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.