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Author Topic: Scouting this time of year.  (Read 1019 times)

Offline andr3wxmma

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Scouting this time of year.
« on: August 23, 2017, 08:48:10 AM »
So i have a Vail motorized permit this year(My last year in Washington and still need to get my first blacktail) but due to being away for training all of September i have to do most of my scouting this four day weekend(fri-mon). On my first trip this last weekend I wasn't sure what i was looking and only left the truck in a couple areas and only found old sign and saw 0 deer. Are black tail bucks as nocturnal as most say?. I was planning on watching a clear cut at dawn and dusk but what terrain should i be looking for to still hunt during the day? Also what age of clear cut am i looking for or what kind of regrowth should it have?

Any tips no matter how obvious they seem are appreciated.

I will either hunt muzzleloader or modern. (Haven't decided yet)

Offline Okanagan

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Re: Scouting this time of year.
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2017, 11:34:30 AM »
Don't know Vail so adjust my comments accordingly.  When I draw a permit in an area I don't know well (and I'd not put in for an area I know nothing about) I start by drawing the boundaries on a map, likely on the DeLorme Washington State Atlas and Gazateer.  We use highlighter felt pens, yellow or orange so that we can see what we've drawn over. 

Second, we drive and look over/glass the boundary as much as possible and then work through the main interior roads.  We are looking for gamey areas, good glassing spots, places with the morning sun at our backs, places with the setting sun at our backs, for campsites, and of course looking for game and sign of game.  Then we start hiking through the places we have chosen as best for us, sometimes in and out and sometimes a cross country hike with a partner to pick me up on the other side.  Our hikes are usually to check at something that looks promising on the map. 

The intent is to eliminate areas I consider poor and discover the highest probability places.  Hopefully that info will progress down to details like finding a good deer bed, a good spot to stop and watch from, good areas for spot and stalk or a place to make a gentle nudge drive with a partner, etc.    Always consider what other hunters will do, where they will park, leave the roads, camp, etc.  and how that will effect game. 

Also remember that mountain deer do not live in the same places nor any deer act the same way in August that they will in October and November, even with no hunters to influence them.  But if you jump an animal, take note and remember the spot.  Remember your approach, where you were when he jumped and which way he went as he escaped.  That is usable info to tuck away and use, whether this Fall or ten years later.

Good luck on your hunt, and enjoy the scout time!
« Last Edit: August 23, 2017, 11:43:51 AM by Okanagan »

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: Scouting this time of year.
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2017, 11:53:46 AM »
So then do you hunt them?

Offline ASienkiewich

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Re: Scouting this time of year.
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2017, 01:32:19 PM »
Blackmail are definitely as nocturnal as people say. You gotta be on a clear cut before it gets light, and until the last minute of shooting light. As far as hunting the middle of the day, you just gotta not give up. You never know when a buck might move. Without any rut activity, they don't move much during the day. But walking in timber along reprod edges is always a good option. The key is doing all of this where there aren't many people/roads close by. I don't hunt vail but if they have gated roads that are walk in only, that's the best place to start. If you find deer and sign this time of year, they will still be around the area come season, just harder to find Lol

Hope I helped a bit. Keep me posted on what you find


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Offline DaveMonti

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Re: Scouting this time of year.
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2017, 05:01:05 PM »
Now is one of the two times they are more likely to be out during the day.  They hate to bump their tender velvet covered antlers on branches, so they are more likely to bed in the open.  In late October, they will be on the move almost all day during the rut.  They may not move much during the day at this time of year, but you will see them bedded in clear cuts or along the edges of the woods.  Once the velvet comes off, you will not see them during daylight hours unless they are pushed or the rut is on. 

Good luck!

Offline fishnfur

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Re: Scouting this time of year.
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2017, 06:23:28 PM »
Those are all great comments. 

-A quarter-mile off the road is almost a requirement unless you're road hunting or glassing a cut.

-Steep timber above alder flats or a young clearcut is always a great place to look for sign and trails. 
-Mixed fir and alder stands have lots of good cover and good browse close by, but it's tough to be quiet - lots of salal and alder twigs to snap.

I'd also recommend you look for rubs on alder and small fir  - knee level up to about waist level - near drainages and brushy draws or the edges of benches.  Any rubs extending up to shoulder level, especially on alder and spruce (prob. no spruce in that area) are likely old elk rubs.  After you find a few rubbed areas, you'll start to be able to guess where to look next.  Those rubs mark buck territories, and even if the buck that created the rub last year is no longer living, the area will likely attract a new buck the following year.

If you're hunting general season/MF, take note of where the does are.  That is where the bucks will be come the last few days of October and during the late season.

Good luck!
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”  - Will Rogers

Offline andr3wxmma

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Re: Scouting this time of year.
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2017, 05:39:33 PM »
Alright thank you for the advice, as for finding locations away from roads that has been a challenge. The vail has a few areas marked as walkin only but they're on the edge of the property and not very big. I found one spot with an old blocked off road that led up to an area with a small section containing some thick timber above clear cuts in all directions it looked promising from old sign a really defined runway that seemed to be the only sensible way into the thick stuff but there was no recent sign in there so maybe they only use it when pressured. There was also some plants the looked like wild pea pods there (what're these and Im assuming if they're peas the deer should be all over them but didn't see any sign) and there was a ton of snakes around them  :yike: :yike: :yike:

Offline JakeLand

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Re: Scouting this time of year.
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2017, 05:49:20 PM »
P.M. Sent

Offline Eric M

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Re: Scouting this time of year.
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2017, 06:14:06 PM »
Alright thank you for the advice, as for finding locations away from roads that has been a challenge. The vail has a few areas marked as walkin only but they're on the edge of the property and not very big. I found one spot with an old blocked off road that led up to an area with a small section containing some thick timber above clear cuts in all directions it looked promising from old sign a really defined runway that seemed to be the only sensible way into the thick stuff but there was no recent sign in there so maybe they only use it when pressured. There was also some plants the looked like wild pea pods there (what're these and Im assuming if they're peas the deer should be all over them but didn't see any sign) and there was a ton of snakes around them  :yike: :yike: :yike:
Just an FYI those wild pea pod looking things are poisonous so don't try them. Look for rubs- look for secondary trails. Those really defined trails are usually what the does are using. Take your time. Blacktail usually live in a pretty small area if they're not pushed out so chances are you are close. Good luck.

Offline ThomMedic

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Re: Scouting this time of year.
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2017, 07:23:10 PM »
Saw two Black Tail doe this evening just off of Bordeaux Road/Capitol Forest. I expect many more around due to the availability of food. There are lots of clear cuts near by also.

Wish you the best.

Offline beechedshark

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Re: Scouting this time of year.
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2017, 08:03:19 PM »
I work in Vail quite a bit. There are deer everywhere. A nice big forked buck was feeding mid day out in the open today. But once the sun Hit his spot he walked into the timber. The most deer I have ever seen was around an area in Vail called clam mountain. Best of luck!

Offline andr3wxmma

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Re: Scouting this time of year.
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2017, 08:39:39 PM »
I work in Vail quite a bit. There are deer everywhere. A nice big forked buck was feeding mid day out in the open today. But once the sun Hit his spot he walked into the timber. The most deer I have ever seen was around an area in Vail called clam mountain. Best of luck!
I didn't make it that far in on my first trip out there. Ill check out deeper in this weekend.

Offline andr3wxmma

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Re: Scouting this time of year.
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2017, 08:48:20 PM »
Alright thank you for the advice, as for finding locations away from roads that has been a challenge. The vail has a few areas marked as walkin only but they're on the edge of the property and not very big. I found one spot with an old blocked off road that led up to an area with a small section containing some thick timber above clear cuts in all directions it looked promising from old sign a really defined runway that seemed to be the only sensible way into the thick stuff but there was no recent sign in there so maybe they only use it when pressured. There was also some plants the looked like wild pea pods there (what're these and Im assuming if they're peas the deer should be all over them but didn't see any sign) and there was a ton of snakes around them  :yike: :yike: :yike:
Just an FYI those wild pea pod looking things are poisonous so don't try them. Look for rubs- look for secondary trails. Those really defined trails are usually what the does are using. Take your time. Blacktail usually live in a pretty small area if they're not pushed out so chances are you are close. Good luck.
Good thing i didnt give them a taste test then  :chuckle:

Offline andr3wxmma

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Re: Scouting this time of year.
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2017, 10:32:13 PM »
Had a lot more success getting in there early and caught a bunch of does leaving their night areas to their bedding. I atleast know they are in the area just need to hope they stay in the same general area and attract a nice buck for me.

 

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