Getting a head start on scouting for 2015

Discuss the science of figuring out our prey through good detective work.
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Dewey
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Getting a head start on scouting for 2015

Unread postby Dewey » Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:59 am

Conditions are perfect right now for post season scouting so figured since I have the next 3 weeks off work I'm gonna get started on next season. The snow we had really knocked down the grasses and now that it's gone and the ground froze again sign and especially recent rut sign is perfectly preserved.

I did some looking around where I killed my buck and found a few more great looking spots to hunt the rut next year. Not far from where I killed my buck I found these rubs that were made sometime after Nov 6th.

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Scrapes are very easy to find right now and I logged every one in my GPS since they normally reappear in the same spots every season.

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Only sign of my gutpile. It's under water and marsh grass frozen out of prying eyes. Learned a long time ago to leave no evidence on public land if possible especially right before the gun season. ;)

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Came across this little guy! 8-)

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Dang beavers!! :lol:

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I focussed mostly on rut sign today but gonna focus more on bedding now. Hopefully I can bust some bucks out of primary beds and get a good look at them if their still carrying horns. Always good to know how big of a buck you are dealing with. Hard to get that in spring unless you find sheds in the bed.

I figured scouting time may be limited for me in spring so I am gonna take advantage of the time I have now.

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Jackson Marsh
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Re: Getting a head start on scouting for 2015

Unread postby Jackson Marsh » Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:32 pm

Good stuff Dewey!

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BassBoysLLP
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Re: Getting a head start on scouting for 2015

Unread postby BassBoysLLP » Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:37 pm

Good stuff Dewey. Any plans on scouting outside of your marsh this year? I know you mentioned hill country before filling your archery tag.
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Re: Getting a head start on scouting for 2015

Unread postby Edcyclopedia » Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:00 pm

8-)
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Dewey
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Re: Getting a head start on scouting for 2015

Unread postby Dewey » Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:01 pm

BassBoysLLP wrote:Good stuff Dewey. Any plans on scouting outside of your marsh this year? I know you mentioned hill country before filling your archery tag.

I hunt and scout 4 different marshes, state forest land and northwoods. Scouted some hill country last spring but never hunted it yet. Plan to check out more but my main focus right now is marsh scouting close to home where I do a bulk of my hunting.

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Re: Getting a head start on scouting for 2015

Unread postby yungbuck » Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:00 pm

I found some beaver sign do you include that in scouting since it will open up and get thick for bedding down the road"? Just curious

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Dewey
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Re: Getting a head start on scouting for 2015

Unread postby Dewey » Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:12 pm

yungbuck wrote:I found some beaver sign do you include that in scouting since it will open up and get thick for bedding down the road"? Just curious

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I have a little hatred for beavers that goes way back. Had a great secluded island I hunted at one time and beavers completely wiped out every single tree. They do a ton of damage if not controlled. Unfortunately I can do nothing about it since it requires a special permit. Wish I could call Si Robertson with his dynamite and liquid napalm!! :lol:

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Re: Getting a head start on scouting for 2015

Unread postby BigHunt » Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:22 pm

ive been scouting since gun hunting ;) 8-)
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Re: Getting a head start on scouting for 2015

Unread postby oldrank » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:38 am

Nice Dewey. .. ive been doing a little myself already... I found 3 great spots last season n would like to find that many or more this season... a lot I found never paid off... ill get back in on em n see why n decide if they are worth an effort or get crossed off.

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Dewey
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Re: Getting a head start on scouting for 2015

Unread postby Dewey » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:23 am

One of the main things I keyed in on yesterday was rut cruising areas. These are trails downwind of doe bedding areas that for the most part don't even show up till Halloween. You can always tell when the searching for a hot doe starts because these trails appear overnight it seems. In the soft marsh peat these trails are very easy to identify and this years sign is still extremely fresh. I like to have a large number of these to chose from each year for the rut.

The spot I killed my buck this year and saw 15 total bucks on Nov 5th was exactly the type of spots I was looking for yesterday. That spot was narrowed down over the years and I knew it would produce good bucks if I hit the right day. My final adjustment was decided a week before when I took a day off hunting to scout. A little luck and a hot doe was all that was needed.
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Re: Getting a head start on scouting for 2015

Unread postby hunter_mike » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:01 am

Nice work dewey!
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Re: Getting a head start on scouting for 2015

Unread postby Trailcamaddict » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:32 am

Going to get out a little this weekend to scout some areas before the snow hits next week. Should be perfect!
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Re: Getting a head start on scouting for 2015

Unread postby MOBIGBUCKS » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:35 am

Nice work!!
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Re: Getting a head start on scouting for 2015

Unread postby exojam » Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:55 am

Well the place I got my doe was an eye opener for me. While I was out there you could here shotguns going off like crazy during the day.

So my plan is to try and get further out into the areas where some of those shots came from and check them. There may be some archers out there but my gut tells me there is not. I am also going to try and find a few ways into the swamp area where I can go.

I may try and place a few cameras out there but will be a bit nervous that they may never come home but it is a chance I may have to take.
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Re: Getting a head start on scouting for 2015

Unread postby Dewey » Wed Dec 24, 2014 5:15 pm

Been scouting really hard the last week or so but haven't been taking any pics since Thursday. Today I decided to head to one of my best primary buck beds. This one is used year round so I knew there was a good chance one would be home. First time I have been in the bedding area since last February. I hunted just outside the staging area in October but didn't see anything. Pretty excited to see if the bedding area is still being used.

Wind in my face and gusting to cover my approach. No tag or weapon today, just did this for fun. The bedding area is a very small island a foot higher than the surrounding cattails and flooded timber straight ahead.

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Almost there still no movement on island.

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Found this heavily used bed right on the north edge of island. As I was inspecting this bed I heard crashing heading into cattails in the direction of the primary bed on the far side. :dance:

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I headed over to the primary bed to investigate exactly where the deer that took off was bedded. Here is that bed.

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Outside the bed were a bunch of pretty nice rubs. The highest one was rubbed chest high.

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This was the escape route the buck used to to get away and headed into miles of cattails.

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Kept following the trail for a bit hoping to get a good visual on the buck to see how big he was. Bumped him a few more times but he stayed low in the cattails so I never saw him.

Headed back towards mainland and bumped another bedded buck after a few hundred yards. As he was bounding over the thick cattails I thought holy crap it's a huge non-typical!! Ended up being a smaller buck with a huge mass of cattails tangled up in his horns! :lol:

This is where he was bedded.

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Looks like he has been here awhile and was browsing on cattails.

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Spent the rest of the day just following deer trails seeing how they move thru the area. Lot's of standing water in cattails but ice was still very solid and didn't break thru once all day. Shoulda brought ice creepers because it was extremely slick walking.

Earlier in this thread I talked about cruising trails that appear around Halloween every year. This is an example of one that pops up every year downwind of doe bedding. Third week of October there was no trail and was still grown over. Thought I would take a pic since I mentioned this.

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It was a fun day today and gotta admit many times scouting and figuring things out is almost more fun to me than actually hunting. 8-)

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