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Field edge success

22 posts in this topic

How many of you guys hunt field edges and have success doing it? What type of fields do you see most success from, corn, beans, clover, CRP etc?

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I have hunted all type field edges and shot deer.

I like to set up back in the woods say 30-50 yards so I can get a bit earlier shot.

I would choose a hay field or corn, if the pressure is great then I head to the corn field as it has the most cover.

Be very careful when setting up along the field edge in a tree. It is very easy for a deer to silhouette you against the sky.

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Also like to look for trails that run along the edge of the field inside the woods. Some times deer will follow these checking out the field before walking out. As Tom said thou! you may not have the cover, so try to find a tree with branches to break up your outline, and be VERY carefull about movement.

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i took my biggest to date {avatar} last year bow opener set up 20 yards off the edge of a soybean field. field edges lose their interest about 3 weeks after bow opener, till when the snow flies and there is standing corn. at least that is what i have noticed. that inbetweeen time bigger bucks typically head towards heavier cover and prep for the rut, which makes them become more nocturnal.

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I'm with vister, I hunt the edges for a couple of weeks at the beginning of the year, usually brassica or alfalfa/clover. Then I turn to the woods hunting funnels near rub/scrape lines and also acorns. Once December rolls around and we have a good amount of snow we usually have the only standing corn/beans within a couple miles so I hunt the edge of that and its not uncommon to see 20 or more deer before it gets dark. One downside to hunting field edges is that its almost impossible to get out of your stand without spooking the deer that are in the field.

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I agree with the last two guys. I rarely see mature bucks in the fields the month of October. Plenty of does/fawns/small bucks but no big guys. But once the pre rut comes I start seeing scrapes all along the field edges. I never hunt field edges in the mornings, only evenings.

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Normally around my area when the deer are first hitting the fields it is right at end of shooting hours my best is hunting the white oaks that are dropping acorns in the woods. I have seen deer walk through soybean and alfalfa fields and not even graze to get to the acorns, and most of the time it is well with in shooting time plus it is great in the mornings because they will stop to eat on the way back to bed.

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Down here field edges are great to hunt. During the rut, the bucks will skirt the edges looking for does. It might just be my terrain, but I try and find the most commonly used trails leading in to the fields, and put a stand where I would still have a shot in the field. The does often come out on the same trail, but the bucks come from anywhere. Often, the does will walk by me and a buck will come from some other place to check them out. If I don't have a shot in the field. I don't have a shot at the buck. Evenings are definitely preferred and try to get as far into the woods as possible and still be able to shoot in the field. This means picking the right tree that will give you the right amount of cover. During the rutt, it also easier to call them in when you see them in the field. I've had them cross fields on a b-line for me when I hit a grunt or two, the bucks usually think the other is in the woods and come to investigate. I would stay by corn or alfalfa, Any field funnels, waterways, places where the corn field narrows, etc. are good places where the deer like to cross the fields.

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I like the inside corners of field edges where there are multiple trails going into that inside corner.

The one stand I hunt has four trails intersecting with a mega-trail right underneath it!

Shot a few deer there over the years!

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I hunt a river bottom surounded by fields. Only trees around for MILES! But I am finding that I'm setting up in a little bit from the field line mainly cause I have no trees I feel safe enough to climb but also I'll pick a main trail coming straight out. I'm finding my deer will follow the edge like a train tracks. But I'm setting up on main trails coming to the field so that way I can try to get best of both worlds. I'm also doing some major clearing of shooting lanes so I have access to those field lines.

But one thing I will mention whatever I've been taught about deer hunting these deer do opposit. My buddy wouldn't believe me when we were picking stands we had a strong North wind well he wanted to get set up with them coming from the south well I told him they'd do the opposite...he don't believe me I set up banking on them coming from the north I saw 10 deer in 3 hrs he saw 1 when he first got onto the stand.

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I do very little clearing of branches in the area I hunt due to the fact that the deer will know what you have done many times if thast clearing was done a few days before one hunts.

I set up in a area where I pick one shooting lane and clear out as little as possible.

One has to remember that the woods is like our house.

If your wife moves just a lamp in the house, you will know that she did it.

With that being said, I will clear out some shooting lanes very early in the fall but won't hunt that stand for maybe one season.

I'm not saying you cannot clear branches and then hunt but you may give yourself away with cutting alot of branches.

Those nicer bucks will get one every time.

This has worked well for me for the past years.

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I agree with Harvey. I hunt a couple of trails about 50 to 75 yards off the inside corners of field edges. It seams to me that the bucks will wait just inside the trees until last light due to hunting pressure. Only reason I feel that this is the case is I actually watched a fork horn three years ago stand under me and watch another hunter get out of his stand right at sundown and walk out to the raod. That buck stood there untill for what seamed like forever. As you can guess I hunt a lot of public land and that might be the only reason the deer act like they do here. JMO!

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My "funnest" stand is on the edge of an island of Poplar trees mabe 15yards x 10yards. That "island" is about 40 yards from a treeline and on the southern edge of a 40acre hay field. I used to hunt in the treeline/fenceline south of the island because the travel/staging posibilities, and while that worked well, I found that many of the deer that traveled the field actualy seemed to aim for the island. So on a whim, I set up on it. I can be seen from just about every point in the field, it is everything I hate about a set up, but it works!!! It is crazy and you have to be statue still for hours, but I tag deer from that stand all the time.

For the most part, other than the above example, I like to set up like others, from the field edge I like to set up in about 50yards or so. I look for the "inside edge", that inner transition were you go from field, to loose woods, to a brush line. Deer that are headed to the field to feed will stage up at that first transition for about a half hour before heading out onto the field. These are primarily eavning stands. I find that if I try to hunt field edges at dawn I drive everything that is on the field off on the way out. In the eaving I am already between the deer and the food soarce as uposed to trying to wedge between the food/deer and the bedding area.

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Up here, we have alot of "edges" were the treelines are separated by powerlines.

I usually set up about 20 yards inside.

I also don't cut elaborate shooting lanes.

I have a "honey hole" spot were I set up at the edge of a swamp as it rises to a hill before the treeline ends at the powerlines.

No, I am not that guy that sets up on the pole itself. Lol.

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The reason I asked is that I usually set up in the woods and I wonder what I am missing. I keep seeing all the "pros" shooting bucks on the field edges and permanent stands built on field edges but that doesn't seem like it would be as productive as the other terrain features that I tend to hunt. I usually go for the ridges or like the others posted the inside corner with a very limited view of the field. Basically I like to set up with the idea that if I see it I can shoot it.

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The "Pros" hunt the edges because they get paid by the company that sold the food plot seed, it is also more exciting for the camera because you can see a lot of deer, often for a long time. The light also stays better longer so it is better for shooting camera wise.

When you hunt like "real" hunters do, there is not a lot of "excitement" to it. Deer often suprise us or are only in the area for a short amount of time, then -> back out of sight.

In essence, field hunting is for TV. People who like to eat meat, get into the woods.

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I like them, but usually am in the woods on the best trails. It did cost me last year though. Me and a buddy were hunting a 75-100yd wide strip that lead to a beanfield. So I decide the big ones will follow the trail in the middle and wind up dead under my stand. Well i pass up a runt of an 8pt, about an hour before dark, waited and waited for something good to come by nothing. Here my buddy has a huge 9pt come along the edge and misses him at 20yds. This was end around the 1st of Oct. and was on fairly pressured deer. Take it for what it is.

I have good luck on edges all year, did manage to screw up on my only chace on a mature buck in middle of Oct, on an edge.

I also field a good crp edge is a killer for cruising bucks towards the rut, I think it depends alot on the area you hunt.

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I hunt the edges alot here, it does slow a little in october but come nov they start cruising the edges corners especially. hay and beans early. Corn in nov. Not much pressure, where I hunt.

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Most of my stands are on field edges, it allows for short hunts, you don't usually need to sit more than 1 - 1 1/2 hours in the evening. A lot of the properties I hunt have very small wooded pieces on them or the woods are actually on neighboring properties. Many of the wooded pieces are less than 10 acres. If you go in them much you risk jumping the deer & they completely leave the woods, at least for that sit, then you might as well go home. I will say I'm lucky if I get an opportunity at one good buck a season though. I don't mean a really big one, just a solid shooter, something 2-3 years old anyway.

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The other reason I hunt in a ways from the field is that most of the people hunting the public land that I hunt walk the edges of the fields to and from thier stands. Thus leaving a lot of unwanted oders, so I just want to make sure no one is walking by my stand.

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Like most have said, early season I hunt over alfalfa and normally tag a doe on the first couple sits out of the same tree every year. Usually just see immature bucks in the fields after September, that's when I move back into the woods hunting pre-rut spots. All my better bucks have come inside the woods at least 50 yards from field edges....About December they really start hitting the fields again on the farms I hunt, the colder it is the better.

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Early season soy bean and alfalfa edges can be excellent, just be sure to arrive early because the does and fawns often will enter early.

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