Assessing the competition in the snow

Discuss the science of figuring out our prey through good detective work.
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Buckfever
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Assessing the competition in the snow

Unread postby Buckfever » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:25 pm

I'm not talking about the buck quality here but the quality of the other hunters on the property or area of interest. I do have hunts ruined on occasion by other hunters on the public and while it does happen it is infrequent. Most of that doesn't matter they come through once don't see the obvious and never come through again. Here with the snow on the ground is a real good opportunity to see what kind of hunting competition you're up against and this can be particularly relevant on smaller parcels. For one this time of year the guys that scout are a more dedicated group, but simply by going to your "spots" and seeing if someone has came through gives you some idea in there is quality interest your area.
Yesterday I was on a new property and I was impressed. First of all how this hunter traversed the property indicated that he knew the property well. Secondly everytime he cut a big track, he followed it, to a reasonable extent. It's where he pulled up short and where I like an idiot would grab the top of a sappling to break my fall as I would slide on my down the rest of the way to the bottom of the ravine so I could find out how the 4 finger tracked buck was getting to the remote isolated bedding that was the benefit.

We're not just tracking the buck, we're assessing where the buck goes to where he's not followed. And that's kind of the key, whether it's overlooked or just a little too vigorous to be checked out that's our job to figure out.

The snow can help with that.


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Re: Assessing the competition in the snow

Unread postby Dewey » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:04 pm

I agree 100%

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Jackson Marsh
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Re: Assessing the competition in the snow

Unread postby Jackson Marsh » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:14 am

Agree! I'm not seeing many people tracks recently, but earlier this winter when there was less snow I was cutting a few people tracks in obvious hunting/scouting areas. It does give you an idea of how others could hunt the area. When I find a place I want to hunt I look around very closely, studying trees looking for scrape marks from stands, tacks etc. to see if the spot has been hunted.

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Re: Assessing the competition in the snow

Unread postby whitetail007 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:37 am

if you find people tracks way back in the marsh during winter dont worry much, maybe 1 out of 10 will make the hike when its knee deep water during the season.
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Re: Assessing the competition in the snow

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:52 am

Hmmmmm... :? I would be careful in doing this depending on your hunting situation. Why? We have very high hunting pressure here and whether private or public guys will follow your tracks in the snow... and they won't stop at the steep ravine. They will track you like a bloodhound on a prisoner that hasn't showered in a week! I get the thought process and agree with what you are hoping to accomplish right up until you took off after that track where the other hunter got lazy... with so many hunters here, the guys that aren't lazy and patrolling the private and public are going to follow your tracks.

Serious hunters in my high pressure areas have to take precautions when walking / scouting in the snow... especially on public. When I park around here, to go scout or to assess what other hunters are up to, there is a great chance that others will try to follow my tracks... whether its that day or the next weekend. I have to take steps to make my tracks disappear or make it so difficult for others to follow that it isn't worth their time.

I'm sure there are many hunting places out there where this isn't an issue, but thought I'd better bring it up. Deep swamp and remote marshes don't slow some of these guys down a bit- they can follow their tracks back out in the snow and they want to know why you bothered going back there... must be worth it, they think and visions of big bucks dance in their heads... a lot of these guys hunt / trap and are in great shape and will penetrate to difficult to reach areas as easily as you do come hunting season. There are poachers and those that participate in illegal activities that want to know what you are up to as well in these high pressure areas... throwing it out there for thought.
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Re: Assessing the competition in the snow

Unread postby Buckfever » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:00 pm

Singing Bridge wrote:Hmmmmm... :? I would be careful in doing this depending on your hunting situation. Why? We have very high hunting pressure here and whether private or public guys will follow your tracks in the snow... and they won't stop at the steep ravine. They will track you like a bloodhound on a prisoner that hasn't showered in a week! I get the thought process and agree with what you are hoping to accomplish right up until you took off after that track where the other hunter got lazy... with so many hunters here, the guys that aren't lazy and patrolling the private and public are going to follow your tracks.

Serious hunters in my high pressure areas have to take precautions when walking / scouting in the snow... especially on public. When I park around here, to go scout or to assess what other hunters are up to, there is a great chance that others will try to follow my tracks... whether its that day or the next weekend. I have to take steps to make my tracks disappear or make it so difficult for others to follow that it isn't worth their time.

I'm sure there are many hunting places out there where this isn't an issue, but thought I'd better bring it up. Deep swamp and remote marshes don't slow some of these guys down a bit- they can follow their tracks back out in the snow and they want to know why you bothered going back there... must be worth it, they think and visions of big bucks dance in their heads... a lot of these guys hunt / trap and are in great shape and will penetrate to difficult to reach areas as easily as you do come hunting season. There are poachers and those that participate in illegal activities that want to know what you are up to as well in these high pressure areas... throwing it out there for thought.


Excellent point, I scouted late Sunday in anticipation of the blizzard that was coming, I also trimmed the lanes on another set doing similar with the timing. I didn't mention it before because I didn't want to be thought paranoid. I have to day that it is a comfort to be among like minded hunters.
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Re: Assessing the competition in the snow

Unread postby Jackson Marsh » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:48 pm

Singing Bridge wrote:Hmmmmm... :? I would be careful in doing this depending on your hunting situation. Why? We have very high hunting pressure here and whether private or public guys will follow your tracks in the snow... and they won't stop at the steep ravine. They will track you like a bloodhound on a prisoner that hasn't showered in a week! I get the thought process and agree with what you are hoping to accomplish right up until you took off after that track where the other hunter got lazy... with so many hunters here, the guys that aren't lazy and patrolling the private and public are going to follow your tracks.

Serious hunters in my high pressure areas have to take precautions when walking / scouting in the snow... especially on public. When I park around here, to go scout or to assess what other hunters are up to, there is a great chance that others will try to follow my tracks... whether its that day or the next weekend. I have to take steps to make my tracks disappear or make it so difficult for others to follow that it isn't worth their time.

I'm sure there are many hunting places out there where this isn't an issue, but thought I'd better bring it up. Deep swamp and remote marshes don't slow some of these guys down a bit- they can follow their tracks back out in the snow and they want to know why you bothered going back there... must be worth it, they think and visions of big bucks dance in their heads... a lot of these guys hunt / trap and are in great shape and will penetrate to difficult to reach areas as easily as you do come hunting season. There are poachers and those that participate in illegal activities that want to know what you are up to as well in these high pressure areas... throwing it out there for thought.


You make some good points Singing Bridge, but I can't help myself, if I have a free day on the weekend I almost have to scout. I will keep this in mind. Luckily this past month it has been snowing practically every other day.

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Re: Assessing the competition in the snow

Unread postby Hodag Hunter » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:13 pm

With snow on gthe ground there are a few spots I won't go into unless I have a good "secret" access.

Snow shoe, snowmobile and cross country trails hide the main reason I am back in some areas. Yeah I said cross country skis......those that know me, it is quite the site with my fat but on skis. :lol:


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