Ack wrote:You cannot write off an area by only observing sign from one season. As mentioned, if it has the security and everything else a buck needs, there’s a chance a good one could be there.
For example....I went back today and walked the area where I shot my buck in the fall. With what I saw for sign you’d never convince me there was a 130 living in there. There were a few scattered rubs....nothing big....not a ton....nothing that would scream big buck, but it has security and historically, good bucks within a reasonable radius around it.
And now that I think about it, where I saw the other good bucks on public last fall also did not have much for buck sign either. In these cases, it wasn’t necessarily what these spots did have that made them good....it’s what they didn’t have.....hunter pressure.
I like where you are going with this. I maintain a journal through the year and one thing I document is hunting pressure or cars in areas I have scouted or hunted. When I go back into these areas scouting the following spring the best sign is where people dont go or minimal pressure. What I mean by best sign is large tracks and fresh droppings and beds. Also the biggest tracks and droppings had no rubs or scrapes around them. At first these spots can leave you scratching your head thinking is it or isn't it a good spot? Then when you stop and you look at everything you can see it's a darn good spot.
I totally agree with the sign such as rubs and scrapes. They were most likely left after dark but possibly during the day as well. But then hunters flock to it and ruin it without taking anything into consideration and the buck then shifts his travels. So essentially these hunters are always one step behind the buck.
Pressure is the biggest influence on where you will find them walking during legal hours. After dark they roam wherever they like.
I guess this brings us to the true topic of this thread. "Core areas". Scouting and looking for core areas.