Scouting edge

Discuss the science of figuring out our prey through good detective work.
Moose
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Scouting edge

Unread postby Moose » Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:13 am

I have a question about farm country edge. Im definitely getting better but still having some trouble finding beds. When you scout edges is it right at that transtion of trees to fields or are you in the trees 10 or so yards from the fields? If im walking the field and timber edge do i go in the timber at every trail i see? Every rub i see? Or just when i see thick nasty cover that looks good to me? I seem to look around so many trees and brushy areas that i think look good but nothing. Maybe thats how it is for everyone and i dont know that? Just trying to be more efficient. Dans dvds help a ton and get me in the right direction but i think im still missing a piece of the puzzle. Thanks!


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Re: Scouting edge

Unread postby Moose » Sun Mar 15, 2020 1:09 am

20200312_150540-1.jpg


Theres 100s of these laydowns. Do you look around all of them or does it look to open (not enough cover) so i shouldnt waste my time?
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Re: Scouting edge

Unread postby justdirtyfun » Sun Mar 15, 2020 2:28 am

My 2 cents would be
Don't expect most trails into timber to be for bedding. Doe's and their young beat down a path quick. A buck beds in a less traveled area.
If you can add features to the blowdown, a point, a low spot, above average thickness to background, then you have a good chance to spot bedding. And that is going to take time to train your brain for. On the fly evaluation of the exact area is tough.
Bucks like to rub on doe trails so if rubs are not in a "safe" area they are done at night. Usually. Using a gps to mark trails and sign is helpful but probably not in a potential stand location.
Walking field edges for beds is something I have done but not great at. Sometimes I feel like I find summer bed locations right on the edge. My mind pictures how thick things are verses what it looks like while standing there.
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Re: Scouting edge

Unread postby <DK> » Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:45 am

You're on the right track for sure.

Search for MOBigBucks farm scouting thread. Lots of very good info in there.
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Re: Scouting edge

Unread postby <DK> » Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:58 am

Here is a few pics

*20 yards inside woodline. Can barely see the field. Grass and water at his back. Slightly elevated
Image

*Right on the edge but his back is to the field of tall grass, watching the woodlot.
Image

*Thick back cover, under a cedar, watching a pasture.
Image

*40 yards in from crops, thick woodlot vegetation, watching water.
Image

*Not a huge bed but right on transition Line, watching a bean field.
Image
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Re: Scouting edge

Unread postby <DK> » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:11 am

Some of these are blatantly obvious but in general just look for strong back cover. It may not be there except early season then they relocate to thicker areas. I have found them w a log at their back but not consistent. It will get easier over time for you. Just think about if you or a predator could sneak up on that deer. Knee-Hip high or higher vegetation is great back cover. Also I think the more mature bucks have a good stretch of cover or very strong security (like water) behind them. Some could have 30+ yards of thickness behind them. Some could bed in 8ft high grasses. One example of strong security could be a old clear cut in the timber. There is no possible way to be silent in that nasty stuff and sneak up on him. He will hear or see you first, then let you get just close enough hear them bound off or see a tail.
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Re: Scouting edge

Unread postby Moose » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:38 am

Its good to know im atleast looking in the right type of areas. Its getting easier to find beds but just need reassurance that im on the right track especially when im having a hard time finding beds.
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Re: Scouting edge

Unread postby Twenty Up » Wed Mar 18, 2020 3:00 am

I’ve found that finding beds really helps me understand deer travel routes, safety areas, behavior etc.. But I’ve never killed a deer in a bed that I’ve found while scouting in January or March. Maybe my “style” or interpretation of this is different than others, the geographical location and foliage is different or whatever, but that’s been my experiences after 7+ years of scouting and hunting “Buck beds”.

That being said, it has made me a much more efficient hunter and my encounters on mature animals has gone up. I wouldn’t fixate on finding beds per-say, but I’d focus on trying to predict, interpret and scout/hunt deer sign that you understand.

Included are bucks beds and exit trials located over the years in locations that I found on a map and confirmed bedding on foot. Predict, scout, interpret then hunt.

I hope this helps, it could be common sense but prioritizing Predicting & Understanding deer sign has been an asset for my success recently.

4E0109EB-589D-404A-8142-95B9DECC4628.jpeg

709A119F-7C61-4882-BA63-85A9289DC04E.jpeg

44444860-3AB9-4C1C-8C5F-6420FA937CE3.jpeg

CD7B69AC-1C6F-4792-AC3E-F6136A2BF73F.jpeg
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Re: Scouting edge

Unread postby <DK> » Wed Mar 18, 2020 4:46 am

Great pics 20^
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Re: Scouting edge

Unread postby Twenty Up » Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:58 am

Thanks DK, you as well :clap:
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Re: Scouting edge

Unread postby Moose » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:23 pm

Thanks guys! Im looking forward to my next scouting trip and to keep getting better at finding beds.
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Re: Scouting edge

Unread postby mheichelbech » Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:54 am

Twenty Up wrote:I’ve found that finding beds really helps me understand deer travel routes, safety areas, behavior etc.. But I’ve never killed a deer in a bed that I’ve found while scouting in January or March. Maybe my “style” or interpretation of this is different than others, the geographical location and foliage is different or whatever, but that’s been my experiences after 7+ years of scouting and hunting “Buck beds”.

That being said, it has made me a much more efficient hunter and my encounters on mature animals has gone up. I wouldn’t fixate on finding beds per-say, but I’d focus on trying to predict, interpret and scout/hunt deer sign that you understand.

Included are bucks beds and exit trials located over the years in locations that I found on a map and confirmed bedding on foot. Predict, scout, interpret then hunt.

I hope this helps, it could be common sense but prioritizing Predicting & Understanding deer sign has been an asset for my success recently.

4E0109EB-589D-404A-8142-95B9DECC4628.jpeg
709A119F-7C61-4882-BA63-85A9289DC04E.jpeg
44444860-3AB9-4C1C-8C5F-6420FA937CE3.jpeg
CD7B69AC-1C6F-4792-AC3E-F6136A2BF73F.jpeg

Understanding and predicting have been very difficult for me. I assume it’s due to pressure but can’t say for sure, but most of the individual bucks I’ve hunted have seemed to be extremely unpredictable. They just don’t seem to follow the same routes day to day during the bulk of the season. Around here, the only time I’ve seen bucks do the same thing day to day is very late season and even then, only if it’s really cold or bad weather, which is not reliable in and of itself.
I have wondered whether I just haven’t put in enough effort to be able to pattern bucks or are they really just that random. I don’t think effort is the problem for me but perhaps the right kind of effort is more important.
This year I’m going to put more effort into actually finding mature bucks wherever they are instead of trying to find mature bucks where I mostly hunt. This has been my biggest mistake the last few years, thinking there are bucks in an area that I’m just not finding instead of finding areas that actually hold mature bucks.
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Re: Scouting edge

Unread postby funderburk » Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:31 pm

<DK> wrote:Some of these are blatantly obvious but in general just look for strong back cover. It may not be there except early season then they relocate to thicker areas. I have found them w a log at their back but not consistent. It will get easier over time for you. Just think about if you or a predator could sneak up on that deer. Knee-Hip high or higher vegetation is great back cover. Also I think the more mature bucks have a good stretch of cover or very strong security (like water) behind them. Some could have 30+ yards of thickness behind them. Some could bed in 8ft high grasses. One example of strong security could be a old clear cut in the timber. There is no possible way to be silent in that nasty stuff and sneak up on him. He will hear or see you first, then let you get just close enough hear them bound off or see a tail.


This right here. I’ve been following the Beast for two and a half years and this is something I wish I would’ve just camped out on. It’s all about security cover. It is vital that you start thinking about where you would hide. It’s all about the vantage point with mature bucks.
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Re: Scouting edge

Unread postby funderburk » Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:33 pm

Twenty Up wrote:I’ve found that finding beds really helps me understand deer travel routes, safety areas, behavior etc.. But I’ve never killed a deer in a bed that I’ve found while scouting in January or March. Maybe my “style” or interpretation of this is different than others, the geographical location and foliage is different or whatever, but that’s been my experiences after 7+ years of scouting and hunting “Buck beds”.

That being said, it has made me a much more efficient hunter and my encounters on mature animals has gone up. I wouldn’t fixate on finding beds per-say, but I’d focus on trying to predict, interpret and scout/hunt deer sign that you understand.

Included are bucks beds and exit trials located over the years in locations that I found on a map and confirmed bedding on foot. Predict, scout, interpret then hunt.

I hope this helps, it could be common sense but prioritizing Predicting & Understanding deer sign has been an asset for my success recently.

4E0109EB-589D-404A-8142-95B9DECC4628.jpeg
709A119F-7C61-4882-BA63-85A9289DC04E.jpeg
44444860-3AB9-4C1C-8C5F-6420FA937CE3.jpeg
CD7B69AC-1C6F-4792-AC3E-F6136A2BF73F.jpeg


Excellent post :clap:
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Twenty Up
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Re: Scouting edge

Unread postby Twenty Up » Wed Apr 15, 2020 2:17 am

mheichelbech wrote:
Twenty Up wrote:I’ve found that finding beds really helps me understand deer travel routes, safety areas, behavior etc.. But I’ve never killed a deer in a bed that I’ve found while scouting in January or March. Maybe my “style” or interpretation of this is different than others, the geographical location and foliage is different or whatever, but that’s been my experiences after 7+ years of scouting and hunting “Buck beds”.

That being said, it has made me a much more efficient hunter and my encounters on mature animals has gone up. I wouldn’t fixate on finding beds per-say, but I’d focus on trying to predict, interpret and scout/hunt deer sign that you understand.

Included are bucks beds and exit trials located over the years in locations that I found on a map and confirmed bedding on foot. Predict, scout, interpret then hunt.

I hope this helps, it could be common sense but prioritizing Predicting & Understanding deer sign has been an asset for my success recently.

4E0109EB-589D-404A-8142-95B9DECC4628.jpeg
709A119F-7C61-4882-BA63-85A9289DC04E.jpeg
44444860-3AB9-4C1C-8C5F-6420FA937CE3.jpeg
CD7B69AC-1C6F-4792-AC3E-F6136A2BF73F.jpeg

Understanding and predicting have been very difficult for me. I assume it’s due to pressure but can’t say for sure, but most of the individual bucks I’ve hunted have seemed to be extremely unpredictable. They just don’t seem to follow the same routes day to day during the bulk of the season. Around here, the only time I’ve seen bucks do the same thing day to day is very late season and even then, only if it’s really cold or bad weather, which is not reliable in and of itself.
I have wondered whether I just haven’t put in enough effort to be able to pattern bucks or are they really just that random. I don’t think effort is the problem for me but perhaps the right kind of effort is more important.
This year I’m going to put more effort into actually finding mature bucks wherever they are instead of trying to find mature bucks where I mostly hunt. This has been my biggest mistake the last few years, thinking there are bucks in an area that I’m just not finding instead of finding areas that actually hold mature bucks.


Pressure can actually corral deer and make their movements more predictable.

An example for Predicting & Understanding that has recently worked has been I would be -going over aerials in July/August and see a good pinch point between Potential bedding and food. Go physically walk and look for tracks, we found a large set of tracks coming from exactly where we predicted them to. Set up a camera and ended up having 2 very respectable bucks using that trail entering the fields. Opening day we setup on 2 different exit trails, my buddy ended up having the largest buck at 22 or 24 yards, but no shot and the buck caught our ground scent somehow.

September- mid October is the only reliable “pattern” you’ll ever get on a buck in the Southeast. I’ve had bucks dogging does January 1-7th when our peak rut is November 3-10. That “trickle rut” takes away any late season food to bed pattern that guys up North rave about. It doesn’t get below 30 degrees here and we have plenty of does.

It took a lot of trail cameras and time in the woods to get to where I’m at today, and I’m still learning new things or getting humbled by old bucks. If you don’t own or utilize trail cameras, I highly recommend buying 5 cheap Tascos and leaving them out all season. Pictures worth a thousand words ;)
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