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My best unsuccessful hunt yet

thedutchtouch

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
1,588
Location
Maryland
Yesterday I hiked in to a brand new section of woods that I'd e-scouted, and found some potential spots to scout.

The reasoning behind my decisions were as follows: I've hunted almost exclusively in the same section of woods the last 3 seasons. Seasons one and two I did too many hang and hopes over some sign, second half of season two, off-season scouting, and beginning of this season I decided to put lots of boots on the ground time and explore the woods.

Long story short I found a few decent spots and shot a spike and a doe as a result, let a few more walk. Ive been debating exoring more but kept falling back into the "there's deer there and it's easier" trap. Finally decided to explore and started with e-scouting, for what it's worth. I use basemap (haven't compared the apps in a few years, it still works fine for me) and re-watched @Robert loper's e-scouting videos - check out the playlist here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhJSnShsBKC_qM4MJL7x545fWXkZ6ebQq to refresh my memory. he's got some good tips and resources for GPS/ topo mapping free web resoures - i won't spill l the beans here you'll have to check out the videos to learn from the PSyh himself!

i then went to basemap looking for corners, points, edges, bowls, transitions etc. once i identified a few, i pulled up Google earth https://earth.google.com/web/ to compare. sometimes you can get to historical images or other seasons so the tree canopy is gone (some of the sires robery lists does this as well) BUT one of the other cool things i discovered on google earth is street view. in acse you didn't know, street view isn't jsut for streets any more. if people are out on hiking trails, they can take pictures of the trails and submit them (or googl pays peopel to do this, i'm not sure) but long story short, a lot of the hiking trails (including many of the trails in this mied use land that i hunt) have images every few hundred yards. why does this matter, you say? its basically a dotted line that shows you exactly where the hiking trails are, which i took to mean a direct correlation to increased human activity, and herefore, less deer. (this theory ended up being only somwhat correct, there ended up being a trail with no marked photos pretty close to where i ended up anyway). so i had my spot, i jsut needed to hunt

th emorning of the hunt i got up early but not too early, hit parking lot about 15 min before first light, confirmed the wind was blowing from the west as forcased, so that i could walk in when light was coming up. i know there's lots of opinions about ruining hunts doing this, but it's public and realtively low pressure. i was planing on walking pretty far and never ended up seeing anyone, i think they went the other way tothe other side of the lake. i hugged the lake for a while to use the bank as an easy way to skirt past a lot ofthe thuck stuff i didn't want to walk through - possible that deer may spot you doing this similar to using a field edge, but it was the quietest, fastest way in (and had the added benefit of no thorns). i worked along the bank until i was about 200 yards from the saddle i wanted to hunt in, headed up int othe thick stuff and sloooowwweeeed doooowwwwnnn. i was aided by the fact that it rained all day yesterday but it was a woody browse/bramble area so lots of sticks to crack if i step on them still, baically worked my way into the saddle and up the side of it, as i was doing so i bumped first a doe and then a doe and a buck (possibly the same doe, couldnt tell) out o fthe area - i call it a soft bump, they heard me and headed off tails down, no blowing or shenanigans.

decided to set up in a too-big tree as i didnt have much cover at least the thick trunk would give me something to hide behind, and pent entirely too much time on the live from the saddle thread. during that time i had a rutty dow and a beauty of a 8+ chocolate rack buck come in to 15-20 yards. i put a shot right on the vital V (i shoot an EZ V sight)... and never saw the arrow. turs out the lighted knock blew up/broke/something happened and the arrow flew about 5 feet high. they spooked because of the noise ( i was also practically yelling MEH! to try to get him to stop, he was all about the doe). they spooked off int othe peninsual that i'd hiked partway in to so i stayed put hoping they'd be back later. about a half hour later or so i had another buck ( now that i think of it, i bet it was the first one that i soft-bumped, he'd circled around about 100 yards downwind of where i spooked him, and walked into my scent cone about 60 yards behind my tree, did a 180 and spooked off. he was at least a tall 6 point, lighter color rack and looked younger (to my inexperienced eyes) than the darker racked buck. or perhaps it was a third, and i saw two light racked bucks.

i had a doe and her fawn come in that afternoon and let them walk, she had me pegged for a inute but i hid behind the tree and she decided to walk off without blowing so didn't recieve a rib piercing this time. quiet evening after such an eventful morning, perhaps the midday wind swirled and they winded me, or just wandered off, or stayed down in the peninsula and did their thing down there. i'd decided to stay in the same tree and all day sit since i had so much AM activity.

i'd be lying if that miss/nock failure doesn't still weigh heavily on me, but my thought process went like this when i found the arrow "oh crap theres no nock that explains things... thank goodness the arrow is clean i dont want to track a gut shot deer" so i suppose it's not all bad. i know where i'll be focusing more of my efforts the rest of this season now.

other random takeaways - sometimes its easier to see deer trails etc from the air. i climbed a tree while scouting and it helped a lot deciding which way to head. i also felt like i could smell deer at multiple points through the day and factored into my decision to stay in the tree instead of scout around.

and yes, i'd much rather be posting a photo with the deer in my hands, but it is what it is, i can't expect success every time and the fire has now been re-lit.
 
Last edited:

Robert loper

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2017
Messages
1,494
Location
NJ
Yesterday I hiked in to a brand new section of woods that I'd e-scouted, and found some potential spots to scout.

The reasoning behind my decisions were as follows: I've hunted almost exclusively in the same section of woods the last 3 seasons. Seasons one and two I did too many hang and hopes over some sign, second half of season two, off-season scouting, and beginning of this season I decided to put lots of boots on the ground time and explore the woods.

Long story short I found a few decent spots and shot a spike and a doe as a result, let a few more walk. Ive been debating exoring more but kept falling back into the "there's deer there and it's easier" trap. Finally decided to explore and started with e-scouting, for what it's worth. I use basemap (haven't compared the apps in a few years, it still works fine for me) and re-watched @Robert loper's e-scouting videos - check out the playlist here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhJSnShsBKC_qM4MJL7x545fWXkZ6ebQq to refresh my memory. he's got some good tips and resources for GPS/ topo mapping free web resoures - i won't spill l the beans here you'll have to check out the videos to learn from the PSyh himself!

i then went to basemap looking for corners, points, edges, bowls, transitions etc. once i identified a few, i pulled up Google earth https://earth.google.com/web/ to compare. sometimes you can get to historical images or other seasons so the tree canopy is gone (some of the sires robery lists does this as well) BUT one of the other cool things i discovered on google earth is street view. in acse you didn't know, street view isn't jsut for streets any more. if people are out on hiking trails, they can take pictures of the trails and submit them (or googl pays peopel to do this, i'm not sure) but long story short, a lot of the hiking trails (including many of the trails in this mied use land that i hunt) have images every few hundred yards. why does this matter, you say? its basically a dotted line that shows you exactly where the hiking trails are, which i took to mean a direct correlation to increased human activity, and herefore, less deer. (this theory ended up being only somwhat correct, there ended up being a trail with no marked photos pretty close to where i ended up anyway). so i had my spot, i jsut needed to hunt

th emorning of the hunt i got up early but not too early, hit parking lot about 15 min before first light, confirmed the wind was blowing from the west as forcased, so that i could walk in when light was coming up. i know there's lots of opinions about ruining hunts doing this, but it's public and realtively low pressure. i was planing on walking pretty far and never ended up seeing anyone, i think they went the other way tothe other side of the lake. i hugged the lake for a while to use the bank as an easy way to skirt past a lot ofthe thuck stuff i didn't want to walk through - possible that deer may spot you doing this similar to using a field edge, but it was the quietest, fastest way in (and had the added benefit of no thorns). i worked along the bank until i was about 200 yards from the saddle i wanted to hunt in, headed up int othe thick stuff and sloooowwweeeed doooowwwwnnn. i was aided by the fact that it rained all day yesterday but it was a woody browse/bramble area so lots of sticks to crack if i step on them still, baically worked my way into the saddle and up the side of it, as i was doing so i bumped first a doe and then a doe and a buck (possibly the same doe, couldnt tell) out o fthe area - i call it a soft bump, they heard me and headed off tails down, no blowing or shenanigans.

decided to set up in a too-big tree as i didnt have much cover at least the thick trunk would give me something to hide behind, and pent entirely too much time on the live from the saddle thread. during that time i had a rutty dow and a beauty of a 8+ chocolate rack buck come in to 15-20 yards. i put a shot right on the vital V (i shoot an EZ V sight)... and never saw the arrow. turs out the lighted knock blew up/broke/something happened and the arrow flew about 5 feet high. they spooked because of the noise ( i was also practically yelling MEH! to try to get him to stop, he was all about the doe). they spooked off int othe peninsual that i'd hiked partway in to so i stayed put hoping they'd be back later. about a half hour later or so i had another buck ( now that i think of it, i bet it was the first one that i soft-bumped, he'd circled around about 100 yards downwind of where i spooked him, and walked into my scent cone about 60 yards behind my tree, did a 180 and spooked off. he was at least a tall 6 point, lighter color rack and looked younger (to my inexperienced eyes) than the darker racked buck. or perhaps it was a third, and i saw two light racked bucks.

i had a doe and her fawn come in that afternoon and let them walk, she had me pegged for a inute but i hid behind the tree and she decided to walk off without blowing so didn't recieve a rib piercing this time. quiet evening after such an eventful morning, perhaps the midday wind swirled and they winded me, or just wandered off, or stayed down in the peninsula and did their thing down there. i'd decided to stay in the same tree and all day sit since i had so much AM activity.

i'd be lying if that miss/nock failure doesn't still weigh heavily on me, but my thought process went like this when i found the arrow "oh crap theres no nock that explains things... thank goodness the arrow is clean i dont want to track a gut shot deer" so i suppose it's not all bad. i know where i'll be focusing more of my efforts the rest of this season now.

other random takeaways - sometimes its easier to see deer trails etc from the air. i climbed a tree while scouting and it helped a lot deciding which way to head. i also felt like i could smell deer at multiple points through the day and factored into my decision to stay in the tree instead of scout around.

and yes, i'd much rather be posting a photo with the deer in my hands, but it is what it is, i can't expect success every time and the fire has now been re-lit.
Thanks for the kind words and i love helping people believe they can also be successful with limited time.
You have made my year as a success.
i seemed to not only helped but also relit a passion to chase these amazing animal’s .
 
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