Sorting through Land

Discuss the science of figuring out our prey through good detective work.
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Twenty Up
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Sorting through Land

Unread postby Twenty Up » Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:45 am

This question pertains more for the public land guys, having the ability to choose a variety of places to hunt based off of location, size, and terrain features.

I just started reading Greg Miller's "Rub-Line Secrets" and am 4 Chapters in when I read something that peaked my interest. Greg stated that hunting "big woods" bucks was reasonably harder than their farm land cousins. This got me thinking about choosing which WMA's to spend the most amount of time scouting based off of geographical features.

I personally prefer farm land hunting because that's how I started off and I'm more comfortable with it. I'm curious to hear which land features you guys prefer to hunt or scout, if you have any.


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Re: Sorting through Land

Unread postby SRWbowhunter » Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:41 pm

Well based on a lot of what I've read here the main thing I look for are swamps/marshes with islands and points going into them. I'm pretty new to this style of hunting but on public land it's all about getting away from other hunters and since that means going somewhere others won't, I'd look for anywhere that's extremely difficult to get to. If that helps

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Re: Sorting through Land

Unread postby Dewey » Sat Feb 28, 2015 2:31 pm

I seek out the remote nasty stuff nobody else attempts to hunt and for the most part this always involves water in marshes and swamps. On the other hand I also don't close my eyes to the overlooked stuff nobody else thinks about hunting yet is very easy to get to. Lately the overlooked stuff has been really surprising me over and over.

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Re: Sorting through Land

Unread postby Tennhunter3 » Sat Feb 28, 2015 2:39 pm

I have that book pretty good read. I also enjoyed Greg Millers bowhunter tactics book. I learned a lot from Brads mapping trophy bucks if you haven't read that one. . I look for transition lines near the Lee side of points. These transitions usually have a swamp below or and very thick cover is my main goal to find after a bed. In late season very thick stuff is great.

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Re: Sorting through Land

Unread postby Twenty Up » Sat Feb 28, 2015 2:49 pm

Tennhunter3 wrote:I have that book pretty good read. I also enjoyed Greg Millers bowhunter tactics book. I learned a lot from Brads mapping trophy bucks if you haven't read that one. . I look for transition lines near the Lee side of points. These transitions usually have a swamp below or and very thick cover is my main goal to find after a bed. In late season very thick stuff is great.

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Mapping Trophy Whitetails is the next book I will be reading, I chose Rublines over this book because I'm in the middle of scouting a massive swamp rub line and figured it could clear up some questions that I've been having, which it has helped tremendously.
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Re: Sorting through Land

Unread postby justdirtyfun » Sat Feb 28, 2015 3:58 pm

I suppose we all find a sweet spot for the terrain we started on. The circle of possible areas started close but I am enlarging the circle to find desirable spots.
Lots of subpar acreage out there but teaching yourself what to look for is needed to get on the good bucks. After almost daily visits here it's paying off. Don't look at the whole area, find spots or features you understand. Build out from that knowledge on the same property or find the same features on a different property to test your ideas.
My experience is in hill areas and I have focused only on predominant wind and the matching points. But rut funnels can be found anywhere so I keep an eye for those also. On hill country dvd they had a spring that might have been the only good spot on thousands of acreage.
A hunter can pick your own battles with the good knowledge found here .

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Re: Sorting through Land

Unread postby Twenty Up » Sat Feb 28, 2015 5:48 pm

justdirtyfun wrote:I suppose we all find a sweet spot for the terrain we started on. The circle of possible areas started close but I am enlarging the circle to find desirable spots.
Lots of subpar acreage out there but teaching yourself what to look for is needed to get on the good bucks. After almost daily visits here it's paying off. Don't look at the whole area, find spots or features you understand. Build out from that knowledge on the same property or find the same features on a different property to test your ideas.
My experience is in hill areas and I have focused only on predominant wind and the matching points. But rut funnels can be found anywhere so I keep an eye for those also. On hill country dvd they had a spring that might have been the only good spot on thousands of acreage.
A hunter can pick your own battles with the good knowledge found here .

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I agree some areas have more of a variety of land to sort through, but that isn't always the case. I'm curious if other beast hunters focus more on certain areas for their characteristics (swamp, marsh, farm land, hill country, ect..) or a combination of these areas. I'm very comfortable and confident hunting swamps, farm land and hill country meeting a swamp because that's where I scout the most- so I'm most familiar with it and prefer to hunt areas with these traits.

I'm still a newcomer to the beast style, so my comfort zone isn't comparable to say Dan's or other veteran hunters.
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Re: Sorting through Land

Unread postby Bucky » Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:35 pm

For me it starts with water... water/marsh, water/hills, good water source/swamp
P
If ag fields have close proximity to water & cover you now have a winner depending on pressure.

If you find good water/cover with ag that is difficult to access you are increasing your odds of older class bucks in the vicinity. Or at the least a doe family or two that will suck bucks in during the rut.

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Re: Sorting through Land

Unread postby Zona » Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:33 am

I have been forcing myself out of my comfort zone this year and have been rewarded. I am in hill/mountain country but decided to scout a few small swamps I found on topos and used the marsh tactics that are taught here. 2 of the 3 areas I found good big buck sign and beds. These are areas that I would have never looked twice at in the past. I believe I am also not the only one who is looking past them, due to the sign I have seen. Who would guess a big buck would live in a little swamp surrounded by 1000's of acres of mountains and hardwoods? I would have never of found them if I hadn't put my comfort zone behind me.
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Re: Sorting through Land

Unread postby dan » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:55 am

Pressure is the biggest factor... To many hunters and good luck finding big bucks. In pressure situations I always gravitate towards marshes and swamps. Hunters don't like to cross water... In the marsh by my house you will see a hunter every 100 yards during gun season on all the easy access dry land, but wade out to where the big bucks are and you can see a mile and no orange...

However, my best formula to kill bucks has been:

Early season: Marshes and swanps
Rut: Hill country
Late season: Farm country


In early season it is important to get close to bedded bucks. Easy to get close, easy to predict, and wind won't kill you in the marsh or swamp.

In rut, it starts getting harder in marsh cause with pressure they often cruise and chase within the cattails, but in hills they follow the leeward ridges like maps

Farm country can be a challenge with big bucks at any time when they have bullet proof edge beds watching your access and smelling from behind, but they can be dynamite late season if you have the food on your property. Easy to sit back and watch with bino's and develop a plan.. Its certainly the best time of the year and place to pattern a big buck.
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Re: Sorting through Land

Unread postby slowpoke69 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:02 am

This is something I've struggled with. All great advice and a direction to go.

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Re: Sorting through Land

Unread postby MOBIGBUCKS » Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:09 am

Tough one.

I'd choose anything other than farmland early season :lol: It's real tough. I'm gonna change my early tactics to a different terrain type this year maybe.

Rut I'd choose farmland. I'm not a big hill hunter otherwise I'd say Hill Country too.

Late season I'd be back on the Farmland.
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Re: Sorting through Land

Unread postby johndeere506 » Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:37 pm

dan wrote:Pressure is the biggest factor... To many hunters and good luck finding big bucks. In pressure situations I always gravitate towards marshes and swamps.

However, my best formula to kill bucks has been:

Early season: Marshes and swanps
Rut: Hill country
Late season: Farm country

In early season it is important to get close to bedded bucks. Easy to get close, easy to predict, and wind won't kill you in the marsh or swamp.

In rut, it starts getting harder in marsh cause with pressure they often cruise and chase within the cattails, but in hills they follow the leeward ridges like maps

Farm country can be a challenge with big bucks at any time when they have bullet proof edge beds watching your access and smelling from behind, but they can be dynamite late season if you have the food on your property. Easy to sit back and watch with bino's and develop a plan.. Its certainly the best time of the year and place to pattern a big buck.


Dan this is one of the best statements Ive read here. This is my plan going forward also based on what Ive learned here. I dont have much hill country to hunt, so Ill be looking. Doe bedding in farmcountry works great during the rut, but Id like to try the hills.


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