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Musky Buck

Your tricks of the trade ?

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I'm always open to a new idea or trick or something to help legally sway the odds just a bit more in my favor for the upcoming season. I pruned my shooting lanes last weekend and put a few nails and a new board in the stand, cut up a few blow downs etc. Looked for sheds afterward. Went to the kill site to see if I could figure out how that buck snuck in on me last Fall. I will only go back 1 time between now and rifle season to put my T-cam out,I gather the T-cam after opening day is done,check that I don't have any new blow downs or shooting lane/stand issues, then out of there ASAP. Wondering what else I can do that maybe you do that can up my odds another % or 2 ?

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The problem with not speding any time out there during the off season is that you are unable to learn their patterns. Bow hunting can give you a great opportunity to learn their habits and they are creatures of habit.

I am not one to follow the idea that by entering an area you are depleting your chances. Spending a little time in there as long as it isn't too much shouldn't bother the deer in my opinion.

Bob

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i spend tonsof time in my hunting ground and always shoot deer, i thnk the more time you spend the more time you have to learn there behavors, but i tend to leave the three weeks before season alone. i can tell you i spend more time watching deer befoe season this i do during season, i have already started

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I think the more time you spend in the woods pays off, The deer get use to noise (human). Rather then quiet all year only to have human traffic/noise in the area just a few days per year. When I was bear baiting we seen more deer because they were use to all the comotion the previous 3 months.

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Thanks guys, good points, can't food plot this swamp ground but MrK maybe a new stand is an idea, I've hunted the same stand since 1983. Using 10 inch treated polls has made it last, but some boards are pretty shaky. I should add mature bucks only, we have a 200 pound rule or the rack better be substantial and generally if it's 2 bills the rack will match. With ground being different in different areas, patterning or scouting is not necessary for me or I'd review my t-cam before rifle season, there have been multiple large bucks on or going through my land since 1983. I know they are around, but need some more tips that can sway the odds, it's a big odds game. I guess maybe the best tip of all is that me and the people hunting the area don't shoot small bucks, that alone helps the odds at a big boy. Any scent theories ?

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we have gotten away from Perm stands. We put out one box stand because it's in a great location and you can't cover it all from a climber/platform. But my stands come out each fall and up each spring/summer. We are trying to have food plots and stand up/in ground by July 4th weekend. We also put up 2 stands after rifle and both stands we saw deer and they were close!

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I agree Code-Man with early stand placement, especially if you are only after the most mature buck in the area. That is why I do mine now and can leave my area alone because man are they nocturnal once some human scent hits there core area. They are touchier than a 7th grader with a big zit. I really have home bodies where I hunt, they don't seem to roam as much as they do in other areas that I hear about. Some must, but the ones calling my land home and have fought and won the rights really are home bodies. Because of all the pressure on them, they really seem to have a pretty low key home range, maybe at night they freelance a little more but they are back deep in the swamp by daybreak once the bow hunters hit the fields around the swamp and the game is on.

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A new stand might actually help you out, maybe catch the deer by suprise. Once I have a nice buck on the ground I like to use my time to do some in season scouting. If I run into a big set of tracks I like to get on them and see what I can learn. A lot of the time the tracks seem to avoid or skirt the edge of our stands, I think the big boys learn to stay away from them. Now this also might be attributed to the guys I hunt with taking no scent precautions and sometimes clearing out shooting lanes the weekend before the opener. I am always scent free, get my work done early and stay the heck out of there until its time to hunt.

Its also hard to argue with a stand that has produced since 83.

Do you sit all day?

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Indeed sit all day, my land is a combo of ash,popple,balsam fir, tamarac and it's way off the road. Trouble is i hunt alone and about every other year once I have a buck down I'm done hunting, drag him out and that is really not a good area to shoot a doe, the drag is difficult and some years the last half can be very wet. It's crazy to watch my buddy trap fox with chest waders on, he says for scent control yet i wear the same thing through the water and when deer cut my tracks they go on high alert after a 1/2 mile walk. Thanks for the sit all day reminder*

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Sounds like a couple of spots I hunt, bucks only because its not worth the trouble to drag out a doe that far when you can shoot them right next to the road.

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It is Bear, I texted my friends Nov. 9th, 8:01am, buck down, 14pt., they wanted no part of helping drag, they've seen the terrain, there reply was oh boy, we'll bring our hippers, we each lost about 5 pounds dragging that guy out. My dad said when I was 13-14 he accompanied me back in there and said if you shoot a doe I'll kill ya, I knew what he meant, it better be a big fella or leave em alone, that drag is brutal.

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It's swamp (spring) water, I've been in over my waist some years. Usually knee deep and boggy then after about 250 yards it turns from tamarac into balsam fir and it starts to dry out up until the birch.popple,ash, highground then I'm home free. Sure keeps people out of my ground, I'd rather have it wet by the road, keeps the goats back where the stands are although I can't believe how they just plow through that he ll hole.

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Musky I have a couple of spots similar to that and a new one that I have to look into. All are highly remote, my new spot is a nice sized island, maybe 300 acres, surrounded by a mile of swamp on 3 sides and a river on the other side. I have scouted these places a few times and never found much sign to speak of, I have hunted them bow season and saw a few deer but not the big guy I was after. Anyway on to my question, do you feel your honey hole is a place the bucks call home most of the fall or more of a safe haven once rifle season begins and all he11 breaks loose?

I've had some luck in the past hunting a funnel stand and a doe bedding area stand but I might have to add some deep swamp hunting to my playbook.

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It's a tricky deal in there. My T-Cam had 12 bucks in a 10 day period all going to the lone scrape on that highground, 4 were shootable, 8 runts. The runts sure liked to fight on camera. They seem to call it home although once with a doe, who knows where they end up, bedded most often due to pressure or traveling with her at night and especially since the 9 day season took over. When it was the 2 day 4 day that week off helped them get back to normal somewhat and you had like a new opening day that 2nd weekend. Just went for a look the other day and I'd guess about 75-100 are wintering in there, saw lots of them and a few racked bucks were in there on Sunday. I have an open spring of water that never freezes and boy did they like that this winter. My deep swamp stand is where I took down a 14 pt. this season, instead of hunting my numbers stand I chose the other because if I were a mature buck I'd somewhat avoid that thinner popple highground and choose the tamarac/balsam fir thickets to travel through, these stands are 100 yards apart and I would've never seen this guy if I wouldn't have tried my ladder stand. As pressure by other hunters mount, I choose to hunt those seldom used trails in the thickest cr ap I can find and those bucks 21 in all now, half or more have just supper muddy legs and hide from going through where no man has gone before, they find a tamarac root system or 2 in the cattails/willow and bed right there. They skirt the fringes of that highground sniffing it or checking it, thing is I might see them as a fawn, 1 1/2, 2 1/2, and then hopefully I get a crack when they are mature, I truly feel the veteran bucks know my box stand by heart, because they are home bodies and so my ladder lately has been the bomb. Good Luck and add a few ladder stands, especially where you catch glimpses of deer, the ones skirting your set-up, keep human scent off of those and pick the day wind wise you'll hunt it and get to it an hour early on a calm day, 1/2 hour early on a windy day, get quiet, minimal movement, and check gun is ready/safety on and best of luck.

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