pre season scouting

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luvhuntin
 
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Location: Iowa

pre season scouting

Postby luvhuntin » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:39 pm

hello
first timer here. I`ve only been hunting for 3 years and am finally comfortably obsessed with deer hunting. I have a question about preseason scouting. I live in iowa and the softer trees are just starting to get leaves would they be considered undesireable to deer? do you make any notes about hardwood sections and hang stands in them come fall? I`m really interested in the world deer live in and would like to know more about it to help my odds this fall. my wife loves deer meat but i hunted ALOT last year and there were many empty handed returns last fall.
 
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Jslotter
 
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RE: pre season scouting

Postby Jslotter » Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:25 am

Trees are important to deer. They offer cover from the weather and some trees offer food such as acorns, apples, other nuts and fruits. But deer do not need them to exist. As long as there is a good food source, water, and some available cover for them to bed down in, deer will be around. Finding the food and water source is very important. Is there any commercial fields planting corn, soybean, sugar beets in your hunting area?
I only hunt on days that end in ' Y '.

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Woods Walker
 
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RE: pre season scouting

Postby Woods Walker » Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:38 pm

RE: Trees........

Find out where the oaks are. Preferably oaks in the WHITE oak genus. (Get yourself a book on tree taxonomy and learn how to ID the oaks and other trees in your area.)

Now I know that Iowa had PLENTY of rain last year, so this should be a good growth year for hardwoods. But now what you must do is to note when the oaks start to bud (there will actually be inconspicuous flowers first, which is where the fall ACORNS come from), and then keep track if there are any killing FROSTS during this period. Many times the frost will effect the oaks that are on lower ground (cold air sinks), but not the ones on the higher ground or ridgelines, especially if it's a southern exposure. Knowing this will help you next fall when you start looking for which trees will have a heavy acorn (mast) crop.

White oaks that have a good yield of mast will draw deer like a magnet during the early bow season. Some hunters on their own ground will actually go out of their way to fertilize certain white oaks to encourage a good acorn year.

In good years, plentiful acorns will actually draw deer out of the standing corn in the early season. They love acorns that much, and I believe that they are also a "superfood" for not just deer, but squirrels and turkeys too. LOTS of protien and CARBS. Deer can fatten up real good on acorns.
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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luvhuntin
 
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:43 pm
Location: Iowa

RE: pre season scouting

Postby luvhuntin » Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:23 pm

Jslotter
 
right now primary hunting area is 400 acres of public land and 200 of private but i do`nt hunt there much because i`m just not as developed as the owner is. I`m looking to cut my teeth i guess and i just want to explore and try things more than he does. the public ground has everything 2 mini lakes alot of good timber even some large plowed areas that are full of clover and either prairie grass or wheat right now. I`m really set on this place for fall because of an encounter i had on nov 8th last year. IF i only would have listened to myself i would have had a great buck as my first bow kill.
GRRRRRR. BTW it has alot of crop fields on the other side of the gravel road mainly east of it and a no hunting state park to the north of it. 
 
WW
you know i never though of watching for the trees to flower, that would be an easy way to find the oaks. an uncle of mine told me wheat did that when i was a kid in ND and i thought he was pulling my leg! until i looked for myself.  guess i have a new use for the binoculars this spring.
 
thanks for the insight fellas
that get the wheels spinning
LUVHUNTIN 

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Woods Walker
 
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RE: pre season scouting

Postby Woods Walker » Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:57 am

EVERYTHING that bears "fruit" or a nut has to have a flower first. After all, fruits/nuts are the seeds of a plant, and seeds can ONLY come from the reproductive parts of a plant. The problem is that many of the flowers that plants have are so tiny or otherwise inconspicuous.

I would also add that RIGHT NOW is a good time to scout for this coming season, and by right now, I mean exactly that. In a week or so when the trees start to bloom, it will be too late as far as the cover you are scouting being like what you will see next November.

And don't discount the oaks. When croplands are plentiful, it may very well be the acorns that make the difference as far as drawing deer. Acorns are a limited resource. The deer know that and will feed on them while they are available.
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

>>>--------------------------------->
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freak nasty 145
 
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RE: pre season scouting

Postby freak nasty 145 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:08 am

scout like crazy and walk the property. After deer season is over i scout right away. Even take the dog and family out with me. It's a lot of fun and learn a lot about scouting the area you hunt.
"Any sportsman who can kill his deer without the tingling spine, the quick clutch at his heart, the delicious trembling of nerve fibers when the game is finally down, has no place in the deer woods." Lawrence R. Koller. (1948).

Bob Olsen
 
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RE: pre season scouting

Postby Bob Olsen » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:26 am

I no longer find it necessary to scout my property due to the fact that I have it set up as 95% Sanctuary. I have my 2 Food Plots on the perimeter of the farm so the Deer will come to me and I do not need to know what is going on anywhere except around the stand I'm hunting. I'm not curious about shed's, I just want to have a Sanctuary. My Santuary "to me" is as important as the pond I will have in a few years.

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SwampLife
 
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RE: pre season scouting

Postby SwampLife » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:53 pm

Do yourself a favor and read through every thread on this site that focuses on scouting, treestand placement, entry/exit routes, aerial/topo maps etc... you will be glad you did, it is well worth the investment in time.

If you are referring to scouting this time of year it is considered post season scouting, if you are targeting bucks you should be looking for primary scrapes and rub lines.

Get used to coming home empty handed more often than not.

Good Luck.
No Shortcuts. No Excuses. No Regrets.

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Jslotter
 
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Location: Wisconsin

RE: pre season scouting

Postby Jslotter » Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:31 pm

ORIGINAL: luvhuntin

Jslotter

right now primary hunting area is 400 acres of public land and 200 of private but i do`nt hunt there much because i`m just not as developed as the owner is. I`m looking to cut my teeth i guess and i just want to explore and try things more than he does. the public ground has everything 2 mini lakes alot of good timber even some large plowed areas that are full of clover and either prairie grass or wheat right now. I`m really set on this place for fall because of an encounter i had on nov 8th last year. IF i only would have listened to myself i would have had a great buck as my first bow kill.
GRRRRRR. BTW it has alot of crop fields on the other side of the gravel road mainly east of it and a no hunting state park to the north of it. 

WW
you know i never though of watching for the trees to flower, that would be an easy way to find the oaks. an uncle of mine told me wheat did that when i was a kid in ND and i thought he was pulling my leg! until i looked for myself.  guess i have a new use for the binoculars this spring.

thanks for the insight fellas
that get the wheels spinning
LUVHUNTIN 


Well, you got plenty of land thats for sure, sounds like you have a decent area from what I read. Woodswalker has mentioned some very helpful tips, and I would follow his advice, Im learning alot in this post from what he has mentioned. Hunting is all about learning new things all the time. Empty tags will happen, dont look down on yourself for that, its all about trial and error. We all had that experience. All you gotta do is do some pre season scouting. Swamplife made a valid comment. Poke around in these forums and gather information. Ask questions if you have to, Thats what alot of us folks are here for, is to answer questions to the best of our abilities. Good luck.
I only hunt on days that end in ' Y '.

msbadger
 
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RE: pre season scouting

Postby msbadger » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:33 am

You'll find a lot of good advise on here ...mast trees and there are many...some ppl over look...Things like what we call iron wood...OK guys help me out here..  I for the life of me can't recall the proper name....any how they are a deer magnet here in late summer for their seed pods...same with locust and even the dreaded bass wood trees...deer eat them all...then never under estimate forest floor grasses...our deer are still hitting these over the open fields right now

Read the signs heavy foot prints in certain areas ....chewed plants.;.. areas with higher # of droppings than others...Half the fun in the hunt is the prep for the hunt...Have fun and good luck

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