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Old March 4, 2006, 12:59 AM   #1
Join Date: August 30, 2004
Location: Miltown, WI
Posts: 46
When to start scouting??

I am just wondering when you guys go out and start scouting before deer hunting. I understand they change their patterns throughout the year. Late summer and early fall, they will stick by water, after that they start moving into more lush areas. The problem is, for bow hunting, getting out scouting means late August. Its still pretty freaking hot out. Last year I went out and got chewed up by mosquitos and lost about 10 pounds trying to walk through the woods. Needless to say, it didn't work out so well. When do you guys normally get out scouting?
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Old March 4, 2006, 08:56 AM   #2
Art Eatman
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Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,125
Dress for the temperature, and use lots of Deet, is about all I can suggest. I've always been a rifle hunter, so September during dove season has been a good time to get out and check blinds and look for trails.

You can find rubs once the velvet starts itching, when antler growth is underway. That's at least a clue. The higher in the branches, the bigger the rub-tree, generally, the bigger the buck.

Scrapes get made later on, I guess in Texas mostly in October...

You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
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Old March 4, 2006, 08:39 PM   #3
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Join Date: October 27, 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 229
I have about 400 acres that I hunt on and I'm there quite often. Every time I'm in the woods throughout the spring turkey season or if I'm just camping in the summer I am always scouting a little bit.
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Old March 6, 2006, 01:28 PM   #4
Wild Bill Bucks
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Join Date: December 28, 2005
Location: Southeastern Oklahoma, Next door to Sasquatch
Posts: 1,266
Our deer season for bow starts Oct.1st here. If you are familiar with the area you are going to hunt, then you won't need a great deal of time to figure out what pattern the deer are on. I would go out 2 or 3 days before season starts and pick out where I want to set up.
If the area you are planning on hunting is NOT familiar to you, you will need to go out several times during the year and get familiar enough with it so that you don't have to spend much time scouting before season.
The more time you spend in the woods before season starts, the more you disturb what is the norm for deer.
Deet is a great product for people, but a lot of people have reactions to it. If you are one of those people, Take a pint whiskey bottle(Because it is flat and can be carried in your back pocket) and fill it with VINEGAR. When you get to the woods put it on your arms and legs.(Be careful around your face as it will take your breath for a second)
I KNOW, this will make you smell like a dill pickle, but it masks your oder with something that not only keeps the seed ticks and chiggers off, but will also keep mosquitos away as well as being a neutralizer for Poison Ivy and Poison Oak.
It is a smell that the deer don't smell all the time and it doesn't seem to bother them all that much. They aren't going to run up and lick it off of you, but they are not going to run out of the country either.
Keep your scouting to a minimum, when you are checking out scrapes and rubs, keep your distance and don't stomp around the area. Take notice, and get away from them so you don't leave any more sign of yourself than need be.
If you are going to set up a tree stand, be sure and wear rubber gloves when setting up your ladder and stand. Most people don't think about the scent they leave on their stand and ladder with bare hands. Try to get your stands up at least a week before season opens so deer and wildlife can check it out and see that it is no threat to them. I have put stands up the night before season starts and been succesful the next day, but I was lucky enough to get to shoot the first Buck that came by. I think if you have to let several deer go by before shooting, you might wind up spooking them more.
I generally wipe my ladder and anything I touch down with vinegar before I leave the area. The smell will dissipate in a couple of hours and it will take the human odor with it.
I use it a lot on freshly painted camo surfaces as it removes the fresh paint smell off of stands or blinds I might paint prior to season.
Deer will adjust their patterns several times a year(mostly having to do with the moon phases) so trying to scout for them TO early isn't going to do a whole lot of good. Better to know where they are going to be tommorrow, than where they have been yesterday.

Post is getting to long and there is to much to cover, but I hope this much will help.
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Old March 6, 2006, 06:52 PM   #5
Join Date: August 30, 2004
Location: Miltown, WI
Posts: 46
Thanks for all the help guys, I know the area pretty well so I will probably head out like a week or so before the season starts. I just started deer hunting last year so I am still a bit new to it. Thanks for the info.
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