Southern Beasts Tactical Thread

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
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PK_
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Re: Southern Beasts Tactical Thread

Unread postby PK_ » Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:04 am

thwack16 wrote:Going to hit on something that has had me going "yeah, that's not what I see" while reading and listening to beast tactics the last five years.

The thought of bucks bedding on the edge or just inside of thickets and looking into the open. I just rarely see that down here, and when I do see it, it's the very beginning of season and they're basically laying in the oaks.. Most times the bucks are tunneled into the middle of the thickest, gnarliest stuff that can be found.

Dad shot a really good buck the other evening that made it 500 yards from the white oak tree he shot it in under. 450 yards of that run was through 5-8 foot high cutover full of briars and replanted pines. We found him on a little finger ridge tucked deep into the middle of it with fresh beds and buck crap all around the one he died in. I feel sure that he lived on that ridge the majority of time, tucked deep into that entanglement. 450 yards from oaks to the east, 320 yards from oaks to the south, 1000 yards from oaks to the north, and 500 yards from oaks to the west.

Curious to see if other southern guys see this as well?


I have been trying to say this in a lot of different threads as this has gotten brought up over the years(look at my first post in this thread on page 1 lol). Big bucks in the south bury in like a tick with very few exceptions.


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Re: Southern Beasts Tactical Thread

Unread postby fenderbender62 » Sat Nov 14, 2020 1:25 pm

I agree. I take beast tactics and try to apply what I can through trial and error.

Just like Dan is always saying that a mature buck is a different animal, bucks over the age of 2.5 in the south are different animals. They are extremely reclusive, nocturnal, aquatic, and have no problem living their entire lives as far away from people as they possibly can. You havent experienced hunting pressure until you see a piece of woods surrounded and lined with shotguns and filled with beagles or walkers. The deer that survive dont do it by finding an overlooked spot by a road watching access. They do it by going into cover that isnt walk-able by human or dog and by not moving during daylight hours.
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Re: Southern Beasts Tactical Thread

Unread postby Bowhuntercoop » Sat Nov 14, 2020 1:52 pm

fenderbender62 wrote:I agree. I take beast tactics and try to apply what I can through trial and error.

Just like Dan is always saying that a mature buck is a different animal, bucks over the age of 2.5 in the south are different animals. They are extremely reclusive, nocturnal, aquatic, and have no problem living their entire lives as far away from people as they possibly can. You havent experienced hunting pressure until you see a piece of woods surrounded and lined with shotguns and filled with beagles or walkers. The deer that survive dont do it by finding an overlooked spot by a road watching access. They do it by going into cover that isnt walk-able by human or dog and by not moving during daylight hours.


I agree but I’ve also killed and jumped some hammers watching access in the national forest in western sc. Some of my best bedding is logging decks that are 5-10 years old and crazy thick. Those bucks bed watching the road and are less then 50-100 yards from access.

I agree though the thicker the better. Hunting down here is completely different then the mountains of pa where I grew up. About the only common aspect is thermals.
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Re: Southern Beasts Tactical Thread

Unread postby GeneralLee » Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:07 am

I'd like to pick y'all's brains about a particular tract of land I've spent limited time on. It's approximately 2500 acres, majority of it is mature pines with very low underbrush, but quite a bit of hills and creek bottoms relative to the area. Actually one of the hilliest tracts of land in the entire region that I've found. In my experience I haven't seen anything but crossing's in the creeks, there doesn't seem to be trails along the creek bottoms, which makes sense with the hilly terrain. There are many trails along the ridges, either high or low. Lots of rubs along ridge tops, rubs along creek crossing's, scrapes along creek bottoms, etc. But it still seems as though they are mainly only using the creeks as crossing's and not as their way to maneuver through the area undetected.

With limited thick cover other than the creek bottoms, in my head I would expect the deer in this area to do one or all of a few different things.
1.) Nearly shut down all day time movement after an increase in pressure (until the rut atleast when all bets on intelligence are off)
2.) Navigate a particular (likely specific) trail system that I have yet to find
3.) Stack up into areas that are less likely to be heavily pressured
4.) I don't know. :think:

I may or may not be saying all of this just to get myself thinking like a deer. I also intend to still hunt/scout the area on Friday all day long. Only day I'll have to be on that tract until the following weekend so I don't mind blowing out every deer in the area if it means I learn from it. I don't expect any company on the tract on Friday, so I shouldn't have to worry about ticking off any fellow hunters.
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Re: Southern Beasts Tactical Thread

Unread postby GeneralLee » Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:22 am

Something I forgot to add to my previous post, what food sources are you guys keying in on at this point in the season? I know the bucks are after does, but the does are still wanting the food. I know early season white oaks are king, but at this point could I still expect white oaks to be dropping? Or would they be moving to lesser preferred oaks, or a specific type of browse? Ive been a private land hunter for my whole life. Deer ate corn as far as I knew, and when they weren't eating corn they were eating acorns, and when they weren't eating acorns or corn they were rutting. Any help identifying preferred food sources for later in the season is appreciated.
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Re: Southern Beasts Tactical Thread

Unread postby HeadHunting » Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:23 am

GeneralLee wrote:Something I forgot to add to my previous post, what food sources are you guys keying in on at this point in the season? I know the bucks are after does, but the does are still wanting the food. I know early season white oaks are king, but at this point could I still expect white oaks to be dropping? Or would they be moving to lesser preferred oaks, or a specific type of browse? Ive been a private land hunter for my whole life. Deer ate corn as far as I knew, and when they weren't eating corn they were eating acorns, and when they weren't eating acorns or corn they were rutting. Any help identifying preferred food sources for later in the season is appreciated.


What I have seen is that deer key in on acorns in the early season as a primary food source (of course where available), in the pre-rut (starting approximately Nov. 15th-20th where I am, based on 1st scrapes popping up and going through to the start of the rut which is right after Christmas for me) deer will still tend to be on acorns in the morning, as long as they have them and then use green food sources in the evening. Now I do not have public land experience to be able to speak more in depth to that, I am on leased land that I have been on since 1986. If there are any type of agriculture fields near you, then I would imagine that it would be much the same as where I am with food plots. Bucks won't generally come out into the fields until after dark so setting up on staging areas or travel corridors close to expected bedding is your best bet to get to them. They will slowly browse their way leading to the field or green food source and stage up until after dark. Once the rut kicks in then food becomes secondary, they will tend to browse some here and there but food is not priority. Following the rut is the best time to get a shot on green food sources, they are trying to replenish or rebuild so you can catch them on green food sources early in the morning and in the evenings. Usually by this time acorns are completely played out, so any remaining browse like green briar if it hasn't completely dried out or honeysuckle will be what they will key in on. Problem with that as a food source is that it is so random! This is when I think keying in on terrain features like funnels becomes more important because the food sources are more limited.

If you do not have any green food sources, I.e. food plots or ag fields where you are then it is likely that the deer will move out of the area, closer to a food source. Again this green food source can be a pile of briar or honeysuckle or some other source native to your area. Find that and you will likely see some activity near there.

Good Luck, hope this helps or at minimum sparks a discussion that will provide some help.
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Re: Southern Beasts Tactical Thread

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Thu Dec 24, 2020 6:31 am

I sure hope you late state rut hunters have better luck than me. As far as intensity goes this has been the most lackluster breeding season that I can remember. From everything I can gather if you weren’t lucky enough to be in the woods when a front blew in your odds go drastically down. Most of my good buck cruising was first thing in the morning still looking for last nights leftovers. With the exception of 1 or 2 drizzly days I didn’t see hardly any late morning/midday cruising.

The downwind of doe bedding only seemed to be good if they actually tracked a hot doe to it. Evenings have been awful for me all season. Haven’t even seen a decent buck after 2 o’clock and struggle to see any deer close to evening. Would have thought due to a poor acorn crop it would have been easier for me to line up on evening hunts but simply not the case. Currently it seems the deer are hammering anything green in my parts. Ditches in fields and pond dams is where I’m spotting most feeding while driving around.
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Re: Southern Beasts Tactical Thread

Unread postby Shady Grove » Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:04 pm

Really appreciate this tread. I want to ask about bedding - and perhaps creating or enhancing bedding.

I hunt in the Lower Coastal Plains of Georgia - Most of the "high ground" is planted in pines. The various ages of merchantable timber is broken up by hardwood creeks and drains and mixed with patches of oaks on the hill. Cover is not the limiting factor in these woods! And no agriculture for miles. The topography is flat as toast for the most part. Elevation is about 25ft at the river and rises to a whopping 75-80ft at the highway. So what we call hills most people call speed bumps. The older pines will have lots of palmetto and gallberry. We have a good bit of vines - grape, honeysuckle, greenbriar and the like. The young planted pines will have a lot of broomsedge, and bluestem grasses along with blackberry and briars. I 'know' deer bed in these pines but I have yet to locate what I think is a buck bed.

Like I said - we don't lack cover. The only identifiable bedding (that I have found) are some oval shaped depressions in the broomsedge. When I find them, they appear random, usually 3-4 together which I assume is where does have laid. Never found a spot that made me think - there's a big one that lives here.

So first question (if you hunt this type of terrain) have you ever found a buck bed?

Second question - let's say you are pretty sure a big buck beds (at least some times) in an 80 acre block of 8 year old pines. What do you think of trying to create or enhance bedding in hopes of pinpointing him within the large block? I am thinking about (I own the land) going into that block of timber (post season) and removing 20-30 saplings and let the sunshine create a little thicket. Do that in 3-4 locations and hope I can get the big fella to call it home.

We have coyotes (which is not unique) but might that be a factor in the satellite bedding? Anyway - I know habitat work is not necessarily a Beast Tactic but what do you think of the idea?


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