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Kyle

Big Bucks

11 posts in this topic

I know this has been covered to some extent.

However, this morning I read once again in a magazine that early season(right now) can be the best time to get on big bucks simply because they are easier to pattern. I hunt in the woods, not next to any fields or crops. It is woods and a little swamp. I know there are big bucks in my area because people shoot a couple every year from my stand in rifle season. But bucks are moving around alot at that time of year and could very welle be passing through. The magazine said to scout early and find out where the big bucks are bedding. How am I supposed to do that when I cant see more than 35yds. If I just start walking around, I could and more than likely will bump a big buck completely out of the area and may or may not even know it. Not only that but my scent will be everywhere. I know sitting on stand before the season is one way to scout, but that just seems like it would be a waste of time because at the end of the day, if a big buck doesnt show himself or leave markings within about 40yds of your stand for you to see, you would assume that there isnt one there, and your right where you started.

Anyone have any ideas?

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May not be the best alternative, but it is what I have done this year. I am hunting public land and there is only one other guy and myself hunting it, so far. I did scout it a few times before the season opened and had a couple spots in mind. I sat at the first spot for a few days and then decided to move, but ran into the other hunter so I didn't go hunt my second alternative. My third alternative turned up to be a better spot with a few does seen and then my buddy ended up shooting an 8 pointer a few nights ago, after seeing 4 other bucks. While tracking his buck we stumbled onto about 15-20 beds, I now know why those deer were coming into the area. If your first spot if you aren't seeing what you want to see from your stand, try moving to your other alternatives.

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I love how magazines just say things like: "just find where the big bucks are bedding and hunt there"! It could very well take 5-10 years to figure that out on your land. The fact that nice bucks are shot from that stand by rifle only for sure means that they like your woods in November or during the rut. It doesn't necessarily mean they are there now early season. Have you ever seen a mature buck from that stand early season? If so, and you recall the wind direction, that would be a place to try when the wind is from that same way. Otherwise think about other parts of the land where you've seen mature bucks during the early season, and put a stand there too. My 2 cents.

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Fishermatt,

It is funny how those magazines talk like that. Your right, the big boys may not be there right now. to tell you the truth, Im too scared to even walk my own woods this time of year looking just because i dont want to push anything off my property. I have not seen a mature buck there before, but Ive only been hunting this spot with a bow for two years, and last year I only hunted a couple weekends. Good advice, thankyou.

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I have never seen bucks on our property - DURING DAYLIGHT - except for the last week of October. I pretty much accept that it's a matter of waiting until then for a buck and then hunting long and hard until the first few days of gun season that drives them nocturnal again until next October. This is just an observation on my property.

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I wholeheartedly agree with that comment. What you very likely may even find, they aren't bedding on your land, they may be bedding in the neighbor's woods & most of the time don't get to the land you can hunt on until after dark, other than the rut when they're roaming almost all the time.

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I will agree, that bucks will not be on your land 100% of the time, also I only see bucks with regularity in late October as well. I never saw a big buck while rifle hunting then when I bowhunted I saw one on one of my first outings in October. I would miss rifle opener to hunt in late October if I it was up to those 2 choices. What I'm saying is that your best chance to see a buck, is in late October. I'm not saying that it is impossible to find them this time of year, I just have a hard time finding them. A good tip to use is when theres a decent rain on a weekend, go for a walk, the rain will wash any scent away, and its quiet walking. The best way to know for sure is to walk until your feet beg for mercy. know every inch of yor land. It will change year to year as well.

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my best advise is trail cameras. I know they are expensive, but save up and buy one a year. They are your 24 hour scouting eyes every day they are out.

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I'm kind of in the same situation that you are in. I hunt in woods/swamp. I have had my trail camera out since early June and had numerous pictures of a shooter 8 point. Last Saturday evening I had does and fawns walking around but where they came out was about 70 yards down a shooting lane. Last night same thing but this time it wasn't the does it was the tall 8 point. He came out and stood in the lane for five minutes and then started to walk towards me. He got about 50 yards away and slipped into the woods. Saturday will be my next chance to get out so I plan on bring my summit climber and find a spot to set up to that main trail all the deer are using. Hopefully I can sneak in quite enough and get set up. If the weather is like last night I think you could have walked right up on deer before they even knew you were there. We have received a lot of rain up north in the last week and there is a lot of standing water to be had.

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TRIAL AND ERROR. SOMETIMES YOUR THE WINDSHIELD.....SOMETIMES YOUR THE BUG!!!!

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This may not mean much, but here is my take. If other people are shooting the bucks, and not you, what do you have to lose by doing a little scouting. If you bump a buck, you are not seeing anyway whats the difference. Also If you have the chance, scout in the rain. Your scent will be washed away, and you shouldn't bump anything. If you suspect the bucks are there, go find them. The worst that will happen is you don't shoot one this year. But at least you will know for next year.

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