Copperheads are the worst. Moccasins will usually move and let you know they are there. A copperhead will just lay there like a sick and I just about stepped in the middle of several while scouting. I can't stand those things.

I try to get 90% of my scouting done post season and during turkey season. Post turkey season is going into high priority spots I fund earlier and dialing them in.
I'd be a Golfer instead of a hunter if I had to deal with all that crap. lol.
 
There are sheds I still wanna find and details and areas that I’d like to know more about. But I’ve reached the time of year when it’s time to be done. Once green up happens I stay out of the woods. Conditions are poor, visibility is poor and the deer around here need to be left alone. The more they get pressured in the places they can be hunted, the more they will seek shelter and teach their young to live in places we can’t hunt them. Warm weather is for fishing and gardening.

Deer hunting is a paradoxical activity. Gathering too much intel can ruin the intel…
 
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Once green up happens I stay out of the woods. Conditions are poor, visibility is poor and the deer around here need to be left alone. The more they get pressured in the places they can be hunted, the more they will seek shelter and teach their young to live in places we can’t hunt them. Warm weather is for fishing and gardening.
Good point. The does are dropping their fawns now around here and I don't like to bother them at this time of year. I will however prep trees and shooting lanes now and then go back a couple of weeks before season for the final check before hunting them.
 
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