Park Hunting -scouting tips

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jonny5buck
 
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Park Hunting -scouting tips

Postby jonny5buck » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:48 pm

Im going to go out on a limb here and write a few things that might help someone who is either ''forced ''to hunt public land...because of no access to private land....or the guys who are new to bowhunting or looking for advice on parks in general.

First off when i say scout ..i am refering to boots on the ground....i prefer to scout alone...it works and i get more knowledge quicker of new woods or the lay of the land....always ..always get a park map...talk to the park personel at least once..and you must buy a compass....you must have one regardless of the acreage...at night while tracking a deer it is easy to get dis-oriented. Learn your North/South/East/West...you should be looking at your map ,while holding your compass....use it often before season during and after.

Second piece of advice ...i do this every time...walk the park boundary...learn where it is ...and look for trees that have marks from climbers....or bow hooks that were left on the trees....ask yourself...why were guys set up here?...where these good spots?? which way would the wind be if you were in that tree??? again look at your compass.

I also am looking for stands on the private side of the boundary..i am NOT walking on private land but again on the actual boundary....it is important because land that buts parks is usually capitalized on by savy hunters that let the ''park hunters'' ...push the deer to them...usually more prevelant in parks that allow gun hunting but i have found numerous spots like this in parks that are ''bow only''...it is also valuable because ...just because it is private land does NOT mean they nesc. have an advantage...plus they could be making mistakes also...coming in with wind blowing their scent towards bedding area etc etc..

Lastly...i walk slow ...very slow..very very slow when i am scouting....why??? i have walked up on deer bedded almost every third trip out...at every park i hunt....watch where they go...this is usually an escape route..maybe just for that deer ,but possibly for several deer....notice where you were when you spooked him...was the wind blowing at him.. or her if a doe..??? now you have an advantage..you have first hand knowledge that deer are there and although they might not be in that spot in October...you have something more valuable than gold....you have the confidence to scout correctly... do it once maybe twice ..than get the heck out of there and don't come back till season....write notes that day ,make scribbles on your map...example--------funnel.....big buck droppings and scrapes....nice oak tree...etc etc...good luck ,put in the time just one afternoon or 2..... and you will start picking apart parks..... and leaving with meat and bone sticking off the back of your truck!!![:D]

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ishman
 
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RE: Park Hunting -scouting tips

Postby ishman » Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:51 am

Nice post. With more and more land being posted, many of us are hunting state land. But its not always a bad thing. If you put the time and effort in to properly scout, you can be succesful. The one thing ill add that i do is use topos and ariel photos. It sometimes helps me narrow things down to make my scouting more succesful. It does help that my father is an engineer and can get me pretty much any topo or photo i want. Thanks for the tips!
Eric

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jonny5buck
 
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RE: Park Hunting -scouting tips

Postby jonny5buck » Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:41 am

Same to you Ishman...I appreciate the feedback...good point with the topo and ariel photos..i definetely feel that that is where anyone should start with big tracts of land. Im fortunate enough most parks im hunting are around 350-600acres...i prefer to disect them into ''mini'' sections....this helps me to learn a section of the section ...if you will.

Something else i will add is the importance of making remarks on the park map...i have several notes scribbled on each one...i also keep an extra park map that has nothing written on it all...this is the one i pull out in public,to show someone who may need some direction on where they are trying to go...mine with ,funnel,big buck corridor, mature doe spot,...etc etc. is for my eyes only..i work hard for my spots.The message i wish to convey here is that you can;t expect to waltz in a park in mid-season and have experienced hunters give up their spots...or offer more than medial advice...too many guys don't scout at all ...i run into them each year...each park....

This is just sound advice that you must actually do some serious commited time to walking the land no matter where you hunt...the compass is a life saver in rough terrain,and with only one or two days of proper scouting..i think that is suffecient start anyway....i should also state im usually spending 3 to 4 hours walking and scouting ...minimum...3 or 4 hours....than like i said get out....right down all your notes while sitting in your truck...and then move on...don't burn up that spot by overwalking it or draw attention to it by going every single weekend,and tromping it,trust me people are nosey at parks to begin with...i try to blend in just like everyone else than get out of there.

Jon H.
 
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RE: Park Hunting -scouting tips

Postby Jon H. » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:28 pm

Great tips, I like to scout on a full moon, to see were the deer are eating. And I like to park a little down the road, so other hunters don't know were I go into the woods. I don't use bright eyes on the road. I start them in the woods a little ways. I mark the road access with my GPS are a broken limb, beer can or something. I'm like you scout, scout, scout and map everything. I think if you put in your time you will succeed!  

 

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jonny5buck
 
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RE: Park Hunting -scouting tips

Postby jonny5buck » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:20 pm

I would also like to comment that after all that hard work pays off ..a good deer cart is one of the best investments you could ask for.....another piece of advice that i do is to gut my deer [when possible] at another location...even if its 70 yds from my stand....there is guys who will find that gut pile and set up right there not caring one bit if your stand is 10yds away...better to clean him somewhere else,if at all possible.

I have also argued with a lifelong friend of mine on this next issue ...to the point we no longer hunt together anymore...not by my choice..his choice-!


I have had plenty of good spots burned up by being too chatty ....reality is we all like to hear about success and the stories of the hunt are the best part...i personally leave out the exact or even general location of where i downed a deer ..it's my choice....the way i look at it is i worked very hard for my choice of spots to hunt,,when or if it pays off...nothing bugs me more than a guy who is relentless about finding out the location...the motives are obvious...so they can hunt it....

This happened with a close friend...he tried telling me i wasn't a really good hunter unless i told exactly where i got my buck....so i told him....IN THE WOODS!...i also told him a different park altogether....hopefully none of you will have to go to this extreme....i didnt wish for it.but realisticaly..it could happen...and my personal opinion is it is no-ones business,unless your being questioned by park staff or the Game warden..it's no ones business.

Just to recap,put the time in...get the heck out...keep your notes...use that compass...it could save your life.....also a deer cart helps not leave drag marks in the park...also i lock everything i can...including my truck topper...and even my deer hitch hauler...gets locked with a small chain and lock...keep it simple ....do most of your work pre-season..and save the rest of the hard work for getting that deer out of the woods-

Jon H.
 
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RE: Park Hunting -scouting tips

Postby Jon H. » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:11 pm

I use a deer cart too. Mainly so nobody hears an atv running and tries to pin point my spot. I really don't care about anybodies spot, because when I harvest a deer I know I urn ed it. 

woodsalta
 
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RE: Park Hunting -scouting tips

Postby woodsalta » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:35 am

I agree about not letting everyone know where your "honey hole" is. It will just cause a lot of other hunters to come through your piece of woods looking for your spot. BUT, I would definatly leave directions for my wife, and in the past I have taken her out pre-season to show her where my stand is so in case I don't come back before the predetermined time she will know where to look or to send help. Plus it's nice to have the extra set of hands to help bring in that new stand into the woods.
A man with a gun is a citizen, a man without a gun is a subject.

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Cut N Run
 
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Re: Park Hunting -scouting tips

Postby Cut N Run » Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:47 am

Some great tips there, Johnny. I'd like to add a few that have helped me succeed on public land.

Look for those escape routes near easy access points used by other hunters. Face it, most deer hunters are probably weenend warriors who don't put themselves out much and park close to where they hunt. By finding where those types of hunters are likely to push deer because they are not stealthy, or scent concious, it can benefit you by having the deer forced to you. Many hunters unwittingly walk too fast through the woods and run deer off before they ever see them. If you are are in there ahead of time and wait patiently, you can have the careless human activity work to your benefit.

Look for those odd places where you wouldn't think any self-respecting mature buck would bed. I saw a big buck bed down near the end of a long point with minimal cover because nobody messed with him there. I happened to be watching across the other side of the lake from a treestand from him. After I saw him leave the area, I climbed down and walked around to his hangout, which was clearly regularly used. The point was too big for one guy to hunt, so I asked a good friend to come drive the point with me a few days later and he was able to tag one of the biggest bucks of his life. I have found sheds in a small island of trees in a big field. That buck was in there because nobody thought a buck that size would use a place so small. Same goes for islands in rivers.

A canoe can be a great tool for accessing hard to reach hunting spots that don't get much pressure. Floating a deer in a canoe also makes it easier to get a deer out versus dragging it through the woods.

Jim
Luck Counts, good or bad

elrod
 
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Re: Park Hunting -scouting tips

Postby elrod » Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:02 am

Real good information. When I'm going to look a new place over I'll first go online to an arial image program like Google or PhotoUSA. I'll look for good looking areas and mark them with waypoints, then transfer the waypoints to my GPS. I may also make routes that I want to follow and mark them then transfer.

I'll also look at the roads and figure a good place to park the truck where I can cover the areas I've marked and then mark where I'm going to park so when I find a good spot while scouting I can mark it on GPS and know which way to get back to truck.

Last thing I do is print the area out and take it with me when I'm scouting so I always know where I am by looking at the printed image.

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kellory
 
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Re: Park Hunting -scouting tips

Postby kellory » Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:26 pm

If I may add one thing, I will download arial pics of the property I am hunting as clear and large scale is I can get. When hunting with a group, each man knows where he should be, and where the rest of the party will be to prevent anyone aiming in the wrong directions. It helps also, to have those who are furthest out, and in the right wind directions, to pull back in, the soonest when the hunting time is ending. It will very often push the deer back accross the hunters still on stands. ( all but 1 tip I read were for solo hunting.)
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.


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