Thread: Hunting Skills
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Old March 18, 2013, 12:11 PM   #27
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Join Date: December 28, 2006
Posts: 3,393
Visit your game unit several times before the season starts. Wonder around and make your own map of the area.
Since the OP is from Washington State, I suggest he do that walkin' now. I suspect like us here there is still some snow on the ground...old snow, showing major game trails and evidence of where the game spends it's time bedding and traveling from beds to food. It is also a good time to learn the easiest access in and out of an area and is the time to clear shooting lanes if legal and needed. Old snow will also show the lesser used trails that old bucks use as opposed to main trails used by does, fawns and smaller bucks. These trails are almost impossible to find in summer and fall because they are the travel routes of a single deer. Scouting, making blinds and clearing shooting lanes now means one does not have to disturb game come this fall. Many times that old buck only needs to be jumped once or feel the slightest pressure and they change their area and habits for a long period of time. With leaves off the trees, it's also easier to see thru the woods as opposed to when the trees and brush are leaved out. One needs to consider this when picking a stand, but it easier to see what direction the animals may come from or what they use as alternate routes. Trails used for normal movement differ many times from trails used as escape routes, even tho they may only be a short distance apart. A heavy trail in a more open area means normal movement...a slightly used trail thru thick cover close by generally means a escape route. Different stands for different types of hunting. During bow season normal trails work well for smaller bucks and antlerless deer, and may work for large bucks during the rut. But the big bucks will take their own trails early on. Come gun season and the shooting starts, most deer will tend to leave their normal trails and stick to the thicker cover of escape routes. Again, this is just general woodsmanship.
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