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How do you determine where to scout?

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How do you determine where to scout?

Post by Wolfshead on Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:11 am

I plan to begin hunting next season.
I want to work on my bow skills and some more of my woodsmanship.
My intentions are to start scouting some local public land and getting familiar with the territory in preparation for next fall.

My question is (and it has a few parts)
when you scout a new area what are some of the first things you look for?
What are you looking for, how do you decide where to scout?
What tells you that this may be a good area to scout to begin with?
Then where does this take you and why?
I am from the Northeast, in Central NY and hunting that area.
I am speaking in terms of hunting Whitetail


Hope I am not asking too much.
Please answer all or any parts what ever you feel will help

Thanks in advance
Doug

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Re: How do you determine where to scout?

Post by Cbigbear on Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:02 am

How big a place you hunting? Is it big woods or agriculture type land?

I could give you general info but it would help to know where you plan on hunting. If you want pm me the areas your interested in hunting. From there I can do some map study & give you a better idea of where to start & why.

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Re: How do you determine where to scout?

Post by SlowBow on Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:46 pm

The first thing I look at is travel time to the area believe it or not. An area that is closer will allow more time, and cost less to hunt.

After I determine an area I'd like to look at, I'll start looking for food sources. This could be crop fields, oak flats, cutovers, anything like that. Once found, I look for sign, droppings, tracks, rubs,scrapes, what have you.

From there, it's a matter of figuring what trails the deer use most often, and trying to guess where they bed.

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Re: How do you determine where to scout?

Post by Wolfshead on Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:55 am

Thanks guys
I am telling you I am loving this site!
So much information I have learned a lot just by going through it
The biggest thing I have learned is I have a lot to learn!

Some more things I really need to learn the lingo
I am not sure what some things are such as
pinch points
Saddles
sloughs
ditch with "spoil banks"
funnels (i have an idea but need to better understand these)
How you determine bedding areas
How you tell what are travel corridors

I know it is a ton but if you can give me a little insite it would be greatly appreciated
The area I am looking at is about 5 miles by 10 miles mostly wooded and marsh land
some good sized ponds in it too
Thanks guys

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Re: How do you determine where to scout?

Post by Cbigbear on Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:22 am

pinch points - terrain features that concentrate movement ie strip of land between a lake & river
Saddles - dip or low spot in a ridge
sloughs - low spot that resembles a creek but normally doesn't have flowing water
ditch with "spoil banks" - spoil bank is normally created when a ditch is dug. It's the dirt dug out & piled on either side.
funnels (i have an idea but need to better understand these) similar to a pitch point but over a larger area
How you determine bedding areas - the area will have deer beds - spot where leaves or grass is smashed down in a oval shape. Bed will usually have hair in them
How you tell what are travel corridors - deer trails, rubs, & droppings will normal be present

I have only breifly looked at your area, but should have some questions for you later today. I finally got power. This stuff will make more since on a map.
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Re: How do you determine where to scout?

Post by vortex1 on Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:14 am

maps and a whole lot of walkin. look up pics of scrapes, rubs, game trails and what not so you'll know what to look for Smile
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Re: How do you determine where to scout?

Post by crooketarrow on Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:38 am

To begain with TOPO'S will only get you to where you need to but some leather on the ground. I do all my scouting in the winter for pressure perposes. But starting out you should also scout the winter simply because you can see so my more (no leaf cover). And when you do pick a area then refine the area as to where your going to want yo be hunting.
WHEN ,HOW and most importatly WHY ,TOPOS and help you answer those questions.

I learned as a kid and have used the method when ever I start at a new area. YOU CAN GET SO GOOD AS TO WHERE YOU CAN HUNT OFF A MAP AT SOME PLACES AT CERTIN TIMES OF THE YEAR. But nothing like refineing you area. By walking it out. WHAT I LOOK FOR
Sounds like your in the mountians or you would'nt need a topo.

(1) Look for edges of different terrain. White tails are edge animals. Find the edge you find the deer. They be differnt colors or shades on the map. I just don't look for field edges different kinds of timber can show up. Different thickess in the timber can show up in shades those are edges. And can mean something check it out.
But remember things could have changed a little since the pic's. were taken and the map was printed. This is why I always use the next step. Once I PICK AREA AND WALK IT OUT. I'LL KNOW IT'S WORTH MY TIME. IF IT IS I GET WINTER AIRAL PHOTOS. BUT I ALSO GET SUMMER TIME PHOTOS. This shows different kinds of timber (edges) what crops are planted around the area.
Deer differently will feed on dieerent ctops at differentv times of the year.

(2) FOOD most time when you find the edge you find food (BROWES) crops where you have fields and their plant in them. I look for crop fields. And just don't look really close crops. Mountain deer will travel for crops. Exspecially on years of poor mast. They have no choise.
In some cases edges mean browes,a mountain deers # 1 food scorce no matter where your at. WHEN YOU SEE A DEER AND THERE NOT PRESSURED OR MOVEING AWAY FROM SOMETHING. WHATS HE OR SHE DOING 99% OF THE TIME. BROWEING AS THEY MOVE ALONG.
Also I look for those flat spots (benchs) where the bars (lines) on your map have a space between them. The farther the spaces between the lines the wide that flat. Deer not only seak those areas out to bed there also oak flats(food).
(3) SATTLES deer use them to get to food scorces.
Although I never relei on someone else to push my deer to me. Sattles are a # 1 place for pressured deer to use to exscape other hunters. That are below.
My favoret time to hunt sattles is the pre-rut,rut and don't forget the post -rut when bucks are traveling looking for that last doe.
If you don't care about the age bucks you shoot. Pre-ruts a time when the younger bucks that was out the bredding pecking oder. Travel,Older bucks are either worn out hurt form fighting and a little slow or they've been kill by someone. Giveing them the geen light. I see lots of 1 1/2 and 2 1/2's cruseing the pre-rut. A sattle can be a hot spot. Add some doe sounds it on.
Buck use them also crossing over to look for does on the other side.
(4) FINGER RIDGES all fidges lead from beedding to food perty much. The rub line up or down tells you when it's used. But I look for the ones that stop just short of the mountaimn top.
MATURE BUCKS love these areas for the excape routes. Gives the 3 choises.They'll bed right at the to where if feathers out. Bucks can exscape over each side or over the top of the mountain.
They'll use that finger right to come up in the morning. THE RUB LINE WILL SHOW THAT. But they'll sue the next one over (uselly the close that will get them to where they want to be that evening or night. The rub line will also show it.
(5) HOLLOWS those ones brush filled are good browes ares. The topo will show you the hollow. You have to find the reast out. I look for the ones that are chocked with green brier. It's the #1 lare season food score for mountain deer if you have it.
I've hunted parts of NY and where I was it was there.
(6) BOTTLE NECKS TOPO'S uselly don't show the to often. But do some. I look fro a flat bench WHERE THE TERRAIN pushs out towards the edge wher it drops bsck out. Creating a bottle neck where the deer have to come around it. Lots of times rocks at these places are just what your looking for.
There lots of places where tress have fell on the benchs thats caused deer to have to go around them creating a bottle neck. These wont ofcorce show up on your topo. It's one of those times you just have to put boots on the ground to find such places.
A sattles a form of a bottle neck.
Steep areas deer go around them when posable. This is a form of a bottle neck. Lakes ,ponds,creeks all can make a bottle neck even old tote roads as well as used roads all can help create a bottle neck.
(6) ROADS you have to have access as well as know where others will be come in at or be at. Most people only go a little ways 1/4 mile is tops for most weekiners.
TOPOS show them all this is where winter photos help out to show those old logging ,tote roads. TOPO'S also show powerelined,cut lines GAS WELLS AS WELL AS WHERE UNDER GOUND PILE LINES HAVE BEEN PUT IN.

Just to show you how muck a topo can tell you. About 15 years ago. Me and a friend was hunting a privite club in WV called BEARS HEIL. We had picked out some areas and checked them out. We's pulled a camper there set up for a weeks bow hunting.
That afternoon 3 locales we found out later. Set up beside us. That night they came over the shine strated flowing and it was'nt long to the one ask use where we were going to hunt they did'nt want to run into use.
I'd alreaDY TOLD THEM IT WAS OUR FIRST TIME THERE. I could see by their faces what they though. These were locals. I told them a few of the [places we'd scouted out.
HE SAID DANG WHO TOLD YOU WHERE TO GO. tHOSE ARE ALL THE PLACES WE HUNT. They could not beleive someone had'nt told use where to go. And that we knew where to go from a topo.

A topo can tell WHERE TO STAR and alot more if you know how to read between the lines. They'll difently tell you all you need to know. BUT THE VERy FIRST THING IS TO UNDER STAND HOW TO READ THE MAP AND WHAT YOUR LOOKING AT.

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Re: How do you determine where to scout?

Post by Wolfshead on Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:56 am

Thanks again Gentlemen
You have helped tremendously especially pointing me in the right direction,
I do realize I have a lot to learn and I am willing to do so.
You guys have been great instructors
I plan on putting boots on the ground and exploring the areas I have.
In my opinnion that is a lot of the fun.
I am thinking that the scouting is going to be as much fun as the hunting for me.
It is about the journey and not the destination as far as I am concerned right now.
I am not going to be a trophy hunter. I will be making meat and eating anything that I decide to hunt. Don't really understand hunting just for killing or just to put something up on the wall.
Don't think the Creator intended it that way. That is just how I feel not trying to judge anyone else's way of thinking or how they do things.
Thanks again

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Re: How do you determine where to scout?

Post by crooketarrow on Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:24 am

Your right finding,scouting learning to hunt new areas THE RIGHT WAYS is what I like to do. THE GETING READY IS AS FUN AS HUNTING TO ME.

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