Help Scouting New Land
Hi everyone, I am new here and somewhat new to deer hunting as well. Until now, most of my deer hunting has either been over foot plots or on very small tracts of land that only had a couple possible stand locations.
This coming season, myself and my hunting buddy have secured permission to bowhunt land owned by our school (we are both graduate students). The land is primarily used for biology research and we are told there is a pretty significant deer population, however the terrain is far from ideal.
We are going to be heading out to the land in early June to scout and hang treestands and cameras. We were hoping that some of you could help us out with terrain features that we should be focused on so that we can concentrate our scouting efforts and leave as little scent in the woods as possible. Scouting a brand new, large tract of land (it is about 300 acres total) is something totally new to both of us, so any help would be greatly appreciated.
Attached is a topo map of the area with some rough property lines drawn in, for the areas not bordered in red, the river is the property line. Thanks again for any help, it is much appreciated!
1st welcome to DHC
if you could make the map larger it would be a big help
Sorry about that, not sure why it made the image so small, I uploaded a jpeg version which came out a little larger, does that help at all?
Thanks for the welcome!
well looks to me you are on a pretty good hill Steep on the road side
flatest on the eastern side what is there I would scout there & anywhere along that water on the north west side. Do you know much about the land? can't read the elevation but looks like it is up there. when scouting look for well used deer trails, food, beds ect looks like you can pretty much tell where they are drinking
I would set my cameras up on good deer trails between the bedding areas & the feeding areas if you can find them
feilds, oaks, orchard. you maybe able to find some scrapes & rubs from last year camera placement in these areas too
What we know about the land are there are several small fields, most on the southern side of the property and one around the middle, these are used for biology research. The deer get in the fields a lot and mess up the plants, they eat some of it, but mostly just mess up the research by trampling the plants etc. so we should be able to find some good deer trails leading to and from some of the research plots.
The land is definitely high in elevation...above 3000 ft for the most part, and each contour line on that map is 40 ft so we have some significantly steep areas, and cliffs on the eastern side as you can see past the flat area.
is it accessable from the south?
I would really look at the fields but would set up in the woods about 20-30 yards off a good trail leading into one of the fields
Set cameras in the fields & on trails
What state are you in if I might ask.
gf--The property is accessible from the south, the only road leads in about halfway up the western "finger" on the southern side
Hunting Man--I am in NC
First thing for me would be to scout the natural food sources. Oak trees especially. Then look for old travel routes, old buck rubs. Then I'd look for the most dense area I could find, this being a safety zone for the deer. Water looks to be fairly available so I look for well traveled routes to the water. You have to decide what you are willing to harvest, buck, doe or either. You'll get a fair idea of how many deer you have after the first scouting. I don't like hunting the ridge tops, hunting the low lands requires extreem scent control but if you can fight the bugs may give you a shot at a big buck moving in and out of his core bedding area. You need to be pretty good at getting into a bedding area without the buck knowing your there. Hunting slightly up-hill where 2-3 trails merge together may give you a great chance at does and middle grade bucks. Not sure of your exact rut period but it's my favorite time in the woods and when a nice buck can be taken. After you have given the area a good walk through let us know what you find and your game plan. I call it the chess game! Watch the ticks and snakes!!!!! I have several friends from NC that hunt in PA.
Thanks so much for the info it is all very helpful! I will be sure to report back as soon as we have made our first walkthrough. Hopefully we will be able to get several stands hung
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