The Pinch Point

3 Jun

By my definition, a pinch point is a manmade or natural obstacle that funnels or concentrates deer into a tighter area. Two weekends ago while setting up my trail cameras I did a little scouting in an area that had two such obstacles, one natural and one manmade.


Here is a look at the arial view of the pinch point.

Here is a look at the arial view of the pinch point.


The natural barrier is a small river bend that boarders the property to the North. The reason being, over the years the river has created steep banks and cliffs, along with deep water, preventing the deer from crossing. To the South, is a cattle pasture surrounded with a higher than normal fence. From the corner of the fence to the closest point in the river is about 100 yards, give or take. But this isn’t the reason that makes this area so special. Even if I set a stand in the middle of this pinch point there is no way I could shoot 50 yards to the fence or to the river, impossible. Why this area is unique is because of the steep gully (black line) that runs from the river to fence row then parallel to the fence row for about 100 more yard. This only gives two crossing locations on the gully between the river and the corner of the fence. One being a low spot at the end of the gully right along the river and the other being an old knocked down fence (F).


The fence crossing on the  south end of the pinch point.

The fence crossing on the south end of the pinch point.


For the most part there are only three main trails that lead through this area. The good thing is that all three trails intersect with one another creating two intersections where I will be hanging treestands (1 & 2). Any time you can find a location where two or three heavily used trails intersect, that increases your odds for not only seeing deer, but getting a better opportunity at a shot.

Because the north trail that runs along the river is hidden from view the deer most likely use this on a south wind to catch all the scent coming off the top. The south trail that run along the fence line of the cattle pasture is most likely used on a north, west or east wind dictating movement. In the past most of the deer movement in the mornings has been from the southwest to the northeast and opposite in the evenings, using the diagonal trail.


This is the trail that runs along of the south bank of the river.

This is the trail that runs along of the south bank of the river.


I could talk all day about why I choose the stand locations, but, just by looking at the map you can tell why. Instead I will touch on my entry routes and what wind directions I will be hunting them.

Stand 1: Depending on the sign and what my trail cameras are telling me, I will more than likely hunt this stand on a south wind blowing my scent over the river. As far as an entry route is concerned I have two options… I could enter from the cattle pasture from the south and walk a straight line from the fencerow to the stand only crossing one main trail near the pasture. The second, and most difficult option would be to park my truck up river and walk the riverbank in and enter from the north. I would have to practice this a couple times to know exactly where to climb up the bank. Trust me when I say, trying to find a new stand location in the dark is a son of a bitch if you don’t know where you are going. (Side note: If you ever meet my brother, ask him about the fist morning hunt he ever went on with me… we got lost.) The perfect scenario would be the south wind on an evening hunt in the early season coming to the oak flats up top and heading to the corn fields while they are still in and before the farmer lets the cattle in to clean up what the combine missed.

Stand 2: For the most part this stand will be easy to get to, entering through pasture and hopping the fence putting me 15 to 20 yards from my stand location. I will be hunting this stand on a north or northwest wind blowing my scent into the pasture. This would be perfect when the deer are coming from the south with the wind in their favor, returning to their beds in the morning from the corn fields, they will never know I’m there.


Here is the trail that runs diagonal between the two stand locations.

Here is the trail that runs diagonal between the two stand locations.


Over the next couple months I will be motoring my trail cameras in the area to see if this pinch point is even worth hunting. Then, as the season gets closer, set up a treestands in the two mentioned locations and wait. Until then, I have a lot of work to do.


Although there is not a lot of sign, there is still sign.

Although there is not a lot of sign, there is still sign.


If you have any suggestions on what you may do in this situation or have any questions on why I am doing what I’m doing, feel free to comment below. Also, be sure to visit our Facebook to check out everything that is going on in the world of Nine Fingers!

Thanks for reading,


Just a kick-ass picture of a purple flower.

Just a kick-ass picture of a purple flower.

7 Responses to “The Pinch Point”

  1. LS June 3, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    Wondering where your trail cam is in relation to this setup? I’m guessing to the south or south west on the edge of a corn field enhanced with mineral?

    • Dan Johnson June 4, 2014 at 2:18 am #

      When the season gets here there will be a trail camera on the fence crossing and another down by the river trail. Not able to use mineral during the hunting season here in Iowa. Thanks for reading!

  2. Nash Elliott June 4, 2014 at 12:32 am #

    Stand #2 looks like a slam dunk for the rut with any north or northwest winds. Now you just need that mature buck to be in the area!

  3. Mark V June 4, 2014 at 4:37 am #

    Great write up Dan, I’ve only just started doing some virtual scouting as I live 3-4hrs away from my hunting properties so it was great to see your thought process and aerial map.

    The trail running along the river looks like a highway and should definitely have good traffic. It will be interesting to see what the cameras show up.

    Good Luck!

    • Dan Johnson June 4, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

      I will be checking my trail cameras in the next couple weeks and will let you know what I find out.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Friday Morning Mashup 6/6/2014 ‹ Wired To Hunt - June 6, 2014

    […] The Pinch Point – The Nine Finger Chronicles: A neat article from my W2H Podcast co-host Dan Johnson, as he details a new pinch point he’s discovered and how he plans to hunt it. […]

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