Big woods rifle beasts?

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
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croz2173
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Big woods rifle beasts?

Unread postby croz2173 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:37 am

Looking for some thoughts on rifle hunting large public tracts. Assume unbroken timber with little to no hunting pressure and lots of interesting topography and you are going in blind other than maps available online.

How would you go about maximizing your odds of getting a shot opportunity at a mature buck. Interested to hear how others approach this situation after doing it myself the last couple of years.


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stash59
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Re: Big woods rifle beasts?

Unread postby stash59 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:45 am

I've actually had decent luck just covering and learning the country. If I start seeing rut sign and or fresh tracks I slow down to a still hunt crawl. But a couple of my WI north woods bucks I got while still moving at a fairly steady walk. Same with mulie bucks in MT. Low deer density areas you just need to find them. Pussy footing all day may keep you miles from where the deer are right then!
Happiness is a large gutpile!!!!!!!
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croz2173
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Re: Big woods rifle beasts?

Unread postby croz2173 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:57 am

Agree Stash, my approach has been fairly aggressive, trying to hit as many predictable bedding spots as possible.
Findian
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Re: Big woods rifle beasts?

Unread postby Findian » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:58 am

Cover ground stop here and there at a good vantage point hit your grunt or can call wait a few minutes keep going till you find fresh sign then slow it down and still hunt it or keep calling. However you want to do keep looking for the fresh sign.
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Re: Big woods rifle beasts?

Unread postby mauser06 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:28 pm

I agree with the others. Cover ground and when you think it's starting to look good or suspected buck bedding, slow down and still hunt through.



My best tip for that style of hunting is take your sling off your rifle! Put it in your pack or vest or pocket. No sling means you'll actually carry it. A rifle not on your hands will cost you shot opportunities.


If you jump them, usually not a huge deal. Have a seat. Give em 10-15mins. Look at the land and the maps and figure out where he might go and go hunt him down. They typically don't go far and either bed down, try to circle down wind, or figure they might as well grab a snack since they are up... A lot of guys will start flinging lead. Resist the urge unless you have good shooting you're confident in. Can't tell you how many hop up and run a short distance and stand there and turn around to see what you are.


I use binocs a good bit when I get into areas I wanna pick apart and hunt through. Couple steps..look around and glass stuff in the distance or anything that looks like maybe a deer.


I carry a GPS and Mark places of interest or hot sign. I actually do a lot of my "scouting" that way. Might not have a kill tree locked down...but I either "go in blind" next year or scout it more thoroughly post season.
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Re: Big woods rifle beasts?

Unread postby Bowhunting Brian » Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:06 pm

Big woods the Benoit way.
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Re: Big woods rifle beasts?

Unread postby sdonx » Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:13 pm

Not sure of the rules here on mentioning other great sites but the "Big Woods Buck" guys from Maine have a lot of great talk on this.
Please delete if I broke a rule...sry
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croz2173
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Re: Big woods rifle beasts?

Unread postby croz2173 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:44 pm

Sharp breaks seem to give me the best advantage. Well defined points and ridges make it easier to get close in my experience.

Has anyone noticed a general pattern to which direction a buck will break when you bust him? From what I've seen the last couple years it seems to depend how they bust you. If they wind you they slink downwind and most often out of sight for me as they are over the sharp break in a point or ridge. Hear you/see you they tend to go into the wind, I'm assuming because they've been sitting all day not smelling danger that direction. Obviously depends on exact circumstances but have seen it enough now that I wondered how many others have. Maybe I'm way behind the curve as usual.
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SamPotter
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Re: Big woods rifle beasts?

Unread postby SamPotter » Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:28 am

The most consistent way to get on a mature buck in the big woods is to track them on snow. However, they still tend to bed the same way as bucks anywhere else in hilly or mountainous terrain.
Food sources change quickly, so they seem to bounce around a lot though.
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Re: Big woods rifle beasts?

Unread postby headgear » Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:46 am

Lots of options really, pick out some terrain features and hunt them, scout for fresh sign, still hunting, finding an observation area with a good view to cover more ground, stalk some bedding areas. Snow is kind of a game changer because you can really find the deer so much easier, this rifle season I would spend the first couple hours of the day scouting and then setup on areas I knew held deer. In the bigwoods you are either on them or you can be miles off. Tracking is so much fun too, if you have never tried it give it a shot, even if it just leads you to an area you can setup on instead of diving after them tracking deer is a great experience and you can learn a lot.
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croz2173
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Re: Big woods rifle beasts?

Unread postby croz2173 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:13 am

Love tracking, have killed a couple that way. If conditions permit and I find a big track that's what I'm doing.
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Re: Big woods rifle beasts?

Unread postby Budgetbuck1 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:46 am

If your area is hilly I would walk as much as possible around the bases of the hills that you suspect are buck bedding points until I found the sign leading towards the bedding that lets me know a buck is using it. If the deer numbers are low there may not be many rubs but you will find his big, lumpy scat on the ground coming off the point. If I had a choice I would start my hunting/scouting on a windy or rainy day where I could walk faster and cover more ground until I found the areas that held the sign. If you hunt while you scout and are walking slowly during season it is hard to cover enough ground to narrow down the area but you always stand a chance of bumping into one and getting a shot. Get in there after the season and walk your tail off to narrow it down for next year. Good luck....big woods always feels like an adventure to me and is fun whether or not I take a deer.
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Re: Big woods rifle beasts?

Unread postby Cchez » Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:48 am

Lots of good answers one here. Depends on how you want to hunt really. Whats worked for me in the past and as recently as this weekend, use the wind and terrain to predict where they may be traveling, and if you have snow it makes it a bit easier finding where they're traveling. I went into an area this weekend on a hunch knowing it hadnt been disturbed. When i got in i noticed a lot of doe tracks traveling through the area. Within the first 5 minutes of being set up, i had a doe off in the distance feeding. 20 minutes later i tagged out on a nice tall 8 point cruising through. One of the coolest things i like about these big woods bucks is you never know where or when they're going to show up. Especially in lower deer density areas. They'll put on miles looking for hot does.


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