Confusing sign

Tracks, Rubs, Scrapes, Trails, Etc.
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Confusing sign

Postby DeanoZ » Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:32 am

I've been trying to read up more on scouting and tracking with the ultimate goal of being able to map spot good potential deer stands prior to walking into the woods.  Based on what I've been reading I look for areas that are natural funnels (Saddles and draws), ridgelines and the edges of fingers where deer may bed, open fields and hardwoods where they might feed, as well as streams and ponds for their water source.  All this in an effort to triangulate to some extent the spots I want to scout.  The area I hunt is relatively flat with the exception of this one area that has a two small hill masses that connect via a saddle creating a natural draw.  Deer are lazy and look to cover their routes right?  So it would seem logical to me that they would travel down this draw headed soutwest which is where the water is as well as some hardwoods with lots of acorns.  So I get to the spot where I think they are traveling and notice a lot of tracks going through the draw, but oddly enough even MORE tracks running up and over the topographical crest of the hill mass.  Mind you the top is fairly barren some sacttered pines and scat, no bedding areas, just tracks going up and over???  Kind of left me scratching my head to be honest...I guess its true, just when you think you have them figured out, there they go again confusing the hell outta ya!

Ultimately I decided to place my stand in the draw, overlooking a crossing at the stream and where the trail in the draw and the one going over the hill mass converge.  Any thoughts?

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RE: Confusing sign

Postby Goose » Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:05 pm

I know Ill never figure them out. Maybe set up an observation stand from afar and see what they are actually doing before you head in there. 

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

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RE: Confusing sign

Postby djohns13 » Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:47 am

You make a great point in that often the deer just decide to do something different than what we are convinced they should do.  I hate when that happens!
There are probably many reasons why this could be happening but I will try to point out a couple that make sense to me.  First, except for the breeding season, bucks and does tend to follow different paths/routes.  I suspect that some of the deer are definitely using the saddle (probably does) and that maybe the bucks were using the other trail system.  This will change as the rut kicks in and the bucks shift into the does' travel patterns.  The other reason could be that the deer feel very safe in this area and don't feel the need to use the saddle, particularly if the other trail pattern you found is closer to the food.
You mentioned acorns, saddles, ridges and hardwoods.  It sounds like you are definitely in the right spot, just need to fine tune your stand selection (and you might need multiple stands for rut and non-rut times).  If possible, I would find a stand site that is close enough to the saddle and the other trail to hunt both.  Assuming it works with the prevailing wind pattern, that spot sounds like pure gold to me.
Good shooting.
Darren Johnson
Internet Pro Staff Member - Indiana

Glad to talk to all of you, but I'd rather be sitting in a tree stand on a cool morning trying not to move so that the bruiser buck directly below me doesn't figure out that I am watching him!

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RE: Confusing sign

Postby EatDeer » Fri Oct 24, 2008 3:17 am

I think you placed your stand in a good location. I too notice deer like to walk hills at the top of the crest. I believe the deer do this to survey a larger area to check for other deer moving in the area. I've seen nice bucks do this very same thing when searching for hot doe's. I like to set up a deer stand where the different edges intercede in one location. Deer like to travel the edge of the habitat most of the time, whether that edge is a creek, or where a corn field meets a bean field or crp, timber, fenceline, etc. The key here is to just trying to be in the spot where most of the trails in your area are crossing each other, this is a prime deer trail area to see a mature buck looking estrus doe's. Just remember that the deer will not always use a set trail everyday. They move bedding and feeding locations too much to get set in thier travel patterns. Thats how the deer evade most of thier predators, including hunters.         
"Let a young buck go, so he can grow."

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RE: Confusing sign

Postby DeerCamp » Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:03 am

Well it's been said before.....Deer don't always do what we want them to.
"If I pull the hammer and shoot this young buck, he's dead. But if I pass on him, the next hunter might not shoot so straight."

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RE: Confusing sign

Postby DeanoZ » Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:49 am

Thanks stand is pretty much where you all suggested, in the draw, but closer to where both trails converge...not sure if its the best spot because as I'm driving to the area I seem to be jumping a bunch of Does..different spots but they all seem to be headed in the same direction...further down the draw alongside a creek.  So i'll hunt this spot tomorrow morning and see what happens, but as I do more and more scouting the pieces of the puzzle are beginning to form...i have a feeling theres a huge honey whole there waiting to be found...just gotta keep plugging away.

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