JPH wrote:Excuse me, did you just say 2000+ acres? I honestly would not know where to begin. The largest property I hunt is less than 80 acres!
But I think you can learn a lot from micro-property hunters. I do not hunt based on sign. I know, it sounds crazy. But you have to realize that a walking deer can cross the places I hunt in less than three minutes. Moving around based on a scrape or a pile of droppings would be too disruptive and I'd run out of room quickly. Instead, I focus on two factors, terrain and wind.
Terrain will indicate stand location. I like to hang stands near areas where deer are "forced" to travel. Fence crossings, field outlets, narrow funnels and corners are among my favorites. The wind will tell me which pinch point to hunt. I always want to be in a position to blow my scent away from where I expect the deer to move. It's actually a simple formula but it works pretty well.
If there is a big scrape in a given area, I'd hunt that area but not the scrape itself. Rather, I'd look for a terrain feature that will make an encounter with a buck more likely and then wait for the right wind.
One disclaimer here. My small property tactics do not allow me to target a particular deer. I would agree that the use of sign would be vital for that. Instead, I make a decision as to what age I'm looking for and then I try to hold out.
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