Contributors to this thread:
The Joy of Scouting
Anyone else get almost as much enjoyment out of scouting as they do hunting? Man I have so much fun scouting. Probably because I'm an eternal optimist and let my mind run wild with what "could be." I've only hunted for deer twice so far this fall. Can't count how many scouting trips I've done. Another one planned to check out a new piece tonight. Even so, I haven't sat a "prime stand" yet this year, but that's about to change. I get too much of a kick trying to figure out deer movements, what their motivations are etc. Playing the chess game and trying to get 3 moves ahead has taken on a ton of enjoyment. I could explore new property every day of the hunting season and be happy!
True, unfortunate often today it seems like much scouting seems to be camera checking over an area set up to attract deer vs old fashion sign reading.
I put a lot of miles on looking for something that I never seem to find. Maybe one day......
Wouldn't the pics on the cam be the best sign to read LOL
I love scouting too, Adam. To me, that's part of the process. I usually do a lot on my place in February and March, after the season is over. I love hanging new sets too. I'm going to erect a new set tomorrow before heading to visit family out in Texas. Then, come Monday, it's on like donkey kong! I'll also add, I don't mess with cameras during the season. But... if that's what people like to do, more power to them.
You still need to scout for sign to see where is a good spot to put a camera. At least that is what I do. Then I can see when & what is coming through that area.
I agree, scouting is a blast. I have to temper down a little this time of year to keep my area fresh. That being said, new bucks seem to be showing up every day!
Wow, second post, we're already heading downhill. I guess some will eternally be pessimists, either that or some WANT so hard to believe we are no longer in the glory days. There was no mention of cameras in original post, just a positive reflection on the joy of SCOUTING.
I would say my ratio scouting/hunting must be somewhere in the 20/80 range. I've found with whitetails it to be extremely effective to strike when it's hot, and try and absolutely minimize pressure the remainder of the time. Of course, sometimes, we just need to go and plow a piece to see what's going on, and I relish every moment of it. Even more so in the snow. Like a treasure hunt and puzzle all combined into one, LIFESIZE! :) I also think a one time entry into a piece is exponentially less pressure than twice or three times. I think deer have a lot of flexibility with a one time deal.
I consider game cameras an integral part of my scouting process, and perhaps the most fun aspect of scouting. I could care less what anyone else thinks. The best way to push deer onto your neighbor is traipsing around this time of year on your deer property. Long range scouting is something entirely different though but that only works in certain locales.
"I could care less what anyone else thinks." Bingo!
Oh, by the way, I lied, I do have one camera out. Oops. :)
Scouting be it boots on the ground or utilizing trail cams is highly over-rated. All you really need is a $10 bag of corn, better yet a bag of that fancy DIRTBAG. Hell, you'll be tagged out and back to the warm house before mama even gets up! Scouting Schmouting..
There is no doubt for me that scouting is the biggest part of hunting. I have fourteen stands that were put there in preparation for the rut this year. It is November 1, and I have hunted three of them. There is no way that I will hunt all of them before rifle season. I spent the winter and spring getting those stands ready, and I had a blast scouting to get them where they are . It is the anticipation of "what could be" that makes scouting as much fun as hunting for me.
Always better then work, so yes
Agree with APauls - scouting is the best part of hunting - by "scouting" I'm talking about boots on the ground, not looking at camera pics. Also, I'm not talking about my small piece of property by my house - I'm talking about someplace new to me.
Every year I set stands in new places hunt them once and figure that I should be 30 yards "over" for it to be in the BEST location. LOL
Prior to the timber wolves moving into my area (about 10 years ago) I would shed hunt as soon as the snow would allow - that was also a great way to scout and find those thick "honey hole" areas.
I love scouting new places too. Or places I haven’t been to in a long while.
I do a lot of scout-hunting in new properties. I really like that
Iove scouting in NY. Because it reminds me not to hunt here.
Bake, by scout-hunting, do you mean going in blind to a new spot or property and hunting while making those first few observations on what the animals seem to be doing there? Because those are my favourite, just never know what happens, especially in the rut
Exactly MPAuls. Or even going into an area I’ve been before but not for a while.
It helps that my spots are close to home and I can hunt a lot. I don’t feel nearly as much pressure to hunt “good” spots all the time, and can spend some time in areas I don’t know, trying to get to know them better
I did it tonight. On a farm I hunted last year. I found a good stand site, but not until late season last year. I haven’t been there at all this year. But I went in and hung a stand tonight and had a great hunt. Saw 6 bucks, all young except a huge bodied old bruiser with a small rack.
It was a fun hunt. Proved the spot to me. I’ll go back
Agree Apauls:) I spend way more time scouting than hunting anymore it seems. But I'm able to do that with my kids easier than having a 4 year old sit quietly in a blind. Ha ha.
Time spent in the field before and after the season is deadly. Thats what gets animals killed. Love it all.
Just don't let the UTV overheat while scouting Hawkeye!
I think of Hawkeye's Ranger fire every time I have my Ranger out. Which is fairly often :)
That's one reason I keep mine insured :)
do the scouting, read the sign and also put out cameras. its fun to see whats there and if you guessed right. im guessing people who think you just hang cameras randomly and kill deer dont have a clue how to scout and read sign for themselves...
Ha ha .....all boot leather now boys........all boot leather now ;)
I love the process of scouting, especially a new area. Trying to figure and then breaking it down to the deer's bedding and traveling routes and then to feed. I hunt deer on mostly SWAs, in and out of state, very little private, and then for elk -- National Forests. I did purchase two trail cameras three years ago and I do use them some places to confirm what animals might be using the area. Google Earth overviews surely have helped me analyze and area. Yep, boots on the ground, natural food sources. But setting on the top of a hill with a good pair of binoculars and being surprised by what steps out, is always a thrill, without any prior knowledge that the animal was in the area. My best, Paul