JPH wrote:My advice? Forget the scrapes. During the rut I hunt terrain rather than sign.
If you have been hunting this area for a while I assume you gotten a feel for the herd's general movement patterns. In other words, you probably know how they move from bed to feed and back again. If you have not figured that out than yes, you need to scout more. If you have, then my next bit of advice is to look for terrain features that might funnel deer. By that I mean, creek crossings, saddles, corners or even brush piles. I would look to hang stands that overlook these areas and then time you hunts so that you are downwind of the deer's anticipated movements, based on the patterns you've learned. If a buck is using the property, he's likely to pass through one of these pinch points, looking for or following a doe, during hunting hours.
Take it for what it's worth and good luck.
Thank you for that. I generally know the layout of the land. I guess I got used to the stand location and just dealt with some of the bad beats I got, and handed to myself (missing a six point at 20 yards broadside haha). I have reason to suspect it might be the same deer. Where the stand is located is a hub of movement, but poorly positioned for pre-rut smarts. They tend to move behind and around it now (as I saw today).
I agree though, Im in anticipation to get a decent game plan before gun season opens up there (WWIII). I am planning on hunting Friday morning, that afternoon I am going to do a quick,quite scout by the creek area to find a tree, some shots and leave. I have a feeling that thicket is going to help me. That is where I park my truck now though, so I am going to need another option for where to park and coming up the lane.
I am skeptical about figuring out other pinch points in the back woods now, too much risk for changing patterns this late in the game. The only way I could would be to still hunt the area, but that is a skill I haven't even started to take on yet.
Thinking out loud here obviously, but I appreciate the advice. Id rather hunt a few deer with better chances, than a lot that I have no clue what they are doing.