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Author Topic: Critique my high hunt strategy, please :)  (Read 7617 times)

Offline yakimanoob

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Critique my high hunt strategy, please :)
« on: July 07, 2017, 09:35:48 AM »
Hey folks!  I've been scouring maps and planning a scouting trip for the high buck hunt, and I'd love your thoughts/critiques on my strategy.  I don't mind being told I'm an idiot, as long as you follow it with advice on how not to be an idiot  ;)

I've got my eye on a few spots in Glacier Peak Wilderness or possibly Henry Jackson (GMU 244/245 area), and my general plan is to find a spot that gives me easy-ish access to as many basins and draws as possible and spend my time glassing until I find a buck I like, then stalk.  I've been focused on north-facing slopes that seem to have year-round water sources. 

This is my first attempt at the high buck hunt, and I've never actually put my boots in that dirt, so I'll take any advice you can give me.  Are there general rules of thumb for the area (like maybe altitudes or particular types of environments the deer like)?  I'm also not super familiar with what the deer are after that time of year.  Are they mostly looking for food to fatten up for fall?  Are they in transit to lower elevations that time of year, or are there weather patterns I should pay attention to that will indicate what they might be doing? 

My aim is to spend at least one weekend scouting in August and/or early September -- I'd be mostly focused on learning the terrain as I doubt I'd have enough time to pattern the deer at all. 

Anyway, tell me where I'm going wrong! And thanks in advance for the tips.

Offline CP

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Re: Critique my high hunt strategy, please :)
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2017, 09:42:42 AM »
Bring lots of bug repellent, without it staying in one spot and glassing isnít going to work. 

Offline 7mmfan

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Re: Critique my high hunt strategy, please :)
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2017, 09:50:14 AM »
In general, the deer are going to start their days where the feed is, which is usually a South facing slope. They will then move to cover to bed. This isn't always timber on North facing slopes, but can be a brushy avalanche chute, strip of timber in the head of a basin, or even immediately downhill into timber below where their feeding.

Bigger bucks that haven't been pressured yet, will often bed down very high on the ridge, below rock outcroppings, amongst piles of rocks/boulders/brush, overlooking the basin they feed in. Once they sense pressure, they will then move over into heavier cover on the north facing slopes.

Don't be surprised to find deer well above timberline, in ground that looks more like goat country.

If you think its "easy-ish" access to multiple basins, so will other people, and you will have competition. Consider that. There are very few secrets left in the high hunts thanks to the internet (forums are part of it, but mainly satellite imagery. It is very easy to scout alpine country with google earth, its highly visible). The best way to get away from people is to do just that, get away from them, go further/deeper/steeper than most people are willing to go.
I hunt, therefore I am.... I fish, therefore I lie.

Offline Bill W

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Re: Critique my high hunt strategy, please :)
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2017, 10:11:47 AM »
deer are going to be more out in the open while in velvet and starting September 1st more in the buckbrush..... meaning where you find them in August won't be where they are in mid-September.

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: Critique my high hunt strategy, please :)
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2017, 10:18:25 AM »
deer are going to be more out in the open while in velvet and starting September 1st more in the buckbrush..... meaning where you find them in August won't be where they are in mid-September.
Great tip.  Thank you!

Offline teanawayslayer

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Re: Critique my high hunt strategy, please :)
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2017, 05:09:59 PM »
Get away from the main trails. Where there's a trail there's people. Google earth is a great tool but a lot of it is a lot brushier than it looks on google earth. If you are going to scout in August I would definitely bring some bug spray with a very high deet content! Bugs are relentless from now to the end of August. Find a spot where you can see a long ways and do your scouting that way. Don't want to pressure those big bucks. If you do they'll be gone or in hiding. Make sure your in a spot where water is accessible. Carrying water sucks! Good luck!
Happiness is being in the woods!!!

Offline WA1232

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Re: Critique my high hunt strategy, please :)
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2017, 06:32:23 PM »
I'll add that trail cameras are a great tool. A camera can give you the confidence that deer are in the area, even if they are hard to find in person.

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: Critique my high hunt strategy, please :)
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2017, 06:34:26 PM »
I'll add that trail cameras are a great tool. A camera can give you the confidence that deer are in the area, even if they are hard to find in person.
Yeah, I have a trail cam I was thinking of taking with me.  Hopefully I can find a place I like to put it on my scouting trip and check it as soon as I show up to actually hunt.

Offline muleracks

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Re: Critique my high hunt strategy, please :)
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2017, 10:19:45 PM »
You will be in a Wilderness area so 48 hours is the rule for leaving things unattended.
That means that trail cameras are not technically legal if left for days or weeks.
Like your spot and stalk approach.

Offline crabcreekhunter

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Re: Critique my high hunt strategy, please :)
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2017, 11:49:05 AM »
Dont expect to be by yourself, my advice would be to go in a couple days before the season, find the deer that you want and first light friday morning be in the position you need to be to put him down.  Best chance at a mature buck is opening morning, after some shots are fired they seem to disappear in the thick and dark.
"Courage is simply fear that has said its prayers"

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: Critique my high hunt strategy, please :)
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2017, 05:50:18 PM »
You will be in a Wilderness area so 48 hours is the rule for leaving things unattended.
That means that trail cameras are not technically legal if left for days or weeks.
THANK YOU.  I did not know about that rule. 

Offline Bill W

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Re: Critique my high hunt strategy, please :)
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2017, 06:21:23 PM »
Dont expect to be by yourself, my advice would be to go in a couple days before the season, find the deer that you want and first light friday morning be in the position you need to be to put him down.  Best chance at a mature buck is opening morning, after some shots are fired they seem to disappear in the thick and dark.

I've seen deer scoot out the night before as more people arrived for the opener.

Offline ian_padron

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Re: Critique my high hunt strategy, please :)
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2017, 11:35:44 AM »
In general, the deer are going to start their days where the feed is, which is usually a South facing slope. They will then move to cover to bed. This isn't always timber on North facing slopes, but can be a brushy avalanche chute, strip of timber in the head of a basin, or even immediately downhill into timber below where their feeding.

Bigger bucks that haven't been pressured yet, will often bed down very high on the ridge, below rock outcroppings, amongst piles of rocks/boulders/brush, overlooking the basin they feed in. Once they sense pressure, they will then move over into heavier cover on the north facing slopes.

Don't be surprised to find deer well above timberline, in ground that looks more like goat country.

If you think its "easy-ish" access to multiple basins, so will other people, and you will have competition. Consider that. There are very few secrets left in the high hunts thanks to the internet (forums are part of it, but mainly satellite imagery. It is very easy to scout alpine country with google earth, its highly visible). The best way to get away from people is to do just that, get away from them, go further/deeper/steeper than most people are willing to go.
Yeah that^^^

Last year was my first time hunting high buck and I saw deer every day. HOWEVER, I learned a spot and learned it well during the summer when the bucks were still in velvet and totally relaxed. Still returned home empty handed though, finding 'em is only half the battle.

In my experience, you want to find a trail that will give you centralized access to run as many ridges and glassing points as possible. Get off the trail and peek into green basins that are a ridge or two away from the closest trail, DO NOT lose elevation, stay high and don't skyline yourself.

There are almost always deer or bear in those basins. Glacier Peak Wilderness is full of places just like what I've described.

Google Earth is a great start but I can't say I've found a single spot that I'd put in my top 5 by scouting online. All of the hidey holes were found with boots on the ground.

This is how I did it.

Step 1: Recon missions, bring binos but mainly you're just checking out country and trying to see as much as possible. Make a list of spots that have feed, cover, water etc.

Step 2: Return to your best 2 or 3 spots and spend at least a night or two back there and glass the *censored* out of it at dawn and dusk. If you don't see bucks...move on.

Step 3: Pick your best spot and show up on September 15th and hope you're the only one that knows about it (slim chance but you never know).

The high hunt is fun, and as much as guys will try to scare a new guy away from it (like me when I moved out here) there really are some great spots that see very few hunters.

Good luck this year man!

Sent from my SM-N910P using Tapatalk

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: Critique my high hunt strategy, please :)
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2017, 11:59:49 AM »
Thanks Ian! 

And believe me, I know how to read a topo map well enough to know that finding a buck is probably less than half the battle :).  I'm no performance athlete anyway, so I'm expecting this hunt to be one of the more physical challenges I've encountered especially if I'm successful. 

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: Critique my high hunt strategy, please :)
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2017, 06:14:41 PM »
But still.  I can't freaking wait.  57 more days!!

 

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