Refuge Spring/Summer Sanctuary

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Dillon.S
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Refuge Spring/Summer Sanctuary

Unread postby Dillon.S » Tue Jun 09, 2020 7:29 am

This year I am looking into hunting a National Wildlife Refuge in my area. The refuge is huge, around 30,000 acres of which approximately 2/3 is open to archery hunting. From March 1st to August 31st the refuge is closed to all public access with the exception of some hiking trails that aren’t open to hunting and some designated fishing areas.

I am fairly familiar with the terrain and the landscape, I have been out there fishing in the past, and have driven through there in the past as well. Though I have not hunted or actually scouted it before. The area receives a fair amount of pressure which has kept me away in the past, but I feel if I make the trek in deep I will leave much of the pressure behind.

I have and still am observing aerial and topo maps of the refuge, and I am planning on observing a few ag fields this summer surrounding the refuge to see what’s in the area. Once the Refuge is open on September 1st I am planning on getting in and doing a little bit of scouting before the season opens September 19th, otherwise all my scouting will be in season scouting.

So I guess my question is, what else should I be doing to prepare myself for hunting the area this season?

I am planning on scouting the area In January and February for next season, but I don’t want to write it off this year because I haven’t scouted it yet.

Also would you treat an area that has extremely limited pressure through the spring and summer any differently than you would a normal piece of public ground?


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Ryan549
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Re: Refuge Spring/Summer Sanctuary

Unread postby Ryan549 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:56 am

Why not make a trip out there right now- after studying maps you should be able to key in on some good spots instead of 30,000 acres.
I’d think you’d be able to at least pick a few spots and get in there this fall. Every year you will be learning and fine tuning until you can pinpoint some really good spots based off of intel.
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Dillon.S
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Re: Refuge Spring/Summer Sanctuary

Unread postby Dillon.S » Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:00 am

Ryan549 wrote:Why not make a trip out there right now- after studying maps you should be able to key in on some good spots instead of 30,000 acres.
I’d think you’d be able to at least pick a few spots and get in there this fall. Every year you will be learning and fine tuning until you can pinpoint some really good spots based off of intel.


It is a wildlife sanctuary from March 1st-August 31st otherwise believe me I would.
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Ryan549
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Re: Refuge Spring/Summer Sanctuary

Unread postby Ryan549 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:05 am

Dillon.S wrote:
Ryan549 wrote:Why not make a trip out there right now- after studying maps you should be able to key in on some good spots instead of 30,000 acres.
I’d think you’d be able to at least pick a few spots and get in there this fall. Every year you will be learning and fine tuning until you can pinpoint some really good spots based off of intel.


It is a wildlife sanctuary from March 1st-August 31st otherwise believe me I would.


I misread that the trails were in areas not open to hunting. I would study those aerial maps and pick my key spots. Nothing wrong with going in the day of and looking for sign and hanging a stand. Good luck!
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Dillon.S
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Re: Refuge Spring/Summer Sanctuary

Unread postby Dillon.S » Tue Jun 09, 2020 12:54 pm

Ryan549 wrote:
Dillon.S wrote:
Ryan549 wrote:Why not make a trip out there right now- after studying maps you should be able to key in on some good spots instead of 30,000 acres.
I’d think you’d be able to at least pick a few spots and get in there this fall. Every year you will be learning and fine tuning until you can pinpoint some really good spots based off of intel.


It is a wildlife sanctuary from March 1st-August 31st otherwise believe me I would.


I misread that the trails were in areas not open to hunting. I would study those aerial maps and pick my key spots. Nothing wrong with going in the day of and looking for sign and hanging a stand. Good luck!

Fore sure! Thanks.
Dillon.S
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Joined: Thu May 28, 2020 2:42 am
Location: Minnesota
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Re: Refuge Spring/Summer Sanctuary

Unread postby Dillon.S » Tue Jun 09, 2020 12:54 pm

Ryan549 wrote:
Dillon.S wrote:
Ryan549 wrote:Why not make a trip out there right now- after studying maps you should be able to key in on some good spots instead of 30,000 acres.
I’d think you’d be able to at least pick a few spots and get in there this fall. Every year you will be learning and fine tuning until you can pinpoint some really good spots based off of intel.


It is a wildlife sanctuary from March 1st-August 31st otherwise believe me I would.


I misread that the trails were in areas not open to hunting. I would study those aerial maps and pick my key spots. Nothing wrong with going in the day of and looking for sign and hanging a stand. Good luck!

Fore sure! Thanks.
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Cchez
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Re: Refuge Spring/Summer Sanctuary

Unread postby Cchez » Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:48 am

The nice thing about such a large tract is you can have a lot of spots to hunt. With that in mind, you have quite a few options.

Do as much cyber scouting as you can before you can get in there. Pick all your areas of interest in advance, study topos and aerials for all the terrain and vegetation features, and anticipated food sources.

If you're planning on getting in there when it opens before the hunting season starts, you may want to physically scout areas you plan to hunt later in the season, or maybe even for the following season, that way you're not risking mucking up the areas you'd like to hunt early season.

As far as hunting it early season, you may be best off scouting your way in the day you plan to hunt. The less time you spend walking around the area ahead of season the better. Its not easy, but obviously can be done. Pick out anticipated bedding and feeding areas and go from there.

Lastly, you COULD scout the areas you plan to hunt early when the refuge opens ahead of season. But you're also running the risk of bumping those deer out if you're not careful. You said the area does receive moderate pressure, so they could be used to a little human intrusion. They may continue to use those same areas, they may bug out. It's up to you to decide if you're willing to take that chance.
Dillon.S
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Re: Refuge Spring/Summer Sanctuary

Unread postby Dillon.S » Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:44 am

Cchez wrote:The nice thing about such a large tract is you can have a lot of spots to hunt. With that in mind, you have quite a few options.

Do as much cyber scouting as you can before you can get in there. Pick all your areas of interest in advance, study topos and aerials for all the terrain and vegetation features, and anticipated food sources.

If you're planning on getting in there when it opens before the hunting season starts, you may want to physically scout areas you plan to hunt later in the season, or maybe even for the following season, that way you're not risking mucking up the areas you'd like to hunt early season.

As far as hunting it early season, you may be best off scouting your way in the day you plan to hunt. The less time you spend walking around the area ahead of season the better. Its not easy, but obviously can be done. Pick out anticipated bedding and feeding areas and go from there.

Lastly, you COULD scout the areas you plan to hunt early when the refuge opens ahead of season. But you're also running the risk of bumping those deer out if you're not careful. You said the area does receive moderate pressure, so they could be used to a little human intrusion. They may continue to use those same areas, they may bug out. It's up to you to decide if you're willing to take that chance.


Thanks Cchez. Yeah its definitely going to be the biggest piece of land that I hunt locally. I've marked off a few areas on OnX and I’m planning on driving by and seeing what I can from the road but for the most part I’m thinking scouting my way in will be my best bet as well. It will be a learning experience, most of the areas I hunt I have scouted in the spring so I am at least familiar with the area beforehand, so it will definitely make it interesting.


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