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#2970098 - 10/05/12 04:45 PM Big woods deer
cecil30-30
16 Point


Registered: 12/05/06
Posts: 14162
Loc: Morgan Co

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I got permission back in the summer to hunt roughly 70 acres.I finally got out there today to take a look at it.Its all big woods.Big timber,some very big timber for the area.The woods are very open,and you can see really good just about anywhere.It has some big ridges that are very steep on the sides,and are really flat on top,and loaded with oaks.I walked alot of it,looking for trails and such.And I never came across the first deer trail.Let me repeat that...Zero deer trails.But what I did find was just random walk sign all over it.Is this normal for big timber deer,to not use trails? Seems to have quite a few deer on it.I know from the area that it has good deer numbers. Also,when the leaves fall off,i'll be able to sit on one ridge side and shoot across to the other side,since its so open.My question is,do deer tend to walk across the hill sides,or do they tend to go straight up and straight back down?
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#2970154 - 10/05/12 06:14 PM Re: Big woods deer [Re: cecil30-30]
bowriter
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Registered: 08/31/02
Posts: 41874
Loc: Lebanon,TN USA

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Hard to find definite trails i big timber. Just look for the path of least resistance. Deer in big timber, are prone to take the same path you do.
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#2970193 - 10/05/12 06:52 PM Re: Big woods deer [Re: bowriter]
LessIsLess
4 Point


Registered: 08/22/11
Posts: 403
Loc: Morgan County

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I always found looking for the downed log/tree in the path of my general direction of natural walkway. look for the trampled spots.

if the big woods are expansive enough (70 acres of all of it would definitely qualify)...my observations have been that they are generally moving in the same direction, but maybe not on definite trails...you know where i hunt. they tend to amble around those hardwoods too.

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#2970302 - 10/05/12 08:18 PM Re: Big woods deer [Re: LessIsLess]
EastTNHunter
10 Point


Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 2903
Loc: Rhea Co., TN

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The areas that I hunt, the deer just use the area, not trails. I started by hunting the geography and sign, then adjusted with experience. I never hunt trails, as I have never killed a deer on a trail that I can recall.
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#2970704 - 10/06/12 07:07 AM Re: Big woods deer [Re: cecil30-30]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65411
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: cecil30-30
I walked alot of it,looking for trails and such.And I never came across the first deer trail.Let me repeat that...Zero deer trails.But what I did find was just random walk sign all over it.Is this normal for big timber deer,to not use trails?


Unfortunately, yes. And welcome to "big woods" hunting. It is some of the toughest hunting in America (third in toughness behind mountain hunting and swamp hunting). But if you can kill deer there, you can kill them just about anywhere.


 Quote:
Seems to have quite a few deer on it.I know from the area that it has good deer numbers. Also,when the leaves fall off,i'll be able to sit on one ridge side and shoot across to the other side,since its so open.


Just remember that being able to see long distances through leefless timber is very different than shooting long distances. A "hazy" of feathery twigs can (and usually does) exist between you and the target. They can be seen through, but will deflect a bullet flying on a long path.


 Quote:
My question is,do deer tend to walk across the hill sides,or do they tend to go straight up and straight back down?


Deer can walk anywhere in hilly big woods. However, they usually take the path of least resistence. And for going up and down those steep hillsides, look for anything that makes that vertical climb less difficult. Look for any topographic feature that reduces the steepness, especially small secondary points dropping down from the primary ridge-line. Deer use these as "ramps" to go up and down the hillsides, and useful secondary points can be very subtle yet still attract considerable movement focus.
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#2970756 - 10/06/12 08:07 AM Re: Big woods deer [Re: BSK]
LessIsLess
4 Point


Registered: 08/22/11
Posts: 403
Loc: Morgan County

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 Originally Posted By: BSK

Deer can walk anywhere in hilly big woods. However, they usually take the path of least resistence. And for going up and down those steep hillsides, look for anything that makes that vertical climb less difficult. Look for any topographic feature that reduces the steepness, especially small secondary points dropping down from the primary ridge-line. Deer use these as "ramps" to go up and down the hillsides, and useful secondary points can be very subtle yet still attract considerable movement focus.


Why I've always loved a good saddle!

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#2970761 - 10/06/12 08:12 AM Re: Big woods deer [Re: LessIsLess]
EastTNHunter
10 Point


Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 2903
Loc: Rhea Co., TN

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Also look for "edges" amd thickets. They may not be topographical, but they still funnel deer.
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#2970811 - 10/06/12 08:52 AM Re: Big woods deer [Re: EastTNHunter]
fourwheeler431
14 Point


Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 8510
Loc: Powell

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Our entire 2000 acres was like that. The deer would just seem to wander through the woods,now that has been logged,it is starting to get so thick it is hard to hunt. The deer can walk by within shooting distance and you never see them.
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#2970948 - 10/06/12 12:10 PM Re: Big woods deer [Re: fourwheeler431]
BuckHunter511
6 Point


Registered: 07/23/11
Posts: 752
Loc: Cumberland County,Tennessee, U...

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Hunt saddles
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#2970985 - 10/06/12 12:53 PM Re: Big woods deer [Re: LessIsLess]
lung punch
4 Point


Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 152
Loc: washington co

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 Originally Posted By: LessIsLess
 Originally Posted By: BSK

Deer can walk anywhere in hilly big woods. However, they usually take the path of least resistence. And for going up and down those steep hillsides, look for anything that makes that vertical climb less difficult. Look for any topographic feature that reduces the steepness, especially small secondary points dropping down from the primary ridge-line. Deer use these as "ramps" to go up and down the hillsides, and useful secondary points can be very subtle yet still attract considerable movement focus.


Why I've always loved a good saddle!


I can't second that enough. In hawkins co there is a saddle in big woods that 40+ deer use everyday and no one has permission to hunt it. arghh
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#2971004 - 10/06/12 01:27 PM Re: Big woods deer [Re: lung punch]
wayers
6 Point


Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 519
Loc: TN,Carter

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id say saddles or mabey save it for muzzl and rifle season
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#2971191 - 10/06/12 05:56 PM Re: Big woods deer [Re: wayers]
bowriter
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Registered: 08/31/02
Posts: 41874
Loc: Lebanon,TN USA

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Just a thought when you get serious about trying to kill a mature buck...or any buck.

Best thing to do is ignore scrapes. But look for the solitary rub on the side of the ridge, just under the crest. As all the other deer may walk on top the ridge, them older buckses tend to slip around the edge some. Quite likely you will not see a trail or any indication a deer passed that way. Does not matter. Look for the things you can't see.

I absolutely love bog woods. If I was a couple years younger, I take me a couple days and come scout that for you.
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#2971609 - 10/07/12 08:29 AM Re: Big woods deer [Re: EastTNHunter]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65411
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: EastTNHunter
Also look for "edges" amd thickets. They may not be topographical, but they still funnel deer.


In "big woods" environments, you don't have any edges or thickets because there is no change in habitat. "Big woods" hunting is about hunting big expanses of unbroken hardwoods.
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"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#2971611 - 10/07/12 08:31 AM Re: Big woods deer [Re: LessIsLess]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65411
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: LessIsLess
 Originally Posted By: BSK

Deer can walk anywhere in hilly big woods. However, they usually take the path of least resistence. And for going up and down those steep hillsides, look for anything that makes that vertical climb less difficult. Look for any topographic feature that reduces the steepness, especially small secondary points dropping down from the primary ridge-line. Deer use these as "ramps" to go up and down the hillsides, and useful secondary points can be very subtle yet still attract considerable movement focus.


Why I've always loved a good saddle!


Saddles are definitely good terrain "bottlenecks." And they don't have to be a significant lower spot in a ridge-line to be used. Some of my favorite saddles don't even show up on a topo map because the "saddle" is only 4 to 5 feet lower in elevation than the rest of the ridge-line.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#2971718 - 10/07/12 10:52 AM Re: Big woods deer [Re: cecil30-30]
7mminatree
6 Point


Registered: 01/12/12
Posts: 643
Loc: Unicoi Tn.

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I like what bowriter said' I try to set-up on easterly to southeasterly ridges just under the top. If there is a drainage or small saddle that makes it even better. When the rut is on bucks like to cruze just under ridge tops where they can catch westerly or northwestly winds and when its cold and frosty the deer will feed on the sunny side of the ridge in the mornings. This is a time proven method that has work for me for last forty years on public land.
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#2971724 - 10/07/12 10:59 AM Re: Big woods deer [Re: 7mminatree]
RKenney
10 Point


Registered: 03/15/08
Posts: 3666
Loc: Maury Co.

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They also feel more secure on the "sides". They can drop off into the hollow out off sight very quickly.
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