Calling all big woods hunters

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mcmidc
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Calling all big woods hunters

Unread postby mcmidc » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:11 am

What are all of you big woods hunters looking for prior to your scouting trips to your big woods areas this fall? I am looking at aerials for high spots in swamps, beaver ponds, and aspen thickets within the hardwoods. Pretty much transiton lines Then go in and check these areas for large tracks, rubs, scrapes, and hopefully even some beds. I am a little less concerned about funnels then I use to be.

A problem I am having is finding info on where clear cuts are and the age class of the clear cut. Does anyone know where to find that info, or are some of the online aerials (google earth, bing maps, yahoo maps) up to date enough to see these 1-5 year cuts?

Fall is here and I'm really starting to get the itch to do some trekking around on some public big woods areas.


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Re: Calling all big woods hunters

Unread postby headgear » Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:39 am

It might depend on your area how up to date your aerial photos are, try and found out what year they were taken. I would also suggest looking at county website that have GIS mapping systems, they sometimes have newer photos then the other sites. Its a pretty safe bet that if you see a cutting on an aerial photos that looks new it is already 2-5 years old and starting to thicken up. Of course the best way to find this out is to hit the ground.
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Re: Calling all big woods hunters

Unread postby PLB » Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:46 am

I like to talk to the forest service and some loggers to find out where the recent clear cuts have been! I also am looking for transition lines and for big tracks, rubs, other hunter sign, beds.
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Re: Calling all big woods hunters

Unread postby headgear » Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:22 am

If you can buddie up to a logger you can get all kinds of intel. I am lucky enough to have a logger as a member of our shack. He knows of every sale going on over a huge area. You can't know every loggers schedule but I usually know 1 to 4 years in advance if an area is going to be logged anywhere near my hunting grounds, now I don't really need to know that stuff but it can help when planning to hunt an area in the future or even a hunt for this fall if I know things will be changing soon.

Loggers also have a pretty good handle on the deer population in a certain area and can tell you if they have spotted any large bucks or see large tracks in an area. At times I have used him to help plan scouting trips, and skipped over large areas that I might have wasted days scouting because he saw a nice buck or a large track in another area.
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Re: Calling all big woods hunters

Unread postby mcmidc » Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:59 am

Thanks for the tips guys, I'm thinking Im going to call the forestry department and see what kind of info I can gather from them. 8-)
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Re: Calling all big woods hunters

Unread postby dirt nap giver » Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:10 pm

Public Land Beast wrote:I like to talk to the forest service and some loggers to find out where the recent clear cuts have been! I also am looking for transition lines and for big tracks, rubs, other hunter sign, beds.

x2 and would like to add, that if you haven't been able to step foot in these yet, given the time of year and as close as we are to the season, I would make my first trip in with a "ready to hunt" walk through.
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Re: Calling all big woods hunters

Unread postby publiclandhunter » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:21 am

I hate hunting pressure of any sort in the big woods and even though it is "big-woods" there are still areas where hunters seem to congregate. Here's my whittled-down strategy...
1. Eliminate areas with excessive roads/and or ATV trails as they will attract hunters.
2. Look for a water source - creek, river, pond or lake. (deer need water no matter where they live and these areas are the first to "green-up" in the spring)
3. Water creates funnels - easier to go right to areas that may concentrate sign and assess the area. Water also creates a good safety-net for a buck to bed in close proximity.
4. Observe Bing, Google Earth aerials for terrain breaks, clear-cuts and open areas near the water source and any notable funnels.
5. Have several of these found in advance and printed/Noted/GPS coordinates and then expediently check as many of these as you can - more is better, we are just eliminating territory.
6. Look for tracks, old buck sign and of course fresh buck sign and gauge by tracks, beds, sign if you have a buck worth chasing. (make note of doe concentrations or "pockets" in these areas, since bucks will be prowling these areas for does in the rut and a good concentration of does near the buck area may keep the buck nearby in November)
7. Prep your spots as you find them and then get out until it is time to hunt them.
8. Have several locations found and then hunt them on a low-impact style - slip in and out and have several bucks found so if one isn't panning out you have options.
9. Hunt hard!

PLH
Go farther, stay longer.........hunt harder.
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Re: Calling all big woods hunters

Unread postby mcmidc » Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:26 pm

publiclandhunter wrote:I hate hunting pressure of any sort in the big woods and even though it is "big-woods" there are still areas where hunters seem to congregate. Here's my whittled-down strategy...
1. Eliminate areas with excessive roads/and or ATV trails as they will attract hunters.
2. Look for a water source - creek, river, pond or lake. (deer need water no matter where they live and these areas are the first to "green-up" in the spring)
3. Water creates funnels - easier to go right to areas that may concentrate sign and assess the area. Water also creates a good safety-net for a buck to bed in close proximity.
4. Observe Bing, Google Earth aerials for terrain breaks, clear-cuts and open areas near the water source and any notable funnels.
5. Have several of these found in advance and printed/Noted/GPS coordinates and then expediently check as many of these as you can - more is better, we are just eliminating territory.
6. Look for tracks, old buck sign and of course fresh buck sign and gauge by tracks, beds, sign if you have a buck worth chasing. (make note of doe concentrations or "pockets" in these areas, since bucks will be prowling these areas for does in the rut and a good concentration of does near the buck area may keep the buck nearby in November)
7. Prep your spots as you find them and then get out until it is time to hunt them.
8. Have several locations found and then hunt them on a low-impact style - slip in and out and have several bucks found so if one isn't panning out you have options.
9. Hunt hard!

PLH


PLH, thanks for all your tips, they're very useful. Good insight on how to take a ton of big woods acreage and really narrow it down.
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Re: Calling all big woods hunters

Unread postby headgear » Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:37 am

That is some solid advice public. I've been doing a lot of that for years but I think I sometimes get a little to comfortable in my old proven spots. Time to get back out there and find a few more bucks to hunt and get out of that comfort zone.
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Re: Calling all big woods hunters

Unread postby mcmidc » Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:52 am

headgear wrote:That is some solid advice public. I've been doing a lot of that for years but I think I sometimes get a little to comfortable in my old proven spots. Time to get back out there and find a few more bucks to hunt and get out of that comfort zone.


I have the same thing happen to me. I find myself hunting all my old spots year after year. Which aren't bad spots because they are at good spots to catch cruising bucks but I want to find some spots where the bucks are living and frequenting more often. I'm going to hunt the same kind of areas (pinch points, transition lines) but I want to get a lot closer to bedding. Thinking I'll see more day time movement.
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Re: Calling all big woods hunters

Unread postby dan » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:16 pm

I find myself hunting all my old spots year after year.


The Definition of INSANITY is :

Doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results...
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Re: Calling all big woods hunters

Unread postby mcmidc » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:47 pm

dan wrote:
I find myself hunting all my old spots year after year.


The Definition of INSANITY is :

Doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results...


I agree with you 100%. Your techniques, along with others from this site have totally revolutionalized the way I hunt. I've shot my fair share of 2.5 year olds in the big woods and am ready to try and "consistently" take more older bucks. I've mapped out many new areas to scout and will be scouting a bunch of them for 4 days this next week! By changing tactics in the marsh down here in wisconsin, I've already been onto 2 bucks this year. A 3.5 year, and a 1.5 year, by changing methods starting in the spring and finding bedding areas to set up on. Amazing what happens when you listen to people who know what they're talking about and try something different. :lol:
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Re: Calling all big woods hunters

Unread postby publiclandhunter » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:06 am

As others have stated here, it is very easy to fall back into old habits and keep doing what we have always done. the hard part is recognizing when you need to make a change and then acting on it. I can remember an older guy interviewed on Michigan Outdoors Big Buck Night that said he had hunted the same stand for the lat 25-years and finally took his trophy buck. When asked what he had killed in previous years, he had only taken a spike buck over ten-years ago. Persistence or ignorance? You make the call.

PLH
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Re: Calling all big woods hunters

Unread postby headgear » Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:18 am

Well I was up in the bigwoods this weekend and got some last minute scouting done and prepped a few new stand locations that look promising. I have alwasy tried to move around and hunt the wind but this year I will try and adapt a little more and be more mobile. I still can't give up on some of those old rut stands that have worked for me year after year but using some of my new found beast knowledge should help.

It might be another hard year in northern MN, there looks to be one giant in the area and a few young bucks but I have yet to get any of them on cam. Tons of wolf tracks too. Also a lotto doe area so the meat pole will probably be a little light this year.
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Re: Calling all big woods hunters

Unread postby dan » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:09 am

publiclandhunter wrote:As others have stated here, it is very easy to fall back into old habits and keep doing what we have always done. the hard part is recognizing when you need to make a change and then acting on it. I can remember an older guy interviewed on Michigan Outdoors Big Buck Night that said he had hunted the same stand for the lat 25-years and finally took his trophy buck. When asked what he had killed in previous years, he had only taken a spike buck over ten-years ago. Persistence or ignorance? You make the call.

PLH

Its almost funny when you here these storys and the guy will say something about his strong will staying put is the reason he got the big buck... When really in 25 years of hunting just tossing a dart at a topo to pick a spot would generate many more big bucks than 1 in 25 years...


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