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Old 07-14-2017, 03:33 PM   #67
Texas Grown
Pope & Young
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Burleson, Texas

I'll be honest and give you my .02$ just to help ya along a little.

Originally Posted by drycreek View Post
Gonna head back out there tomorrow and check the cams again.

Curious what y'all think, how long should you leave cams in a given spot without seeing a quality buck before you decide to move to another spot?
If you find a buck on cam during the off season, doesn't mean he'll be there once the season starts. Sometimes they leave their core area for the off season to seek love in other places when the rut starts. And don't return till the season is over. A lot has to do with how many does you have in the area. If you find the does, and food sources, the bucks will show up sooner or later.

I really pretty green when it comes to deer hunting honestly. I'm watching all these videos and reading all these articles and all I ever have is more questions than answers!

Like I can pick out tracks, trails and rubs. It's a little harder for me to ID scraps. Then when it comes to scouting I'm kind of just throwing stuff against the wall seeing what will stick.
Scouting is actually going out and looking for sign like trails, scrapes, rubs, food sources, cover or bedding areas, live deer, ect. Some things take time to learn to recognize for the beginner. Having an experienced hand can help you a lot in learning to recognize "deer sign". And how it plays a roll where you are looking.

Like, what in the hell constitutes a "bedding area"? Am I currently standing in one? Did I just screw myself over by invading his personal space?
Try thinking of a bedding area as a "safe space", just like you would at home for your family. You want to be able to see, hear, and smell anything in the area that might present danger. I've found night time and day time bedding areas out in open fields. And in thick brush. A lot has to do with the time of year. And if they are being pressured. As well as available cover during the late season.
I've also found deer bedded up on hilltops and saddles in the mornings and afternoons to take advantage of cooler breezes during the warmer early season. They also get the benefit of up-drafts from warm air rising in the morning as the air temperature increases. And carries scent upward. And remember, when the day comes to end, the temps usually drop. This means on hillsides, the air/scent current is usually downward. So your scent flows downward.

If so, how the hell to I even find a big buck and start to hunt him if I can't get close to his area and try and figure out his routine.
His routine may change as the season starts. That is what makes the rut so popular. They sometimes get stupid crazy when their hormonal level increases toward the rut, and pre-rut. But being persistent (not giving up) through the season can pay off in the long run on getting a wily old buck. He didn't get old from being dumb. Same is mostly true with big boar hogs. I find them more skittish than old bucks.

I've watched this Pressured Deer Pro and his "conditioning" idea makes a ton of logical sense to me. Idea being, when scouting in the off season you're not that concerned with scent control. You really want to introduce your scent to the animal so he learns to not be super spoked by it if he smells you during the season.
I have to agree with your "Pressured Deer Pro". I've found this to be very true. They may also pattern you, or people, just like you are trying to do to them. I've known a few places now where deer will sit and watch trails people walk in on. Once they know the trail is being walked in on, the deer just get up and walk away to another area till later when they think there is no-longer any danger. I've also used that to my advantage by letting them pattern me (conditioning). Then come in from a different direction to where I'm going to hunt, so they never know "I slipped in the back door". If I come and go at the same time, every time, they come to expect such (conditioning).
I've also hunted some public lands where baiting was legal. Both deer and pigs get used to your scent. I've gone in to feed, left for 15 minutes, and came back with another sack of feed to find the deer already on the first sack I had just put down. I've also used socks on feed pens on private property, as a means of leaving my scent lingering longer around a feeder.

I'm just not sure I buy into the whole be super quiet and have no scent whatsoever deal. These big private land bucks come running as soon as they here the feeder go off. It's become like ringing a dinner bell. I'm sure the first time they heard it it spooked them but then they quickly learned, "oh that's nothing to be afraid of, that's actually a good sound."
Some of the biggest private lands bucks are never seen or killed under a feeder. But on the trials going to and around it. Sometimes they just go by where they can get a good smell of, or see, who's there. And what better way to do that than slightly down wind from a feeder to see if there's any sexy does feeding there.

As to scent control, I'm a big fan of the best scent is no scent during the season. Every hunter is different on this topic. But I know what works best for me. What little I do have during the season, I wanna use the wind to my best advantage when I can. Also, not using scent control during the off season will help condition them to knowing when your there, or have been there recently. By going scent free during the season, what little scent you do give off hopefully is minimal as if you had not been there in a little while. So they are more willing to accept the little than the whole lot. As to stealth, not much need unless you are going to hunt. You don't want the deer to know where you are or what area your in. So I try to be as quiet as possible both going in, and going out during the season. I also keep my head light to a minimum till I'm well out of my hunting area. Deer live there. They know their way around in the dark. And can see your headlight or flash light just like any other human can. I might use a white light till I get a few hundred yards from where I'm going to hunt. Then I turn on a red light and try to keep it low as possible. And many times go without one the last 100 yards or so.

Anyway, like I said, I'm still learning, don't know much at all but trying to figure it out as I go.
That's part of what draws so much attention to it all. You can't always figure it out. Sometimes it's just plain old fortune. Other times, it's all the prep-work. And there seems nothing more rewarding than to have a plan successfully come together with your quarry in hand. But in all, it's all fun.
The best to you this coming season. There's a lot of fun out there. And a lot to learn and experience with age.
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