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woodsdog2

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
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This is a statement and a question. I had the day after New Year’s Day off as a holiday and our season in most parts of NY is now closed. I got out with my dog and pulled a preset hang on with sticks down and moved my cell cams around and pulled/relocated some standard cams. I found a big ol’ bed during the regular season and put one of my standard cams on it with fresh batteries. Did a lot of walking of deer trails, found some early season potential setups and am going through my card pulls of the standard cams I had out all season. This is on a private farm I have hunted for years which is next to public and other pressured private. Was blessed to have a slight snowfall which made trails stand out. Now’s the time to get out to see the movement patterns and trail systems. It seems like the more I find out the more questions I have.
I have some nice bucks that made it through the season and evaded me (and others) constantly. One shooter I had an opportunity at during bow season and I should have put an arrow through him but the allure of other, bigger bucks was too tempting. And then the season was over before I knew it! Anyway, wanting to hear/see what you guys are doing to home in on the mature bucks and the prep work if any you’re doing now to intercept one for next season.
 

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I've got 2 spots that I have access to that I need to check out for next year. One is an overlooked spot that I didn't even notice that was right under my nose and the other is a spot that I got permission to hunt about 5 years ago but have yet to step foot on. Both these pieces are small parcels of about 40 and 20 acres but the first one is where I'm about 75% sure a big mature 10 has been hiding out (didn't realize this until after the season of course) and the second one is where a beautiful 12 pointer was killed by a car last fall. I'm still kicking myself for that one. Definitely will be hunting both spots next year. Man, that rub is unreal. He really spent some time working that over. Also, your dog is adorable! lol.
 
Season doesnt close until the end of Feb., what do you mean looking for spots for next year. :p

To answer your question, I spent a lot of time last year after season doing just what you did there. It was on a place I had never been on. Mostly covered about 10k acres of it and found 8 spots with decent buck sign and some with general deer sign. Went back pre-season this year and hung cams on those spots. Earlier this season I checked half and they were all basically worthless, at least at that point. This year there were basically no acorns in the areas where I had cams where there had been the year before. During the season, the fresh sign and deer I saw were all relating to much lower terrain where there were some acorns. It is a gigantic piece of public so even with what I had looked at I just barely made a scratch. Going to pull all the cams soon and will start hiking it more prolly in feb. I just try to cover as much ground as possible looking for past sign and then try to determine why and at what point in the season it makes sense they would have been using a particular spot, early season, pre-rut/rut, post rut.
 
Also, your dog is adorable! lol.
Ha, she is a load too and enjoyed some much-needed exercise. I'm not really much of an animal person but I'll admit, this one has my heart. The most perfect walking and hiking dog you could ask for. Her back left leg is starting to bother her though which bums me out.
 
Found this rub cluster yesterday. Kind of right under our nose….. It’s brushy and thick enough where I think he was staging at last light but not 100%. Travel vector as it orients to main food is off so it confuses me to know what to think about how to set up on it. I guess sometimes you just have to set up on great sign.
 

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Found this rub cluster yesterday. Kind of right under our nose….. It’s brushy and thick enough where I think he was staging at last light but not 100%. Travel vector as it orients to main food is off so it confuses me to know what to think about how to set up on it. I guess sometimes you just have to set up on great sign.
Was “hunting” in the rain today, found a similar set of rubs in a similarly confounding spot to set up on, but I did at least locate a trunk or two that are good enough for sticks.
 
3ce7d34482ecec1b238be31bfac30257.jpg

Scrape I ran across Saturday. Roughly 7’ across. Would have liked to have had a cam on it through the rut.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
To me it seems to be more of a learn the area as best as I can and not get too hung up on any one bit of sign. It all paints a picture but if I get too bogged down in one particular spot of sign then it tends to mess me up. I like to scout and hunt as the season goes to stay on the deer while they are right there, at that moment. The one exception to that is primary scrape areas in thick cover.

I've been finding great sign, but it was pre rut sign. Too late for this year but it will get checked in early November and then maybe get hunted nearby. I found this rub line in cover yesterday.
 

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I love a good dusting of snow and good vantage point. This was a rather accidental find. I had put my old man in a tree in rifle season, and was just looking for a tree to climb for a few hours while I waited to do some pushes.

To my right
1706548443775.png
To my left
1706548515424.png
And my 6
1706548637004.png

There are 4 major trails that converge in here. The photos don't even do it justice, it really pops more in person.

As far as the terrain/escouting playbooks go, good luck with this one. That was kinda the cherry on top of the end of that era for me as a deer hunter. I fell hard down that rabbit hole and it was a difficult climb out, but I'm moving on. Sign, sign, sign. A few photos to confirm what you are chasing actually exists is a nice modern touch.
 
I love a good dusting of snow and good vantage point. This was a rather accidental find. I had put my old man in a tree in rifle season, and was just looking for a tree to climb for a few hours while I waited to do some pushes.

To my right
View attachment 99210
To my left
View attachment 99211
And my 6
View attachment 99213

There are 4 major trails that converge in here. The photos don't even do it justice, it really pops more in person.

As far as the terrain/escouting playbooks go, good luck with this one. That was kinda the cherry on top of the end of that era for me as a deer hunter. I fell hard down that rabbit hole and it was a difficult climb out, but I'm moving on. Sign, sign, sign. A few photos to confirm what you are chasing actually exists is a nice modern touch.
Can you expand on what you fell hard for that you're no longer as concerned about? I tend to be a "thickie" sometimes. What was the rabbit hole and how have you changed your approaches?
 
Can you expand on what you fell hard for that you're no longer as concerned about? I tend to be a "thickie" sometimes. What was the rabbit hole and how have you changed your approaches?

Trying to kill deer on a map, to gameplan everything out. Too many friggin articles and podcasts got in my head. It just throws me into a big overthinking feedback loop of trying to think like a deer, and I've learned I don't think like a deer as well as I thought I could. I just try to keep it simple now, find deer, kill deer.
 
Trying to kill deer on a map, to gameplan everything out. Too many friggin articles and podcasts got in my head. It just throws me into a big overthinking feedback loop of trying to think like a deer, and I've learned I don't think like a deer as well as I thought I could. I just try to keep it simple now, find deer, kill deer.
Ok good, thanks. That clarifies it much better.
So that trail convergence, are you setting up on it next season? Are you/have you confirmed buck sign on or near the convergence? I especially like this time of year to find the best places that will work in many instances for early late season bed to feed patterns AND some rut funnels and locations
 
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