Trying to predict rut buck cruising routes

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Ognennyy
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Trying to predict rut buck cruising routes

Unread postby Ognennyy » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:27 pm

I'll apologize in advance for the long-winded setup to my question. It's just the way I think.

"BB" = "Buck bed"
"DB" = "Doe bed"
Before anyone asks, I use letters instead of numbers to order / create a series of points because my GPS does not understand that "7" comes before "13", or that "6" comes before "22". So I just use letters instead.

The map I've posted (North-oriented) is a cut of a private parcel I have exclusive permission to bow hunt. It's roughly 250 acres of deep timber. The major features are a stream bottom (the turquoise line) which runs NW to SE, flanked on either side by two high hardwood ridges. There is a marshy area (the green Xs) where the stream bottom widens out, then narrows again into a defined stream in a 200-300 yard wide fern gully (The label "Heavy Travel" is in the heart of the fern gully). On either side of the stream bottom there are old logging roads (indicated by red lines and labeled in chicken scratch "LR1" and "LR2". I did not see much of the western logging road last year in deer season. The eastern logging road was full of rubs and scrapes, so I'm guessing that means a lot of competition which means a lot of bucks in the area. Judging by the nature of the rubs - how aggressive the rubs were and how high off the ground - I'm guessing there are many mature bucks in the area.

The dark blue lines are areas where I've observed deer trails. The one to the North that goes from "BB-D" up past the elevation label "800" I guess is buck movement (The "BB" labels were my guesses at where I would find buck beds when I prepped for scouting, but I was not able to confirm any of them). The label "DB-A" is confirmed doe bedding in a 1-acre patch of goldenrod. I know the does are leaving that bedding area and heading north-west along LR2. They enter the bedding area in the morning from the western hardwood ridge with all the dark blue lines showing converging trails.

Image

Earlier today I listened to the Hunting Beast podcast episode #1 and something Dan said really got me thinking... He talked about a set in a swamp where Mario set up and got winded by a good buck. Dan made the point that he knew the buck was cruising there during daylight hours because his rub line was adjacent to doe bedding, and does bed during the day. Applying Dan's sound logic to the map I posted really has me second-guessing my plans for the area.

I was just going to access from the eastern hardwood ridge, and come down the ridge in daylight while the thermals had my wind going up the ridge, and set up on "LR2" where I saw the tons of rubs and scrapes last year. I thought I'd get close to the end of "LR2" near the doe bedding area. Thing is, that logging road is fairly open. Nothing really provides cover from the marsh. Furthermore it's not really adjacent to the doe bedding; instead it's where the does are moving after sundown. All this has me thinking one thing... all those rubs and scrapes are night sign. And suddenly I'm not sure where I should set up in there.

From looking at the map you might think the double solid line right next to "DB-A" would be a good choice. That is an old road that is actually paved (no longer used, gated at both ends), and very open. I'm very new to this, but my guess is that the bucks won't go there in daylight.

Like I said I didn't get to look at "LR1" last year in season but I think it's reasonable to assume the bucks will be rubbing and scraping there also. Should I just set up over there where the "doe highway" crosses that logging road? I just wonder if the bucks will go there in daylight because by that time the does are back in bed. It is private land and the deer are not pressured. I have observed does up on their feet away from their bedding in daylight, but that was always over along "LR2", within 150-300 yards of the doe bedding. That's not to say the does don't go the other way, back up toward "LR1" in daylight, I just have no way to confirm that.

Any thoughts here? Thanks a lot for reading guys, I appreciate any help. Good luck this season all.


Razorhead
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Re: Trying to predict rut buck cruising routes

Unread postby Razorhead » Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:46 pm

Topographically, there should be a spot on LR1 where you can hunt that road right in the thermal tunnel on the leeward side of the western ridge on a prevailing W or SW wind. I would think this logging road would be something worth looking at for cruising bucks come rut time. LR2 runs right up the gully and winds down in those bottom areas can very frustrating, I would focus on the higher areas in elevation for buck travel areas.

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Ognennyy
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Re: Trying to predict rut buck cruising routes

Unread postby Ognennyy » Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:15 am

Sounds good, thanks Razor. Question about your response... why would I want to be directly in the swirl tunnel between the prevailing wind and the thermal, as opposed to say uphill a little ways? In both scenarios my wind doesn't get to the buck cruising down below on the logging road, right?
Razorhead
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Re: Trying to predict rut buck cruising routes

Unread postby Razorhead » Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:34 pm

I was mainly referring to be able to shoot the road. I always try to be in position to shoot to an old logging road when the bucks are cruising because they really like to use them. If you have a road like LR1 that actually runs along or crosses the thermal tunnel - all the better. I wasn't suggesting setting up right on the road but you gotta be able to shoot to it.

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He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my sole.


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