Know your woods

Share your tips and techniques on these great, but often times lost methods of hunting.
ChuckNorris
 
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Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:47 am

Know your woods

Postby ChuckNorris » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:07 am

I hunt the same woods year after year as I assume most of you do. I feel that one of the most important tactics is to "know your woods". Know where the downfalls are. Know where trees have been rubbed in the past. Know where ground scrapes have been in the past. Observe whether old trails are still being used and if new trails have formed. Deer adapt each year due to climate, human activity, food sources, forest growth, deer density, etc... Knowing your woods allows you to move through more quietly and effectively. Observing the changes in deer activity (rubs,scrapes,trails,fresh tracks) allows you to confirm or deny that the deer are still using the same areas as they have in past years. It also helps to identify new hot spots, as well as past locations that are no longer being utilized. The more you learn about "your woods" the more predictable the deer movements will be!!!
It only takes one deer to change a hunt from disappointing to very satisfying.

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Woods Walker
 
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Location: Northern Illinois

RE: Know your woods

Postby Woods Walker » Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:35 am

Good advice!  Knowing your ground is important for all types of deer hunting, and for stillhunting it's even more vital.
 
I would only add that for me, part of knowing my woods is to also have a knowledge of the ground thermals under various conditions. Obviously this is an on going process, but the more you know, the better you can plan a stalk or a stillhunt approach.
 
As I've mentioned before, I use colored smokebombs in my off season scouting missions, and they can teach you a lot.
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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buckhunter21
 
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RE: Know your woods

Postby buckhunter21 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:54 pm

I agree...Been hunting both our properties for not quite 20 years now, and I could probably maneuver through both of them with my eyes closed.  Love it!
QDM!

ChuckNorris
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:47 am

RE: Know your woods

Postby ChuckNorris » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:01 am

ORIGINAL: buckhunter21

I agree...Been hunting both our properties for not quite 20 years now, and I could probably maneuver through both of them with my eyes closed.  Love it!

 
It's easy to lose your sense of direction on a cloudy day after walking through the woods for hours. I'm kinda old school and not big on compasses or gps unless its an emergency. Many areas I hunt don't have roads, atv trails, etc..., only the trails made by the wildlife. Recognizing the smallest landmark such as a unique tree trunk, or a tree species that is very scarce on the land, or even an old 2x4 nailed to an oak tree 40 years ago as part of treestand can be immediately be of assistance. The guy who power walks through the woods with his rifle slung on his shoulder will not notice these subtle landmarks. The less time you spend trying to figure out where you are and/or looking at your compass/gps, the more time you have to hunt!!!
 
The other benefit I forgot to mention in my original post was that if you really know your property and happen to see a deer but do not get a shot off, you should have the ability to predict what the deers next move will be. Is it headed towards an area where it will lay? Is it going to continue on its current direction to escape? Is it going to circle back around because of terrain, etc...? The hunts that I'm most proud of are the times when I have spotted the deer first, then eventually harvested them, sometimes hours later. And this is in the thick woods, not in open field stalking situations. Without the "knowledge of the woods" I never would have been able to turn these missed opportunities into successful hunts.
 
 
It only takes one deer to change a hunt from disappointing to very satisfying.


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