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c&amagn

Deer and Open Fields/Open areas VS Woods???

15 posts in this topic

Good question??? Out of all your deer hunting days/experience do most of you choose to watch or sit by open areas, fields, open swamps or do most of you like to sit in the woods and cover deer trails in the woods? I have a delima this year whether to cover 3 deer trails that converge in the woods or to cover an open area covering a swamp with woods on 3-sides of it. The swamp area has a nice pond with tons of tall soft grass with tons of deer trails criss cossing through out the swamp and tons of deer beds. I have a stand overlooking the swamp so I can see deer in the grass but would only be able to see their heads and neck portions and would have to guess where to place my .270 or 7MM round in the sweet spot for a clean kill OR do I go and sit in the woods stand with the three trails that converge with about a 30-yard shot?? I'm torn as to which spot to sit opening day? The Swamp area has shots anywhere from 30-yards out to 175-yards. I'm really confident with my rifles and my ability to take a clean kill out to that range but have also seen some nice bucks on my trail cam in the woods too. I would like to get some input??? Would the bucks be cruising the swamp bedding areas looking for does too, the trails in the swamp are like a cow path?

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I personally like the open field. I like to see them coming to me. I also have a stand in thick trees/bog area I will hunt that a couple times a year. I have noticed the deer stick to the thick stuff more after being shot at a few times, go figure. If you have access to both try them both. The way I look at it is if I can cover 175 yds sitting in one stand, compared to 30yds sitting in another, you can cover almost 6 times as much area! But sometimes the deer dont want to be in the open either!

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I sit in the woods and love it. The first hour of the day, it prolly wont matter, in fact the open stand is prolly better. After that, the woods stand is prolly better. deer feel more comfortable walking during the day in the woods.

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depends on the open area,i get plenty of deer walking in the CRP all day. infact i seen more bucks last year in the CRP mid day and any other time.

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For me it depends on the pressure. Big deer likely will not show in the open areas if the pressure is too intense. I have seen the rut change that attitude though grin.gif

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There isn't much for woods where I hunt so we are doing deer drives through crp, lakeshores ect most of the day.

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The nearest open field to where I hunt might be within 3 miles but I'm not sure. Thick cover with signs of regular travel. One point I will make. I try to make it a point to be in stand during mid day. Over the years I would be willing to bet the majority of deer I have seen or taken were taken between 10:00am and 2:00pm. When I was logging I noted that this time period was probably the most active throughout the day. Early morning was second and late evening was third.

Bob

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For me it depends on the weather. Nice days will find me on the edges and open areas. Windy,rainy, snowy and I'll be in the woods. But the real key is hunt all day if possible, I don't go back to camp until after shooting hours during the first 3 days of season.

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I do about the same, except when its raing, you will see me back at camp, inside, its not worth wrecking my gun, and or getting sick over!

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I'm sitting in a riverbottom pinch area with an open beanfield about 30 yards too the north. Its a great stand early and late in the day being its an incredible funnel. But middle of the day with no corn standing for 3 miles too the north and the pressure of other hunting groups too the north there will be a constant run of deer down the fenceline and through the draw right into the river bottom i'll be sitting on.

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Why don't we think back to the big bucks we've shot, time of day, and relationship to woods or open areas

4 pm Opening day, hopped over fence from woods into open area heading towards corn.

5 pm Opening day, walking through woods, 10 yards from open field

11 am Opening day, walking from corn into patch of woods

530 pm OPening day, walking along a wooded tree line between corn fields

first light Opening day, leaving field entering woods

330 pm, walking through crp, and random cedars

For whatever reason, I have seen very few deer after opening day... too much pressure I guess... they just go nocturnal.

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James - -sounds a lot like a place I hunt in Dodge County...except it is a creek, not a river, woods with bedding area to south, alfafa to the east, picked corn to the west, slough and woods with pines to the north, and thats just this section, deer funnel to this area from other sections, can't see the bottom from any road, nice and secure tongue.gif

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If it were me, I would sit on the open area until mid morning and head into the woods until mid-afternoon and then back out to the open. At least the first day. After that opening day, deer will feel the pressure and you may find better results in the thick stuff.

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the edge of swamps have always been good for me

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Being in open you can definitely see a lot more but think like a deer. I try to get into the woods 20 to 40 yards gives much closer shots and I think more opportunities. If can be in the woods and still see the open areas is best and what my son and I have for a set up this year. If we see a deer heading accross the open area we can get out of the stand to the open terrain and still get a shot. Hopefully, set up is the best of both worlds. Second in the woods will give my son a closer shot I hope and when shooting your first deer I think this is very important.

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