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Anyone Doin Some Summer Scouting?


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I did a bit at 9:00 am this morning.  I watched a big old doe disappear into some grass that is currently over 7 ft tall, right in front of one of my new tree blinds.   I was going to bush-hog that strip over the next few weeks.  
 

Seeing that she seems to feel comfortable there, I think I will leave it until next year.  That will save me some high-priced diesel fuel and might help me kill her during the upcoming early September antlerless gun season.  
 

Here is a picture that I took of her, a few weeks ago, when  that grass was at least a foot shorter:

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Hopefully, she will be the first of many that I kill from this new chair I just finished putting together:

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I have to wonder what is learned from summer scouting other than just a general census of what the deer herd size looks like. Let's face it, the feeding habits vary wildly in the fall from what they are like now. Food sources are what drives the deer movements, and the food sources are totally different right now from what they will be when the season rolls around. Of course, the way we are driving season openers earlier and earlier, perhaps the variations may not be as different as it used to be. I have seen smoking hot summer trails go stone cold when the leaves and temperatures begin to fall. I have seen the growth of farm crops effect deer movements. I have seen the ripening of fruit trees move deer patterns.

And then there is rut which trashes everything that might be learned right now. There are other seasonal changes that put summer scouting in question. So, I have to ask, what useful info for fall hunting can be relied on from the movements that you see in the summer.

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I have been watching a big 10 this year from a far. Seen him following the same path 4 times in the last month at about the same time. Will see if he continues into Oct.

I already figured out the way I will approach the area to get to him. The set up will be on the ground in a creek bottom.

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20 hours ago, Swamp_bucks said:

Here and there I’m usually done by June 1st minus trail cameras. I think we are going to pa at some point to do a day scout of a spot we hunted last year and get it dialed it in a little bit more.

Youre done by June 1st?? why is that?  Dont want to make too many intrusions into their space?

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18 hours ago, Doc said:

I have to wonder what is learned from summer scouting other than just a general census of what the deer herd size looks like. Let's face it, the feeding habits vary wildly in the fall from what they are like now. Food sources are what drives the deer movements, and the food sources are totally different right now from what they will be when the season rolls around. Of course, the way we are driving season openers earlier and earlier, perhaps the variations may not be as different as it used to be. I have seen smoking hot summer trails go stone cold when the leaves and temperatures begin to fall. I have seen the growth of farm crops effect deer movements. I have seen the ripening of fruit trees move deer patterns.

And then there is rut which trashes everything that might be learned right now. There are other seasonal changes that put summer scouting in question. So, I have to ask, what useful info for fall hunting can be relied on from the movements that you see in the summer.

Agreed. There was a trail I discovered last season -and by trail I mean "heavily used"!! Tons of prints running both directions in an almost "straight as a n arrow" NS direction!! But this was in March.... So I hung  2 trail cams along the trail. As it turned out, trail usage diminished by summertime and by the fall, was as deas as a dorrnail- why I wondered? 

Who knows, but if I had to guess, I'm sure it was seasonally related and was once a very useful trail for wintertime haunts , became less useful as the weather changed and it got warmer.  Were they travelling to a spot that received alot of sunlight during the day, perhaps? And if so, would make total sense in Feb, but not so much in April/May!!  :D

 

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Summer scouting might not be as directly related to success as people think, but there is value.

We did some work on our Ohio farms yesterday. Here are some useful things I learned that may be a factor:

  • Dry conditions - creek beds are dry in most all areas short of a few water holes that remain and are concentrating deer in an area that they typically don't.
  • Two fields were extremely wet in spring leading to a very late planting of beans. These fields are now on the radar for opening weekend of archery as a potential place to target.
  • Farmer cleared a tractor path up a hill that hadn't existed in one section of the farm. This area is very thick, had some bedding but also alot of transitional edge (briars to conifers, to a field edge, and starting from a creek bottom). It's about a month old but we can see tracks quite clearly now and set a cam to monitor use.
  • Apple trees are not as strong as they were last year in terms of fruit bearing. This area was a good spot for the first two weeks of the season. We'll monitor the fruit drop.
  • We jumped a buck in a small creek bend where we had elevation advantage and watched his escape route, which confirmed what we thought happens. We found the bed in early April prior to turkey season. It's near an entry-exit point for us, so now we're educated as to how to avoid it.
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3 hours ago, Northcountryman said:

Youre done by June 1st?? why is that?  Dont want to make too many intrusions into their space?

By the time June 1st comes all the following years sign is covered.  From march until about then all the scrapes,rubs,beds, poop any sign put down in the fall is still pretty well preserved.   
 

not really worried about pushing them out of a spot during summer. Summer sign also doesn’t tell me what I want or need to know. Trail cameras and driving around tell me what bucks are in the area and with my scouting all done I know where to hit the best bedding,food, rut spots for the fall.  
 

some spots I don’t bother scouting because they prove year after year I already know how to hunt them. By June 1st I have roughly 60 spots picked out on stateland to hunt and may only hunt 10-15.

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Summer scouting consists of locating mast soft and hard. Checking crops in nearby fields.  And any large disturbances that may effect movement..  

Most of my scouting in summer is done with binoculars looking up in trees to locate mast.  Its nice to see bucks in velvet but summer spots maybe miles from fall and winter  range.   

End of august sept is when i try and pattern a bachelor group for  oct 1..  

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I've walked my new piece of CT woods a few times per month since February. Got a ton of oak trees (i believe red) on the top two ridges. Hopefully a good year of acorns. Haven't nailed down any specific spots to sit yet, but I will need to choose in august sometime for the 9/15 opener.

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I've walked my new piece of CT woods a few times per month since February. Got a ton of oak trees (i believe red) on the top two ridges. Hopefully a good year of acorns. Haven't nailed down any specific spots to sit yet, but I will need to choose in august sometime for the 9/15 opener.

Now on my 3rd season in Winsted, CT.
Insane amount of acorns. Congrats on new piece. Lots of deer & bear (no bear season tho).
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5 hours ago, Northcountryman said:

Have never done that; has it worked for you?

Several times..  if bachelor group is still together, even loosely  you know whick bucks tend to hang with each other.

See a 4 pt and spike follwed by a big 10.. it maybe the tip off that when you are sitting and the spike and 4 pt come by chances are  the 10 is behind even if its 30 min later.

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During turkey season I checked out a new disaster area that I found on state land late season last year. I wanted to see how big it was, how thick it is, and the odds of people going in it, or even finding it. It is brutal in there, and I will guarantee someone with me will shoot a buck with rifle that is with me. I will give it a shot during bow season, but it has to be outside of the mess. I can't see any way of going in without alerting any deer in the area.

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I hunt a lot of different areas so I try to get out every other weekend or so if I can.  I'm mostly checking and trimming stand sites, but also looking at the current agricultural crops, seeing if the gyspy moths have finally all died and off and checking to see if maybe we'll have some acorns again this year.  In the new area's I want to place a stand, I'm looking at old rubs and trying to pick a tree.  Also setting out trail cams to try and get an idea of what deer are in the different areas I hunt.

 

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11 hours ago, coonhunter said:

During turkey season I checked out a new disaster area that I found on state land late season last year. I wanted to see how big it was, how thick it is, and the odds of people going in it, or even finding it. It is brutal in there, and I will guarantee someone with me will shoot a buck with rifle that is with me. I will give it a shot during bow season, but it has to be outside of the mess. I can't see any way of going in without alerting any deer in the area.

You mean, like major blowdown?  Sounds like a great hiding place for a Buck come rifle season!!

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10 hours ago, genesee_mohican said:

I hunt a lot of different areas so I try to get out every other weekend or so if I can.  I'm mostly checking and trimming stand sites, but also looking at the current agricultural crops, seeing if the gyspy moths have finally all died and off and checking to see if maybe we'll have some acorns again this year.  In the new area's I want to place a stand, I'm looking at old rubs and trying to pick a tree.  Also setting out trail cams to try and get an idea of what deer are in the different areas I hunt.

 

Are you seeing deer when you go out or no?

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I usually see a few deer, lots of tracks and I see where they have been eating the green vegetation.

One thing I noticed last time out was small fruit had dropped under most of the hickory trees. Almost like they dropped early. I hope that's not the case as the animals really relied on them last fall, since the moths defoliated most oaks in my area.

 

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