blackwolf wrote:In big woods, stand approach often dictates where you can or can't hunt; very frustrating at times because there are good spots that just can't be approached the way the should to avoid detection. I have had best luck waiting until after daylight to walk into areas back in quite a ways and hunt mostly spots which can be approached correctly via wind and terrain.
This is something iv started doing as well. I have been busted too many times mid climb, 1hr before daylight, even during peak rut. At least entering in grey light I can see something ahead and still have a chance.
Killemquietly -- "What do you guys think of entering and exiting on different routes? "
Some spots this work out well, other spots can be difficult to do. I would definitely want to check out both routes to see what the vegetation is like. I dont think you can just do this on a whim in early season. I have hit some brick walls of thickness in the dark. Especially in farm land bc the timber edges and woodlots can be closterphobic at times, and ill walk thru anything. Also it may depend on what caliber of deer I am dealing with. Those big ones can make a guy second guess or feel like a complete noob lol
I think most people would be surprised with how much you can get away with. You can get very close to a bedded deer, even with minor mistakes. The final approach is critical! The key is slow and methodical. I am always thinking -- what if another hunter saw me accessing on my approach? He would probably laugh and wonder what the heck im doing lol.
Every year seems like a learning exp but alot of that is hunting new spots.
As Dan says, keeping the tree between you and the bedding is a critical component. I generally dont slide around the front unless its a very thick area, I do have my stand to the side just enough to see and shoot well. I am a mover and its hard for me to sit still so I like the tree as cover. I also stand most of the time anyways bc I expect the deer to show. I will usually turn it slightly so I see and can shoot on the correct side. If he comes from the wrong side for me to shoot, I still have the tree as cover and gives me a chance to spin.
Overhead noise is my best friend. Planes and helicopters are life savers for access. Thats when I pick up the pace. Another really good cover sound is corn on consistent wind days. The main thing that helps me is stopping and taking breaks. I also have to stop, take deep breathes and close my eyes for a few seconds to slow my heart rate. When the blood is pumping from the heat or long walk or worry of screwing up - thats when I make major mistakes w my steps. Another example for good noise cover is running water. I really like it after a rain when the creeks are flowing.
In general I do my best to not allow my scent into the bedding area. There are a few tricks in hill country to access up wind but you really need to be intimate w the wind in the general area. I also will access upwind in farm land but it will be a good distance away, maybe 200-300 yards. Alot can happen to your scent in that amount of distance. When its time to cross the wind path to the deer I pick up the pace or wait for the wind to die down. The best part about flat/open land is the consistent wind. Hard transition lines help tremendously with deferring the wind in a different direction. Cedar trees are my favorite bc the wind will definitely kick it around. I think late season it gets tougher to pull off. Another good way to access a tough spot is walking the access trails where they are used to people or expect them. I would prefer to do that in a more popular area or good deer density. I wouldnt really do that in a remote spot where they dont see people often.
I think my biggest fault is second guessing if I should go closer or back off. A few times I have went too far following hot sign and had to back track. Definitely not a good way to start the hunt! Once I get that "creepy" feeling - I have went too far.
I have seen them come in or cross my path anyways but obviously that is not part of the game plan. As long as I can still shoot my scent trail then ill at least have some confidence to still get a shot off. Sometimes I get lazy about long routes.. its usually when its mid season and its been a tough grind. Sometimes you just have to go for it and pray for some luck. Some spots are just too difficult and solid for the deer that I need to back off on the setup. I also am willing to bump or stack deer when it the access just isnt going to work.