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Just curious what sign everyone was looking for. Last year I hunted a spot that looked like a deer intersection under an oak tree with lots of acorns on the ground. Trails were going every which way but the only thing I saw in 3 days was a momma doe with 2 yearlings.
 

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The best advice I can give you is to do your scouting for stand placement right after a good snow fall. Deer use different trails during different times of the year. Great spring trails will often go dormant when fall comes around. So, I've had the absolute best results using snow cover during the hunting season to help me identify which trails are most active during that time of year. Then, when you locate a couple very well used trails, walk them out for a good distance and find funnels, pinch points, trail intersections, ditch crossings, etc where you can setup an ambush site.

One other very important thing about hunting trails: Make sure you don't position your stand such that it is in the deer's direct line of sight as it approaches from up/down the trail. You might think this would be hard to do, but actually you have to be very careful of this because it is actually very easy to do. Make sure your stands are at least 15 yards off to one side of the trail. Use fall/winter prevailing wind patterns to help you decide which side of the trail to use. Then get on the deer's level (squat down) and make sure that when the deer would get into range it would at no time have your stand in its direct line of sight.

Hope this helps.
 

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Locate the food source and bedding area then find a pinch point between the two and setup stand. Also remember if planning on it being an evening stand be sure your stand is on the east side of the tree to put the sun at your back.
 

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maximus said:
Locate the food source and bedding area then find a pinch point between the two and setup stand. Also remember if planning on it being an evening stand be sure your stand is on the east side of the tree to put the sun at your back.
That's right out of "bowhunting 101". No offense Maximus, but that makes it sound like a cake walk to position a money stand. It just aint THAT easy. In some places I hunt, everything is a bed and food on all sides.
 

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it try to locate several parallel major game trails. then i find where the buck is cutting them perpendicular and set up there. also my best advice anywhere anyhow and in any situation across the country is to hunt the lowest possible crossing point in your area. no matter where you are the deer travel at the lowest point. if you have deep ravines cutting your place set a stand looking down into them. you will get traffic there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the tips guys!
 

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pizzle said:
That's right out of "bowhunting 101". No offense Maximus, but that makes it sound like a cake walk to position a money stand. It just aint THAT easy. In some places I hunt, everything is a bed and food on all sides.
yep that me... i have to walk through either the bean fields or through the swamp to get to most of my stands...unless of course i could somehow get air lifted hhhuuummmm:darkbeer:

maxx
 

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Scrapes, rubs, food, and doe trails.
I also check out topo maps to locate saddles, water, ridges, etc.....

I mark on the map all of these deer signs and also those things mentioned above. I pick a few spots that should be producers. Then I play the wind.
Remember, locate does and you'll locate bucks.
 

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Im with CMR. Then stand placement will also coinside with the types of crops that are planted.
 

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Rookie mistakes include,

1.) Hunting old trails, or doe trails
2.) Hunting old scrapes
3.) Hunting old rub lines
4.) Hunting to close to bedding areas
5.) Hunting stands to often
6.) Not understanding winds and evening thermals

When scouting I will put more into cover than into actual deer sign. If I have a large open oak ridge littered with scrapes, rubs, crap, etc. I will then look for the thickest area that leads to that area. My favorite stand set-ups are travel cooridors. A thick stand of hemlock trees among hardwoods is always hot. Deer like to feel protected during daylight hours and will use shade to their advantage. Also if you find a very heavily used trails mature bucks seldomly use these. Look 40 - 50 yards away parallel and you will find a seconday trail. These are the trails you want to hunt. Usually are in thicker cover with limited shooting lanes.
 

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Well mostly I look for deer sign:) I look for faint trails leading from feeding areas back to bedding cover, the ones that have runs and scrapes along them.
 

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I like to hunt barb wire fences that are adjacent to THICK cover and find were they are crossing it the most and also i like find steep ditches or creek banks in the woods were its limited were they can cross it and setup there. And my other fav is a saddle that is pretty thick between a bedding area and good oak bottom. Most of my stands are in thick cover.
 

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OK, so being a rookie per say I will tell what I have been doing in the woods.
I find trails, fresh trails will be beaten down to a pulp, the trees on the trails will have fresh bark coming off where thier hooves have hit them as they cross. I also look for food sources (oak trees, persimmon, muskydine vines) and find where the deer have been tearing up the ground, then I grab my corn and my camera and see what I got walking back there. I also started looking for small rubs--rubs to my understanding at this time of year will be on your soft small trees.

But what I never do is put a stand up where I have to cross the trail to get to my stand. I will make sure i have a safe way into and out of my stand so that no one busts me. I also have my stand so that hopefully the wind won't get me all the time and it is high enough off of the ground to be covered nicely. I also on one stand have a feeder that goes off in the morning and afternoon, and from the looks of the oaks, I don't see a lot of acorns like last year in this area. So hopefully the deer will stay on the corn.

Also when i put my corn out I let the deer find the corn first then add and attractant to keep them interested. I have a buck gel "persimmon" scented stump, and buck grub. Now i made the mistake of putting the buck grub out with the corn when I moved to a new area--so it molded. but it didnt keep the bucks from eating it--lol I was on my way to scrap it out of the way and to check the camera, and all of it was gone!

Whew 9 days left!!! SWEET!!!
 

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I hunt the bedrooms in the mornings and get there well before daylight,this has been very effective for me but you cannot over hunt these types of stands.
In the evening i hunt just outside bedding areas on trails leading out and play the thermals (up in morn-down in eve).
Another effective tactic is to create a new trail with pruning shears off of a used trail and bring it to your stand but this is only effective in thick cover and you have to consider the sun and wind as deer want the wind in there face and the sun at there back,took my largest buck with a bow this way.
I keep these trails open during the summer months.
With a firearm anything will work.
 

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I look for big rubs or big limbs broke off over scrapes...some kind of big buck sign...then go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
ttt
 

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I like to set a few days in a obervation stand, where I can watch a large area. This tells me where the deer are coming and going. Then I will move in for the kill! Don't be afraid to move when you need to. Also when the rut starts to heat up forget about the rubs and scrapes and concentrate on the does. Where the does are feeding bucks won't be far behind. JM2cents.
 
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