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Help me hunt the Hills
i have had alot of success bowhunting the flat lands in MS, KY, and KS over the years - most places i hunt are relatively flat.
I recently acquired a place to hunt in SE Oklahoma that is very Hilly. I've always paid attention the thermals, and wind direction, but this place is much different than any place i have ever hunted. Deep hardwood draws that can be very steep, a lot of clear cut, as well as pine plantation. its a huge track of land - 10 square miles.
any pointers as i look for signs and patterns?
pointers on Stand locations and approaches to hanging stands ??
It's always about cover and food
Saddles for crossings from one draw to another. Sounds like the family place over the river along the Red. Find some game trails, they will be there, and hunt them. They have some small clearings for food plots and feeders in the breaks. Big fields for hay and such the deer use too.
Look for saddles, benches, thermal hubs, points, and ditch headers at the top of those draws.
I'd need to see it in person to offer the best advice :) Sight unseen I'd follow fdp's advice, anywhere two habitat types meet is a place to check out.
Based on the current weather conditions if you were a deer where would you be. If it's unusually warm, a cool bottom. If it's really cold, a sunny hillside, windy, out of the wind etc
Hunt high. I've tried and tried, but anytime I hang down in the valleys or the bottoms (especially if near a hill/ridge/big terrain feature), the wind kills me everytime. If it's peak rut sometimes you can get away with it. Otherwise, swirling winds will kill you down low. I've pretty much abandoned every stand site that isn't on top.
up high on those hardwood draws sounds good to me
make sure you bring a lot of MILKWEED POD FLOATERS with you. once you start introducing hills mixed with flatlands, the wind rarely is doing what you think it is based on what you see in front of your face. Same as a bolder in a river - it creates bends and eddies in the windflow. I have seen it bend back and do a full 180. Check before you set stand. Other than that it comes down to basic necessities for deer - food and cover. Look for transition routes between both where you can get in early and get out late without spooking them.
Been hunting the River Bluffs for sometime and the only advise I can give is to get in to it and learn, the thermals come down in the morning and rise in the evening, have fun.
post up a map so we can see what it looks like
Ridge saddles are good as are flats, natural like benches and/or man made like a logging roads, and my favorite, inside corners,,, as where woods meets fields... Bucks will also create scrapes lines and rub lines along the top of a ridge too... Good Luck...
Oops forgot to add, terrain features and bottle necks or pinch points...
Use the terrain to your advantage and hunt high like Bake said. Hunt edges and paths of least resistance. In that type of country, trails should not be hard to find. Sounds like fun!
what Bake said.
The head of deep draws that bisect a major ridge will funnel deer. The best ones have a draw on the opposite side that narrows the ridge top. Approach the stand by coming up the bottom of the deep draw. Clear a path before season. They will bed on the ends of ridges and finger ridges with a view off the end and the wind at their back.
From my experience, I totally agree with what Bake posted.
Bake and Midwest have given great advice.
One thing to add is bucks will travel the down wind side of the ridge top especially during the rut.
Stay out of the bottoms. Hunt high. In my experience you cant beat the swirly wind in the holes.
Once or twice a season you might get one of those dead calm mornings...but they dont come along very often.
Send a message to EmbryOklahoma, Rick consistently kills mature deer in that area.
Where I hunt, I have some large flats and some pretty deep ravines. Bake and Midwest are spot on. Winds in the bottoms are terribly fickle. I totally stay away from them. I’ve killed more good bucks setting up on the downwind edges of bedding flats, right on the very edge of the flat, if possible. Ideally, during the rut, doing all day sets is your best strategy, for multiple reasons. Jack H. makes a good point, as well. It’s amazing how variable the winds can be, even when they’re supposed to be consistent. To see what the winds are doing , wind floaters are 50 times better than any powders. Powders dissipate too quickly. I’ve tossed out many a wind floater and it shows the wind is perfect, and 2 minutes later, the dang thing would float by me in the exact opposite direction!
Yeah and light winds will pool your scent in unlikely places. Small ravines or hollows completely off your scent path can have your scent pooled in them. Frustrating to watch some times.
J wish I was better at it. About to give up my long term hilly farm. Ownership changes and I’m just not seeing the caliber of bucks I want to be hunting. I’m currently in a doldrum. Seasons been open since the 15th and I have no motivation to go fail ;). Hopefully the old juices will start running when the weather cools. Then I’ll be back to peeing down my legs and rubbing my head on the headboard ;)
T-royx2, milkweed pods are the best for the thermals. Only way to find what works is to get into it and hunt.
Thank you guys for your input! It really helped me get a grasp on where to start.
Was able to fill my first mountain buck tag this past Saturday!
Wow great buck!!! Congrats
Awesome deer !! Congratulations!
Holy moly....congrats on a stud buck!!
What bake and wytx. said. Stay out of the bottoms. Hunt the hillsides on finger ridges. And, look for trails in the heads of hollows that create saddles.
Most times they won’t stand out like trails in the bottoms. But, they are there in the steep sections of the hollow heads. If you hunt the saddle, be prepared to lean towards one side of the saddle. Not hollow to hollow but high point to high point. Deer rarely come right through the center of a saddle.
Congrats on a SLAMMER of a deer!!!!
WOW, what a nice buck, CONGRATULATIONS!
Congrats on a great buck, Jim!!
I guess he figured it out!!