How big does a hill have to be for hill tactics to apply?

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BackWoodsHunter
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How big does a hill have to be for hill tactics to apply?

Unread postby BackWoodsHunter » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:09 am

This question is geared towards those that hunt all over I guess and experience elevation changes of all types. I have never had the opportunity to hunt true hill country. This past weekend I spent some time scouting some public land in "big woods" in Oneida County. I found a lot of interesting stuff, when I get my computer back I will post pictures, but the one thing I noticed was the deer bedding and slight elevation changes. Any of the "hills" that existed were not very tall or very steep a few of them were pretty good shifts in elevation however. I could type more about what I found but I won't waste anyones time. I am just wondering at what elevation changes can I write off hill tactics and say it was just coincidence and at what types of elevation the hill tactics are relevant? Everywhere I found these beds I noted elevation change but I think it was not as significant as the hill country that is studied in the BBO video.


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Re: How big does a hill have to be for hill tactics to apply

Unread postby dan » Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:31 am

Well the odd thing is, all elevation changes make good bedding spots, as long as they are the most significant elevation in the area... For example, a 2 foot elevation change in a otherwise flat swamp will likely have a buck bed on it... A 5 OR 10 FOOT HILL IN AN OTHERWISE FLAT WOODS MIGHT BE A GOOD SPOT tO bed... But, if you have hills that are 20 foot, the 10 foot hills might be bed free... As far as when the thermals kick in? Well thats probably starting at about a 10 foot elevation or at least a noticable elevation change... The lower beds on slight rises are generally for reasons other than scent, like vision...
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Re: How big does a hill have to be for hill tactics to apply

Unread postby JRM6868 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:10 pm

I think most the Hill country tactics would kick in when you start getting flats running across the hill and points that come off the flats. Maybe pushing the 50' to 100' range. 10-20' I would consider more rolling hills in my area. What Dan said though the thermals will apply after about 10' or so.
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Re: How big does a hill have to be for hill tactics to apply

Unread postby BackWoodsHunter » Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:33 pm

Gotcha Thanks guys! Good to know I probably won't have to worry about the thermals!
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Re: How big does a hill have to be for hill tactics to apply

Unread postby headgear » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:45 pm

JRM6868 wrote:I think most the Hill country tactics would kick in when you start getting flats running across the hill and points that come off the flats. Maybe pushing the 50' to 100' range. 10-20' I would consider more rolling hills in my area. What Dan said though the thermals will apply after about 10' or so.



I have found buck bedding in some of the smaller 50 to 100 foot hills in one of the areas I hunt. Sure enough each bed is about 1/3 of the way down, they also have a ton of thick cover behind them and a great view of any danger approaching.
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Re: How big does a hill have to be for hill tactics to apply

Unread postby BackWoodsHunter » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:55 pm

We don't have any massive hills like that! I would say everything we have is gently rolling. The biggest hill I found, with a bed on the point of the ridge at the top, was maybe 30ft tall and actually kind of steep. Everything else the elevation changes are so gradual its hard to tell you are going up hill. I will try to come up with a topo map and show where I found the beds.
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Re: How big does a hill have to be for hill tactics to apply

Unread postby Arrowbender » Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:38 pm

I have noticed that thermals are more of a product of ground temperature then elevation. I have hunted on hills that have dark timber where the current is going down right next to an updraft in the grassy bowl.
I have also hunted by a seemingly flat transition from thick timber next to a standing water swamp and had definite thermal current blowing toward the physically colder swamp at sunset.
A plowed field on the south side of a wooded parcel will cause some strange drafts on a quiet morning as well.
And you know that the mature buck will take advantage of it all !!
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Re: How big does a hill have to be for hill tactics to apply

Unread postby magicman54494 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:55 pm

When it comes to bedding some but not all bucks love to bed high. High could mean a few feet and up depending on the lay of the land. The perfect bed is where they can get up high so they can watch for danger from below and add in some sort of back drop like blow downs or dense brush behind them. Every buck is different though.
Concerning thermals, if you think there may be some thermal action you could check it in the off season to be sure.
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Re: How big does a hill have to be for hill tactics to apply

Unread postby dan » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:22 pm

Arrowbender wrote:I have noticed that thermals are more of a product of ground temperature then elevation. I have hunted on hills that have dark timber where the current is going down right next to an updraft in the grassy bowl.
I have also hunted by a seemingly flat transition from thick timber next to a standing water swamp and had definite thermal current blowing toward the physically colder swamp at sunset.
A plowed field on the south side of a wooded parcel will cause some strange drafts on a quiet morning as well.
And you know that the mature buck will take advantage of it all !!

Absolutly... Thermals are a product of ground or surface tempature. And there are other factors that can cause or disrupt them that might make different situations in a spot where you hunt or scout. Its easy to generalize and forget about that when answering questions. Good point Arrow.


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