February and March are great times to do some scouting, shed hunting, limb trimming, stand moving, stand repairs etc. I hope that you are taking advantage of the mild weather where you hunt to do this.
I went to my primary hunting spot today to do some of that. With the snow and much colder weather predicted for the next week, I wanted to check my cameras, put in new batteries where needed, look things over in the timber while it was nice today. With the rain last week, I knew it would be too muddy to do much else tree trimming wise. I have three stands that need some maintenance, they also need to be moved to different locations. I have a bunch of downed trees that need cleaned up as well.
The heavily used trails, stream crossings, and bedding areas are easily seen this time of year. I had hoped to locate new sites for the stands based on what I saw today, and to make a plan for future work needed there. I found two trails that I suspected were there, being heavily used, that explained why I hadn't been getting a lot of pictures on my cameras. Both trails took deer around my current stand sites, camera locations. It was very obvious to me that the trails were blazed to avoid those sites, to go around them a safe distance, putting themselves behind the cover from trees and brush. One very heavily used trail, just to the West of my South stand, paralleled the creek down by the water, below the creek bank where I would not have been able to see them walking by.
I didn't take my handheld camera along today, nor did I take any pictures with my phone of what I found. I didn't find any sheds where I walked today, rarely do there. I avoid the known bedding areas all year, did not enter those areas nor walk the trails leading to them. Here are a few pictures from the trail cameras. I had not checked the cameras for about a month, there were about 1000 pictures taken, only about 200 showed wildlife. It appears there was a doe in estrous there Jan 27th-30th, only days bucks were caught on camera.
Cool pics Randy and You never disappoint on your videos Kyle. Sure looked like that bobcat was thinking he might could clear that creek before he thought better of it. And on that last pic Kyle surely that is branches of the brush behind that lines up perfectly with his tines. If not and he’s that tall I want to shoot him...promise I won’t use corn.
Kyle, that last picture is beautiful. Content, coloring, clarity, it has it all. It would make a very nice print for your wall. It almost looks like a print. It looks like a creek crossing you have posted a few times with some respectable antlers in the pic. I would be sitting that spot several times a year when everything was just right. Good luck getting him If he sticks around. :)
Really nice bucks guys! I wish we had something similar in late winter pics. It was a tough year on our property, the surrounding pressure took a toll. Fortunately, we hunt other property of friends as well and there were a couple nice bucks running around; no giants, but it doesn’t take a giant to keep us happy. That being said, I’m going to hit some state ground next year to diversify a little more, and give our other spots a little bit of a break. My winter scouting will begin next week on some of those select public spots.
He's a unique buck for sure, thought he'd been killed by the cornholers N or S of this property but he made it. I picked him up here on the 30th of Dec, and guess where I was that day? On the other side of the property hunting a different area. Can't wait to see what he turns into next year!
Similar story on the cat Randy...I sat a stand calling for predators 30yds from that camera about an hour after he passed through, but I guess he'd already moved on or to bed?
LOL, I don't share all of the pictures I get. If I am hunting one exclusively, one that is a rare sight to begin with, those deer are only shared publicly once I get one with me holding onto their horns AFTER killing them.
Hunted this beast exclusively for four years, I didn't share pictures of him until he stopped coming around, stopped being seen by me and a landowner that was also hunting him during the firearm seasons. No one would admit to finding his sheds or shooting him.
Had an interesting encounter this evening. The dogs and I sneaked up behind my pond to see if there were geese on it. As we stepped up on the dam, I looked over to the timber and counted about 8 young bucks looking back. All but one ran off. Several had one side missing, including this one. He was fixated on the dogs and actually ran toward us. My snow camo must have been working really good because he finally saw me and ran off after he got to about 80 yards.