Finding Sign

16 Mar



This weekend while shed hunting an area that typically doesn’t see much action (as far as mature bucks) during archery season, I ran across several huge rubs concentrated in a 75’x75′  area near the corner of a field. Over the years my trail cameras have taught me that during the summer and first part of September this is where the bucks hang out. Then something happens about halfway into September that has me scratching my head. The bucks break out of their bachelor groups and leave the area. There is good cover, plentiful food, little pressure, and this is where the does hang out. I usually keep two trail cameras in the area throughout the season, but nothing ever shows up. Yes, you’ll have your 1 and 2 year old’s that stay in the area, but nothing mature.

During the 2015 season there was a lot of activity on the opposite side of the farm. Not only was there the standard farming operations and other hunters that I have to share the property with, but this year the property was logged during most of October and even into November. Typically this part of the farm holds the most mature bucks. With all of this additional pressure, the bucks that normally run that area had disappeared and the one buck that stuck around was coming through the area at dark.

Because I had another buck pretty well pegged on another farm, I didn’t even think of the other side of the this farm. In the past I had two stand locations that I would hunt a couple times a year, but that was more or less just to hunt does. This year, I pulled my cameras from this area because I picked up a couple more properties that I was trying to scout. Moral of the story… you can never have enough trail cameras. With all the activity on the other side of the farm, I didn’t even think about coming back to this area.

After shed hunting this area last weekend I noticed that these three ridges and two fields had everything a property needed to hold a mature buck, and if not hold a mature buck, have a mature buck come through looking for does. At the end of all three ridges the timber became very thick and I noticed some smaller rubs and even some doe beds. After the ridge drops off into the valley and on top of the opposite ridge to the east, it becomes almost impossible for someone to walk through thus offering great bedding.

Anytime there is a west (north or south) wind the local doe group emerge from this bedding area and head to one of the two ag fields. Depending on which field they decide to make their destination, there are a couple staging areas that they like to hang out in while having a quick snack of acorns before entering upon the open field. In the past I have had stands in those staging areas but never in the middle where I noticed the rubs this year.

Why does this area look prime? First, the timber opens up closer to the field edge meaning deer can stand in the timber and look into the field before entering without being exposed. Second, and as far as the rut in concerned, this is kind of a pinch point for bucks that might be cursing for does. There are a couple trails just inside the timber that parallel the east side of the field edges and a couple of them connect where all the rubs are located.

Although I have no trail camera proof to back it up, I feel this could be one hell of a stand location for two specific times of the year. The first time being late October when the big boys start moving and laying down and the second being the second or third week of November after a majority of the does have been bread and the bucks are back in the seeking phase. This summer I’ll be sure to put a stand up in this location but probably won’t hunt it until one of the two times I mentioned above. But then again, I could just be crazy.

Never stop learning,
Dan (DFW)



2 Responses to “Finding Sign”

  1. DJ March 17, 2016 at 7:11 pm #

    It looks like it will be awesome with an east wind get your boss to let you have the three weeks of November off pack some big lunches and have fun

  2. Josh March 31, 2016 at 3:22 am #

    Curious on your access/exit routes.

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