Beast lightbulb moment

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
d_rek
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Beast lightbulb moment

Unread postby d_rek » Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:43 am

Been hitting a piece of public by me for the last few years. Scouted it quite a bit, and have gotten on deer (could have killed a couple of doe and a few small bucks) but nothing I ever felt was worth the effort I had already put in. Was really looking for my first public land deer to be a decent buck - 2.5yr old or better. Unfortunately I didn't punch a tag but had a lightbulb moment yesterday.

This year the hunting has been slow up there for whatever reason. Not seeing deer in the usual spots and also finding hunter sign where it wasn't previously. So i took a long look my maps and came to a few conclusions about the spots I was hunting:
  • If it looks good to me on a map, it's going to look good to someone else too. That point jutting into the marsh that's about 3/4 mile from access looks prime, right? Well it probably looks prime to the hundred other guys who have OnX or Google Earth too. So if the good looking spots are getting pounded, what does that leave?
  • Overlooked spots exist and you can find them. I know this might be a bit of a dead horse but it took a few seasons for this to really click for me. Yes we know that overlooked spots can be next to access or along roads. But how many of us REALLY hunt those overlooked spots? And how do you find them? You almost have to change the way you look at maps to find them. If 100 other guys with OnX are looking at the marsh point and thinking that looks great then YOU have to ask yourself ok if that looks great what spots look like S***! Once you do that you can key in on those areas. I did just that yesterday.

So yesterday I hunted the edge of a marsh literally 30 yards from a fairly busy paved two lane road. I knew from scouting previously that there was good bedding cover pretty much all along the edges of the marsh on all sides, but always keyed in the side you access from the woods because really who wants to hunt that close to the road? My access was clean with wind in my favor until I got close to the spot i hunted. When I got there I immediately started to find buck rubs and followed a faint trail at the bottom of the bank adjacent to the road.

Unfortunately the crunchy loud leaves were my downfall as I got within a 20 yards of a good sized scrape I bumped a good one. He didn't wind me but didn't like the noise I made. He got up from where he was bedded and only bounded off 10-15 yards. I sat and watched but couldn't make him out through the brush all that well. I sat looking for a good 5 minutes and instead studied which tree I was going to hunt from. But that buck was smarter than me yesterday and as I moved as silently as I could to a tree only 10ft from me he had enough of the noise and ran off again, though this time I caught a glimpse of him. Looked to be a 2.5 yr old, had at least 4 points on his right side with good tine length. Couldn't see his other side too well but looked fairly typical and was to tip of the ears.

Of course I wouldn't be seeing him again but I setup anyway on the scrape. Was a quiet evening except for the traffic and some squirrels.

I think I might go back there for firearms opener and see if he's still hanging out, though this time I think I can sneak in there from the road.


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NorthStar
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Re: Beast lightbulb moment

Unread postby NorthStar » Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:58 am

Thanks for posting this. I totally agree that these overlooked spots are where its at these days. I haven't had a enough confidence to try them but stories like these are starting to push me out of my comfort zone. I may not try something something like this in this season but I will definitely add these areas to my 2020 scouting plan. Good luck my friend and keep us updated!
"Successful hunts are not measured in kills and encounters. They are measured by the new knowledge you have gained."
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Kraftd
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Re: Beast lightbulb moment

Unread postby Kraftd » Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:20 am

VERY good point on overlooked spots being hard to commit to. I have a handful that I am convinced hold deer, but I keep talking myself out of and heading to things that look traditionally better.

Example. I scouted a small bowl off of a main parking area and access path three winters ago right after our gun season and found good sign. I hunted it once since, bumped a doe and a fawn and heard several other deer go out the other side at dark. Haven't been back in two years. This is probably the hardest hit parcel around me so I mentally wrote it off. Sent a buddy in there Sunday am and he almost got a shot at a nice 10.

I think I just convinced myself to focus on these spots for the rest of the year!
BorealBushMN
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Re: Beast lightbulb moment

Unread postby BorealBushMN » Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:41 am

Overlooked spots are really hard for me to wrap my brain around up where I'm at. It's endless forest. There is just so much land, and overall, minimal pressure from hunters. Without specific food and water sources, and endless bedding cover, it seems like deer can hole up almost anywhere. If they get pressured, why not just up and move into the next section deeper into the woods/swamp? How does one even begin to key on an "overlooked spot" in this scenario? (kind of a rhetorical question, I know the answer is scout, scout, scout!)
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stash59
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Re: Beast lightbulb moment

Unread postby stash59 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:04 am

BorealBushMN wrote:Overlooked spots are really hard for me to wrap my brain around up where I'm at. It's endless forest. There is just so much land, and overall, minimal pressure from hunters. Without specific food and water sources, and endless bedding cover, it seems like deer can hole up almost anywhere. If they get pressured, why not just up and move into the next section deeper into the woods/swamp? How does one even begin to key on an "overlooked spot" in this scenario? (kind of a rhetorical question, I know the answer is scout, scout, scout!)


Probably need to think more about. Where do they feel the safest from wolves. Up in your neck of the woods. Where I used to hunt in northern WI, and places in Montana. Trying to find overlooked spots would have been futile. Half of the dang whitetail habitat they used was overlooked. The other half the pressure was so limited. It hardly mattered.

You can't apply every Beast tactic everywhere.
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Re: Beast lightbulb moment

Unread postby BorealBushMN » Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:17 am

Very true!
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Re: Beast lightbulb moment

Unread postby CRK925 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:02 pm

BorealBushMN wrote:Overlooked spots are really hard for me to wrap my brain around up where I'm at. It's endless forest. There is just so much land, and overall, minimal pressure from hunters. Without specific food and water sources, and endless bedding cover, it seems like deer can hole up almost anywhere. If they get pressured, why not just up and move into the next section deeper into the woods/swamp? How does one even begin to key on an "overlooked spot" in this scenario? (kind of a rhetorical question, I know the answer is scout, scout, scout!)




If you have wolves, I've found that your overlooked spots are close to houses. Deer seem to tolerate humans a little more because it seems to keep wolves away. That is my theory anyway.
BA-IV
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Re: Beast lightbulb moment

Unread postby BA-IV » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:46 am

Hunting is all about evolving tactics...What're we going to do when 90% of the overlooked spots aren't overlooked anymore?
gunner24
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Re: Beast lightbulb moment

Unread postby gunner24 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:56 am

BA-IV wrote:Hunting is all about evolving tactics...What're we going to do when 90% of the overlooked spots aren't overlooked anymore?


this is a good point. patterns are continually changing. every year it seems. sometimes because of pressure, sometimes because of weather/food. what is boils down to is boots on the ground. boots on the ground is how you find the overlooked spots. maps won't show you them. that's just my 2 cents.
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greenhorndave
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Re: Beast lightbulb moment

Unread postby greenhorndave » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:06 am

BA-IV wrote:Hunting is all about evolving tactics...What're we going to do when 90% of the overlooked spots aren't overlooked anymore?

That's kind in what the original poster was getting at. Overlooked may only be 10% as it sits today. That 10% will always exist, just will look different in each case. Deer always go somewhere they either aren't pestered or can bail out quickly.

Won't make it any easier for us, but they adapt and we gotta try to keep up.

PS - I haven't been very good at keeping up this year. :lol: But I do have something that's been on my mind for along time in terms of overlooked and I'm going act on it in the not too distant future.
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