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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With a lot of states opening bow season this month I thought it would be good to discuss early season set ups for mature bucks.


For the first week I set up on the edge of short fields, e.g. beans clover alph alpha etc... in the evenings only. (I've had too many deer bust me hunting fields in the mornings) I try to always have a cross wind so the wind blows away from the trail, their beds and the field. After the first week I move back and hunt heavily traveled routes in order to get those late rising bucks before it gets dark in the evenings and hunt rub lines in the morning. Then I hunt between acorns and beds and then around Holloween I hunt where the does are to try to intercept a buck sent checking doe bedding areas through the pre rut.
 

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I hunt just about the same way but with 2 small changes. 1 is I will start my hunt in the afternoons because deer are still more in a care free pattern than say after the season has been open for 2 or 3 weeks. 2 is I will hunt a water source as close to bedding as I can or first one in route to the feeding area what ever that may be. Deer after bedding during warmer weather will always find water first before moving to the food source.:wink:
 

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i hunt wooded mountain areas so i zero in on the acorns .i watch the wind and set up in between the bed and the acorns and wait all day
 

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I will be hunting near a tree with persimons the size of golf balls on opening day. The muscadines are heavey this year as well. I like the soft mast while it last in the early season.

17 more days to opening day!!!!
 

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I do the same as Joel, locate a good bed of Acorns and get comfortable keeping the wind in my face.
I purposely leave all the buck/doe calls at home, Early Season is never a good time for calls, grunts or rattle bags.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I do the same as Joel, locate a good bed of Acorns and get comfortable keeping the wind in my face.
I purposely leave all the buck/doe calls at home, Early Season is never a good time for calls, grunts or rattle bags.
I did some serious scouting this summer over close to 400 acres and only found one tree with acorns. What is plan "B" when there are no nuts? I mean no white oak or red oak acorns period!:shocking::shocking:
 

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Papus trees in creek or river bottoms. But more than likely your deer are traveling to some kind of crop in the surrounding properties. Try to track them down to catch them coming or going back to bedding on your land. Other than that start knocking on doors and hunt somewhere else until a season change or new food source comes available.
 

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In our areas the abundance of acorns will always draw deer in, so for us the Acorns are the better areas to begin hunting around.
When scouting you should always look for the best food sources in your area sometimes it might be the acorns or beechnuts or hickory nut or sometimes apples is what they seek or whatever your area produces best.
It might not even be a forest food source it might be a farmers corn field or bean field or some other crop,, this is why scouting is important.. during the scout you'll find tracks telling you the direction the deer are headed in,, sometimes it isn't easy because Deer eat all the above foods and it's easy to find tracks in all them areas but several scouting trips should help to show which areas are visited more than the others. it's all about narrowing the action down to the hot spots, Hotspots are the areas deer are most comfortable in, there's deer everywhere but if you can locate a hotspot then you've done some good scouting..

Good luck and be sure to post pics when you Tag it... :w00t:
 

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I did some serious scouting this summer over close to 400 acres and only found one tree with acorns. What is plan "B" when there are no nuts? I mean no white oak or red oak acorns period!:shocking::shocking:

I look for what I call the big three when scouting; Food, cover and travel routes between the first two. In the absence of hard mast I would look for browse, if you look closely you can see what they are browsing by the way it is nipped off the end. In our area a forest floor full of greenbrier is almost as good as acorns.

Look for beds, you can see where they have lain down, could be a good place to set up. Look for droppings high concentrations may indicate a bedding area is near by.

Any kind of thicket, creek bottom, clear cut just anything that offers some cover is worth checking out. Deer like to follow edges, it doesn't matter what kind of edge, they like to travel along with it. Could be a field, cut over thicket it doesn't matter.

If the food sources are low on the track you hunt I would find the thickest place on the property and set up.
 

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in our areas the abundance of acorns will always draw deer in, so for us the acorns are the better areas to begin hunting around.
when scouting you should always look for the best food sources in your area sometimes it might be the acorns or beechnuts or hickory nut or sometimes apples is what they seek or whatever your area produces best.
it might not even be a forest food source it might be a farmers corn field or bean field or some other crop,, this is why scouting is important.. During the scout you'll find tracks telling you the direction the deer are headed in,, sometimes it isn't easy because deer eat all the above foods and it's easy to find tracks in all them areas but several scouting trips should help to show which areas are visited more than the others. It's all about narrowing the action down to the hot spots, hotspots are the areas deer are most comfortable in, there's deer everywhere but if you can locate a hotspot then you've done some good scouting..

good luck and be sure to post pics when you tag it... :w00t:
very well said bruce
 
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