Scout with Dan and Carol 4/1/13

Discuss the science of figuring out our prey through good detective work.
Chris Conroy
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Scout with Dan and Carol 4/1/13

Unread postby Chris Conroy » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:41 am

Some of you may have seen in the Land Management Forum that I bought a new house with a small section of land attached. The total amount of land is 14.7 acres, ¾ of which is house and yard. This land is located in Vernon, which is on the border of Racine and Waukesha Counties. When my wife and I started looking for a new house my only requirement was that it had land that I could play around on and bowhunt a few times a year. Luckily we found this place after searching for a few months. The deal was she gets to do what she wants inside the house, I can do whatever I want on the land. Not a bad deal as far as I am concerned. Here is a screenshot of the land, and it is kind of hard to see, but you can get an idea of how big/small it is.

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My house is in the lower corner and that would be WSW on the map. Unfortunately the prevailing wind is west, especially during the early season. I posted some information on the site under the other forum and had a number of people post some ideas and congratulations. Dan and I talked a few times about it, and at the Oconomowoc Sports Show we were able to decide on a time to get together to scout the land have him give me some input as to what I should and should not do to improve the land. My son and I had walked the land quite a few times in the week prior to Dan coming and we found a few beds that I figured were buck beds, and more doe beds than I could count. There were hair and droppings everywhere, along with packed down trails crisscrossing the property. We found a small matched set of sheds as well. I had a few ideas of what I wanted to do on the land, but wasn’t sure if they were correct. Most of the land is wet and covered with buckthorn and red willows. There are not many hardwood trees in the “woods”, in fact I can count the oaks on one hand because there is only one. The back of the property has a small pond on it that the beavers have dammed up and flooded the whole back side of my land. My initial thought was to trap the beavers out and then drain the land around the pond, but Dan and Carol talked me out of that, and I will explain that in a bit.

Dan and Carol arrived at my house in the afternoon on Monday around 330 or 4, and we talked for a little bit about the land and what I was hoping for. Dan suggested that we start with a walk around the border of the property to see what we had to work with, and then we would get into the middle start scouting. To get through most of the property you have to bend over and walk, because the stuff is so thick, and the only trails are ones made by the deer. When we got to the back near the pond I showed Dan where the neighbor’s gun stands were and he recommended a couple of posted signs to keep them from shooting onto my land. The normally dry land was flooded and because of the thin ice, we weren’t able to walk through the flooded area, but did walk around it. Once we got to the west of that, I pointed out where in the distance I knew 2 beds were located under a couple of tall cedars. Dan immediately picked out an area for a stand and a plot that would draw the bucks in from the bedding area. Below is the area that I will clear out for the plot. I need to dig the small runoff creek deeper to keep it from running onto the area I plan to plant.

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I will build a box blind in the brush, a few feet off the ground and I can hunt that during a west wind. The flooded area and the beavers will be left alone because that will be my access point to get into the stand. I will walk along the south border of the property (once I open the trails up a little to make it quieter to get in) and circle the pond. I can walk through the flooded area and right into the blind. The deer won’t be able to circle behind to wind me because of the water.

We went from that area to the cedars so I could show them the beds that I had found previously. On the way there Dan found another bed under a small tree, which I had never even seen. Once he showed us, it was pretty obvious.

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Walking to the cedars Dan pointed out a few older rubs and trails that he figured the bucks were using to get to and from the beds. Here is the first bed under one of the cedars

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Here is the other bed.

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Once Dan saw the beds under the cedars, he knew right away which way they were facing and what wind they were using them. He was able to determine that one of the bucks was pretty large as far as body size. There aren’t any trees in the area that I could really hunt from to get near these beds, so the plot and blind is the best way to hunt this one. The area is so thick also, that it would be impossible to sneak up on these beds without alerting the deer. I am sure that there will be does around that would spook the bucks even if he didn’t know I was there. There is a pretty high population of deer in this area as evidenced by the hair, droppings, and tracks throughout the property. We next walked up to a few rubs that I had seen, and by the height and marks Dan was able to tell that it was a good buck.

Here are the 2 rubs. The dog is in the picture for a size and height reference.

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Finally heading back to the front of the land, back towards the house, Dan suggested another small plot and blind to hunt in an off wind. There was a lot of sign here, plus every single willow was nipped by the deer. Many trails lead from the thick stuff to this small open area, and it would be easy and quiet to access from the house. In this picture you can see where my son has already started clearing the brush out while on Spring Break.

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Once I pull soil samples this week and get the results back, I will contact Lance (DEERSLAYER) for his recommendations of what and when to plant. Dan has already suggested Crimson Trail for at least half of each plot.

I had already attended Dan’s scouting seminar last year and will be taking my son this year because every time I talk to him I learn something new. It was a fun and interesting experience to be in the woods with Dan and Carol alone and to be able to pick their brains and see how they dissect a piece of land they have never set foot on. It was funny and kind of humbling to have him find a bed that I did not see or something else I walked right by. Not only did I come away with a better understanding of my own property, but I found a few more tips that I can use on the public land that I will do a majority of my hunting on. If you get a chance to get into the woods with these two, don’t pass up the opportunity!

Thanks again to Dan and Carol for coming by and spending your evening by us. Now I have a lot of work to do!
Last edited by DEERSLAYER on Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed pics


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Re: Scout with Dan and Carol 4/1/13

Unread postby BigHunt » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:49 am

no pics :?
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Re: Scout with Dan and Carol 4/1/13

Unread postby Dewey » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:52 am

Looks like a very productive day! 8-)
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Re: Scout with Dan and Carol 4/1/13

Unread postby dan » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:54 am

With the size of the property and the number of deer on it, I think its real important to access along the East (down wind) border... This will also put an area in place where the bucks will hesitate before leaving the property. Hunting is going on to the East.
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Re: Scout with Dan and Carol 4/1/13

Unread postby DEERSLAYER » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:18 am

Looks like you have a sweet little slice of heaven Chris! Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Scout with Dan and Carol 4/1/13

Unread postby Schubox1265 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:28 am

Nice post, thanks for sharing.
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Brandon
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Re: Scout with Dan and Carol 4/1/13

Unread postby Brandon » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:40 am

Sounds good, congrats.

I wish my private was 90% bedding like I think you may have?

Also, you mentioned 1 lonley oak. What kind of oak and how tall?
You may have a real good set catching them/him coming to that oak if it produces acorns in the early season?
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Re: Scout with Dan and Carol 4/1/13

Unread postby Chris Conroy » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:32 pm

Thanks everyone, even though it's a small section I'm still pretty excited about it. It has good cover, water, and soon food sources.

Brandon - There are a lot of bedding areas here. I think the population is pretty high considering all of the sign.

That single oak is a scraggly little thing in the middle of some really thick brush. I looked under it and didn't see any acorns or caps around. There are trails that go right under it, but Dan could probably tell you that trails go everywhere on this property.

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Re: Scout with Dan and Carol 4/1/13

Unread postby blizzardhunter » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:38 pm

Congrats, and thanks for the great post. My dream is to one day be able to buy some land for hunting. Even if its only enough for a few hunts a season. You should start a thread and post pics as you get different projects done.
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Re: Scout with Dan and Carol 4/1/13

Unread postby PLB » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:32 pm

Congrats on the little chunk of Slob heaven!!

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Re: Scout with Dan and Carol 4/1/13

Unread postby Swampthing » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:02 pm

Great post, I like the idea of starting a progress thread also. I really am excited about your land . Very cool that you acquired it.
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Re: Scout with Dan and Carol 4/1/13

Unread postby Edcyclopedia » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:46 am

8-)
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Re: Scout with Dan and Carol 4/1/13

Unread postby Stanley » Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:07 am

Great write up. Don't get any better than scouting than with Dan.
You can fool some of the bucks, all of the time, and fool all of the bucks, some of the time, however you certainly can't fool all of the bucks, all of the time.
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Re: Scout with Dan and Carol 4/1/13

Unread postby Chris Conroy » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:33 pm

Thanks everyone. I will make a post showing my progress and hopefully completion. Lol.

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