What sign tells you that a good buck is in the area?

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xpauliber
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What sign tells you that a good buck is in the area?

Unread postby xpauliber » Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:54 am

Pennsylvania's season starts this Saturday. I purposefully stay out of my hunting areas until I can actually hunt so even though I know the properties and different setups, I don't know exactly what bucks are hanging around. I'm going to rely a lot on finding sign and using that to tell me when/where to setup.

Are you guys that are out in the woods seeing rubs/scrapes yet? Besides rubs/scrapes and large tracks, what other sign do you rely on to tell you that a good buck is in the area?


mauser06
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Re: What sign tells you that a good buck is in the area?

Unread postby mauser06 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:05 am

Spotting and cameras...


Getting pics and seeing them spotting at a destination food source (fields etc) tell me where they are at night...from there I know from previous scouting missions where bucks bed...from pics/spotting I try to get a feel for time/direction of travel etc and relate that back to what bed he likely used and/or is heading to...then look at the wind for those days to see what wind he likely bedded in that bed on...


Finally raining good...walking field edges for big tracks might be possible now!

Rubs and scrapes are hard to read for big bucks specifically.... Unless there is a track in the scrape...

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rancid crabtree
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Re: What sign tells you that a good buck is in the area?

Unread postby rancid crabtree » Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:06 am

Cams, lots and lots of cams.
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johndeere506
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Re: What sign tells you that a good buck is in the area?

Unread postby johndeere506 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:08 am

rancid crabtree wrote:Cams, lots and lots of cams.

For sure. It's fun too. Just try to be low impact w cams.

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Re: What sign tells you that a good buck is in the area?

Unread postby Stanley » Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:10 am

I agree a visual is the best indicator. Cameras, glassing, spot lighting, are all good methods.
You can fool some of the bucks, all of the time, and fool all of the bucks, some of the time, however you certainly can't fool all of the bucks, all of the time.
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headgear
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Re: What sign tells you that a good buck is in the area?

Unread postby headgear » Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:40 am

In the bigwoods I can't really glass or shine or even run cams on 20-30 different spots and tens of thousands of acres. I pretty much rely on tracks, rubs and scrapes along with spring and in-season scouting. A lot goes on experience too, trying to figure out where bucks are this time of year based on past hunts and in-season scouting. When going to these properties I try and give myself extra time and have plan A, B & C and hunt the freshest sign possible, sometimes when I get to C there is no turning back because of time so I setup and hunt anyway. Other times if it's cold and I have a little time I will setup blind somewhere new or haul azz back to the truck for another spot.
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kenn1320
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Re: What sign tells you that a good buck is in the area?

Unread postby kenn1320 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:45 am

One of my farmers in Kansas said when he see's empty cars parked along his property (trespassing), he knows there's a good buck using his property. :shock:
"Its about taking the right shot at the right time with good equipment." Dan Infalt
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Re: What sign tells you that a good buck is in the area?

Unread postby Wlog » Wed Sep 30, 2015 3:02 am

I'm reluctant to use cameras often personally. I don't like leaving them on public land and I feel like it is counter productive on the couple private spots I can hunt because of the property layout. I rely a lot on past experience in an area. On after work hunts I usually only have time for plan A. Yesterday for instance I went to a spot on public that has traditionally been good this time of year. By the time I got back there I didn't see much to get me excited but I was already committed because of how far I'd gone.

For me a lot of times the best option is to head out at 8-9 on a Saturday morning and take a walk around a food source or creek crossing etc. and hit as many of those as you can to try and find good sign then make an educated guess on where that deer is coming from.

Something to think about when you are out scouting in the winter/spring and find a good bedding area is to try and find somewhere or some way to monitor that bedding area without doing damage or burning the spot. Whether that means a camera, spotting, boots on ground or doing a driveby. That is something I personally need to do more of.

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Re: What sign tells you that a good buck is in the area?

Unread postby JoeRE » Wed Sep 30, 2015 3:33 am

Well, antler size is only determined by some kind of visual. Cams, spotting, something like that. Big tracks will tell you there is a big hoofed buck in the area, probably an older deer but thats it. If you can match tracks to an individual buck then you can really put some pieces of the puzzle together but that's often hard to do.

Tall rubs mean an older buck too. If I see a tall rub or two on a travel route to known bedding, that's great particularly if they look different ages which means the buck has been there more than once.

Quantity of sign can be deceiving. I have seen a few 2 and 3 year olds tear a woodlot apart with rubs and scrapes, some fully mature bucks make lots of scrapes and rubs but many don't...I bet in higher pressured areas you see older bucks lay down even less sign on average because the ones that leave lots of sign don't get old.
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headgear
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Re: What sign tells you that a good buck is in the area?

Unread postby headgear » Wed Sep 30, 2015 3:39 am

Wlog wrote:
Something to think about when you are out scouting in the winter/spring and find a good bedding area is to try and find somewhere or some way to monitor that bedding area without doing damage or burning the spot. Whether that means a camera, spotting, boots on ground or doing a driveby. That is something I personally need to do more of.

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Good tip here, I try and use logging roads, trails, clearcuts or just about anything to find sign in the general "area" without getting to close or downwind of the beds.
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Re: What sign tells you that a good buck is in the area?

Unread postby Zona » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:09 am

If you want to know what bucks are on your properties, put a cam on some scrapes near feeding areas.

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Re: What sign tells you that a good buck is in the area?

Unread postby loneranger » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:14 am

During the RUT, ya never know. Bucks travel far and wide. That is when I hunt. Is fun when ya never know what may show. My wife bought me a camera once. I sold it. I do not want to see what went past a blind at 12 or 1 PM. Which is when many big boys travel . Would just make me mad.
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Re: What sign tells you that a good buck is in the area?

Unread postby DaveT1963 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:01 am

Tracks and rubs are most predominate but a picture or seeing them removes all doubt :)

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Re: What sign tells you that a good buck is in the area?

Unread postby SEMObowhunter » Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:05 am

I like rubs and tracks. Scrapes are a piece of the puzzle, but you can't always tell a lot about the deer by a scrape. Small deer have big feer sometimes. Shaggy rubs on big trees are my favorite. Fresh are even better.

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mheichelbech
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Re: What sign tells you that a good buck is in the area?

Unread postby mheichelbech » Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:14 am

Don't mean to hijack, but what types of sign do you see that gets overlooked by a lot of hunters? One thing I look for is taller than average chewing on a tree, particularly a licking branch.

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