Buck and a field edge.. (map)

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Mule Feathers
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Buck and a field edge.. (map)

Unread postby Mule Feathers » Mon May 23, 2011 6:21 am

First of all I want to say I am really excited about this site. I have already looked over the forum and it looks like it offers a wealth of terrific information. Looking forward to spending some time here. Now the deer. I had a buck on cam last year starting on Sept. 17 through Oct. 3. The deer was on cam every day or night during that span except for three days. The map below shows where the cam was located along the woodline at the field edge. In the evenings, around 7:00-730 he would always enter the field to the left and head right across the field. In the mornings or the middle of the night he would always be heading left across the field. The two instances where the buck was on cam in the middle of the day, 2:30 and 3:00, he was travelling left across the field. I hunted down a holler that would almost directly below the cam on the map for the first time on the morning of Oct. 3. I was on stand before 6:30. Sunrise was sometime around 7:30. I hunted until just after 11:00 and left. On the way out I checked the cam and the buck was there at 8:30. He had came from the right side of the field and was heading left, like he always did in the morning, and he stopped. He stood there for over a minute and turned and went back the direction he had came. The was out of the north so I thought was perfect. However, now I think the thermals got me? Is that why he stopped? Did the thermals carry my scent from the bottom of the holler up to the field edge?

Now, after Oct. 3 I didn't get him on cam again. I left that cam up all year in front of a mineral block and some corn. I also added another cam on the right side of the field about 30 yards in front of the rubs. He never appeared on that camera either. Those rubs on the right side of the field edge, marked with an R on the map, didn't appear until end of October-early November. The single rub to the left of the two rubs appeared sometime in late November. I am almost positive all three are from the big buck due to the size of the rubs. I just wonder why I never caught him on camera the rest of the year? I also wonder how he was travelling. I hope you can see how the ridges run on the map. Did the buck, when exiting the field to the left, hit that ridge and run it down to the holler?

I did find a lot of deer beds on top of a ridge that was covered in small rubs. No big rubs like what this deer should have left. Below is a map key. I also need to add that where the creek is I do not have permission to hunt. That is unfortunate because along that creek is an awesome crow's foot where three ridges empty out. I think that the buck originates from there and then hits the left ridge to enter the field in the evening. In the morning I think he comes up a ridge on the right and enters the field where those three rubs are. I am 27 and have only hunted for three years. I started late but I love it. Bow hunting is my passion but I rifle hunt as well. The wind is usually out of the north or north/west at this particular location. I know a topo would be great but I can't find one to download. I did tilt the camera on this map so you can make out the ridgetops and the hollers in between the ridges. I also need to say that this deer was 3.5 or 4.5 years old last year and scored somewhere in the 135-140" range. He was a perfect typical 10 pointer. Thanks for any insight guys.


Map Key
Red line = deer trails that are heavily used
Green line = how the buck crossed field
Blue line = creek bed (mostly dry at all times)
Letter C = trail cam
Letter R = rub
Barn = barn where I can park and walk in

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Re: Buck and a field edge.. (map)

Unread postby DEERSLAYER » Mon May 23, 2011 7:33 am

I was going to post a topo for you, but I'm not sure if it's the right area. Check your PM's to see it.

You got nabbed by thermals. It would be easy to miss him with a cam since it only covers a minute piece of land. I don't think he ran down into the holler. I think he probably was bedding part way down the ridge.
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Re: Buck and a field edge.. (map)

Unread postby DEERSLAYER » Mon May 23, 2011 7:59 am

It sounds like that buck was on to you and had you patterned quick, but I am curious about something. If you had him in front of your camera virtually every day during daylight, what kept you from setting up right there? Also, the days you didn't get him on camera he may not have went through or he may have simply been out of range or behind the camera.
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Re: Buck and a field edge.. (map)

Unread postby Mule Feathers » Mon May 23, 2011 8:44 am

DEERSLAYER wrote:It sounds like that buck was on to you and had you patterned quick, but I am curious about something. If you had him in front of your camera virtually every day during daylight, what kept you from setting up right there? Also, the days you didn't get him on camera he may not have went through or he may have simply been out of range or behind the camera.


I will check my PM when I get back home. I didn't have him on cam every day. Some of the time he was there in the very early morning. However, he was on there during shooting hours a ton. I did eventually set a stand up about 20 yards from the camera along the field edge but I could only go up about 17" feet. That is why I hadn't tried to setup near the camera before. There are really no tree suitable for a stand. The one tree that is big enough for a stand had almost zero cover but I ended up setting up in it anyway. That was middle of October. I did see does almost every day and I saw four or five different bucks from that set. They were all young bucks however.

I had set up my cameras somewhere around the 12 of September and didn't check the pics until I had already had days of him on camera. The first chance I had to hunt him was the morning of October 3. This year my plan is to set up close to the field in a hang on and hunt from opening day on. I just don't want him to bust me because I am afraid he will be gone until the rut. My thoughts were sitting up on the ridge to the right of the field and catch him in the morning. I figure a north wind would be fine as long as he crosses that back corner of the field like he did last year. Also, is it true that if I set up on the top of the ridge just off to the left of the field I won't have to worry about thermal carrying my scent back toward the field? I would just have to worry about a west/southwest wind, right?

It's just so weird that I couldn't find any more of his sign except for those three rubs right along the field edge. There were not even any big rubs or scrapes around those beds I found up on that ridge...
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Re: Buck and a field edge.. (map)

Unread postby Mule Feathers » Mon May 23, 2011 10:16 am

Here is a topo of the field and surrounding area. If you will look at the aerial photo and notice the small hill/mound in the middle of the field. On the topo if you were to go down from the top of the map in the middle you will see the dotted black line. That is the county boundry. Directly below the county boundry in the middle of the map is a smallish rectangular box with a small oval in the upper part of it. The rectangular box is outlined in dark brown. That is the hill/mound that is in the middle of the field. Let me know if this map does you no good. It's all I have been able to find so far.

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Last edited by Mule Feathers on Mon May 23, 2011 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buck and a field edge.. (map)

Unread postby DEERSLAYER » Mon May 23, 2011 10:20 am

Found it.

Image

And an arial to boot.
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Re: Buck and a field edge.. (map)

Unread postby Mule Feathers » Mon May 23, 2011 10:26 am

Deerslayer, that's it. Don't know how you found it. But, that little crosshair in the middle of the map: if you go just up and to the right of it, that rectangular thing that has a small fin on the top of it with a small oval in it? That's the mound/hill that's in the middle of the field. I tell you guys that for reference but you can probably tell more from the topo than I can from the aerial. LOL.
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Re: Buck and a field edge.. (map)

Unread postby DEERSLAYER » Mon May 23, 2011 10:39 am

Mule Feathers wrote:Deerslayer, that's it. Don't know how you found it...

I found it because you left the coordinates on the bottom of you aerial photo. I would suggest using your paint program to block them out if you don't want others to find it. You can see what I mean by looking at the topo where I blocked out the county names and part of the creek name.
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Re: Buck and a field edge.. (map)

Unread postby Black Squirrel » Tue May 24, 2011 2:27 am

Did he show up more consitently in the morning or evening? my guess is he would be easier to hunt in the evening, especially if you know where he beds. Although you did get set up on him during a morning sit. I would also investigate those ponds to the east, they are a likely water source. This could help narrow his route down. Hopefully he will repeat his routine again this year, and you can get on him early, the first time the wind is right.
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Re: Buck and a field edge.. (map)

Unread postby JRM6868 » Tue May 24, 2011 3:30 am

Here's a couple things I see...One is that yes the thermals probably gave you away. As a rule of thumb in hill country you hunt high in the mornings and low in the evenings that way the thermals work in your favor not against you. You have a morning hunt in the AM if you can get a NW wind and hunt high towards his bed/travel on the south side. You have a better evening hunt with a SW wind hunting north of his bed/travel or towards the field edge.

Another thing I think when you got busted he was on his summer pattern and you just helped him decide to move on to his fall feeding/bedding pattern. If this is true you only will have 2-3 weeks max to kill this deer on a normal summer pattern until he moves on in the beginning of the season. After that you may catch him passing through during the rut. You didn't get him again on camera which leads me to believe he moved on to his fall feeding/bedding pattern.

If this is the case your scouting needs to be solid and fine tuned on his bed and travel and pick your hunts carefully so you don't push him again.
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Re: Buck and a field edge.. (map)

Unread postby dan » Tue May 24, 2011 4:36 am

I think he was bedding not far from the camera... As far as rubs go, older bucks don't rub mark much around there bedding area, just one or two rubs there, if any. I shot my biggest buck in his bed, where I know he bedded routinly for at least 2 seasons. there was not a rub within 100 yards of that bed. However the norm is to have one or two rubs around the bed... When you set up below him your thermals tipped him off. I am sure of that. He was tolerating your human scent on the field edge where it belonged, but when you slipped into his safe zone ( where people shouldn't be ) you freaked him out and he relocated.
The key thing to get out of this experiance would be to scout heavily and find the bucks bed so if he comes back or a new one takes over his routine you can understand exactly how to kill him and where your scent can and can't go... As far as thermals effecting you when set up on top? Depends how close you are to the drop off, sometimes you can get swirling pretty much right on the edge, especially if your hunting low.
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Re: Buck and a field edge.. (map)

Unread postby Mule Feathers » Tue May 24, 2011 9:46 am

Black Squirrel wrote:Did he show up more consitently in the morning or evening? my guess is he would be easier to hunt in the evening, especially if you know where he beds. Although you did get set up on him during a morning sit. I would also investigate those ponds to the east, they are a likely water source. This could help narrow his route down. Hopefully he will repeat his routine again this year, and you can get on him early, the first time the wind is right.

I guess he turned up more consistently in the evening. He entered the field between 7:00 and 7:30 every time. In the morning he would some times be there at 4:30-5:00 A.M. and other times it would be between 8:30-9:30 A.M. Then there was the two times he was heading west out of the field in the middle of the day. I am not sure of where he beds. Those beds I have marked on the map consisted of two groups very close together (within 20 yards) with 4-5 beds together. There were actually four does there when I found them.

JRM6868 wrote:Here's a couple things I see...One is that yes the thermals probably gave you away. As a rule of thumb in hill country you hunt high in the mornings and low in the evenings that way the thermals work in your favor not against you. You have a morning hunt in the AM if you can get a NW wind and hunt high towards his bed/travel on the south side. You have a better evening hunt with a SW wind hunting north of his bed/travel or towards the field edge.

Another thing I think when you got busted he was on his summer pattern and you just helped him decide to move on to his fall feeding/bedding pattern. If this is true you only will have 2-3 weeks max to kill this deer on a normal summer pattern until he moves on in the beginning of the season. After that you may catch him passing through during the rut. You didn't get him again on camera which leads me to believe he moved on to his fall feeding/bedding pattern.

If this is the case your scouting needs to be solid and fine tuned on his bed and travel and pick your hunts carefully so you don't push him again.

I had planned on sitting close the the field edge for an evening hunt, along the ridge to the left of where the cam was placed. That was going to be my first hunt. This is assuming he picks up the same pattern he had last year. As far as finding his bed... I don't know if it's up on that ridge where I have marked on the map. There were several beds there together and I pushed four does out of there when I walked up. Would the buck bed there with does or would he stay on the side of the hill alone? How would I know when I found his bed?

dan wrote:I think he was bedding not far from the camera... As far as rubs go, older bucks don't rub mark much around there bedding area, just one or two rubs there, if any. I shot my biggest buck in his bed, where I know he bedded routinly for at least 2 seasons. there was not a rub within 100 yards of that bed. However the norm is to have one or two rubs around the bed... When you set up below him your thermals tipped him off. I am sure of that. He was tolerating your human scent on the field edge where it belonged, but when you slipped into his safe zone ( where people shouldn't be ) you freaked him out and he relocated.
The key thing to get out of this experiance would be to scout heavily and find the bucks bed so if he comes back or a new one takes over his routine you can understand exactly how to kill him and where your scent can and can't go... As far as thermals effecting you when set up on top? Depends how close you are to the drop off, sometimes you can get swirling pretty much right on the edge, especially if your hunting low.

The ridge top is not very wide. It's more like a spine if that makes sense. It is narrow and sloped off into the holler pretty sharply so I would be pretty close to the drop off... Also, same question I asked above. I don't know if I found the buck's bed or not and I do not know if I would know it if I walked right through it. Dan, why do think he was bedding close to the camera? Was it because he entered the field right at dusk?
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Re: Buck and a field edge.. (map)

Unread postby dan » Tue May 24, 2011 11:54 am

The ridge top is not very wide. It's more like a spine if that makes sense. It is narrow and sloped off into the holler pretty sharply so I would be pretty close to the drop off... Also, same question I asked above. I don't know if I found the buck's bed or not and I do not know if I would know it if I walked right through it. Dan, why do think he was bedding close to the camera? Was it because he entered the field right at dusk?

You did not find the buck bed... You found a doe bedding area. Does bed differently than mature bucks, does tend to leave themselves more vulnerable however work as a group by bedding in a circyular fasion each looking a different direction. A mature buck will be in a location that covers most avenues of attack, where he will feel safe. The will bed based on wind direction, noise, or vision, and most often use multiples ( wind & vision etc. )
I believe the buck was bedded near where you were getting his pictures for two main reasons. 1st, they don't often move far from there beds in daylight unless they are where they feel safe which is generally within 200 yards of there bed. Seeing him in daylight on cam once or twice would be one thing, but often means your either close to his bedding or the buck is not very inteligent. 2nd, I believe he was bedded near your camera because the don't tend to bed low in the type of terrain your hunting. They bed in the top 1/3 of the hill. Generally there bed will be along the transition line right where the hill drops off the sharpest. If there is a point most likely the bed will be on the point...
With the buck bedding that close I would think your best time to kill him would of been morning. You said he was not consistant in the morning but there is a reason for that... Most mature bucks are bedded before daylight. The days that have the right moon phase for a morning hunt are the days the buck comes back to bed after sunrise. ( when the moon is directly above or below ) Or even better, the morning after an evening storm lasted till late at night and the buck got a late start on his routine.
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Re: Buck and a field edge.. (map)

Unread postby DEERSLAYER » Tue May 24, 2011 4:09 pm

Up here you can often catch them in their summer pattern the first few days of the season (October) if the small game hunters haven't been in the area. My guess would be that down there you may gain a few more days on us in that regard. I think when he busted you it just hastened his pattern change a little.

I agree with JRM6868 about hunting high in the morning, but in the evening I lean toward hunting even with and just out of sight of his bed (the exception being during the rut). Only scouting will tell you exactly where to set up and how to safely enter and exit though.

Also, for an evening hunt you would want to hunt a wind that blows near him while he is in his bed, but not to him so he feels comfortable it is safe where you are hunting yet doesn't actually allow him to smell you. Or as is often said on this forum, hunt “almost” the wrong wind. You can't fool his nose, but might fool him into a deadly choice :-)



P.S. Earlier when I said I thought he was bedding part way down “that” ridge I meant down below the rubs, but I had the directions he was traveling backwards.
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Re: Buck and a field edge.. (map)

Unread postby JRM6868 » Wed May 25, 2011 2:56 am

DEERSLAYER wrote: Also, for an evening hunt you would want to hunt a wind that blows near him while he is in his bed, but not to him so he feels comfortable it is safe where you are hunting yet doesn't actually allow him to smell you. Or as is often said on this forum, hunt “almost” the wrong wind. You can't fool his nose, but might fool him into a deadly choice :-)

Good point...one strategy that is often overlooked but very effective. Also one that can get you busted. It's a must know how the wind travels with the prevailing thermals and staying in that safe zone. A very effective strategy on those wary bucks.


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