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I have hunted my whole life, but just now starting to get serious in my bow hunting. I have researched scouting on the net and found all the "find feeding or bedding area then follow trails to find the other". my question is, where i will be bow hunting is open hardwoods next to a river with plenty of sloughs, ponds, etc. what is a good way to pin point a good feeding area when there will be acorns everywhere. on my lease, its not a hard feat being my lease is mainly pines, but where i bow hunt is a national wildlife refuge, and with the leaf cover on the ground making it hard to find good tracks and plenty of oaks, just wondering if someone could help me with trying to pin point some heavy deer areas
 

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you will be amazed at how fast the deer can eat all those acorns.if you really have so many they cant keep up they will eat where they feel safe and the edges .as for leaf cover and tracks you will see trails in the leaves. rubs and scrapes will show up along the edges as the bucks seek out the does feeding on those acornsget a topo map of the spot and post it if you can and we can all give ya some input
 

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It always seemed to me that looking for a feeding area and a bedding area was something that sounded good and made a good article in a magazine but was never based in any fact that I observed about deer. I believe deer will feed from one source to the next and when the belly is full they lay down on the spot. If the food is plentiful they will stand up to feed and stretch then lay down again in the same area.

Hunting an area like you are describing can be the most difficult to pattern a deer in. The two things I think I would look for would be 1) the food sources, locate the high preference oaks that would be in you area and mark them on your map. Look for the other browse that they like, in my area it is the Greenbrier, what ever it is you will be able to see where they have nipped it off. Put that on your map. Note all droppings, rubs, old and new, and any deer seen as well on the map.

Now look for the travel routes between the food sources particularly focusing on anything that wood funnel the deer to a spot. This could be anything like the sloughs they have to avoid or a saddle through a ridge. Any area that will give them some cover as the move around is a hot spot in open forest.

my .02

Good luck
 
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great advise. Here in nh there isn't the corn and beans along with large open areas that seem to allow for pin point bedding areas and feeding areas. buck shot is really right in they can and do bed down wherever they feel safe and the wind is right. in big woods like this i look for those oak stands, beechnut stands and the like. i look for the thicker areas that offer easy access to escape routes. as far as the trails to and fro??? i go with breaklines. this can be a change in slope like from steep to flat or the other way round. saddles, finger ridges, draws and the like. breaklines can also be a line between hard woods and soft. a clear cut/new growth to old growth. can also be stone walls, fence lines. find where several breaklines merge and more often than not there will be good sign there.
 

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i try my best to stay around the thickets that have any amount of sign around them from my experience sometimes deer will stay in the thickest while bedding down and during the day barely move out of it to eat if they can i have watched walk out of a thicket eat and wander n o farther than 50-75 yards eat get water and go right back in the thicket. just my experience cant say all deer will do that but thats how i hunt is if i find a really thick spot i stay tuned to it and watch to see if sign pops up around it anywhere. the thicker the better i geuss to an extent
 

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and, food sources change throughout the fall. Deer adjust their movements as favorite available food drops off and unfortunately food quality declines. Rut hunting is different than deer hunting in that you can utalize scrape lines and rub lines to pin point bucks. I agree with all the above, use terrain to your advantage like bottlenecks which can be rock ledges, swamps, wood points, fences ect. Deer usually will utalize favorite stream crossings especially where there is thick cover. Late season flintlock hunting is freezer meat hunting for me so I look for thermo protection areas with some food source close by. Cedar swamps are great late season places to hunt. Early scouting right now (Ohio)can be tough as there are so many food sources that deer simply can go anywhere to feed. Knowing your hunting area really well will contribute to a higher success ratio for you, which requires you get out and disect it like a surgen. Get a good area map and as you cover the area mark all the good looking places for stand location.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks for the tips guys, today i found a thick patch with a stream crossing that runs between 2 open areas ive spotted deer in. i also found a pretty good trail in some really thick stuff, just havent had the chance to walk it out yet, but pretty sure it will turn up a good find. got a couple more spots to check out on the map i got!
 

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deer will use the land crossing the stream bigtime.I have seen tons of tracks over spots where the beavers have blocked up the water and other natural "bridges".Its getting close to hunting season so be careful scouting this late may warn the deer that its "that time again".try to scout like you would hunt.Scent free,quiet etc,a nice rainy day or the day before a good rainy day would be ideal
 
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