Big woods and hill country questions. any input is appreciat

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October's Assassin
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Big woods and hill country questions. any input is appreciat

Unread postby October's Assassin » Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:53 pm

Just a quick introduction, everything I hunt is pretty much hill country and big woods. you have to be part goat to climb most of these mountains and hollers. and this particular parcel of public land I hunt, there is no ag anywhere around and not even many fields at all. In general deer go to a main food source to feed for a while, so my question is in deep woods do the deer travel a mile or "miles" to go to the fields or is the main food source for them a stand of oaks etc?? thanks in advance guys

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Re: Big woods and hill country questions. any input is appre

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:24 pm

October's Assassin wrote:Just a quick introduction, everything I hunt is pretty much hill country and big woods. you have to be part goat to climb most of these mountains and hollers. and this particular parcel of public land I hunt, there is no ag anywhere around and not even many fields at all. In general deer go to a main food source to feed for a while, so my question is in deep woods do the deer travel a mile or "miles" to go to the fields or is the main food source for them a stand of oaks etc?? thanks in advance guys

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Hill Country, big woods, no agriculture... and hardly any "fields." There are often regional differences in what people consider to be "fields", can you elaborate?

In big woods hill country (and everywhere else) deer are a browse species. Although they may linger at a preferred food source their diet is typically composed of a wide variety of browse and forbes- and to a smaller degree, lichens and fungi plus more. These bucks often browse throughout their daily travels on a wide variety of food sources.
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Re: Big woods and hill country questions. any input is appre

Unread postby mainebowhunter » Sun Feb 07, 2016 5:33 pm

October's Assassin wrote:Just a quick introduction, everything I hunt is pretty much hill country and big woods. you have to be part goat to climb most of these mountains and hollers. and this particular parcel of public land I hunt, there is no ag anywhere around and not even many fields at all. In general deer go to a main food source to feed for a while, so my question is in deep woods do the deer travel a mile or "miles" to go to the fields or is the main food source for them a stand of oaks etc?? thanks in advance guys

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And to add to what Singing Bridge said...how "big" is "big woods"? Deer around where I hunt, there really are no fields that they feed in. Its all woods. There ARE fields in places...and deer DO feed in them...but its not a target because the fields are just grass. No ag. And deer will travel. I have watched some collared studies on line of deer that were traveling a LONG ways a night to feed on a soybean field.

Are you trying to correlate the deer you see in the fields with bedding areas?
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Re: Big woods and hill country questions. any input is appre

Unread postby October's Assassin » Sun Feb 07, 2016 6:10 pm

Singing Bridge wrote:
October's Assassin wrote:Just a quick introduction, everything I hunt is pretty much hill country and big woods. you have to be part goat to climb most of these mountains and hollers. and this particular parcel of public land I hunt, there is no ag anywhere around and not even many fields at all. In general deer go to a main food source to feed for a while, so my question is in deep woods do the deer travel a mile or "miles" to go to the fields or is the main food source for them a stand of oaks etc?? thanks in advance guys

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Hill Country, big woods, no agriculture... and hardly any "fields." There are often regional differences in what people consider to be "fields", can you elaborate?

In big woods hill country (and everywhere else) deer are a browse species. Although they may linger at a preferred food source their diet is typically composed of a wide variety of browse and forbes- and to a smaller degree, lichens and fungi plus more. These bucks often browse throughout their daily travels on a wide variety of food sources.
I'm still getting use to this so I dunno if I'm replying in the correct place but anyways. for example an area I hunted in last year the closest grass field to me was probably a mile or so away. and as far as ag goes probably 5 miles. basically no ag fields in the area. just wilderness. thanks for the reply

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Re: Big woods and hill country questions. any input is appre

Unread postby October's Assassin » Sun Feb 07, 2016 6:17 pm

mainebowhunter wrote:
October's Assassin wrote:Just a quick introduction, everything I hunt is pretty much hill country and big woods. you have to be part goat to climb most of these mountains and hollers. and this particular parcel of public land I hunt, there is no ag anywhere around and not even many fields at all. In general deer go to a main food source to feed for a while, so my question is in deep woods do the deer travel a mile or "miles" to go to the fields or is the main food source for them a stand of oaks etc?? thanks in advance guys

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And to add to what Singing Bridge said...how "big" is "big woods"? Deer around where I hunt, there really are no fields that they feed in. Its all woods. There ARE fields in places...and deer DO feed in them...but its not a target because the fields are just grass. No ag. And deer will travel. I have watched some collared studies on line of deer that were traveling a LONG ways a night to feed on a soybean field.

Are you trying to correlate the deer you see in the fields with bedding areas?
big woods I'm talking 4 to 6k acres of woods. I think that's the acreage anyways. it's a huge place. and I have seen some good deer in this certain area but I'm just starting to try and find the beds. I have always had trouble finding beds in this type of area. I haven't seen any certain deer in the field just wondering if the bucks I have seen a mile or so away are traveling that distance every night or if at all. thanks

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Re: Big woods and hill country questions. any input is appre

Unread postby dan » Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:35 am

my suggestion would be to concentrate more on bedding, and less on food... As S/B mentioned deer eat a lot more than just acorns and crops... Even in areas with lots of crops you see bucks spending a lot of time feeding in the woods...

The number 1 reason a deer beds someplace is for safety. Food, does, etc. is all secondary considerations for the buck... So what this means is find the active bedding areas then let sign tell you where they are heading. In a lot of cases the food source you pin down may or may not be being used at night, and maybe smaller lesser bucks are bedding close, but the big boys are back in the primary beds not getting there till late...

What exactly they are feeding on can change very often in wooded areas too... However, to make it a little simpler with the answer, if you have areas that were logged in the last few years, that usually creates both food and security, and is something you should seek out.
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Re: Big woods and hill country questions. any input is appre

Unread postby October's Assassin » Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:50 am

dan wrote:my suggestion would be to concentrate more on bedding, and less on food... As S/B mentioned deer eat a lot more than just acorns and crops... Even in areas with lots of crops you see bucks spending a lot of time feeding in the woods...

The number 1 reason a deer beds someplace is for safety. Food, does, etc. is all secondary considerations for the buck... So what this means is find the active bedding areas then let sign tell you where they are heading. In a lot of cases the food source you pin down may or may not be being used at night, and maybe smaller lesser bucks are bedding close, but the big boys are back in the primary beds not getting there till late...

What exactly they are feeding on can change very often in wooded areas too... However, to make it a little simpler with the answer, if you have areas that were logged in the last few years, that usually creates both food and security, and is something you should seek out.
that's what I'll do. I'm gonna go next weekend and walk looking for the bedding areas. thanks dan

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Re: Big woods and hill country questions. any input is appre

Unread postby mauser06 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:02 pm

Hill country bedding IMO is fairly easy to find once you locate the elevation...from there you check the points and the beds are usually right where they should be...but my struggle is they seem to be less used than say a Marsh bed...not sure what I'm missing...I feel like I'm on the struggle bus...I know where the beds are...but finding the buck there when I'm there doesn't seem to happen...

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Re: Big woods and hill country questions. any input is appre

Unread postby mainebowhunter » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:14 pm

4k-6k acres of timber is a big undertaking! Started tackling a piece like this post season. Except not hill country. Started running cams on apple trees just to get an idea what is around. Will run more cams this coming summer. For me, I always always want to know who is around.

Be interested to see what you find.
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Re: Big woods and hill country questions. any input is appre

Unread postby October's Assassin » Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:51 am

mauser06 wrote:Hill country bedding IMO is fairly easy to find once you locate the elevation...from there you check the points and the beds are usually right where they should be...but my struggle is they seem to be less used than say a Marsh bed...not sure what I'm missing...I feel like I'm on the struggle bus...I know where the beds are...but finding the buck there when I'm there doesn't seem to happen...

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so are you seeing buck beds at the top third of points and ridges? and are you saying once you find a buck bed the rest seem to be at or near the same elevation? thanks mauser

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Re: Big woods and hill country questions. any input is appre

Unread postby October's Assassin » Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:53 am

mainebowhunter wrote:4k-6k acres of timber is a big undertaking! Started tackling a piece like this post season. Except not hill country. Started running cams on apple trees just to get an idea what is around. Will run more cams this coming summer. For me, I always always want to know who is around.

Be interested to see what you find.
I'm gonna try and put a topo photo on here today to give you guys an idea. I like your ideas. I'm gonna start running some cameras. may take some this weekend

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Re: Big woods and hill country questions. any input is appre

Unread postby mainebowhunter » Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:20 am

Here is one buck I found. Got him on 3 different cameras .75 mile apart. He made it through the season. What I find, I am sure as others do, when you find potential targets it gives you a lot more drive to put forth the work. I found a few other 2yr olds. But this is the best one I found in this new area.

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Re: Big woods and hill country questions. any input is appre

Unread postby ADKMtnTrapper » Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:58 am

I hunt very similar woods and have the same struggles. Last year was my first "Beast Scouting" venture. In 2 scouting trips I covered about 6 miles and found 2 beds. I'm sure I overlooked many beds but what people are saying is correct, get to elevation and scout the points and benches. Both best I found were right on the edge of a steep drop off.

In my area what problem I have is come the rut the bucks abandon these beds in search of does and don't return to them unless there are does in the same area. Doe bedding areas vs mature buck beds are 1-2 miles from one another.

Does anyone have any tips on this scenario?
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Re: Big woods and hill country questions. any input is appre

Unread postby Zona » Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:50 pm

I am surrounded by thousands of acres of big woods. First thing I do is cyber scout the area. I locate clusters of points, knobs and hollows that appear to have multiple bedding possibilities for different wind conditions. Then it's boots on the ground looking for rubs, scrapes and trails near the top third elevation. Sometimes this area is lower or higher in elevation. I have had luck following rub lines that parallel a ridge or mountain. Buck beds many times are not far off these trails. Bed hunting the hills and mountains around here is tough. Bucks have many bedding options and it can get frustrating to pin them down to a specific bedding area. Rut hunting these areas is by far more productive for me. Instead of pulling my hair out trying to find a needle in a haystack. I look for saddles, benches and pinch points between haystacks so to speak.



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Re: Big woods and hill country questions. any input is appre

Unread postby October's Assassin » Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:41 pm

Zona wrote:I am surrounded by thousands of acres of big woods. First thing I do is cyber scout the area. I locate clusters of points, knobs and hollows that appear to have multiple bedding possibilities for different wind conditions. Then it's boots on the ground looking for rubs, scrapes and trails near the top third elevation. Sometimes this area is lower or higher in elevation. I have had luck following rub lines that parallel a ridge or mountain. Buck beds many times are not far off these trails. Bed hunting the hills and mountains around here is tough. Bucks have many bedding options and it can get frustrating to pin them down to a specific bedding area. Rut hunting these areas is by far more productive for me. Instead of pulling my hair out trying to find a needle in a haystack. I look for saddles, benches and pinch points between haystacks so to speak.



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the rub lines you find that parallel the ridges are they on the leeward side usually? sounds like your hunting land is alot like what i hunt


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