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Author Topic: What's your scouting strategy?  (Read 889 times)

Offline yakimanoob

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What's your scouting strategy?
« on: October 23, 2017, 11:54:03 AM »
Hey folks,

After doing 3 scouting trips and 3 hunting trips between high buck and general deer, I struck out so naturally I'm second-guessing my entire strategy.  (This is only my second year hunting anything, FYI). 

I'm curious where you focus your time and effort during the scouting phase.  I had success last year in 342, and going off that and a tip from my experienced neighbor, I returned bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to the same spot this year.  I struck out, but that's not unexpected for the noob that I am.  What really bugs me is that I saw a grand total of 5 individual deer, all female, 3 mature and 2 young.  I also saw VERY little sign in the 10 miles or so that I covered, which is especially surprising to me given the snow and soft ground conditions that were ripe for tracking.  I have a lot to learn about stalking and shooting and being quiet, but I have to admit it seems like the deer just weren't in that area to begin with. 

Thinking through it after the fact, I'm feeling like I spent way too much time on my scouting trips glassing for animals, and way too little time hoofing it looking for sign and good glassing spots. 

What do you spend most of your time on when you're scouting?  Mostly trying to get your eyes on animals?  Mostly getting to know the terrain?  Looking for sign?

Offline Hilltop123

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Re: What's your scouting strategy?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2017, 11:59:34 AM »
Unless your hunting private land, I'm not sure what good scouting does for you. After opening morning, things are all stirred and mixed up, kinda like hunting in a blender.

Offline Seahawk12

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Re: What's your scouting strategy?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2017, 12:14:20 PM »
I'm not good enough to get paid to hunt, but I do have some experience. I am a firm believer in picking a couple areas and then learning them very well.
I make lots of trips and do lots of hiking. You would be amazed at how many folds there are for deer to move around in. A deers home range is pretty small and they know it really intimately.
Pick a fews hills and or ridges and plan campouts and hiking trips around those areas. Maps only give a general outline. Even glassing won't give you the whole story. You need to hike as much of an area as you can.
If you stick with the areas you already hunt your knowledge of the areas will get more detailed with each trip.
That's my strategy. Over the course of years my knowledge of my favorite areas has become very detailed.
I do scout out at least one new area each year also because things like wildfires can really mess up my strategy sometimes.
Best of luck.
"I make up my opinions from facts and reasoning, and not to suit any body but myself. If people don't like my opinions, it makes little difference as I don't solicit their opinions or votes."
William Tecumseh Sherman

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: What's your scouting strategy?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2017, 12:44:48 PM »
Unless your hunting private land, I'm not sure what good scouting does for you. After opening morning, things are all stirred and mixed up, kinda like hunting in a blender.
Sure, but that can be fun too.  Predicting undisturbed animal behavior is simple enough.  Food, water, shelter, woopie.  Figuring out what they're doing and where they're going when you throw of bunch of orange highlighters onto the landscape is a fun puzzle. 

Offline vandeman17

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Re: What's your scouting strategy?
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2017, 01:05:25 PM »
When I scout, I look more so for "gamey" areas versus actual game. Find places that have good cover and escape routes as well as potential feed and bedding locations.

As for the hunt this year, even though you didn't kill one, it was a success. Not only is it another year of experience under your belt, but you also helped narrow down areas that might not produce much at that time of year. Scouting only gets you so far and the only way to truly get a feel for where the deer and elk go during the season is to be out there among them.
" I have hunted almost every day of my life, the rest have been wasted"

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: What's your scouting strategy?
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2017, 02:23:08 PM »
Thanks vandeman.  I was pretty bummed at the end of the day yesterday but I'm coming to my senses and know I shouldn't be too hard on myself. 

Offline vandeman17

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Re: What's your scouting strategy?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2017, 02:44:02 PM »
Thanks vandeman.  I was pretty bummed at the end of the day yesterday but I'm coming to my senses and know I shouldn't be too hard on myself.

For sure. There is a learning curve and I always try to remember that scouting and hunting doesn't always have to produce animals or a kill to be productive.  :tup:
" I have hunted almost every day of my life, the rest have been wasted"

Offline 7mmfan

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Re: What's your scouting strategy?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2017, 03:15:36 PM »
Like Vandeman, I also focus on areas that have what the animals want and need as opposed to looking for actual animals. I've really taken this to heart while scouting my blacktail areas the last couple years, and the amount of bucks we see and have killed the last couple years has been pretty impressive, to me at least  :chuckle: 

Most mature mule deer bucks won't be very visible after they rub their velvet off, so finding the sign that they've been around, and the terrain they like is about all you have to work with. Once you figure that out, you can almost copy and paste to new areas and have success.
I hunt, therefore I am.... I fish, therefore I lie.

Offline ian_padron

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Re: What's your scouting strategy?
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2017, 09:50:58 AM »
I'm not good enough to get paid to hunt, but I do have some experience. I am a firm believer in picking a couple areas and then learning them very well.
I make lots of trips and do lots of hiking. You would be amazed at how many folds there are for deer to move around in. A deers home range is pretty small and they know it really intimately.
Pick a fews hills and or ridges and plan campouts and hiking trips around those areas. Maps only give a general outline. Even glassing won't give you the whole story. You need to hike as much of an area as you can.
If you stick with the areas you already hunt your knowledge of the areas will get more detailed with each trip.
That's my strategy. Over the course of years my knowledge of my favorite areas has become very detailed.
I do scout out at least one new area each year also because things like wildfires can really mess up my strategy sometimes.
Best of luck.
This right here^

Read it twice.

The weather this year was about as non-conducive to hunting deer as it gets too, at least up high. WET!

Sent from my LG-H872 using Tapatalk


Offline fishngamereaper

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Re: What's your scouting strategy?
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2017, 09:54:26 AM »
Whether Im scouting or hunting I always see those spots and say, only a fool would go there. Then I go there and for some reason always get into animals.

 

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