What a View

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jhpa
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What a View

Unread postby jhpa » Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:54 am

All right, fellas. I could use some perspective. I wanted to be thorough on my description of the situation, so sorry for the novel.

I was out scouting a new piece of property a in early June. Large chuck of public that is split and divided into some odd shapes and sections by private and access. Land is hilly agriculture all around the area. Hunting pressure is moderate for the first week or two until pheasant and small game roll in, then the area is painted orange.

The piece in the pic is a large hay field on the top of a ridge working east and then south down the ridge. There is a private land 10ish year old clear cut, by the looks of it, to the west and a drainage bowl cutting the field from the S. The drainage bowl is semi-clear hardwood near the bottom, getting thicker towards the top. At approximate the 1/2 to 1/3 line on the ridge, there is a 30-60 yard wide CRP/brush/ultra thick strip following the terrain line.

I will give a quick summary of the picture. When scouting (shown in red) , I came in from the NW of the piece, climbing the ridge to the field on the top and then working my way through the bushy bowl. I came at the field on the bottom of the bowl, which is a small CRP field that connects to the larger hay field shown. I thought to myself, "Self, that looks like a good buck bedding area along the west edge of the field." It is thick, the bowl provides a solid wind swirl and thermal action, and the buck would be able to see the whole field to the east and north. I crept along the west edge of the bush and jumped a big bodied buck that was well out past the ears. He was bedded in a thick brushy point under a lone tree that is 30 yards into the field from the wood line. The wind was blowing steadily SSW,S,SSE for most of my scout. I am not sure what the thermal action was around the bowl.

Now, there are two access points to this field (yellow). The one to the E is easier access and puts you into the field the buck was watching, the one to the NW is a longer and harder walk and provides better cover. However, though I jumped the buck on a S wind day, I also feel like this bed sets up great for a northerly or westerly wind. The access from the NW could make it difficult if the wind tight.

My plan is to do some observation sits closer to season opener (October) by coming in from the NW access and staying on the N side of the hill until I reach stand location, then climbing a tree near the field edge to see if the buck is bedding in the same location, coming out into the field, etc.

Now, my questions...

Based on the little information gleaned from a picture, do you guys think this is just a summer bed?

If he is still bedded in the same spot, my thinking for a hunt is to climb an observation tree in the early afternoon to check for him, and then try to crawl within range along the bush line. I imagine if still there, he will likely hang close to cover until dark and then go out into the field. I think the brush behind him to the west will be too loud to get close, the thermals would make it impossible to get below him to the south, and visibility is too good to the east. Any thoughts or suggestions from your own experience?

Anything else I did not consider that you fellas have noticed?

For those of you who made it through this marathon of a post, thanks for sticking along for the ride.


BuckBed.png
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Drenalin
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Re: What a View

Unread postby Drenalin » Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:01 am

I'll offer an opinion, but keep in mind that my advice is worth what you pay for it ;).

I would think that bed would be used most likely on any wind from southeast to southwest, and possibly on straight west. My initial thought is that it's a summer bed, so you'd have to hunt it early if you're going to catch him there - which it sounds like you'd need to do anyway before pressure ramps up. I definitely agree on trying to do an observation sit; I'd specifically be confirming he's there as close to the season as possible, as well as where he's going when he leaves the bed. Is there someplace along that route you could ambush him?

Are there any oaks in those hardwoods, and do they start dropping in your area early enough that he could be moving to feed on them, rather than heading out into that field? If the oaks are dropping, is he still using that bed? Some of those questions you can answer now, but that's a big part of why I'd want my observation sit to be pretty dang close to when I hunt him.

If you do have to crawl in there to get an opportunity, I'd try to do it on a day with a steady wind preferably in that 15 mph or more range. Rain would be nice too, anything to obscure his hearing and vision. Of course, you need the right wind direction for him to be there, and for you to sneak in. I'd try not to get below him.

With all the private for him to move to when pressure picks up, sounds like you'll have a narrow window to hunt him in. Good luck!
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backstraps
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Re: What a View

Unread postby backstraps » Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:27 am

OKay So I too am going to offer my opinions at face value :D

First, I think Drenalin provided you with some serious questions concerning the bed as to when and why it may be used. Also agree the super importance of food (expecially early season mass crops)and the timing the drop compared to the opener.


However, with the field edge thick growth being as where it is... I think the bed is most likely being used under a winds anywhere from W-NW

Something that would have been important to note, and you may have...but could you see the bucks impression in the bed? Could you tell exactly how he was positioned in the bed?

As for the observation route and spot you picked out... since I would tend to think he is bedded there primarily with a W wind, your route may be safe as long as you dont get any thermal pulls. You may even want to re-route your entrance farther north of the green line and then walk up the hill to your observation point.

If I could enter without being in his line of sight, I would enter from the trail/logging road etc from the East. I would try and make it to near the last letter "e" in the word observe. I wouldnt come to the treeline edge...stay back into the woods to where you can still see the field and his bed, but avoid coming to the edge. Just climb high enough to see his bed. Climb the tree on the opposite side of the tree from him, using the tree as cover as you climb
Take milkweed with you, Then record what the wind and thermals are actually doing. Hopefully you can get a visual of him and his pattern exiting the bed.

Just something else I was curious about... you said "The wind was blowing steadily SSW,S,SSE" Your arrows shows the wind blowing into those directions... When we refer to a "west wind" a "south wind" etc... we are referring to the direction the wind is coming out of . Just didnt want replies to be confusing.

As for the observation sits... I'd get several in before opener...play it safe stay back and dont take chances of him winding you before season begins.

As for the hunt itself... find out as much intel as you can prior and make a plan then. Setup to kill him on your first hunt. If it doesnt work and you get a visual and dont spook him, come back and adjust. One last thing... I would avoid trying to climb a tree and confirm he is in the bed before the hunt. Thats taking a risk of spooking him before you have a chance at killing him.

Good luck, hopefully you will get plenty more replies and best of luck on your hunts for him
jhpa
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Re: What a View

Unread postby jhpa » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:32 am

Drenalin wrote:
Are there any oaks in those hardwoods, and do they start dropping in your area early enough that he could be moving to feed on them, rather than heading out into that field? If the oaks are dropping, is he still using that bed? Some of those questions you can answer now, but that's a big part of why I'd want my observation sit to be pretty dang close to when I hunt him.

If you do have to crawl in there to get an opportunity, I'd try to do it on a day with a steady wind preferably in that 15 mph or more range. Rain would be nice too, anything to obscure his hearing and vision. Of course, you need the right wind direction for him to be there, and for you to sneak in. I'd try not to get below him.



I didn't think about the buck dropping back into the bush before going into the field since the bed was on the edge, but it definitely makes sense. There were trails running along his elevation line.

That was my hope for weather conditions on the right wind day.

Appreciated!
jhpa
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Re: What a View

Unread postby jhpa » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:45 am

backstraps wrote:

However, with the field edge thick growth being as where it is... I think the bed is most likely being used under a winds anywhere from W-NW

Something that would have been important to note, and you may have...but could you see the bucks impression in the bed? Could you tell exactly how he was positioned in the bed?

...

Just something else I was curious about... you said "The wind was blowing steadily SSW,S,SSE" Your arrows shows the wind blowing into those directions... When we refer to a "west wind" a "south wind" etc... we are referring to the direction the wind is coming out of . Just didnt want replies to be confusing.

...

As for the hunt itself... find out as much intel as you can prior and make a plan then. Setup to kill him on your first hunt. If it doesnt work and you get a visual and dont spook him, come back and adjust. One last thing... I would avoid trying to climb a tree and confirm he is in the bed before the hunt. Thats taking a risk of spooking him before you have a chance at killing him.

Good luck, hopefully you will get plenty more replies and best of luck on your hunts for him


I could see the impression of the bed. He was bedded in the thick cover at the base of large tree facing a touch N of due E with the wind blowing from the SE when I jumped him. I think he was relying on his ears for behind him, the bush is incredibly thick for 20 yards to the N and S of the bed, and possibly thermals. I didn't have any milkweed when I was scouting this trip, so I only know what the prevailing wind was doing.

I was also that with the way the hill/bush/and field set up that the bed should make sense anywhere from due N/NW/W/SW/S, with N-W being the best winds.

I realize the lack of clarity in my drawing now. The arrows are meant to be like a wind vane, so they point in the direction the wind was coming from not where it was blowing to. Thanks for bringing that up. I'm sure I would've gotten confused by some answers, otherwise.

As for the hunt, I am hoping that observation sits give me a solid path for ambush. However, I was thinking that he may be impossible to get to unless I catch the right conditions and can crawl to within range. The plan to observe the day of the hunt was only if I need to try a stalk. I figured it would be worth the risk of getting caught at a distance than it would to load his bedding area with my scent in season on a day he isn't even there.
jhpa
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Re: What a View

Unread postby jhpa » Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:02 pm

This set up also has me wondering about the difference in thermals during the high heat summer. Obviously the idea is the same, but with a warmer sun, I would think the thermal pull is more pronounced. I wonder if the potentially higher wind changes the way it interacts with the prevailing wind and terrain to such an extent that it creates a good wind bedding area in a location that will not be good come the cooler autumn.

Anyone have any experience or observations of this?


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