Summer Scouting

What's the hunt looking like this year in your area? Share!
lunchbox
 
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Summer Scouting

Postby lunchbox » Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:14 am

I just leased a 140 acre farm here in Kentucky. I have spent very little time there since I leased it but I have seen some great deer and deer sign. I do not have a trail cam so i am scouting on foot. my question is how much time is too much time in the wood. Give me your opinions, suggestions and all that good stuff. Mind you archery season starts September 6th. 

hunter480
 
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RE: Summer Scouting

Postby hunter480 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:53 am

First of all, congratulations on the great hunting spot, you should have a wonderful time.
 
Now, to scouting....can you get ariel photo`s of the area? They would be a huge help in seeing the layout of all the treelines, inside corners, things like that. Additionally, you can find webistes where you can order topo maps of the area, which are fantastic for reading the terrain. From your kitchen table, you can find funnels, saddles, drawls, and many other of the terraiin features that will naturally bring deer into a constricted area, making it much easier to determine stand locations.
 
Once you`ve found these terrain features, it really minimizes the traveling you do in unproductive areas of the timber, thereby reducing your time investment, AND, the amount of scent laid down in the woods.
 
You want to get started scouting immediately, and especially if you`ll scout without going over topo maps first, since then you will be, literally, walking every ince of the woods, looking blindly for heavily used runs, watching for saddles, drawls, etc. So you need to have all done done right away, so that by season opener, your scent won`t be lingering, and the deer will have had time to resume thier normal routines.
 
Good luck!

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JOEL
 
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RE: Summer Scouting

Postby JOEL » Tue Jul 29, 2008 5:29 am

good info 480.I would also suggest if you can afford it to buy a gps ,this will allow you to record the spots you find and later transfer them to  amap.buy rubber boots so you dont leave scent al over the woods try  not to touch things with your hands.I got a map of my hunting area over my desk that i just stare at ,after awhile you really start to see potential spots and then i go out on foot and check em out.good luck in the upcoming season
"Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forest and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person." - Fred Bear

hunter480
 
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RE: Summer Scouting

Postby hunter480 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:27 am

Good catch Joel-
 
I meant to go over wearing rubber boots, not touching things, etc. Some guys even go so far as to spray down with Scent Kliier like they were hunting. I don`t go that far, but it couldn`t hurt. The idea is to keep the impact as minimal as possible. The less impact, the less disturbance of the animals routine. Hopefully, the less aware they`ll be that they`re being hunted.

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shaman
 
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RE: Summer Scouting

Postby shaman » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:36 am

Where in KY?  I'm in SW Bracken County.

What Hunter480 said is a good start.   I did exactly that:  went over the topo and the aerial in obsessive detail and then applied what I theorized to pinpoint scouting.  Everything fit, and I had several good bow opportunities that Fall, a good ML opportunity, and finally shot a doe and a buck during the first two weekends of Modern Weapons season. All told, I set 5 stands that first season.  Only one produced, but it made for a good year anyway.

What really got me zeroed in was after the first season, I went back and scouted like crazy throughout the winter and into the next spring.  What I found out was that:

1) Theoretically I was dead on.
2) Theory and practice are two different things.

In one case, local air currents tipped deer off whenever I was in the stand.  In another, I had to reposition a stand from the bottom of a hill to the top.  One stand overlooked a purely nocturnal trail. Another  . . . I have no clue why it has never produced.  I've kept it there for 7 seasons, but that stand has yielded zip to date.  The fine tuning actually took 2 seasons, because I held to a few stand locations that just HAD to be good.  Finally, in year 3, I dumped all preconceived notions of where the deer where and went with the sign.  I've been filling the freezer ever since.

Before you get all moist over the 9/6 archery opener, check the Telecheck results on the KYDFWR site.  You'll probably find that the harvest for September in your county is minimal.  Think of it as scouting-while-armed.  Most of the heavy bow hunting results are between Oct 20 and the Rifle Opener, with an emphasis on the first week in November.    It's bloody hot in September, and the deer often don't move much during daylight.  I personally don't start until Oct 1.  However, I'm in the woods scouting or hunting every weekend  from now until Thanksgiving.

Look for acorn-producing oaks. That's where the action will be when the bucks really get cranked up and moving.  Up here in the Trans-Bluegrass there are two kinds of deer terrain:

1)  Where cedar thickets interface with oak hickory savanah.
2)  Everything else.


Google  USAPhotomaps  and download free software with free topos and aerials.

I'm a safe bet, because I'm set with a hunting place for life. If you PM me with you Long and Lat, and some idea of the boundaries, I would be happy to give you my $0.02.
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries of SW Bracken County, KY
Confessions of a Cervid Serial Killer
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lunchbox
 
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RE: Summer Scouting

Postby lunchbox » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:41 pm

Shaman I am in north east Bourbon County. Thank you all for your insight. Here is what I have found in one great day of scouting and one very early morning just sitting next to a ceder in the middle of the field. BTW I have been treating my time on property just like I was hunting full carbon camo, Scent blocker boots and spraying 3 times on my truly walking thru the woods. This farm is tough to scout right now because of extremly thick underbrush. This has not stopped me completly but has held me out of one majior funnel. This farm has 4 seperate fields 3 of them no more than 3 to 4 acres the largest being about 50 acres. all fields are separated by valleys funneling into a very deep valley which is where I have not been able to access as of yet. the one side of the farm is a deep valley with an old unused logging road running straight through it. I found some of the largest turkey roosts I have ever seen with easy access running down the hill. Great trails running directly parrelell with the small spring fed creek. As I was out last sat morning I saw 4 does with fawns come out to eat clover. I walked down to the creek and spooked a great 8 pointer as he was eating some grass. Maybe I should say he spooked me.  So far everything I have seen looks like the best hunting property I have seen in my life. 

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shaman
 
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RE: Summer Scouting

Postby shaman » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:30 am

NE Bourbon is very similar to SW Bracken.  You're part of the Licking River flowage as am I.  What you're seeing now are mostly the does and their fawns that are residents of your place. If you're looking for a big buck, think of these ladies as your bait.  The ridgetops are usually fairly dead in September-- the deer all want to be down in the bottoms munching crops. Generally, the deer will migrate out of the agricultural bottoms and start feeding on the ridgetops when the acorns ripen. 

At this point in the year, I'd be dumping the whole MOP suit, etc. and be trying to stay cool myself.  I do all my scouting in  jeans and a T-Shirt and wear hiking boots.   In fact, my best tree stand is less than 150 yards from the family campground.  We usually shut down operations there in September, just to be safe,  but I have KYHillChick out hiking with the dogs year round-- does not seem to bother the deer at all.. Getting KYHillChick into a MOP suit would be like trying to put a painter(panther for you fellas outside of KY) into a gunny sack.

My one concession to the deer is I stick with green instead of blue jeans and green or khaki shirts.  Anything that sort-of blends with the bush is fine.  When everything is in full leaf, I can usually just sit there in my mid-summer man-stink and have the deer walk up inside 5 yards.  I don't act like I'm trying to sneak around.  As long as I seem to be concentrated on something besides killing deer, deer seem to be more curious than afraid. Your mileage may differ.

The shamanic guide to quick scouting:

Go find the nicest freshest pile off deer poop you can find.  Figure out what is in it.  In your case, it's clover. Go find the nearest bed. Tall grass on a a south-facing hillside is prime this time of year.  Go find the nearest source of what was in the poop.  Find a trail that most closely connects these three points ( bed, poop, food) .   Your treestand should be somewhere along that, ideally where there is the least choice for the deer as to where to travel (a funnel).

VIOLA!  (I think I dated her.)

Repeat as needed.

As I said in the previous previous post: your big score will probably come mid-October to late November.  Start finding the oaks that will be producing, and plan an ambush in and around those oaks. My top producing sites to date are:

1)  Overlooking a saddle on a south-facing hillside covered with oaks
2)  Overlooking an East-Facing hillside with oaks with a major deer highway ascending from a creek bottom
3)  At the root of a finger ridge in a grove of oaks.

 . . . and in every case, cedar thickets are close by.  I'm either picking  them off as they come through the oaks on their way to the thicket or coming out of the thicket going to feed..
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries of SW Bracken County, KY
Confessions of a Cervid Serial Killer
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shaman
 
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RE: Summer Scouting

Postby shaman » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:45 am

http://fw.ky.gov/harvest/HarvestCompByMonth.asp


By the way, I pulled up the stats on Bourbon for bowhunting in September.  Last year, they had an all-time high of 7 deer reported-- my county isn't much better. 

You seem like the kind of guy who doesn't want to muck up a good thing-- what with the MOP suit and boots and all.  When the odds of success are that low, I would consider holding off bowhunting until October.
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries of SW Bracken County, KY
Confessions of a Cervid Serial Killer
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lunchbox
 
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RE: Summer Scouting

Postby lunchbox » Wed Jul 30, 2008 3:49 am

yea 7 one of those was mine. I shot a doe on the second weekend last year. I was hunting a different place last year so this one is proving to be a wonderful getaway. I cant not wear my boots as I feel they are the most comfy things I have ever had. anyway thanks for the advise and I will continue. to update. 

rustyk20
 
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RE: Summer Scouting

Postby rustyk20 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:50 am

[size="3"]hey lunch box i read your post on scouting and some of the other members gave you some great tips on scouting your area with topo maps.you can go to google earth and if you know a landmark or address close to your area you will be able to get your topo maps off of thier .if you are serious about scouting and would like to get a cool tool to keep your maps and field notes at your finger tips on your pc i have  a program called trophy tines  deer hunters notebook.the way it works is thier are pre-in- and postseason scouting.you get topo maps off of the internet store them in the map section these maps can be drawn on marking stands trails bedding areas any thing that is important to you.also can be edited whenever you want to make a change or discover something new while scouting.the program also has a real hunt section.just fill in the fields time date who what where weather conditions moon phase wind by keeping track of all your deer hunts you will be compiling important info that is going to make you a better hunter.thier is also a budget page so you can keep track of all your expenses.i use this program and it works.i am currently working to get this on the market.it is just 20.00 +3.00 s&h so if you or any other member is interested in getting one you can either e-mail me or pm me . 

      thanks
     rustyk20@yahoo.com
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