Outdoor Vision Gear
Sighting
Massachusetts
Contributors to this thread:
Lungbuster 07-Dec-17
Bowhunter7 07-Dec-17
mrw 07-Dec-17
Pi 07-Dec-17
mrw 07-Dec-17
Pi 07-Dec-17
Will 07-Dec-17
Vash1 07-Dec-17
Ungie01201 07-Dec-17
Pi 07-Dec-17
Will 07-Dec-17
Sosso 07-Dec-17
Vash1 07-Dec-17
Vash1 07-Dec-17
Lungbuster 07-Dec-17
Vash1 07-Dec-17
Pi 07-Dec-17
Dan6310 07-Dec-17
Pi 07-Dec-17
GED 07-Dec-17
Dan6310 07-Dec-17
Belchertown Bowman 07-Dec-17
Dan6310 07-Dec-17
Will 07-Dec-17
From: Lungbuster
07-Dec-17

Lungbuster's embedded Photo
Lungbuster's embedded Photo
Lungbuster's embedded Photo
Lungbuster's embedded Photo
Unfortunately i was not able to get out for archery season this year, but was blessed to this beaut swing through my backyard

From: Bowhunter7
07-Dec-17
Wow nice deer

From: mrw
07-Dec-17
I'll be right over! Nice buck, can you hunt there?

From: Pi
07-Dec-17
Hello Neighbor ! He will only get bigger . Very nice .

From: mrw
07-Dec-17
Technically Pi, at some point he will start to diminish. I watched a heavy framed 7 point become a humongous 9 point, then a 5 point with one eye and then a weird spike with fat bases. Never did figure out where he lived.

But anyways, that deer probably has at least a season or two of getting bigger. If you don't get him, January-March is excellent time to learn where he and his buddy's hung out all season. That's when you set your tree's up and then leave that spot alone until October 15th next year.

From: Pi
07-Dec-17
Agreed mrw. But he has a few years to go .

Now, since I have decided to rent the house next door to -Buster ... I thought I would take away the temptation for him to get out there this year and ruin my plan... Keep that quiet , please. I wish this keyboard had smaller print so we could be talking more softly.

Agreed with advice and would add : have a few stands at least, 1 for each typical wind , Early from S/W and Later from W and N/W . Cut and Rake trails and shooting lanes if needed and clip anything that could make noise for entry / exit.

Or skip all that hard work , invite me over this year and share the Straps Now !...

From: Will
07-Dec-17
Gorgeous critter! Ditto MRW...

From: Vash1
07-Dec-17
MRW or anyone else , You say find where the boys are in Jan- March then set up and leave alone till October? I have been hunting a long time with not great results- cause I don't know shit and clearly don't know how to scout. Have had really nice deer on camera or busting through chasing doe. Only kills a couple doe and 3 bucks all runts with bad genetic racks. Please clarify on how to scout that time of year. I could use the help

From: Ungie01201
07-Dec-17
beautiful buck!

From: Pi
07-Dec-17
Vash1 I don't think the place that deer are in late winter is where they will be in early- mid hunting season. But that is a piece of the travel puzzle . In January - Feb , They need cover and winter food and use the sun for warmth , their metabolism slows down and they eat sticks and scrounge around. So south facing slopes under cedar trees or young pines should hold deer in late winter. Follow the trail and find the little black M@M's .

They will be within a mile or so of that spot in the warm season and likely where food / Edge forest is . Water source is important but they get most of their water from lush greens then. There will be a transition spot when the nuts drop , but they still need to keep cool at that time.

I would bank on large crown White Oaks especially if that tree has good water and not in a local low spot that tends to get a late frost. If you find a good producer , stick with it. Then the Red oaks and related nut trees. Periodically they hit the green fields like a salad bar . And that seems to have a timing to it . Just like we crave a good salad at times.

Upon dissecting the last deer, I found two different food sources that produced two distinct droppings in the making . One small and dark the next big and soft -Green. It makes sense as to what they did the days before while hiding from gun hunters or just where they were eating sticks . Then the green is where they were feeding and ended their activity.

Just some observations . Others will elaborate. Good Luck in figuring it out in your piece of the woods.

From: Will
07-Dec-17
Hi Vash.

There is always variance in deer travel year to year. We will literally never fully "get" them. Those are always good things to remember when scouting or hunting. They win most of the time because they are better at surviving than we are at hunting...

That said, my mentality is to scout for rut sign in Jan/feb/march and even early april. I can go right into areas I think they bed - no fear of making them nocturnal or busting deer etc. I can still see scrapes, rubs etc and recognize them as "this" years. And the open woods (no leaves) helps me see soft edges which may be used by deer better - say how a couple hemlocks or cluster of small white pines on a bench along an oak ridge may pull movement a bit.

Now I make notes of areas that seem like they will not be impacted by food (changes in mast on some years) to much, and which seem like they were solidly used by bucks (or deer in general) to go from area to area over the fall. I may pick a couple trees for different winds. I may even go in and climb them and trim them out... I GPS them.

Now next summer/fall, I may get right in and dirty and see how they look. But often, Ill scout softly around the outer edges of those areas. What's the food look like this year? Is there general sign of deer in the area, or are they more "on the other side of the ridge" so to speak this year? If those things look good, I know that the winter/early spring scouted spots will be solid, and in the right situation I can just pop right in there and it will workout.

The buck I shot this year is a great example. I had not set foot in the section of woods where I hunted that day since last winter. I knew, becuase the nuts were heavy in a few areas of the property, and does were still spending a lot of time in another section, that most bucks trolling through would use the area, especially on a S/SE wind - because all the food and bedding was upwind from me... So bucks could troll this soft edge through, have awesome escape cover to one side and scent check literally all the deer in the area from the other side. I'd planned another spot for that AM, but the wind was not what was predicted, adjusted to sit that tree and got lucky.

Exact same approach two days earlier, on the OPPOSITE side given a N/NW wind resulted in me giving a hair cut to one of the largest deer I've ever shot at.

Look, I'm not a "super" hunter. I'm sure there are better ways to do this. So dont take what I'm saying here as "gospel"... That said, The more I've approached things this way, the more successful I've been - so that's an N=1 experiment to consider at least :).

Oh, Ill add this... Turkey season is frigging awesome. You get to hunt turkeys, which is fantastic... but for the first 2-3 weeks, the woods are still pretty wintery looking and you can use that time hiking and locating turkey's / actually hunting them as great scouting as well.

From: Sosso
07-Dec-17
What Pi said. Also, they travel Hi/Lo. So check the elevation of the area your hunting. They'll travel high in the morning, low in the evening because thermals take scent up in the morning, and bring it down in the evening. So cross reference your food areas with elevations and be sure and pattern them that way. Also, I learned this season that if you go into a thicket in April/May, and start cutting some lanes, within a month or so they'll start using them. You can actually set up roads for them to take in the early part of the spring, and they'll be well travelled by October. Just cut some cross roads and set up.

From: Vash1
07-Dec-17
Good thoughts- Thanks guys. It's a small piece, flat, some pines, swamp, and like 4 oaks, no other food . Def a cut through form bedding to food and not a spot they use daily. My thought was to do more scouting after season and snow on the ground will def help the process.

From: Vash1
07-Dec-17
Good thoughts- Thanks guys. It's a small piece, flat, some pines, swamp, and like 4 oaks, no other food . Def a cut through form bedding to food and not a spot they use daily. My thought was to do more scouting after season and snow on the ground will def help the process.

From: Lungbuster
07-Dec-17
Where i took the pictures he is safe as safe can be, house all withing 75 yards of him. You would have to walk like mile from where he was inorder to be safe and legal. That was dec 2nd at 1230pm hung around for bout 10 mins

From: Vash1
07-Dec-17
Pi-I think I replied to you PM? Now I can't even figure out how you do a PM

From: Pi
07-Dec-17
Vash just tap on my post response above hit the Pi and it will bring you to personal message . Once it is in your message box you can go from there. Tap Pi wherever you find it ...

From: Dan6310
07-Dec-17

Dan6310's embedded Photo
Dan6310's embedded Photo
Dan6310's embedded Photo
Dan6310's embedded Photo
Here's my recent sighting. Last night in the front yard. Momma and 2 little ones.

From: Pi
07-Dec-17
10 feet broadside . Risky broad. keep your window open and your bow ready . Santa is not looking .

From: GED
07-Dec-17
Where do you live?

From: Dan6310
07-Dec-17
Zone 11 The funny thing is I have only seen 1 doe hunting. I believe they bed very close to the houses and move under darkness. I have trail cam pic of these 3 (momma, last years doe and this years doe) since August and all at night about every 3-4 days.

07-Dec-17
Will ? 4 u.

I thought the gps data showed that deer wintering grounds Jan Feb and March were far different than rut?

From: Dan6310
07-Dec-17
I think for the most part that is true but it also depends on food sources. Once it snows, all you see are tracks going through everyone’s front yards. I have small to medium size pockets of woods and they don’t go far, just where I can’t hunt.

From: Will
07-Dec-17
BB - I dont look for what the deer are doing in J-F-M-A... During those months, you can see scrapes, rubs and old sign in general. No fear of messing things up. In years with lots of snow early - that may not work until late M or early A... But over that time frame, you can explore the woods with no fear of messing up what deer are doing during the season.

Big woods deer may not be in the same areas... Suburban deer may shift a bit, (may be forced to stay close by), but you can really explore the sign from the past fall and carry that into the next year.

So fully agree, what and where they are during the winter is different than November, clearly I didnt describe how I am looking at the sign - bad on me!

Glad you asked that!

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