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Need some scouting advice

Apex7

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
2,396
Location
Pittsburgh Pa
Thanks, I guess my next step is to find some food sources.
If you hunt hard woods look for white and red oaks . If you take a set of binoculars in the summertime you can see the acorns up in the trees. Look for apples trees also. A lot has to do with where you hunt in relation to what kind of food that is available.
 

LarkHarrison243

Active Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
105
If you hunt hard woods look for white and red oaks . If you take a set of binoculars in the summertime you can see the acorns up in the trees. Look for apples trees also. A lot has to do with where you hunt in relation to what kind of food that is available.
I also need to get better at identifying trees! added to the list!
 

splatek

Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2019
Messages
51
I also need to get better at identifying trees! added to the list!
Being able to ID trees is a real skill, one that I am constantly trying to hone. In some of the places I hunt there are a variety of subspecies of white oak, but the bears and the deer LOVE Quercus alba and not Q montana and will only eat Q rubra. I mention this because it's a real challenge for me; coming up on one ridge, valley, lead, or saddle and thinking you have found god's motherload of white oaks only to find it's a second, third, or last choice white oak for the game is a little heartbreaking especially if you hike in a ways to hunt. Add to that, many oaks of the Quercus hybridize; meaning it could look like one but produce acorns like another. I think this has been one of the most fun things about hunting. I have always loved animals; even teach a course loosely based on animal behavior, but have never ever studied botany. I mean I can barely tell the difference between a tomato plant and a corn stalk. So I have had a lot of reading and researching to do. When you get on a few good trees, find some folks that KNOW and send pictures. For oak ID what I have found (as a newb) is needed to help someone else fill you in is: picture of bark (best if you get a pic at the bottom and then again higher up the tree as some white oaks aren't are flaky down low); acorn, particularly the cap; and mature green leaf.

And fruit trees - I still cannot ID a persimmon tree and of course everyone that I talk to tells me that's where ALL the deer are. LOL
 

shwacker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
723
Download the iNaturalist app. Take a pic of the leaves, Bart, but, flower, etc and upload. It’ll tell you the closest match. Big help


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

LarkHarrison243

Active Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
105
Download the iNaturalist app. Take a pic of the leaves, Bart, but, flower, etc and upload. It’ll tell you the closest match. Big help


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Someone else suggested this, seems like it may be pretty useful. Thanks for the tip.
 

newoldguy

New Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
13
I wouldn't be too concerned about a drop off of traffic this time of year. Does are birthing fawns right now and are laying low for a bit. Look for rubs and scrapes that might still show up before the green up is totally complete, although its getting a bit late for that. I don't worry too much about bumping deer this time of year. Others are correct about identifying food by the season. Does don't range as far as bucks, especially during the fall hunting season. This means they might be around the same vicinity later. Good luck
 

bowhunthard88

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SH Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2020
Messages
72
So, this is a learning curve and you will get better as you go! Big woods can definitely be intimidating if you're just starting out or even if you're used to hunting different types of terrain. Catalog everything, either mentally or physically, I personally use OnX literaly almost every day. Learn to scout electronically using satellite imagery and topographic maps. Again I use OnX and place multiple wapoints to check out for when I do get to walk the area. Look for transition lines, edges, points, saddles or draws off of ridges, where multiple ridges come together, etc. Once you get a chance to walk it, do everything you can. Don't keep going back into an area every week. Mark absolutely everything you find, and then go back into OnX and look at everything you marked. Everything is important, but even more so if you can place it in relation to bedding. You want sign that is close enough to bedding that it could be made during shooting hours, not during the middle of the night. Check out Beau Martonik as well! Good luck!
 

LarkHarrison243

Active Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
105
So, this is a learning curve and you will get better as you go! Big woods can definitely be intimidating if you're just starting out or even if you're used to hunting different types of terrain. Catalog everything, either mentally or physically, I personally use OnX literaly almost every day. Learn to scout electronically using satellite imagery and topographic maps. Again I use OnX and place multiple wapoints to check out for when I do get to walk the area. Look for transition lines, edges, points, saddles or draws off of ridges, where multiple ridges come together, etc. Once you get a chance to walk it, do everything you can. Don't keep going back into an area every week. Mark absolutely everything you find, and then go back into OnX and look at everything you marked. Everything is important, but even more so if you can place it in relation to bedding. You want sign that is close enough to bedding that it could be made during shooting hours, not during the middle of the night. Check out Beau Martonik as well! Good luck!
Thanks, what does bedding look like? I am sorry for the silly questions this is the first year of hunting I am trying to find out why deer are in certain places. Earlier I would just look for some tracks and setup, needless to say I have yet to take a deer :)
 

bowhunthard88

Member
SH Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2020
Messages
72
Thanks, what does bedding look like? I am sorry for the silly questions this is the first year of hunting I am trying to find out why deer are in certain places. Earlier I would just look for some tracks and setup, needless to say I have yet to take a deer :)
Depending on the terrain, and possibly the age and sex of the deer you are hunting, bedding location and areas can be different! I would check out The Hunting Beast and The Hunting Public channels on YouTube! You will need to learn your areas!
 

SomthingOriginal

Active Member
SH Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
154
Location
Omaha Ne
Thanks, what does bedding look like? I am sorry for the silly questions this is the first year of hunting I am trying to find out why deer are in certain places. Earlier I would just look for some tracks and setup, needless to say I have yet to take a deer :)
Check out thehuntingbeast for everything bedding related. It's a whole nother rabbit hole to go down.

If I just wanted to shoot a deer, any deer I would forget about trail cameras. I would glass from the road and make observation sits from areas that offer a good view and I don't have to bust any brush to get to. Early season I tend focus on bean fields and include corn after harvest. If yout don't have ag land I'd stay on main hiking trails and focus on clear cuts and crp.

I think observation sits are the most effective and valuable technique available to us as saddle hunters. Not only is it a great way to scout but it's great practice for getting in and out of unfamiliar trees in the dark.
 

LarkHarrison243

Active Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
105
Check out thehuntingbeast for everything bedding related. It's a whole nother rabbit hole to go down.

If I just wanted to shoot a deer, any deer I would forget about trail cameras. I would glass from the road and make observation sits from areas that offer a good view and I don't have to bust any brush to get to. Early season I tend focus on bean fields and include corn after harvest. If yout don't have ag land I'd stay on main hiking trails and focus on clear cuts and crp.

I think observation sits are the most effective and valuable technique available to us as saddle hunters. Not only is it a great way to scout but it's great practice for getting in and out of unfamiliar trees in the dark.
What do you scout for in the spring? I don't think I realized how much of a pattern change happens between fall and spring. What is worth scouting this time of year.
 

Bowmanmike

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SH Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2019
Messages
238
I just scout for dense areas vs open woods and food sources to get an idea of possible movement. Scrapes are pretty much gone by now,but last years rubs and historic rubs get my attention.
 

Allegheny Tom

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SH Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2018
Messages
3,153
Location
Western Pennsylvania
What do you scout for in the spring? I don't think I realized how much of a pattern change happens between fall and spring. What is worth scouting this time of year.
You look for last year's scrapes. You look for last year's rubs and hopefully find them in conjunction with rubs from several years, which shows long term movement patterns.
You look for access routes.
You look for edges.
Maybe pick up some sheds or find carcasses.
Also look for potential stand trees, and evidence of other hunters.
Look for mast trees. In some areas, crab apples are in bloom. Its a really good time to spot them among the other trees. Mark them on your gps. Crabs are also a great place to find scrapes.
Tons of stuff to learn but in my latitude, its almost the end of spring scouting. I sure its already over to the south and maybe not quite over in the extreme north.
 

wdarby

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SH Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2020
Messages
13
Location
New Hampshire
My favorite camera story happened at the end of last season. I set up a camera in early Nov in a spot that I gave up on because I had 2 guys walk under my stand (just got into my saddle this year). Couldn't hunt the last month of the season, but went to pick up the camera in late Dec after a couple days of light snowfall. As I walked to the tree I was amazed at the sign - tons of tracks, obvious feeding area, even beds. But on the opposite side of the tree from where the camera was aimed. I ended up with only 4 videos over a month of deer running after they were spooked where I might have filled the card if I had set it up on the other side. That really made me think that cameras just don't tell the whole story. I thought I had the trail picked out only to be off by 180 degrees -

I wish I was a headlight on a north-bound train
 

shwacker

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Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
723
What do you scout for in the spring? I don't think I realized how much of a pattern change happens between fall and spring. What is worth scouting this time of year.
The pattern is always the same, bed to food. Bucks obviously change for rut, but they will follow does to food and they’ll hit food along their travels. It’s not a pattern change as much as a location and timing change. And that’s due to changing food sources and human intrusion. So mainly figure out your food sources and what time of year a given food source is preferred. Then find some in an area that isn’t getting much pressure and you’ll have good deer activity. They are slaves to their stomachs and must eat about 4 times a day. That will often be browsing inside a thicket. Hunt thick areas, they are bedding and food sources and cover for movement during daylight


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Allegheny Tom

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SH Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2018
Messages
3,153
Location
Western Pennsylvania
My favorite camera story happened at the end of last season. I set up a camera in early Nov in a spot that I gave up on because I had 2 guys walk under my stand (just got into my saddle this year). Couldn't hunt the last month of the season, but went to pick up the camera in late Dec after a couple days of light snowfall. As I walked to the tree I was amazed at the sign - tons of tracks, obvious feeding area, even beds. But on the opposite side of the tree from where the camera was aimed. I ended up with only 4 videos over a month of deer running after they were spooked where I might have filled the card if I had set it up on the other side. That really made me think that cameras just don't tell the whole story. I thought I had the trail picked out only to be off by 180 degrees -

I wish I was a headlight on a north-bound train
I have a couple cameras that I can just about see from my house. I can't tell you how many times I've seen really nice bucks headed right for the camera location. I couldn't wait to pull the card and check out the "great" pics I was sure that I got. But then I would find out that the deer somehow avoided getting it's picture taken. I'm convinced that scenario happens a lot more than we realize.
 
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