Hi again all...thank you soooo much for all your replies. A lot of good stuff here that I will surely take and apply! After my first post I realized I forgot to add more specifics about the area I'm hunting. I'm in New Jersey and as you might surmise we don't have a lot of "open" land or wooded parcels. The parcel i am hunting though shows a lot of promise...there are fresh sign (deer crap, tracks, and some trails) in there. I should also qualify my "Newbie" status, i'm probably more of a novice, I used to hunt as a teenager with my friend at his father's place in the Catskills, but they knew where to place me so I'd see deer. Many years later I've decided to get back into it so here I am. I have some basic knowledge of their habits but was rusty and many of you confirmed what i had suspected...with one caveat that now "There are no steadfast rules" and that "They are where they're at, when they're there" ..LOL...love that statement! JPH, thank you especially, that was exactly the info I was looking for...I know they generally move from beeding to feeding and vice versa...just needed to understand the timing of it. So basically, in the moring they are returning from their feeding areas and heading to bed..and vice versa in the afternoon. I think my difficulty is in trying to figure out where they are bedding and where the feeding area is so i can ensure I'm downwind from their approach.
My current stand is about 20 feet inside the edge of the woods where a powerline clear cut field runs. I noticed a lot of deer crossing the road up further where the powerlines crossed over the road, so i followed the power lines up futher, cut into the woods and saw a lot of sign where the deer were browsing the edges and taking advantage of the acorns falling off the white oaks on the edges of the field. There is a nice 8 pointer hanging out there so I'm really looking for him. I was in that stand yesterday morning and had two doe approach within 10 feet of my stand, but no bucks. Both does approached from different directions so I'm not sure if they were following thedge or came from the other side of the powerline cut. I'm also trying to figure out where the bedding/feeding area is so i have the wind in my favor. As for scent control, I wash all my garb in the scent neutralizing detergent, athen spray it down with more scent eliminator, store it in plastic bags, and change just before entering the woods...I also use the "Dead downwind" body soap and antipersperant. When i get to my stand I spray some buck bomb around the area (Dominent buck scent), then climb my stand and get settled in, staying as still and quiet as I can.
I am also going to get the book "Mapping Trophy Books", I read the previews where the author discusses the terrain features and topography to look for as many of you mentioned here, and from what little I know he seems to make a lot fo sense and many of you have confirmed what he wrote. I know I'm goign to have a bunch more questions after this weekend so i appreciate ya'lls patience...its been a while and a long time comign for me....by the time this weekend is over I will have been hunting more times than I have in the last 20 years...yikes...but its great and exciting to be back in it! Thanks again all.