How close would you camp to your hunting area?

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JustinP
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How close would you camp to your hunting area?

Unread postby JustinP » Sun Aug 16, 2020 1:49 am

How close would you camp to your deer hunting area?

I'm not talking 15 guys on ATVs and a half barrel of beer deer camp, but a solo camp.

I have a new spot I've been scouting since late last winter, the most logical route in and out is by river.
I have a small four stroke outboard on a square stern canoe, and paddles, but the rapids are my problem.
Being inherently lazy I don't want to camp farther away than necessary, and dragging or packing a deer for miles along the river will irritate me to no end when I have a canoe parked on the bank somewhere.
But the rapids limit my upriver travel options, I can run one set of rapids up river with the motor if the water level is just perfect (and it won't be), some of the the others I have lined upriver through in the past, anything is a portage, but again...... lazy...
Also, solo whitewater with a loaded canoe is one thing in July, it has special consequences for the loser in late November, so this does affect my travel plans.

There is plenty of room, I could camp 5 miles away, but...... lazy.........
This is dispersed camping, which is allowed. There are a couple spots along the river that canoeist use from time to time, but this isn't a campground kinda deal.
I want to camp partly because even though my house is less than 5 miles away, this is a difficult area to access, and partly because the camp is part of the experience for me.

I'll sleep, cook with a twig stove other than that I'll be fishing or hunting.
I want to camp reasonably close to the river because I'd prefer this to not turn into a backpack hunt and I'll also want to do some fishing, and because I could be camping for as much as a week at a time a convenient water source will be welcome.

I'll try and use the wind to my advantage, but I'm not moving camp every time the wind changes, again with the lazy thing..........

Deer in this area are very used to smelling wood smoke, and in summer a few groups will camp along the river, so that's not super unusual.
There are no homes on the river in this area, the nearest on the shoreline is probably 6-8 miles away.
Campers in September through January are most likely something no deer has ever seen in its lifetime in this area though.

So I'm just having a hard time finding that balance point between my laziness and and Whitetail wariness.

How much distance would you put between your camp and hunting area in this situation?


Chuck B
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Re: How close would you camp to your hunting area?

Unread postby Chuck B » Sun Aug 16, 2020 1:51 am

Sounds like a good experience. I would say that as long as you aren’t camping too close to a primary bedding, you are fine.
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JustinP
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Re: How close would you camp to your hunting area?

Unread postby JustinP » Sun Aug 16, 2020 10:16 am

Chuck B wrote:Sounds like a good experience. I would say that as long as you aren’t camping too close to a primary bedding, you are fine.


It may sound odd to some, but hunting this area is more about the experience than the trophy potential.
Tennhunter3
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Re: How close would you camp to your hunting area?

Unread postby Tennhunter3 » Sun Aug 16, 2020 1:29 pm

I plan on camping about a mile from where I'm planning to hunt. Gotta keep it on the Dl and have no fire not sure if its allowed on this wma though I'll be close to private property . So I shouldn't have any problems.

I'm not paying to sleep in a camping area or hotel all the time. When I travel I often just pull into a wma and sleep.
Throw up a tent or hammock in the woods and crash for a few hours cook on my rocket stove.
Never give up Freedom for imagined safety.
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austin1990
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Re: How close would you camp to your hunting area?

Unread postby austin1990 » Sun Aug 16, 2020 1:40 pm

A couple guys I work with camp out on a wma here during gun season and usually camp in the same spot every year and hunt the same spots within 200-300 yards of camp every year and they see and kill deer. The first couple days are their best, after about day 3 their sightings go way down. This is in mountain country, this place allows primitive camping wherever and it's about 160,000 acres so theres plenty of people that camp and hike all over it year round.
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JustinP
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Re: How close would you camp to your hunting area?

Unread postby JustinP » Sun Aug 16, 2020 10:58 pm

austin1990 wrote:A couple guys I work with camp out on a wma here during gun season and usually camp in the same spot every year and hunt the same spots within 200-300 yards of camp every year and they see and kill deer. The first couple days are their best, after about day 3 their sightings go way down. This is in mountain country, this place allows primitive camping wherever and it's about 160,000 acres so theres plenty of people that camp and hike all over it year round.


I guess when I think about it I see a fair number of deer camps that I know they are only hunting 200-300 yards away from camp, that still seems a little close, but maybe I'm concerning myself with something that is a non issue.
If I picked out my ideal camp spot based on convenience only, it's about 500-700 yards from the nearest decent buck beds, and about 200 yards to a heavily used deer trail/rub line.
The campsite and bedding area would be separated by 25' high ridge, which around here is a damn near a mountain, in case you're thinkin' that don't sound like nothin'.
Evanszach7
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Re: How close would you camp to your hunting area?

Unread postby Evanszach7 » Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:24 am

JustinP wrote:
austin1990 wrote:A couple guys I work with camp out on a wma here during gun season and usually camp in the same spot every year and hunt the same spots within 200-300 yards of camp every year and they see and kill deer. The first couple days are their best, after about day 3 their sightings go way down. This is in mountain country, this place allows primitive camping wherever and it's about 160,000 acres so theres plenty of people that camp and hike all over it year round.


I guess when I think about it I see a fair number of deer camps that I know they are only hunting 200-300 yards away from camp, that still seems a little close, but maybe I'm concerning myself with something that is a non issue.
If I picked out my ideal camp spot based on convenience only, it's about 500-700 yards from the nearest decent buck beds, and about 200 yards to a heavily used deer trail/rub line.
The campsite and bedding area would be separated by 25' high ridge, which around here is a damn near a mountain, in case you're thinkin' that don't sound like nothin'.


Ive camped and hunted very similar in TN. If you're going in the November rut, you're pretty safe. My biggest concern is always not bumping the does from their bedding. Hard to predict where the bucks are bedding that time of year, but you know even if bumped they're gonna come back to the does.
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JustinP
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Re: How close would you camp to your hunting area?

Unread postby JustinP » Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:50 am

Evanszach7 wrote:
JustinP wrote:
austin1990 wrote:A couple guys I work with camp out on a wma here during gun season and usually camp in the same spot every year and hunt the same spots within 200-300 yards of camp every year and they see and kill deer. The first couple days are their best, after about day 3 their sightings go way down. This is in mountain country, this place allows primitive camping wherever and it's about 160,000 acres so theres plenty of people that camp and hike all over it year round.


I guess when I think about it I see a fair number of deer camps that I know they are only hunting 200-300 yards away from camp, that still seems a little close, but maybe I'm concerning myself with something that is a non issue.
If I picked out my ideal camp spot based on convenience only, it's about 500-700 yards from the nearest decent buck beds, and about 200 yards to a heavily used deer trail/rub line.
The campsite and bedding area would be separated by 25' high ridge, which around here is a damn near a mountain, in case you're thinkin' that don't sound like nothin'.


Ive camped and hunted very similar in TN. If you're going in the November rut, you're pretty safe. My biggest concern is always not bumping the does from their bedding. Hard to predict where the bucks are bedding that time of year, but you know even if bumped they're gonna come back to the does.



Thanks for putting my mind at ease.

I've been scouting this area for over a year now without hunting it. About 600-800 acres of it in detail, and another couple thousand acres of it I've been scouting more for other hunters than deer.
My smaller core area I'm confident I've found the bedding areas, and major doe runways, feeding I have much less pinpointed. Deer around here eat anything they can to survive depending on the time of year, zero agriculture and zero mast crop so food sources are not concentrated other than what's in season.

I was thinking about my first choice camp location some more, and I remembered another reason I was leaning towards it. By moving upriver or down river more it puts me closer to a couple of the favored river crossing points.

I'm kinda talking myself into my campsite choice, I guess............


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