taking inventory / establishing standards...

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rizzo999
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Re: taking inventory / establishing standards...

Unread postby rizzo999 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:38 am

In one way I wish we could shine here in IL, but on the other hand I have always wondered if states that have legal shining have increased poaching rates.

I have a bunch of cameras, but am using them less and less each year. One trend I have noticed when running cams is that I will get a couple pics of decent bucks then never see that buck on that cam again. This year I am only running 2 cams and they are both located along paths that receive a lot of human pressure (farmers, walkers, hikers, landowner's kids 4-wheeling, etc...) and avoiding my actual hunting areas like they are sanctuaries. Heck, I have not touched foot in those areas since setting stands in April. Season is only 2.5 months away in WI anyways....then just 2 short weeks after that IL opens. I can wait!


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Re: taking inventory / establishing standards...

Unread postby dan » Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:45 am

In one way I wish we could shine here in IL, but on the other hand I have always wondered if states that have legal shining have increased poaching rates.

Poachers will poach regardless of laws... Its like outlawing guns to stop robbery.
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Re: taking inventory / establishing standards...

Unread postby Ridgerunner7 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:07 am

I use trail cameras, glassing, pass history, track size, rub size, word of mouth, etc to zero in on potential bucks. I like to get a visual or at least know he was there before I put in any significant time on a certain buck. For the most part it just depends on the quality of bucks I can find on a give year. On some years I may have a couple 140" bucks to chase around, other years I'm hard pressed to find a legitimate 120" on properties I hunt. I will say, as I mature in the sport I am more concerned with maturity than rack size. During the rut, I will often hunt areas that have good potential without knowing what actual bucks may or may not be in the area..especially out of state.
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Re: taking inventory / establishing standards...

Unread postby BigHunt » Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:56 am

Ridgerunner7 wrote:I use trail cameras, glassing, pass history, track size, rub size, word of mouth, etc to zero in on potential bucks. I like to get a visual or at least know he was there before I put in any significant time on a certain buck. For the most part it just depends on the quality of bucks I can find on a give year.


X2 only other thing i utilize a lot is shining....
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BigHills BuckHunter
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Re: taking inventory / establishing standards...

Unread postby BigHills BuckHunter » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:00 am

My favorite strategy is scouting in July/August. I scout from roads, shine around 1AM, and even sit on big hill behind the barn overlooking 30 acres of fields. This is where I take inventory on the different bucks in the area.

Sometime around Mid-July I start putting up the trail cameras. This is also for inventory to spots I cant get to with a car. I also try to observe travel patterns if I can.

This year with cameras Im sticking to field edges only. I have had enough of kicking up bucks going past stands.

I also talk to neighbors and ask if they have seen any nice bucks running around. I even did this in the winter months to see what bucks are still around but wintering on the neighboring property.

A neighbor that lives 2 miles north of our land has a trail camera picture of a buck that I found its shed too. I also got to see his 71 inch 5 point. :L:
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BigHills BuckHunter
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Re: taking inventory / establishing standards...

Unread postby BigHills BuckHunter » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:06 am

As far as standards go I am a little like Dan. I need to know what is available out there.

For example when we have all soybeans covering our property the bucks seem to be bigger in that year. This year however its all corn and for whatever reason bucks dont seem to get as big on corn years.

I have said this before that Im still at that stage of targeting 3.5 year old+. Im tickled pink to kill a 3.5 year old buck with a bow. It happened last year and had a great time.

Every year it seems there are several STANDOUTS on our property or neighboring. Im not the kind of person that will pass nice bucks just to wait for a Giant. I know alot of you guys are like that and I have alot of respect for you. This is just where Im at.

Im also hunting more public this year. I am targeting a 2.5 year old for the public lands.
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Re: taking inventory / establishing standards...

Unread postby WiredToHunt » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:56 am

I have set standards, regardless of inventory. And then I will adjust where I hunt based on the likelihood of there being a deer up to my standards. I don't have incredibly high standards to start with - but I'm hunting mature bucks - and I'll choose hunting locations based on what my cameras and glassing tell me is available.
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Re: taking inventory / establishing standards...

Unread postby JoeRE » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:58 am

Like others I use cameras to take inventory of deer in the area. Once I get pictures matched with tracks it goes a long way to figuring out a big buck's range.

My standards change over the course of the season. I have a hard time shooting any buck early in the season...I just don't want to stop hunting lol. Sure if a booner walked by on Oct 1 I doubt I would pass him but I have passed several bucks early season that I would have shot in a heartbeat 3 weeks later.
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Re: taking inventory / establishing standards...

Unread postby Monster Raxx » Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:11 pm

I run a lot of trail cameras to see what deer are around. In Minnesota I can bait when it is not deer season. I put out corn with attractant after the season to see what deer made it. I also put out corn in late July and August with attractant to see what deer we want to go after that year and what deer we want to target for our kids. I also run cameras on my mineral sites early spring through early fall. Glassing is another tool I take advantage of and my kids like riding around to see who can see the deer first. One thing that I also do is pay attention to my trail cameras for areas that hold more does than others and I like to hunt those spots more during the rut even if I don't have a target buck on camera in that location. I do not set a minimum for myself but try and hold out for at least a 4 1/2 old.
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Re: taking inventory / establishing standards...

Unread postby Brad » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:30 pm

I put out a few cams but mostly shine and glass, and hope that something big is there. Both bucks I killed last fall I had seen prior to when I killed them. I don't have incredibly high standards though I think I am raising them up some from years past for this year. I also like finding big 3 and 4 finger tracks when scouting, if I see a few of those that is all I need to know that something big is in the area, then its up to me to find him.
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Re: taking inventory / establishing standards...

Unread postby Mario » Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:01 pm

I agree with Dan that a lot depends on the property that I am hunting and what I know about the deer on that property. Last year was the first year I used camera's on the private land that I hunt. We got a few nice bucks on film which did give us some insight into what had been traveling on the property during certain times of the day.

Otherwise our main tactics have revolved around scouting in stand in different positions on the property. Getting a good vantage point to see what is moving around.

We also have done some shining, not directly on the property because there is not good access by vehicle, but the surround farms and fields have road county road access\visibility.

For me I enjoy the entire experience of the hunt...

that being said I always tell myself I will only take a deer that is bigger than what I shot last year... I have a lot of room to grow in my collection :), but if I am getting down to the wire in time I would rather harvest a smaller buck or large doe than not take one at all... they just taste too good :L:
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Re: taking inventory / establishing standards...

Unread postby moondoondude » Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:48 am

Lots goes into this. I only ever specfically target one buck through the course of a season. I usually identify that deer a year, two years, three years, or four years in advance and determine the age, habits, core areas, and whatever else I can about the deer, which all in turn make that deer easier to hunt and ultimately, easier to bring home. I wait until a deer reaches 5 years of age before taking him. The vast majority of the 5 year old bucks that I see hunting and scouting here are 115-130, but every now and then you get a freak that you can identify at a younger age that has the potential to really blow that average out of the water. Size does matter too, I go after the biggest buck that I can find and legally hunt, and that's it.

For instance, I found 202 antlers this year. The biggest antler I found was off of a deer that was mid 150s. That is an estimated 140 bucks or so, with only one breaking 150. There are plenty of deer here, they just don't get really big. So, I try to give them the best shot they can have at getting big, which is usually age.

It all comes down to scouting. You get out of things what you put into them. Quality time invested results in success. You can't hunt for a deer that isn't there - and the best time to inventory bucks and find them in open areas is summer evenings coming out to food sources in bachelor groups. I use trail cameras, but I don't always get my bucks on them - but if I put in enough time, I find my bucks by glassing. I just sit and watch for a long time. I learn a lot about a particular buck by watching him throughout the year. The more I watch a buck, the more I get to know about him and his patterns. Once a deer is patterned or once I understand his habits, I just hang out and wait for him to slip up.
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Re: taking inventory / establishing standards...

Unread postby bowmike » Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:36 am

Taking inventory in my area is a bit tricky. I have found that by placing out food or minerals you can get a pictures of just about every deer in the area you are hunting, but also deer from non targer areas as well. The tough part with this is that the area I hunt has a road going through the base of the mountain. The one mountain is open to public land, the other is a lease. I get pictures of these big bucks that reside on the lease during the few weeks I put food out for inventory, but by the time hunting season approaches the deer disapear to go on the lease.

One thing that I did discover is that the deer from the lease would make their way onto the public land in the mornings on weekdays. Because of the fact that guys were hammering this in the evenings. I had scouted one particular buck that was enormous, definite 3.5 or 4.5 year old buck, super heavy. A lease member ended up getting him, and informed me that he was a main frame 8 with a 6" drop and a 2" kicker, and a 23.5" inside spread. I got a photo of this guy and really wanted to narrow him down. Once the rut approached, I found an area where there were trees rubbed but the trees behind it about 10" were also rubbed, indicating this was the monster. I hunted a scrape one evening where I believed the buck was working. Did not have any action. I went back into the spot the next afternoon and saw a monster track in the scrape. I caught on to his game. Granted this buck could have been on the public land at night, my instincts were telling me he would cross the road coming out of his bed on the lease and scent check the public land does by way of the ridge top. I planned on calling off sick the next day but we had a mandatory meeting. A lease member shot the buck on a trail leading over to the public land area I was going to hunt that very day. Bummer

I bring up this story for the public land guys that hunt areas bordering lease properties and such. Some of the deer that you are getting on camera will be drawn soley to food and return back on the lease. If you do have some monsters on cam, odds are that the only time you will see them on public land will be times where human intrusion is down a lot, or doe on the lease are bred. Mid week days like tuesday and wednesday will be your most likely days to have the woods to yourself. Everyone wants to get a long weekend so expect increased hunter competition on Fridays, and Mondays.

Be Careful of setting your standards on bucks that are likely to stay on the leased properties if the hunting pressure is too high in your area. Just my .02.

Last year with having a 3 month old I started my season with a 2.5 year old standard. But that quickly changed with the million text messages, and complaints from momma so I pretty much Grocery Shopped.

I have yet to put out the cameras in my core hunting areas, but want to start scouting the land behind my house. I had saw a pretty decent buck about a month ago that should be well along his way now. I hope to be able to hold out for a 2.5 year old buck or better this year. I am going to try and get my doe in the freezer early. I did not get out much in the post season to do some Beast Scouting and Bed hunting though so it may be a bit tricky.
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Re: taking inventory / establishing standards...

Unread postby MOBIGBUCKS » Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:47 am

I use trail cameras to take inventory on private land. I'd like to glass fields more, but most of my private access around here is pretty heavily wooded. Trail cameras with mineral spaced out properly will show you most of the bucks using the property early in the year.

On my public spots, I used good old fashioned scouting to see what I'm dealing with. Quite simply, I look for big buck tracks around food sources where I know the closest bedding spots are located. I'm not brave enough to use cameras on public land yet and this method seems to help me locate what I'm looking for.

I usually look for atleast a 140 plus buck to kill. If I don't think the property has that caliber of buck, I move on to other areas where I'm more likely to kill that size of buck. Obviously, for public land it's a bit different and I usually target the first good mature buck I'm after. However, sometimes I've passed bucks I know now I should have shot... :lol: Hind sight is 20/20
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Re: taking inventory / establishing standards...

Unread postby bb70 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:02 am

Trail cameras, sheds, glassing, shinning, more trail cameras, and some more trail cameras... any tactic that I can legally get an eye on em.

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