Scouting? What do you guys look for when you are scouting? And when you are scouting for deer how much scouting do you do?
I was looking for deer tracks and trails when I scout. This year I kind of knew where they were based on cam footage so I have placed more cams out on likely trails and crossings and have been rewarded with some pretty good sightings on the cam. I am still new to the game as this is my sophomore year actually hunting. I also am using google footsteps on my phone to log GPS coordinates of my stands and then trying to use google earth to do aerial surveillance for more possible spots at my lease.
I have a vague idea of what scrapes are so I do not do to much looking for those.
Next year while the weather is cooler say April when the seasons close I am going to hit the scout trail harder.
Believe it or not...I was scouting on the patio behind the house about 40 minutes ago. lol Relaxing w/ a cup of coffee. 4 young bucks ran by at about 25 yards. Busted out of my neighbors woods and ran into mine. All looked to be still in velvet. Happened real fast. Made my day!
To answer the question, I do alot of post season scouting to pattern late winter deer. This is where I pick up the following late spring. Travel routes to food, water and bedding. I look for natural funnels between hills and transition areas from thick cover to wooded and or field. I look for that not so heavy trail just off the heavily used trail. Rub lines always get my attention. I generally don't go too crazy or change too much when I find a scrape though (as long as I'm in the area). Don't use cameras as much as I should.
Chasman, 2010 Martin Bengal 60#,Parker Phoenix 60#, Parker Hornet 70#. Hutch-n-Son strings.'Makes a lot of sense if you don't think about it!
I have regular spots that I use in the different woods that I hunt in. I have found over the years, that the deer typically move on the same paths year after year, (at least where I am hunting). The things I look for most are downed trees, or other obstructions that may move the deer off the normal travel paths. It is nice to find scrapes and rub lines, but for me it is more important to make sure the travel corridors are still open and being used. I also look for tree stands to make sure nobody is moving into my area. I actually found one a few years back. I used to hunt with my father out of an old half built log cabin my uncle started. He split his leg with the ax and never finished the cabin. The logs were about waist high, so we built a seat in the corner and shot many deer from that spot. One year, I found a tree stand in the tree right behind the cabin looking over the path that the deer took which would lead them right to us. I left the stand in the tree for several years, and never saw anyone or any sign of it being used. It was nice to know that it was there, because I would always check the tree to make sure no one was in it, especially during gun season. I have found other stands over the years, but that one was the closest. I like to know where other people are in the woods, just because if the deer spot them, I know to look left or right from where the stand is if the deer try to skirt the stand.
2012 Alien X
Besides the trail Camera. I try to find the high ground and use the glasses more than boots. I had a habit of walking too much looking for deer. One year I actually over done it and got dehydrated. I ran out of water and there were no tree's around to find shade. I stopped sweating, had chapped lips and a really bad headache. I ended up getting underneath some brush for shade until I could regain composure. What I learned was that I could cover more ground with Glasses than with feet. For 1 dollar a page I can get maps from the County Assessors office. From my high vantage point, I look for visible animal trails and mark the trails on my map. You can get a close up map for a certain property if needed. Mark watering holes, paths, etc. There's what's called a 911 map that the cops use for my county. It has everything on there including the map sections for area's. With that information I can get close up maps of certain area's that I'm interested in just by showing the assessor office the area on the 911 map. It has the coordinates on it. If you do it the right way...you can find out who owns what property...it's all public info. Great for getting permission to hunt slips.
I went last Monday, and I was very happy with my last day of scooting. 1 evening, 1 morning = 15 deer. 13 does and 2 bucks. One of them an 8+ points. Not that I'm looking for trophy, but it nice to see one of them since they're not always easy to see.