Successfully hunting no sign

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
NatureBoy
500 Club
Posts: 872
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:14 am
Location: MA
Status: Offline

Successfully hunting no sign

Unread postby NatureBoy » Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:48 am

One marsh I hunt is in back of a rec center near my house. It is a wooded strip of land that runs North/South and gradually dips into the marsh and cattails. There are lots of oaks and there is always tons of sign in the woodlot, especially along the transition line. There is one finger in particular that is always torn up with sign, tracks, rubs, big scrapes. It juts out into the marsh and is just South of a doe bedding area. Looking from that point out into the marsh, there are several small islands, that also have oaks on them. But no sign. No poop, no rubs, no beds. Nothing. Five islands total and I've carefully inspected each.

Once I was in my stand on the finger in the morning darkness about an hour before light, when I hear several deer file by me headed into the marsh, right toward one of those islands. Only thing I can think of is that they must be bedding in the marsh itself somewhere near the islands and not on the islands themselves. I actually bumped a buck in the marsh itself, about 75 yards off the finger one day while scouting. I'm just wondering if maybe I should set up on the island this year, even without sign and try to hunt it.

The finger seems to get only doe activity during the day. What would you do?


Scout, scout, scout, hunt
User avatar
Zap
Posts: 10061
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:57 pm
Location: OK, I am in Kansas.....
Status: Offline

Re: Successfully hunting no sign

Unread postby Zap » Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:50 am

What time of year and how many times have you checked the islands?
"Forged in fire lit long ago. Stand next to me and you will never stand alone".
NatureBoy
500 Club
Posts: 872
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:14 am
Location: MA
Status: Offline

Re: Successfully hunting no sign

Unread postby NatureBoy » Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:59 am

Zap wrote:What time of year and how many times have you checked the islands?


I've checked them twice so far, once right after the 2009 season in early January and once in the summer of 2010. I did not check them during last season or post season.
Scout, scout, scout, hunt
User avatar
headgear
500 Club
Posts: 11469
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:21 am
Location: Northern Minnesota
Status: Offline

Re: Successfully hunting no sign

Unread postby headgear » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:58 am

I'd say it's highly likely the bucks are bedding on the edges of the islands, off the islands, or between the point and islands on a tiny hump of high ground. I have a few setups that are similar, the bucks bed off the island and stage on the island so that is where I setup. I might find a scrape or rub on the island but not a ton of sign.

If you did bump a buck just off the finger that could have been his bedding area, I would try and hunt that point in early season and see what happens. If you don't have any luck head out to the island you suspect they are bedding near, however I would be careful getting out there, if you don't know for sure where they are bedding you could blow everything out of there on your way out. Been there done that! :?
dan
Site Owner
Posts: 39144
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:11 am
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HuntingBeast/?ref=bookmarks
Location: S.E. Wisconsin
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Successfully hunting no sign

Unread postby dan » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:17 am

I too think its highly likely that bucks are using those islands and would most likely set up on them... But your comment of "no sign" has me a bit baffled... I have seen islands with only a little sign, but no sign? Not a deer trail leading up to the island? no poop at all? Seems weird. If acorns fall there I can't see no deer ever visiting...
I almost always find buck bedding in the cattails near the island, often its not on the island.
NatureBoy
500 Club
Posts: 872
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:14 am
Location: MA
Status: Offline

Re: Successfully hunting no sign

Unread postby NatureBoy » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:19 am

headgear wrote:...the bucks bed off the island and stage on the island so that is where I setup. I might find a scrape or rub on the island but not a ton of sign.

In this case I can't see how they could be staging on the islands. The sign just isn't there. No rubs, little to no poop. There's some coyote poop out there. It looks to me like they're waiting 'til dark and then staging on the finger; that's where all the sign is.

headgear wrote:If you did bump a buck just off the finger that could have been his bedding area, I would try and hunt that point in early season and see what happens.

I did that last year, without success. But that was last year. Might work this year on a different wind or something. Never tried hunting the islands later in the season. I might give that a go.

I was thinking about maybe setting up a tree or blind on the South island now and just leaving it alone until later in the season. Think it's too late in the game for that?
Scout, scout, scout, hunt
NatureBoy
500 Club
Posts: 872
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:14 am
Location: MA
Status: Offline

Re: Successfully hunting no sign

Unread postby NatureBoy » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:30 am

dan wrote:I too think its highly likely that bucks are using those islands and would most likely set up on them... But your comment of "no sign" has me a bit baffled... I have seen islands with only a little sign, but no sign? Not a deer trail leading up to the island? no poop at all? Seems weird. If acorns fall there I can't see no deer ever visiting...
I almost always find buck bedding in the cattails near the island, often its not on the island.


I know, me too. Do deer eat their own poop, or does something else? I mean, I went out totally expecting to find loads of sign, rubs etc. Maybe "no sign" was an exaggeration. I guess "very, very little sign" would have be more accurate. No rubs, very little poop. My first thought was maybe humans hang out there. But it's hard to access and there isn't human sign either.

dan wrote: I almost always find buck bedding in the cattails near the island, often its not on the island.


I think that's where I need to look harder. I have been focusing more on the surface area of the islands themselves and not so much on the surrounding cattails.
Scout, scout, scout, hunt
dan
Site Owner
Posts: 39144
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:11 am
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HuntingBeast/?ref=bookmarks
Location: S.E. Wisconsin
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Successfully hunting no sign

Unread postby dan » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:41 am

It could be that there is not good bedding near the island. They can't lay in water...
NatureBoy
500 Club
Posts: 872
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:14 am
Location: MA
Status: Offline

Re: Successfully hunting no sign

Unread postby NatureBoy » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:47 am

'preciate the input guys, thanks!
Scout, scout, scout, hunt
User avatar
headgear
500 Club
Posts: 11469
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:21 am
Location: Northern Minnesota
Status: Offline

Re: Successfully hunting no sign

Unread postby headgear » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:47 am

NatureBoy do you have any aerials of this place?

Also how big are these islands?
NatureBoy
500 Club
Posts: 872
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:14 am
Location: MA
Status: Offline

Re: Successfully hunting no sign

Unread postby NatureBoy » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:41 pm

Islands vary in size as you can see below. Thanks for your analysis. Let me know what I'm doing wrong or if you have any questions on my setup.

Image

You can view a larger image here: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/7 ... feat=email
Scout, scout, scout, hunt
User avatar
magicman54494
500 Club
Posts: 4158
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:05 pm
Location: central and northern WI
Status: Offline

Re: Successfully hunting no sign

Unread postby magicman54494 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:33 pm

The bucks are bedding there someplace ..... you just haven't found the beds yet. It would be nice to know where the beds are before formulating a hunting plan. If nothing else you might want to hit the point on an evening where weather or moon phase dictate early movement.
NatureBoy
500 Club
Posts: 872
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:14 am
Location: MA
Status: Offline

Re: Successfully hunting no sign

Unread postby NatureBoy » Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:55 pm

I know it's probably too late in the game to go in there and try to find the bedding now. What would you guys do? The last time I scouted the islands I came in from the South and made my way North, then cut back down to where I bumped the buck. I may have pushed him out of the South island area earlier and he was just hanging around in the spot I bumped him? Don't know. The cattails are really tall and it's hard to see movement in there, even when your up in a stand. I searched that area for a bed, and found a couple of possibilities, but nothing definite.

What kind of weather/moon would you recommend Magic? Moon overhead/underfoot at late afternoon, or weather front moving in? Would you recommend doing that now, or waiting til season?
Scout, scout, scout, hunt
User avatar
magicman54494
500 Club
Posts: 4158
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:05 pm
Location: central and northern WI
Status: Offline

Re: Successfully hunting no sign

Unread postby magicman54494 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:17 am

NatureBoy wrote:I know it's probably too late in the game to go in there and try to find the bedding now. What would you guys do? The last time I scouted the islands I came in from the South and made my way North, then cut back down to where I bumped the buck. I may have pushed him out of the South island area earlier and he was just hanging around in the spot I bumped him? Don't know. The cattails are really tall and it's hard to see movement in there, even when your up in a stand. I searched that area for a bed, and found a couple of possibilities, but nothing definite.

What kind of weather/moon would you recommend Magic? Moon overhead/underfoot at late afternoon, or weather front moving in? Would you recommend doing that now, or waiting til season?


I haven't done a lot with the moon thing but others say overhead / underfoot. I love to hunt with rainy weather moving in and my all time favorite is to hunt the evening on one of those gray sky/ all day light rain /mist.
User avatar
magicman54494
500 Club
Posts: 4158
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:05 pm
Location: central and northern WI
Status: Offline

Re: Successfully hunting no sign

Unread postby magicman54494 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:23 am

I'm not suprised that you haven't found beds on those island. Most of the time the beds in spots like you posted are in the swampy/brushy stuff where there is enough rise in the land for it to be dry.


  • Advertisement

Return to “Deer Hunting”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AhrefsBot, dennism, Hooks1, Jimmy wallhanger, Mopar1169, Red and 19 guests