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#2972997 - 10/08/12 02:15 PM Ridge question
BirdDog123
4 Point


Registered: 08/17/12
Posts: 384
Loc: Tennesssee, US

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Hey guys,

So I am a rookie when it comes to scouting terrain. I know deer sign... but was wanting some guidance to ridges. Where I hunt I have seen scrapes on the tops of the ridge and on the bottom where the creek is. There is an abundance of food on both.. ESPECIALLY on the slope of the ridge.. you can't take a step without crushing 10 acorns..

So my question is.. how do whitetails travel these ridges? Do they start at the top and come down? Walking up that ridge this weekend really kicked my tail so I don't see deer traveling up this ridge much. But maybe they travel the top and then cheat through the creek once they hit hte bottoms? This terrain is very steep and there are large hills all around and a creek bottom that runs between the hills.

What do you guys think?

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#2973026 - 10/08/12 02:36 PM Re: Ridge question [Re: BirdDog123]
BigD_625
10 Point


Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 3365
Loc: Maury County, TN

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We used to find scrape lines following log roads on top of ridges. We assumed that the deer were following the roads. After we started looking around more, it seemed that the scrape/rub lines were acutally crossing the road in different places with trails going off the ridge top. I believe now most of the bucks were crossing the road, and more does were following it. If it was a hot doe, the buck followed the her wherever. Our best spots were usually bottlenecks where several ridge points came together.

Just my opinion.
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#2973032 - 10/08/12 02:40 PM Re: Ridge question [Re: BirdDog123]
strutandrut
Non-Typical


Registered: 07/03/06
Posts: 28932
Loc: signal mountain

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My property is nothing but a ridge. The deer move all over it when we have so many acorns like this year. On leaner acorn years, they either move right on top or slightly off the side. The back side of my property is almost straight down and deer walk up it with ease. They have a little more strength and stamina for climbing ridges than we do. The only thing I do slightly different on my property is that I do not shoot small deer on the back side due to a helluva drag.

So, my answer is: They move where they want to move, be it on a ridge or flatland. They tend to cross over in saddles also.
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#2973039 - 10/08/12 02:43 PM Re: Ridge question [Re: BirdDog123]
nate17
8 Point


Registered: 08/06/09
Posts: 1225
Loc: Missouri

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Ur question is not that simple. Theres many more factors that could play a role in deer movement such as... cover, food, pressure, reproduction, etc...

If your going to bowhunt ur best bet is to find terrain features that will funnel deer within range for a shot such as saddles, thickets, vegetation changes, roads, houses, fences, it literally could be anything. U got to remember there is a big difference between setting up and seeing deer walk around and getting deer in bow range. Sometimes if im a little stumped on an area i will hunt where I have a really good vantage point and can observe deer movement and patterns before i try to dial in on a spot a bit more. Chances are small i kill a deer from this spot, but may give me the edge i need down the road on a deer.

Alot of times deer will also take the path of least resistance which is the path you will most likely find yourself walking through the woods at times. Every property is different, just gotta play with it and see what works for your place.

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#2973041 - 10/08/12 02:44 PM Re: Ridge question [Re: BigD_625]
bowriter
Non-Typical


Registered: 08/31/02
Posts: 41532
Loc: Lebanon,TN USA

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Big D is pretty much dead on. Old logging roads are prime places for scrapes. However scrape hunting, these scrapes especially is not very effective. It is, however, very informational.

A ridge to a deer is either a travel option or an obstacle to be crossed. Ideal stand sites are intersections of two or more ridges or easy up and down, sloping finger ridges. Saddles, low spots in ridges are good stand sites. When an old logging road intersects one of these places, hang a stand.

Basic thinking on whether to hunt on top or in the bottom is, hunt low in the afternoon, high in the mornings.

Best advice is, hunt either where the deer are or where they are going to be. Forget the scrapes except, know these two things. Most scraping activity-85%-is nocturnal and the more scrapes you have in an area, the better the chances there is a mature buck in the area. Does not mean you will see him.
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#2973047 - 10/08/12 02:51 PM Re: Ridge question [Re: bowriter]
BirdDog123
4 Point


Registered: 08/17/12
Posts: 384
Loc: Tennesssee, US

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Thank you for the advice.. BigD pretty much descriped where I am hunting to the T. I sitll think my best bets will be at the bottom of this ridge near the creek. I really want this buck but the drag up the ridge may kill me too lol
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#2973050 - 10/08/12 02:52 PM Re: Ridge question [Re: BirdDog123]
BigD_625
10 Point


Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 3365
Loc: Maury County, TN

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Hope you get him!!!
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It's better to be smarter than you look...than to look smarter than you are.

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#2973247 - 10/08/12 05:08 PM Re: Ridge question [Re: BigD_625]
Crosshairy
10 Point


Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 2584
Loc: Bartlett, TN

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If you study a ridge closely, you may find some subtle trails along the side of it.

There's a huge ridge on one property that I hunt, and I would periodically see deer coming from an area that I thought was un-passable. I started investigating, and found a 10-inch wide trail carved into the side of the trail, connecting a shoulder of the ridge with a finger that stuck out. It was their short-cut to get down from the ridge without going all the way around.

Moral of the story is that deer, especially big bucks, may travel in slightly less common areas. Watch for rub lines to appear as the season progresses that might key you in to where the deer is hanging out.

Without any additional sign to be your guide, I would look for an area where the ridge slopes more gradually towards a food/water source, and see if you don't spot an increase in deer activity there.

A trail camera can also help out if you are hunting an area far from home that you can't spend a lot of time monitoring. I bought a camera a couple years ago to help with that type of stuff.
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#2973461 - 10/08/12 07:42 PM Re: Ridge question [Re: Crosshairy]
bowriter
Non-Typical


Registered: 08/31/02
Posts: 41532
Loc: Lebanon,TN USA

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If you study a ridge closely, you may find some subtle trails along the side of it.
Exactly what I posted on another thread about ridges. Quit telling people. It is supposed to be a secret. \:\)
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#2973654 - 10/08/12 09:43 PM Re: Ridge question [Re: bowriter]
baller_9
8 Point


Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 2088
Loc: Oklahoma City

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 Originally Posted By: bowriter
Ideal stand sites are intersections of two or more ridges or easy up and down, sloping finger ridges. Saddles, low spots in ridges are good stand sites. When an old logging road intersects one of these places, hang a stand.


Exactly

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