Diving On In, but Struggling in the PINES!

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BA-IV
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Diving On In, but Struggling in the PINES!

Unread postby BA-IV » Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:56 am

Last fall I found the Beast and tried adopting a few of the main principles and tried it out in my neck of the woods here in Louisiana in the dang pines. I didn't have any great success here in Louisiana, but I'm putting in the work this year ahead of time and fixing to sell my climber. I tried the hang on with sticks and my setup didn't fit me, so I went back to a climber. I think you can read everything you want on this site and it sounds easy and common sense, but until you start applying it, its a whole different ball game. I think my biggest ordeal is thinking I have to be in the stand by a certain time to make a successful hunt and if not I'm rushing or cussing a hang on with sticks for taking me longer then a climber to setup. I feel like this year I will give these tactics everything I got. I did see quite a few more bucks then I ever have, just wasn't picking the right tree, so I have confidence in the tactics.

I also went on my first Midwest whitetail hunt in Illinois last year, and in 8 days I saw 125+ deer, and well over half were bucks. I actually only saw 6-7 bucks from a stand that I would consider true mature deer, and missed a stud on the very last morning, but I was using the leeward side and wind all in my favor every day. Now fast forward to Louisiana and I'm struggling in the Pineywoods finding beds. I'm focusing a lot of my attention on heavy transition lines between what I've always considered bedding thickets and creek swamps. I've yet to find a true buck bed. Anyone in the pineywoods country actually hunting a buck bed?


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Tufrthnails
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Re: Diving On In, but Struggling in the PINES!

Unread postby Tufrthnails » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:35 am

Are you taking Planted pines with rows and such? If so that is tough as can be. I got a place I was helping a buddy scout just a couple of weeks ago its a new lease to him. He was doing the same thing and basically mature Bucks don't bed in the open and planted pines are super open. But a lot of planted pines have nasty areas as well mixed in. What I did with him was look on the topo and identify the transition lines and having hunted that terrain a little I kinda know what I'm looking at on a topo here in FL. I found the swamps. There were three of them on the property and we walked that transition until we hit some trails going into it with rubs going in. then we waded in and followed what looked like game trails. We found some really thick nasty stuff and worked our way into it and it was like a bed heaven. I knew there was a high spot by the two big oaks (I wasn't certain they were oaks from the topo, but I had a suspicion they were.

Another bedding area we found kinda by accident. I was cutting across the property to get to another swampy area and hit a really thick spot loaded up with vines and thorns. I had to dive in so I cut my way in and sure enough the thick spot was prob only 70 yards across, but once you got into it we found bed after bed. now a lot of those were doe beds, but that told me where I thought he might want to setup come the rut as I am pretty there will be a lot of down wind cruising there especially were it came to a point and was only about 30 yards to the swampy area.

The second swamp didn't have as much for bedding, but I found some pines in the water growing together and the hump had a bed on it. Not a huge bed, but big enough for a pressured buck to lay on (in my mind) and be surrounded by water.

The third swampy area was a bit more confusing for me as it was loaded with high spots and trails were going every which way in the mud. I really couldn't pin down a bed and say this is it big boy likes this one or two beds.

This is a 900acre lease with 11 other guys on it. and as I was walking the place I saw stand after stand in the pine rows. I told him I'd glady give it a hunt with him once season gets going and the pressure is up, because I am almost certain you could dive into one of those swamps and have an encounter. All around this lease are dog hunting leases so that is why I think the property was so loaded with sign in the thickest parts. The bucks know none of these guys are in the thick stuff so they just wait them out.

oh side note I had to laugh because where they park is surrounded by oak trees. I mentioned to him I'd be tempted to sneak in early and setup on the parking lot and wait for all of them to go in the woods and smoke there does when they can to feed on the acorns between the trucks!!!!
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BA-IV
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Re: Diving On In, but Struggling in the PINES!

Unread postby BA-IV » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:48 am

That's impressive scouting to say the least. I'm almost positive they are bedding somewhere in a 8-10 year planted pines that are thicker then hair on a dogs but. A thick creek swamp is butted up to it and an older planted pines are also to the NE. I'm banking on them using these younger pine plantation as bedding and going to concentrate on where the three transitions converge, so hopefully with some scouting I can narrow it down to a small section.

Now how do you think the bed in Mature plantation of pines with the underbrush 6-8 feet tall and thick. They can virtually bed anywhere it seems like since its fairly flat.
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Re: Diving On In, but Struggling in the PINES!

Unread postby thwack16 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:53 am

Any chance of an aerial?
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Re: Diving On In, but Struggling in the PINES!

Unread postby BA-IV » Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:40 am

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Best I could do on short notice. The block in RED is 8-10 yr old pines, and the other pines were just thinned and rowed out. All along the the creek is fairly thick, but not horrible. This is a lease, with the yellow lines being a powerline with box stand and feeders all along it. I constantly see deer tracks coming in and out of this block, and I can almost guarantee nobody dives off in here cuz they hunt out of box stands. This is just one example of Pineywoods hunting I'm trying to dissect and figure out and learn alil something. The roads are one main dirt road with a sandy ditches by the creek which allows me to gauge the tracks coming in and out, and then lease roads to the NE and then W of the powerlines.
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Re: Diving On In, but Struggling in the PINES!

Unread postby Tufrthnails » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:09 am

Very first things I see when I look are these in purple. I would want to know exactly what was in there.
where the transition bowl is I would scout till I found the parallel trail and bust off in on it and see where it was heading.
Image

If you want to pm me some coords so I can look at a good topo. It will tell me a lot more. Some of the other guys may key in on some other areas also, but those are what stuck out right away. I think the box blinds could play in your favor.
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Re: Diving On In, but Struggling in the PINES!

Unread postby Tufrthnails » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:13 am

Oh and BTW I gave you the successful scouting story. I can't tell you how many times I've dove off and found nothing. And usually it's because it just simply has to many people hunting it and the neighbor lease has minimal pressure.
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Re: Diving On In, but Struggling in the PINES!

Unread postby thwack16 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:24 am

I think I'd be looking real hard against the creek and ditches. Especially if there are hardwoods along them. Looks to be two SMZs running north and south to the west of the powerline. I'd walk those as well.
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Re: Diving On In, but Struggling in the PINES!

Unread postby BA-IV » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:52 am

How have y'all seen deer bed against the SMZ's?
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Re: Diving On In, but Struggling in the PINES!

Unread postby BA-IV » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:29 am

And this is what this post is about for me anyways. Not necessarily this particular property even though I appreciate it, because it gives me a starting point, but I'm curious how bucks are bedding in the pines with more flat terrain. I'm looking at common tendencies you guys have experienced. Hopefully this cuts my learning curve down as well. I have huge WMA's around that are public close to the house that is close to 200,000 acres of pineywoods plus private property, but its all the same terrain, and hardly anybody uses these tactics. They are corn feeder, food plots, and box stand hunters, and talk about a confidence killer, seeing your buddies kill deer off corn piles, but I'm determined to get into a Pineywood Bucks brain and learn some secrets!
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Re: Diving On In, but Struggling in the PINES!

Unread postby Tufrthnails » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:37 am

BA-IV wrote:And this is what this post is about for me anyways. Not necessarily this particular property even though I appreciate it, because it gives me a starting point, but I'm curious how bucks are bedding in the pines with more flat terrain. I'm looking at common tendencies you guys have experienced. Hopefully this cuts my learning curve down as well. I have huge WMA's around that are public close to the house that is close to 200,000 acres of pineywoods plus private property, but its all the same terrain, and hardly anybody uses these tactics. They are corn feeder, food plots, and box stand hunters, and talk about a confidence killer, seeing your buddies kill deer off corn piles, but I'm determined to get into a Pineywood Bucks brain and learn some secrets!


LOL what you are trying to figure out is what papa was hunting on his lease a couple years ago. Basically a couple thousand acres of unbroken planted pines on super flat ground. I never found the secret. I walked them dang rows looking for days and just didn't find the deer. But this was thin woods with very little underbrush at all. The one place i found a ton of beds was the 6foot tall new pines it was loaded with doe beds tiny tracks. I called that area the nursery because of all the dumb yearlings that would just stand and watch you if you walked through it until momma blew. I didn't see a buck killed on that property until the rut. The does would come into the feeders every day and the young bucks found them and got killed.

I really despise this type of terrain.
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Re: Diving On In, but Struggling in the PINES!

Unread postby thwack16 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:21 am

I think bedding in pines is going to be really random. Everything is a potential bed.

I try not to hunt this type of terrain much, because for the most part, pine plantations mean poor soil, which leads to smaller bucks. I do have a 20 acre and 10 acre plantation that I hunt in and around that's in a decent area. For me, I've found that finding the feed trees along the SMZ's and transitions are about the only way to hunt them. Also, I have a spot on a ditch that splits the 20 acre section where an old culvert makes crossing the ditch easy. If you can find any pinch point or funnel of that kind, those are worth exploring.
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Re: Diving On In, but Struggling in the PINES!

Unread postby BA-IV » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:50 am

There is real good bucks for the area, but I think it's because they actually get some age on em believe it or not even with the leases and neighbors shooting a bunch. There is 1200 acres of private land that isn't hunted hard but the outside edges are so they're heavily pressured all the way around. You'd think the 1200 would be deer paradise and I'm sure the view it as a sanctuary, but they're still pressured hard when they roam.

Here is 3 different solid bucks that are of age, but that's it only nighttime pictures off a scrape and no way to figure out bedding or patterns and I only got these pics by hanging em off a scrape I killed a big old 10 point right at dusk two years ago. That was more of a fluke then anything I reckon.

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Re: Diving On In, but Struggling in the PINES!

Unread postby Jrichard » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:24 am

From my personal experience, I find that the deer use pine thickets more for travel than they do bedding. At least that is the case here. I looked for beds in the pines for hours on end this past year. (one of my spots is 90% pines.) and to be honest, I would ALWAYS bump bedded deer out of a thick laurel area or briar thicket.
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Re: Diving On In, but Struggling in the PINES!

Unread postby Graham_van » Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:24 pm

I hunt primarily in east texas in the piney woods my self. And let me tell you. Deer here are virtually impossible to pattern. Best case is to find a cut over with an SMZ running through it and hunt the transition. Deer use the SMZ's to travel.

My private ground in east texas is harder to hunt than public in Kansas. Its hard to kill mature deer with a 60 day rifle season that runs through the entire rut.

I kill good buck regurally but it is usually over a food plot or corn, and I really don't enjoy it.
Can't kill em if they aren't there


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