Lakewood, Townsend, Mountain areas
As I have a cabin in the Townsend area, I follow this thread. I love reading your guy's posts and it is humbling, realizing how little I really know about deer hunting. I hunt small parcels of private land, so it is literally setting up on the areas of those parcels where I see sign. If I had to find deer up in the National Forest, I wouldn't know where to start. Thanks for sharing and I with you gentlemen the best of luck this season!
My "A spot", where I have sat on Opening Day for the past 55 years, first with my Dad and Grandpa and then by myself, is a low escape route in the Cradle of Rivers. When folks start trampling around the woods, the deer funnel through those low areas on the way to the swamps. I've shot 35 deer out of that spot since 1965, not many of them were eye-bulging monsters, but I was fortunate to put a lot of nutritious, delicious venison in the freezer.
My "B spot" got destroyed by a tornado several years ago, and quite frankly I've never totally recovered from that. The B spot was a fragment of National Forest Land bordering private farm land. I never saw a whole lot of deer in that spot, but I shot my biggest buck and biggest doe (by far) from that spot. And there was a group of guys that used to drive private land to the north of this spot that drove several nice deer right to me.
The past few years, with very, very few antlerless tags and having only one spot I really trust, have been pretty tough for me. I shot an enormous doe off of public land in southern Oconto County three years ago by pure luck, and an average doe in the same general area two years ago. Last year I got shut out.
I'm always happy with a fat forkhorn or even a spike or spork, although these days I'm not quite as driven that I have to shoot SOMETHING. I'm going to sit on my A spot stump Opening Day and try to last all day.
That's my plan.
Hope you aren't in the spot I had scouted SK... . Jk of course, I pre scouted some areas in the middle of October on transition lines. Swamp to High ground and swamp to Oak ridges etc.. I have a few islands marked in the middle of a fairly large swamp that i am hoping to venture out to on Sunday and take a look. Otherwise i have a few spots selected kind of off the the downwind side of some funnels on private, between fields/food that come onto the public that i would imagine are very near some bedding.. I typically sit all day on Saturday of gun and then do some scout hunting on Sunday / Monday.
I'm curious as to what strategy or stand placement everyone uses for gun season? Are you hunting food source, buck sign, doe bedding, security cover? What has worked for you in the past and why? I've got a new location picked out for this season, it is located inside a marshy wet area that borders a creek. There is a high ground "island" covered in pine and spruce and littered with thick blow downs that provides plenty of cover. There are big oak ridges to the west and east that had lots of acorns this season. Although I'm quite a ways from the acorns, I think there will be enough hunters pressuring those areas that the deer will retreat to the thick swampy area where I'll be waiting. Plenty of buck sign skirting the edge of the island also so I know a few bucks have already been using it. That's the plan for opening weekend.
I tagged out early this year so I haven't been hunting but I've been able to get out and scout a few times and have seen a really good amount of buck sign. Seems to be more rubs and scrapes than the past few years. I checked one camera near where I plan to gun hunt and had two very nice bucks show up so I'm confident they are a few of the bucks laying down the sign around my gun spot. Any one else have bucks on their feet October 30? Seems like that was the hottest day of the year for mature bucks moving in daylight.
just keeping the thread going.....seeing any rut activity? May get a few sits in this weekend if things work out.
I hunted opening night back in some nasty blow down timber that was close to a popple slashing and some standing oaks. Didn't have the big guy come out but I did see a doe that had three fawns in tow. I haven't seen that for many many years up there and was impressed that she could keep those little ones alive with all the coyotes and bears around. You can see all 4 in the pic.
I walked through the area I hunt, the main road in is completly blocked, but the area I hunt is barely touched. I did notice some new deer trails as a result, which will actually help me, I hope.
Private Land behind our cabin was both logged and hit by the storm. A few deer are now using our backyard as their path. The kids are excited to look out the window and be almost nose to nose with a doe and her fawn.