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Fence Rows and Stream/Ditch Rows

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I see a lot of guys hunting over food plots and open ground, but coming from a bow and shotgun background, I have had huge success hunting fence rows (even ones that don't exist any more) and stream beds. If I can find a spot where a stream or ditch row is splitting a piece of property, or where two fences converge, or where there is a break in an old fence, it seems like I can put myself on deer. 

I took this guy several years ago after taking my climber up over a broken down fence row. He was cruising for does and came in at 10 yards.

Does anyone else seek out these type of spots?

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Edited by Splitear_Leland
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Absolutely. Those are great spots! I haven't had your luck, but have seen a few nice ones either just out of range or with a twig or branch obstructing the arc of an arrow and had to pass.

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Two of my favorite spots are old fence rows.  I have a stand 20 yards from a fence break and deer def go thru there. Next season need to trim another spot along fence as I couldn't shoot twice where they followed the fence.  

Last season all three deer I took we're along a fence line. 

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Beauty of an Illinois buck Leland!!!

I too have found success in fence and hedgerows. Where bucks use them, instead of crossing open fields. Also a creek bottom crossing that connects two woodlots. With multiple trails converging to the crossing, is always a hot spot for rutting bucks.

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The first thing I look for is an old fence
Row, I’ve always had success on them. Generations of deer were taught to travel them


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I find a duck's opinion of me is very much influenced by whether or not I have bread

-Mitch Hedberg

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Most of my hunting ends up being near Property lines and fence along our property.small sections are now removed sence my grandparents dont have the sheep around that they had when they made the move there,the deer use it ALOT!

jumped a decent buck during bow that was bedded right behind fence and creek that runs on our property line

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Openings in rock walls count? I love those and often hunt as near to them as I can. Interestingly I never actually killed a deer crossing the openings but they seem to always be in the area of the openings.

Ditches by small creeks often offer me some challenges where I have them. Poor tree to climb or oddly steep angles for climbable trees seem to be a staple of those areas.


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I have a ditch and stream that runs the entire length of my property,  in some spots the ditch sides can be fairly steep. The alders in the ditch are usually laden with deer rubs. I have one homemade tree stand that overlooks a good portion of the ditch and is an excellent killing spot to take does. Deer tend to come down off the mountain of the neighboring property, cross the road drop down into my ditch and browse , feed off apple trees and work towards a food plot that I have which runs adjacent to the ditch. The trails that run thru this ditch is crazy, cover is thick and plenty of water.  So short answer, yes love ditches that hold water, thick cover and also provide food, win, win, win.

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More than 3/4 of the deer that I have killed were from fence and ditch rows.   Most of our farm was fields for many generations.  After my grandad died, and we got rid of the livestock back in the early eighties, some of them are now largely overgrown.   These fields were small, in the European tradition of the original settlers - mostly 3 - 5 acres in size.  They are surrounded by thick hedge-rows like the ones that gave the GI's so much trouble in France after D-day.   To this day, most of the large trees here are still in those old hedge-rows.   Unfortunately, most of those trees were ash, which are now succumbing to the dreaded emerald ash borer.   Just last year, I cut down the last of those, which supported an old tree stand.   I was very thankful when that tree came down, that I had never taken a fall from one (I never used a safety harness), but sad at the same time when I though of all the "free meat" that tree has accounted for.  All of my stands and blinds are now self-supporting, on treated-lumber posts, or attached to oak, maple or poplar trees.   They are all still in the old hedge-rows however, and they are still producing deer.  This one met his fate from one on November 2 of this year :    

1941223022_8pointcb2109asfound.jpg.d6d993fada1652e288acca6e0df5f333.jpg

   After taking my arrow thru both lungs, he made it 150 yards across one of those little fields, and this is how I found him, just inside one of those hedge rows.

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4 minutes ago, wolc123 said:

More than 3/4 of the deer that I have killed were from fence and ditch rows.   Most of our farm was fields for many generations.  After my grandad died, and we got rid of the livestock back in the early eighties, some of them are now largely overgrown.   These fields were small, in the European tradition of the original settlers - mostly 3 - 5 acres in size.  They are surrounded by thick hedge-rows like the ones that gave the GI's so much trouble in France after D-day.   To this day, most of the large trees here are still in those old hedge-rows.   Unfortunately, most of those trees were ash, which are now succumbing to the dreaded emerald ash borer.   Just last year, I cut down the last of those, which supported an old tree stand.   I was very thankful when that tree came down, that I had never taken a fall from one (I never used a safety harness), but sad at the same time when I though of all the "free meat" that tree has accounted for.  All of my stands and blinds are now self-supporting, on treated-lumber posts, or attached to oak, maple or poplar trees.   They are all still in the old hedge-rows however, and they are still producing deer.  This one met his fate from one on November 2 of this year :    

1941223022_8pointcb2109asfound.jpg.d6d993fada1652e288acca6e0df5f333.jpg

   After taking my arrow thru both lungs, he made it 150 yards across one of those little fields, and this is how I found him, just inside one of those hedge rows.

Fantastic deer! Congratulations!

Sorry to hear about the EAB issues, it's a huge problem statewide.

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Just now, Splitear_Leland said:

Fantastic deer! Congratulations!

Sorry to hear about the EAB issues, it's a huge problem statewide.

Honestly, I will not miss the ash trees.  Other that providing supports for tree stands, I have little use for them.   I am really getting sick of burning ash firewood, because it lives up to its name and makes lots of ash, needing far more frequent cleaning than the oak, cherry, maple, and walnut that I fondly remember from the old days.   Ash always had appeal to the folks, who did not want to season their firewood before burning it however, and was nice to have around on the years that were real cold, and I underestimated my firewood supply.   It is the only wood I know of that burns quite well with no time for seasoning.   

The big-leaugers are going to need to figure out how to hit home runs with aluminum bats I suppose.   

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Honestly, I will not miss the ash trees.  Other that providing supports for tree stands, I have little use for them.   I am really getting sick of burning ash firewood, because it lives up to its name and makes lots of ash, needing far more frequent cleaning than the oak, cherry, maple, and walnut that I fondly remember from the old days.   Ash always had appeal to the folks, who did not want to season their firewood before burning it however, and was nice to have around on the years that were real cold, and I underestimated my firewood supply.   It is the only wood I know of that burns quite well with no time for seasoning.   
The big-leaugers are going to need to figure out how to hit home runs with aluminum bats I suppose.   

My favorite tree in Clarence
Is ash,
I’ve been putting my climber on it for years and took my buck from it this year. It’s dead now so I have to figure out another set


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I find a duck's opinion of me is very much influenced by whether or not I have bread

-Mitch Hedberg

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 Elm wood burns like a graveyard mold, and even the very FLAMES are cold...

Oak and maple, if dry and old, will keep away the winter cold...

But ashwood wet or ashwood dry, a KING could dry his slippers by.....

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1 hour ago, The_Real_TCIII said:


My favorite tree in Clarence
Is ash,
I’ve been putting my climber on it for years and took my buck from it this year. It’s dead now so I have to figure out another set


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Hopefully, you can find a nearby maple, oak, or poplar in an even better location.   It was a little sad cutting down the group of ash trees that I killed my first antlered buck out of.  My older cousin had put that one up more than 40 years ago.  A few of the white-oak boards, that he used for steps, were from the original build and were still in half-way decent condition.  I had rebuilt the main platform with treated lumber about 25 years ago.  His original stand was just an old wooden pallet that he nailed between three different trees. There were so many old nails and lags in those trees that I needed to change the chain on my saw a couple of times while reducing them all to firewood.   I tried to cut between the nails but some were so in-grown that I could not see them.   I learned from that one that building a stand in a group of trees is a bad idea.   It required re-work every year due to wind movement. 

 There were no non-ash trees near that location, but my two story blind on the next hedge-row has been more productive anyhow (including my 8-pointer this year), and is way more comfortable in any type of weather conditions.   When I was in that old "pallet" stand, I would often see deer walking by, just out of foster slug range, on the next hedgerow.   Now they come by withing bow range.         

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