Stop Picking Spots

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
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fenderbender62
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Stop Picking Spots

Unread postby fenderbender62 » Thu Oct 08, 2020 2:25 am

I'm guilty of not scouting boots on the ground much, if at all.

99% of my planning for a hunt comes from aerial maps via OnX and google earth. I look at the upcoming weather and wind forecast and formulate a plan, pick a spot, mark it on OnX and go in and hunt it. I've had some success hunting spots despite the area being devoid of deer sign but it makes it difficult to have confidence in spots when you walk in to setup and there's no sign.

So I'm switching it up. I'm going to start picking general areas of interest, planning the best entrance route and I'm going to keep moving until I find hot sign near bedding as opposed to picking pre-planned spots and commiting to them before I even hit the woods.

This year I've made my setup mobile. I'm using the Lone wolf hand climber and the new Eberhart saddle as my climbing method and platform, so my entire setup is around 6 pounds plus a backpack so I'm ready for legit mobile hunting,

Throw me your best tips for scouting your way in and knowing when to setup, and when to keep it moving, staying mobile!


what one man can do another can do
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Wlog
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Re: Stop Picking Spots

Unread postby Wlog » Thu Oct 08, 2020 2:37 am

I think it’s good to have a destination in mind but always be ready to adjust. For instance, you may know where a primary bedding area is but the buck has shifted the way he’s coming in and out. The better you know the property you’re on the easier it is to go to plan b, plan c, etc. on the fly.
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Re: Stop Picking Spots

Unread postby sdonx » Thu Oct 08, 2020 2:57 am

After one sit in my target spot... I feel the same way.
Getting out Thursday to hit this cold front...scout, scout, scout ....hunt
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greenhorndave
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Re: Stop Picking Spots

Unread postby greenhorndave » Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:25 am

I think Wlog hit my thoughts.

For my example this year, it was Big Woods that I never set foot on before. Edge sign was non-existent. Once I got in, sign was some tracks, but they were spotty due to the variation of the ground surface. I had to push to the destination.

The big tell was fresh turds.

I started finding more and more and only wanted to make it 25 yards further to set up, but the freshness of buck turds in extremely dense conifer cover meant I should have set up right then instead of going to that predetermined location even though it was super close. The buck walked in on me earlier than I expected, I didn’t have an arrow nocked and he was facing me at 10 yards when I first saw him. I never would have had that encounter if I relied on edge sign alone, but that’s Big Woods for you.

So it can be a fine line on when to stop.
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Lockdown
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Re: Stop Picking Spots

Unread postby Lockdown » Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:03 am

The more aggressive you are, the more you will learn. If you’re curious about a bedding area and it doesn’t look good enough to throw a sit at, go bust it out and see what it looks like.

Put an emphasis on tracks too.
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fenderbender62
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Re: Stop Picking Spots

Unread postby fenderbender62 » Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:33 am

Awesome stuff, thanks guys.

This is only my second season on public land so the learning curve is steep. I'm used to limiting scouting and pushing in to areas to keep the deer from being on edge, but I'm in Eastern Virginia where everyone and their brother is constantly walking around, dove hunting with bird dogs, checking cameras etc. so the deer were on high alert before the season even opened.

Like Lockdown said, Im just going to get aggressive and at the very least learn more about the properties I have to hunt now.
what one man can do another can do
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treeroot
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Re: Stop Picking Spots

Unread postby treeroot » Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:02 pm

I try to break new properties down in sections. I start at the first if it's a bust i move on to the next section. There might be 50 good acres to hunt out of 1,000, that might be 10 5 acre sections. After a few scout/ hunts I hopefully stumbled into a few good sections. Knowing I have options the pressure is off.
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Re: Stop Picking Spots

Unread postby mauser06 » Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:06 pm

Took me a while to pick up on that. Last year was really my first of just diving in and going nearly 100% mobile. I have a couple known bedding and early season stuff. After the first couple weeks, I stayed mobil and tried to keep myself in deer. It worked.


I'd come up with a plan of some sort. I was mostly in hill country so I kept bedding points in mind as well as transitions and funnels. I hunted my way around checking those points of interest. If it looked good and fresh, I hunted it...if not, I kept walking.

One thing I learned was that I can be effective on the ground even with a bow and a stand on my back. Actually missed a good buck like that. Something I'm probably going to do a little more of this year.... probably minus the stand on my back.

I've learned to make the best of the situation, going mobile is the best tactic I've tried yet. I kept myself in deer and out of hunters for the most part.
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headgear
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Re: Stop Picking Spots

Unread postby headgear » Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:45 pm

We are all guilt of this from time to time, heck I even scouted like mad in the spring but didn't do as much in-season scouting back in the day. Now I feel like I am scouting all the time and rarely hunting but if something doesn't tell me a buck is around I just keep moving. There just has to be a good reason for me to setup because in the bigwoods I can walk 5 miles and never cut a good track or find any fresh sign. Early season has always been a little harder to sort out but the best time of year is right around the corner.
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Wlog
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Re: Stop Picking Spots

Unread postby Wlog » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:15 am

headgear wrote:We are all guilt of this from time to time, heck I even scouted like mad in the spring but didn't do as much in-season scouting back in the day. Now I feel like I am scouting all the time and rarely hunting but if something doesn't tell me a buck is around I just keep moving. There just has to be a good reason for me to setup because in the bigwoods I can walk 5 miles and never cut a good track or find any fresh sign. Early season has always been a little harder to sort out but the best time of year is right around the corner.



I’m always scouting as I go. Yesterday I got to the property around 2:30 and didn’t get setup until after 5pm. I’ve only hunted this area a few times and it’s changed a lot since the last time I extensively post season scouted it. When I snuck in to where I expected the bedding to be it was completely devoid of buck sign and all the deer sign was old. Where I ended up hunting was no where near my intended destination. When I started out doing this style of hunting I would’ve probably just setup where I originally planned and hoped for the best.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
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mbarthelemy
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Re: Stop Picking Spots

Unread postby mbarthelemy » Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:47 am

fenderbender62 wrote:Awesome stuff, thanks guys.

This is only my second season on public land so the learning curve is steep. I'm used to limiting scouting and pushing in to areas to keep the deer from being on edge, but I'm in Eastern Virginia where everyone and their brother is constantly walking around, dove hunting with bird dogs, checking cameras etc. so the deer were on high alert before the season even opened.

Like Lockdown said, Im just going to get aggressive and at the very least learn more about the properties I have to hunt now.


I hear ya man, I'm just west of Richmond. I've sat in spots that showed every sign of being "good"....and nothing, not even a doe. I'm about to just ghillie up and charge right into the bedding area and do a little pushing myself. Its like these deer went into hiding on the 3rd.
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Re: Stop Picking Spots

Unread postby HeadHunting » Sat Oct 10, 2020 2:53 am

I have definitely been guilty of what I call scouting looking up versus looking down or scouting for an area versus sign. It is something that I am really trying to focus on this year to change in my hunting tactics. I will note that it isn't easy and takes acute focus to get out of your head years and years of doing things a certain way, throwing caution in the wind in a sense and making the change to really scouting more than hunting, but I know that it needs to happen. I look back at how many times I sat in a tree only to see nothing and realize that my time could have been much better spent scouting. Even if my sightings are only busting deer and not getting to harvest, the opportunity to go and see why they may have been there and learn from the encounter is way more valuable than sitting in a tree and not learning anything.
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