How relatable is winter snow travel/sign in hill country to fall travel.

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upwind predator
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How relatable is winter snow travel/sign in hill country to fall travel.

Unread postby upwind predator » Tue Mar 02, 2021 3:35 am

Before i go on with my question ill go back and rescout once snows gone. I went out and scouted a bluff im tryin to learn better and hill country in general its all still snow covered except for some south facing slopes. But i found good sign in some spots(licking branches, winter beds,rubs, what i guess does would use as bedding year round, trails where they should be). Have you guys found movement and sign like that to hold true in the fall as well that you find in the winter? I know some stuff i found screams winter only like thermal cover and such.
Thanks.


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G-Patt
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Re: How relatable is winter snow travel/sign in hill country to fall travel.

Unread postby G-Patt » Tue Mar 02, 2021 4:40 am

I think it's helpful when scouting a new spot. I did some winter scouting this year, and focused on heavily-used travel routes used by does. I plan to glass them during the season to see if they are still being used and put together a game plan for pre-rut and rut. Plus, seeing the tracks in the snow helps me understand the deer density in the area.
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Re: How relatable is winter snow travel/sign in hill country to fall travel.

Unread postby DeadHeadSpread » Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:43 pm

Sounds like you have a good start. Deer movement now revolves around food. In the hill country where I live that means whatever browse they can find. They’re tearing up the low hanging pine branches right now because everything on the ground is iced in. That pattern won’t be the same in the fall. I’m in the same boat as you, out scouting new areas to get a lay of the land and learn what I can while the snow is on the ground. Then once the snow melts I will have a better idea which specific areas I want to focus on in more detail.
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Re: How relatable is winter snow travel/sign in hill country to fall travel.

Unread postby upwind predator » Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:19 am

Thanks guys, do you find in hill country/bluff terrain that does will use the same bedding areas in the fall as they do winter? The one spot i found had doe beds wore down to the bare dirt in the snow and a bunch of rubs and 3 licking branches near it near it. Yes there was a buck bed wore to the dirt with the doe beds but i know he’s with them for the winter herd up.
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Re: How relatable is winter snow travel/sign in hill country to fall travel.

Unread postby G-Patt » Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:55 am

upwind predator wrote:Thanks guys, do you find in hill country/bluff terrain that does will use the same bedding areas in the fall as they do winter? The one spot i found had doe beds wore down to the bare dirt in the snow and a bunch of rubs and 3 licking branches near it near it. Yes there was a buck bed wore to the dirt with the doe beds but i know he’s with them for the winter herd up.

I don't hunt bluff country but in the woods I hunt (most would classify as "big woods" with "big hills"), the does will tend to use the same bedding areas or satellite around them as the cover disappears through the season. On an important side note, don't ignore the north and east slopes of those hills for early season. Those will generally retain more moisture, better bedding and have fresher browse than the south slopes in early season due to less sun exposure. Also the wind tends to be predominantly South and Southwest in the midwest during Sept and Oct (also Nov for Southwest OH), making the N, NE and E slopes leeward.
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Re: How relatable is winter snow travel/sign in hill country to fall travel.

Unread postby upwind predator » Thu Mar 04, 2021 1:46 am

Thank you
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Re: How relatable is winter snow travel/sign in hill country to fall travel.

Unread postby mauser06 » Thu Mar 04, 2021 6:46 am

In my experience it just depends. If they herd a e yard up in the winter, its going to be deceiving. You'll find very little witb for large areas and then very small pockets that look like a deer farm. That area might not be worth a hoot in the fall. They are likely there for food and cover.


Winter food sources can also be deceiving. Once winter is setting in, they can travel a long ways. Some areas they are even somewhat migratory. Winter foods are often the last available food around...it's much more limited and much more important than it is in the fall.


I just drove to an area that I didn't realize had so much snow. I'm in a rental and couldn't even park the little SUV they gave me because there was so much snow. I saw very very very little tracks from the portion I was able to drive. But I can almost guarantee I get on deer when I go back in a week or 2. They are holed up in there somewhere.



It just really depends. And it can even vary from year to year based on food and Winter conditions.
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Re: How relatable is winter snow travel/sign in hill country to fall travel.

Unread postby Dewey » Thu Mar 04, 2021 6:55 am

Winter snow scouting in hills is great for learning terrain related travel to see how the deer use the land. Bedding will likely be a bit different like mentioned due to changing food sources and much less cover but still plenty to learn. I like a little bit of snow on the ground especially the first time in a new area just to get a feel for how many deer are around. Tracks will really cut the learning curve and lead you to a number of terrain related beds that are used year round not just in the winter. Paying attention to food sources based on tree identification or crop fields in close proximity can help you put together and educated guess where the deer will be in fall.


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