Am I on the right track?

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btsnhos
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Am I on the right track?

Unread postby btsnhos » Sun Jun 27, 2021 5:49 am

Looking at some public land near my wife's hometown that I have never hunted. Since I am deployed I won't be able to do any scouting and will be going in for the first time at the end of October, I also do not have alot of experience hunting the mountains. After reading as many pages on here as possible along with the mapping trophy bucks book I think I overwhelmed/confused myself on what to look for. I have identified a few converging hubs that I was planning to still hunt my way to (wind dependent), can someone tell me if I am on the right track with these spots or way off? Access is via the dotted lines or kayaking the creek.
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brancher147
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Re: Am I on the right track?

Unread postby brancher147 » Sun Jun 27, 2021 10:53 pm

Kind of hard to say about your spots with no boots on the ground but they look secluded and hard to access which is good. And I think you’re on the right track wanting to hunt up high. Starting in late October I would begin at the big ridge where your upper right red dot is. Not necessarily the spot you marked but that entire ridge system looks different and has some different terrain features and some nice big flats and benches where you should find some sign to point you in the right direction. Unless it’s already getting a bunch of pressure..
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Re: Am I on the right track?

Unread postby szwampdonkey » Sun Jun 27, 2021 11:02 pm

At the point youre at Id toss the books, advice, Youtube videos, forums etc out the window and just take a Saturday to get out and walk it. Mark the spots that give you the "theres a buck using this spot, this is a money spot" feeling. If you cant even get a Saturday id "scout" it the first day I hunted it. Id get out midmorning and just walk until i found that spot that spoke to me and hunt that for the evening and work out from there.

It takes me YEARS of boots on the ground encounters to learn a new spot the internet and books can only give you so much.

Best of luck i hope you slay one.
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Re: Am I on the right track?

Unread postby btsnhos » Mon Jun 28, 2021 5:48 pm

Copy all thanks for the advice, I feel like there should be some good beds along the ridges there near the creek or down closer to the creek. I will try to hit all the benches, saddles and ridges in Oct. hopefully there is a nice buck in there.
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Re: Am I on the right track?

Unread postby PK_ » Tue Jun 29, 2021 3:15 am

Are you looking for rut movement, buck bedding or doe bedding?

Are your dots supposed to be marking general areas or specific potential setups?

I don’t really favor any of those dots based solely on the topo. Although the topo shows a lot of good topographic features, I don’t see any converging hubs in that area that float my boat. IMO in the mountains there is generally endless ‘good’ topography and you need to key in more to the preferred cover/food.

Late Oct is a great time to go in blind. My advice is just walk the edges of cut overs, oaks, thickets, creek crossings and steep draws until you bump into doe groups and or find good buck sign and go from there.
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Re: Am I on the right track?

Unread postby btsnhos » Tue Jun 29, 2021 6:07 pm

PK_ wrote:Are you looking for rut movement, buck bedding or doe bedding?

Are your dots supposed to be marking general areas or specific potential setups?

I don’t really favor any of those dots based solely on the topo. Although the topo shows a lot of good topographic features, I don’t see any converging hubs in that area that float my boat. IMO in the mountains there is generally endless ‘good’ topography and you need to key in more to the preferred cover/food.

Late Oct is a great time to go in blind. My advice is just walk the edges of cut overs, oaks, thickets, creek crossings and steep draws until you bump into doe groups and or find good buck sign and go from there.


I am looking for buck/doe bedding which I figure would be on the ridges or down towards the creek. The red dots are marking general areas that I want to scout my way to, nothing particular. I was hoping that a couple of these were converging hubs but maybe I need more research on that in particular. Thanks for the advice, I plan on trying to still hunt/scout my way through most of the area in there before I set up.
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Re: Am I on the right track?

Unread postby rfickes87 » Wed Jun 30, 2021 4:40 am

I think you'd do very well going in blind and sitting near anything marked in pink (possible bedding areas). I do not like your topo map settings though, it makes me cringe, if you were to change the settings and maybe zoom in on one particular area I might change my mind on some of these spots... depending on if I see a good crest or not. You need to overlay this map with a satellite map and look for cutovers and regrowth areas. Also a leafless satellite view and look for mountain laurel thicketts (shades of green). Anything like that matches these pink lines should be great places to start.

I get your plan, I've been there too in that situation and it can work if you get the wind in your face on an evening sit and walk into one of these areas and start reading the sign. You find some hot sign and get up a tree you might be successful without any prescouting. Good luck!
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Re: Am I on the right track?

Unread postby btsnhos » Wed Jun 30, 2021 5:56 pm

rfickes87 wrote:I think you'd do very well going in blind and sitting near anything marked in pink (possible bedding areas). I do not like your topo map settings though, it makes me cringe, if you were to change the settings and maybe zoom in on one particular area I might change my mind on some of these spots... depending on if I see a good crest or not. You need to overlay this map with a satellite map and look for cutovers and regrowth areas. Also a leafless satellite view and look for mountain laurel thicketts (shades of green). Anything like that matches these pink lines should be great places to start.

I get your plan, I've been there too in that situation and it can work if you get the wind in your face on an evening sit and walk into one of these areas and start reading the sign. You find some hot sign and get up a tree you might be successful without any prescouting. Good luck!


thanks for the help, I will mess around on caltopo and see what I can do. I usually use onx but can't get it to load out here. Do the deer use the laurel thickets in the hills like they use pine thickets in the south (bedding, cover, trails etc)? And do you usually try to hunt within that thickett over the beds or do you hunt the trails to/from?

*edit*
disregard those questions I found the mountain laurel thread
viewtopic.php?t=48905
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Re: Am I on the right track?

Unread postby rfickes87 » Wed Jun 30, 2021 10:40 pm

Depends on your access in and how big the mountain laurel area is. If it's a small area hunt the trails coming out and stay out on the edge. If its a large area and you know where the actusl beds are i would try getting close so you're in the game but pre scout the area first and try finding trsils you csn walk down to get in close. Don't go in blind, swimming thru the laurel.
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Re: Am I on the right track?

Unread postby btsnhos » Fri Jul 02, 2021 6:07 am

rfickes87 wrote:Depends on your access in and how big the mountain laurel area is. If it's a small area hunt the trails coming out and stay out on the edge. If its a large area and you know where the actusl beds are i would try getting close so you're in the game but pre scout the area first and try finding trsils you csn walk down to get in close. Don't go in blind, swimming thru the laurel.


Gotcha, I read the laurel hunting thread, that thing is gold. Everything you're saying makes sense, why did you highlight those particular areas in pink on possible bedding, what made those stand out vs other ridgelines?
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Re: Am I on the right track?

Unread postby rfickes87 » Fri Jul 02, 2021 6:32 am

btsnhos wrote:
rfickes87 wrote:Depends on your access in and how big the mountain laurel area is. If it's a small area hunt the trails coming out and stay out on the edge. If its a large area and you know where the actusl beds are i would try getting close so you're in the game but pre scout the area first and try finding trsils you csn walk down to get in close. Don't go in blind, swimming thru the laurel.


Gotcha, I read the laurel hunting thread, that thing is gold. Everything you're saying makes sense, why did you highlight those particular areas in pink on possible bedding, what made those stand out vs other ridgelines?


Well the terrain on your map is exactly the type Im used to hunting and scouting. I find much more bedding down on those 2ndary ridge crests than I do on the top 3rd of the mountain crest. I just know from experience but Im not positive as to why. I cab tell you when you hunt down on any of those pink lines I would almost garenteed your wind won't be consistent. The major air current will push the wind one way then seconds later when it dies down the thermals will push is right back. Its like waves on a beach going back and forth.

Search autumn ninja topographical terms on this site. You should find info on where he discusses thermal hubs. He explains the best bedding to be 1/2 down from the peak of a large ridge system. Due in part to falling thermals and rising thermals and swirling wind. To me, those pink lines I marked are working the same way for a buck as he explains.

Like i said before though that topo isn't very accurate. If you broke that map down into 4 quadrants maybe and gave me more zoomed in detail in the topos I bet I could refine those pink lines and be more accurate.
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Re: Am I on the right track?

Unread postby btsnhos » Fri Jul 02, 2021 6:43 am

rfickes87 wrote:
btsnhos wrote:
rfickes87 wrote:Depends on your access in and how big the mountain laurel area is. If it's a small area hunt the trails coming out and stay out on the edge. If its a large area and you know where the actusl beds are i would try getting close so you're in the game but pre scout the area first and try finding trsils you csn walk down to get in close. Don't go in blind, swimming thru the laurel.


Gotcha, I read the laurel hunting thread, that thing is gold. Everything you're saying makes sense, why did you highlight those particular areas in pink on possible bedding, what made those stand out vs other ridgelines?


Well the terrain on your map is exactly the type Im used to hunting and scouting. I find much more bedding down on those 2ndary ridge crests than I do on the top 3rd of the mountain crest. I just know from experience but Im not positive as to why. I cab tell you when you hunt down on any of those pink lines I would almost garenteed your wind won't be consistent. The major air current will push the wind one way then seconds later when it dies down the thermals will push is right back. Its like waves on a beach going back and forth.

Search autumn ninja topographical terms on this site. You should find info on where he discusses thermal hubs. He explains the best bedding to be 1/2 down from the peak of a large ridge system. Due in part to falling thermals and rising thermals and swirling wind. To me, those pink lines I marked are working the same way for a buck as he explains.

Like i said before though that topo isn't very accurate. If you broke that map down into 4 quadrants maybe and gave me more zoomed in detail in the topos I bet I could refine those pink lines and be more accurate.


Gotcha. The autumn ninja/southern outdoorsman is what actually got me looking at this forum, I have been studying his thermal hubs for a while now and understand the thermal aspect to it. I will work on getting something more detailed, connection where I am at is awful its basically dial-up.
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Re: Am I on the right track?

Unread postby buttonbuck » Fri Jul 02, 2021 2:58 pm

btsnhos wrote:Looking at some public land near my wife's hometown that I have never hunted. Since I am deployed I won't be able to do any scouting and will be going in for the first time at the end of October, I also do not have alot of experience hunting the mountains. After reading as many pages on here as possible along with the mapping trophy bucks book I think I overwhelmed/confused myself on what to look for. I have identified a few converging hubs that I was planning to still hunt my way to (wind dependent), can someone tell me if I am on the right track with these spots or way off? Access is via the dotted lines or kayaking the creek.


Image


I personally like these spots, this is very steep terrain. I would think these flatter, lower spots near water would have higher deer density. Probably good cover too. You may know this, but a an unknown water way may be either treacherous, to shallow, blocked etc. I would just factor in that if you didn’t pre scout your route, factor in the possibility it may not work out.
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Re: Am I on the right track?

Unread postby btsnhos » Sat Jul 03, 2021 12:22 am

buttonbuck wrote:
btsnhos wrote:Looking at some public land near my wife's hometown that I have never hunted. Since I am deployed I won't be able to do any scouting and will be going in for the first time at the end of October, I also do not have alot of experience hunting the mountains. After reading as many pages on here as possible along with the mapping trophy bucks book I think I overwhelmed/confused myself on what to look for. I have identified a few converging hubs that I was planning to still hunt my way to (wind dependent), can someone tell me if I am on the right track with these spots or way off? Access is via the dotted lines or kayaking the creek.


Image


I personally like these spots, this is very steep terrain. I would think these flatter, lower spots near water would have higher deer density. Probably good cover too. You may know this, but a an unknown water way may be either treacherous, to shallow, blocked etc. I would just factor in that if you didn’t pre scout your route, factor in the possibility it may not work out.


I have never walked the area but I will have to check it out, the aerial view looks very thick
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Re: Am I on the right track?

Unread postby Deerkins » Sat Jul 03, 2021 12:54 am

Being very efficient at scouting is key to hunting an area like that. I hunt very similar terrain and have learned that you’re much better off traveling light and committing to days of scouting, before settling on a place to hunt. Except that the vast majority of areas that look good on maps, for one reason or another, will not pan out and it will require miles of boot travel to find the good spots.

Rarely do I even bring a bow, or wear hunting clothes. I just want to cover miles quickly, looking for obvious sign, while not completely physically/psychologically beating myself up. Try to plan your scouting routes where you don’t have to back track to your vehicle, as you’ll be wasting time and energy on areas you’ve already traveled through..

I’d probably start with checking along the waterways, as it’s the easiest path to scout, that will show the most sign, like crossings, big tracks. From there, hopefully I could determine which areas the deer are frequenting, then get a clearer picture of what’s going on from there.


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