So much scouting, so little time...

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headgear
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Re: So much scouting, so little time...

Unread postby headgear » Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:57 pm

Boogieman1 wrote:What has always confused the heck out of me is guys who work so hard post-season scouting but then rely on in season scouting. Always made me feel like one has got to be a waste. Maybe it’s cause my area is small and I really don’t know. But have always wondered if u r gonna in season scout then what is the point of post season scouting. Personally I post season scout so I’m in the right tree and I’m hunting vs walking around scouting. Doesn’t really matter I mean there’s numerous successful hunters that do it, just something I don’t understand.


I look at it like post season scouting is just kind of there to help me understand where the beds are and how they like to use them, the lay of the land. In season scouting helps me figure out when and helps narrow down an area. Pressure is huge too, sometimes they are bedding on top of the parking lot, sometimes back off a ways watching access, sometimes way back in the swamp. Without both I will just never be on the deer like I could be. I did it half for years when the kids were little with mixed results, now things are really starting to click and for me the in season scouting is looking way more important that post season but I have a decade + of post season scouting under my belt so endless places to hunt.


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Re: So much scouting, so little time...

Unread postby tgreeno » Tue Dec 29, 2020 3:26 pm

Dewey wrote:
Boogieman1 wrote:
What has always confused the heck out of me is guys who work so hard post-season scouting but then rely on in season scouting. Always made me feel like one has got to be a waste. Maybe it’s cause my area is small and I really don’t know. But have always wondered if u r gonna in season scout then what is the point of post season scouting. Personally I post season scout so I’m in the right tree and I’m hunting vs walking around scouting. Doesn’t really matter I mean there’s numerous successful hunters that do it, just something I don’t understand.

I use post season scouting especially in new areas to learn the lay of the land and investigate buck sign left behind from the previous season. Problem with this approach only is the bucks that left that sign may very well be dead already so I follow up with in-season scouting to verify this and get the rest of the puzzle pieces then apply to what I already know from post season scouting. Make sense?


^^^ This is how I try to do it.
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Re: So much scouting, so little time...

Unread postby MNarrow » Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:50 am

Post season: Where
In season: When
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Re: So much scouting, so little time...

Unread postby rfickes87 » Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:03 am

Lockdown wrote:Does anyone else want to be 5 places at once? :lol: I used to spread myself too thin in my early days, but nowadays I always try and explore SOME new ground. You never know when you’ll find something great.

I had to laugh the other day when I was pinning bedding on OnX. This year I decided stuff that I NEED to get to would be purple. I was trying to pin only the best bedding and properties, but next thing I know I have 12 pins ;)

There’s no way I’ll get to all of it and see everything I need to at my go to spots. Especially this year with all the extra pressure I need to scout human sign.

I wish green up lasted 4 months...


This post made me laugh out loud because I always mark new stuff I want to scout on Onxmaps in pink just like you! Any good edge I find I use pink lines. :lol: Crazy how we all think alike! I know exactly how you feel about being 5 places at once too. As I get older (33) I care less about killing and more and more about "I wonder whats over there I need to go walk it and see." I am also becoming more and more impatient when sitting in stand. I get a rush out of just walking thru a cyber scouted area and finding sign in person and getting that feeling of proving it out and knowing i was right.
"Pressure and Time. That's all it takes, really. Pressure, and time..."
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Re: So much scouting, so little time...

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:13 am

headgear wrote:
Boogieman1 wrote:What has always confused the heck out of me is guys who work so hard post-season scouting but then rely on in season scouting. Always made me feel like one has got to be a waste. Maybe it’s cause my area is small and I really don’t know. But have always wondered if u r gonna in season scout then what is the point of post season scouting. Personally I post season scout so I’m in the right tree and I’m hunting vs walking around scouting. Doesn’t really matter I mean there’s numerous successful hunters that do it, just something I don’t understand.


I look at it like post season scouting is just kind of there to help me understand where the beds are and how they like to use them, the lay of the land. In season scouting helps me figure out when and helps narrow down an area. Pressure is huge too, sometimes they are bedding on top of the parking lot, sometimes back off a ways watching access, sometimes way back in the swamp. Without both I will just never be on the deer like I could be. I did it half for years when the kids were little with mixed results, now things are really starting to click and for me the in season scouting is looking way more important that post season but I have a decade + of post season scouting under my belt so endless places to hunt.

Gotcha! I’ve heard u guys talk about it for years but was embarrassed to ask exactly what u were doing.
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Re: So much scouting, so little time...

Unread postby headgear » Thu Dec 31, 2020 7:25 am

Boogieman1 wrote:Gotcha! I’ve heard u guys talk about it for years but was embarrassed to ask exactly what u were doing.


I think most of us are still trying to figure it out. :lol:
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Re: So much scouting, so little time...

Unread postby Dewey » Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:16 am

Boogieman1 wrote:
headgear wrote:
Boogieman1 wrote:What has always confused the heck out of me is guys who work so hard post-season scouting but then rely on in season scouting. Always made me feel like one has got to be a waste. Maybe it’s cause my area is small and I really don’t know. But have always wondered if u r gonna in season scout then what is the point of post season scouting. Personally I post season scout so I’m in the right tree and I’m hunting vs walking around scouting. Doesn’t really matter I mean there’s numerous successful hunters that do it, just something I don’t understand.


I look at it like post season scouting is just kind of there to help me understand where the beds are and how they like to use them, the lay of the land. In season scouting helps me figure out when and helps narrow down an area. Pressure is huge too, sometimes they are bedding on top of the parking lot, sometimes back off a ways watching access, sometimes way back in the swamp. Without both I will just never be on the deer like I could be. I did it half for years when the kids were little with mixed results, now things are really starting to click and for me the in season scouting is looking way more important that post season but I have a decade + of post season scouting under my belt so endless places to hunt.

Gotcha! I’ve heard u guys talk about it for years but was embarrassed to ask exactly what u were doing.

Don’t even ask about dead of winter snow scouting. :lol:

Some guys think it’s nothing but a waste of time. I think there is never a better time to find those primary beds that bucks love to use year round. When you find one you will know it. Ultimate security with a great escape route. Just follow his tracks in the snow right to his beds. So easy even a caveman can do it.
Nothing better for teaching you the preferred travel routes than the buck himself. Pay attention to your surroundings and keep asking why he’s using that path to access his beds. Primary beds don’t change much and I love finding them in winter because I obviously know it’s a buck that survived the hunting seasons and I’m not wasting my time reading immediate post season rut sign from a buck that likely is already dead.
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Re: So much scouting, so little time...

Unread postby headgear » Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:31 am

Dewey wrote:Some guys think it’s nothing but a waste of time. I think there is never a better time to find those primary beds that bucks love to use year round. When you find one you will know it. Ultimate security with a great escape route. Just follow his tracks in the snow right to his beds. So easy even a caveman can do it.
Nothing better for teaching you the preferred travel routes than the buck himself. Pay attention to your surroundings and keep asking why he’s using that path to access his beds. Primary beds don’t change much and I love finding them in winter because I obviously know it’s a buck that survived the hunting seasons and I’m not wasting my time reading immediate post season rut sign from a buck that likely is already dead.


I have learned a ton late season scouting, however deep snow usually limits my time in the woods. 10-12 inches isn't a huge deal but once you get in that 15-18 range it is just a pain. Tried snowshoes but just don't like them, feel like I can move better without them in that mid-depth snow where you can still walk around.
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Re: So much scouting, so little time...

Unread postby Lockdown » Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:33 am

Dewey wrote:
Boogieman1 wrote:
headgear wrote:
Boogieman1 wrote:What has always confused the heck out of me is guys who work so hard post-season scouting but then rely on in season scouting. Always made me feel like one has got to be a waste. Maybe it’s cause my area is small and I really don’t know. But have always wondered if u r gonna in season scout then what is the point of post season scouting. Personally I post season scout so I’m in the right tree and I’m hunting vs walking around scouting. Doesn’t really matter I mean there’s numerous successful hunters that do it, just something I don’t understand.


I look at it like post season scouting is just kind of there to help me understand where the beds are and how they like to use them, the lay of the land. In season scouting helps me figure out when and helps narrow down an area. Pressure is huge too, sometimes they are bedding on top of the parking lot, sometimes back off a ways watching access, sometimes way back in the swamp. Without both I will just never be on the deer like I could be. I did it half for years when the kids were little with mixed results, now things are really starting to click and for me the in season scouting is looking way more important that post season but I have a decade + of post season scouting under my belt so endless places to hunt.

Gotcha! I’ve heard u guys talk about it for years but was embarrassed to ask exactly what u were doing.

Don’t even ask about dead of winter snow scouting. :lol:

Some guys think it’s nothing but a waste of time. I think there is never a better time to find those primary beds that bucks love to use year round. When you find one you will know it. Ultimate security with a great escape route. Just follow his tracks in the snow right to his beds. So easy even a caveman can do it.
Nothing better for teaching you the preferred travel routes than the buck himself. Pay attention to your surroundings and keep asking why he’s using that path to access his beds. Primary beds don’t change much and I love finding them in winter because I obviously know it’s a buck that survived the hunting seasons and I’m not wasting my time reading immediate post season rut sign from a buck that likely is already dead.



Dewey how many of your properties hold deer through out the winter? For me the percentage is VERY low. I would say over 90% of all ground public and private will be void of deer and even tracks.

I do have a few spots that hold deer, but it seems their bedding is so relaxed that it isn’t consistent with what I find during season. I definitely can see how they’d use their primary bedding year round. It’s safe and they choose it for that reason.

I haven’t done much mid winter scouting for the reasons listed above, but I should probably change that. But as of right now I don’t know of any bedding areas that I can guarantee will hold mature deer year around. Does? Yes... mature deer, no.

I should really go through my list of properties and see what I can find. There’s gotta be something big holed up somewhere...


Edit - I agree with Headgear regarding deep snow. I don’t have snowshoes which is the main reason for my lack of effort ;)
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Re: So much scouting, so little time...

Unread postby Dewey » Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:35 am

Lockdown wrote:
Dewey wrote:
Boogieman1 wrote:
headgear wrote:
Boogieman1 wrote:What has always confused the heck out of me is guys who work so hard post-season scouting but then rely on in season scouting. Always made me feel like one has got to be a waste. Maybe it’s cause my area is small and I really don’t know. But have always wondered if u r gonna in season scout then what is the point of post season scouting. Personally I post season scout so I’m in the right tree and I’m hunting vs walking around scouting. Doesn’t really matter I mean there’s numerous successful hunters that do it, just something I don’t understand.


I look at it like post season scouting is just kind of there to help me understand where the beds are and how they like to use them, the lay of the land. In season scouting helps me figure out when and helps narrow down an area. Pressure is huge too, sometimes they are bedding on top of the parking lot, sometimes back off a ways watching access, sometimes way back in the swamp. Without both I will just never be on the deer like I could be. I did it half for years when the kids were little with mixed results, now things are really starting to click and for me the in season scouting is looking way more important that post season but I have a decade + of post season scouting under my belt so endless places to hunt.

Gotcha! I’ve heard u guys talk about it for years but was embarrassed to ask exactly what u were doing.

Don’t even ask about dead of winter snow scouting. :lol:

Some guys think it’s nothing but a waste of time. I think there is never a better time to find those primary beds that bucks love to use year round. When you find one you will know it. Ultimate security with a great escape route. Just follow his tracks in the snow right to his beds. So easy even a caveman can do it.
Nothing better for teaching you the preferred travel routes than the buck himself. Pay attention to your surroundings and keep asking why he’s using that path to access his beds. Primary beds don’t change much and I love finding them in winter because I obviously know it’s a buck that survived the hunting seasons and I’m not wasting my time reading immediate post season rut sign from a buck that likely is already dead.



Dewey how many of your properties hold deer through out the winter? For me the percentage is VERY low. I would say over 90% of all ground public and private will be void of deer and even tracks.

I do have a few spots that hold deer, but it seems their bedding is so relaxed that it isn’t consistent with what I find during season. I definitely can see how they’d use their primary bedding year round. It’s safe and they choose it for that reason.

I haven’t done much mid winter scouting for the reasons listed above, but I should probably change that. But as of right now I don’t know of any bedding areas that I can guarantee will hold mature deer year around. Does? Yes... mature deer, no.

I should really go through my list of properties and see what I can find. There’s gotta be something big holed up somewhere...


Edit - I agree with Headgear regarding deep snow. I don’t have snowshoes which is the main reason for my lack of effort ;)

Large marshes and swamps are what I focus on and don’t hunt much smaller stuff. Talking 10,000 acres or more. Deer rarely leave those.
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Re: So much scouting, so little time...

Unread postby tgreeno » Thu Dec 31, 2020 1:18 pm

Dewey wrote:
Some guys think it’s nothing but a waste of time. I think there is never a better time to find those primary beds that bucks love to use year round. When you find one you will know it. Ultimate security with a great escape route. Just follow his tracks in the snow right to his beds. So easy even a caveman can do it.
Nothing better for teaching you the preferred travel routes than the buck himself. Pay attention to your surroundings and keep asking why he’s using that path to access his beds. Primary beds don’t change much and I love finding them in winter because I obviously know it’s a buck that survived the hunting seasons and I’m not wasting my time reading immediate post season rut sign from a buck that likely is already dead.


I need to do this more. I have always thought the mature bucks leave the swamps once they are frozen.

Dewey...Do you think they still hang around smaller swamps? Do they seem to gravitate towards the Tamaracks and cedars, for thermal reasons?
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Re: So much scouting, so little time...

Unread postby Dewey » Thu Dec 31, 2020 1:26 pm

tgreeno wrote:
Dewey wrote:
Some guys think it’s nothing but a waste of time. I think there is never a better time to find those primary beds that bucks love to use year round. When you find one you will know it. Ultimate security with a great escape route. Just follow his tracks in the snow right to his beds. So easy even a caveman can do it.
Nothing better for teaching you the preferred travel routes than the buck himself. Pay attention to your surroundings and keep asking why he’s using that path to access his beds. Primary beds don’t change much and I love finding them in winter because I obviously know it’s a buck that survived the hunting seasons and I’m not wasting my time reading immediate post season rut sign from a buck that likely is already dead.


I need to do this more. I have always thought the mature bucks leave the swamps once they are frozen.

Dewey...Do you think they still hang around smaller swamps? Do they seem to gravitate towards the Tamaracks and cedars, for thermal reasons?

Small stuff they will be pushed after all the gun seasons but the big stuff they never really leave. They just get bumped around to wherever they find security but will return to normal areas later when pressure is gone. Obviously the thickest nastiest stuff will always hold good bedding. When I hunted cedar swamps more deer always gravitated towards that stuff for thermal reasons in the bitter cold but will still bed there early season if it’s not all under water and they feel safe.
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Re: So much scouting, so little time...

Unread postby Brian1986 » Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:57 pm

Lockdown wrote:Does anyone else want to be 5 places at once? :lol: I used to spread myself too thin in my early days, but nowadays I always try and explore SOME new ground. You never know when you’ll find something great.

I had to laugh the other day when I was pinning bedding on OnX. This year I decided stuff that I NEED to get to would be purple. I was trying to pin only the best bedding and properties, but next thing I know I have 12 pins ;)

There’s no way I’ll get to all of it and see everything I need to at my go to spots. Especially this year with all the extra pressure I need to scout human sign.

I wish green up lasted 4 months...


I know how you feel! Logging operations this season and projected for next season are closing access and/or logging several of my favorite spots. Couple that with also trying to find spots that my increasingly mobility-limited dad can still maneuver in and I have my work cut out for me. I have pins dropped on several thousand acres worth of property that I have yet to step foot on. Several weekends worth of scouting ahead! It's exciting though getting to explore new ground. Most seasons in the past I have always felt like I had plenty of spots to go to (even though I seem to lose a small spot or two every year to logging) so I have been less aggressive at getting lot of new stuff scouted. But this is forcing me to really dive into new properties. It's going to be fun.


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