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Big woods help! WWUD?


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What would you do?

Found a promising area in an old clear cut. Back corner is definitely used as a bedding area. I saw a huge bed at the end of last rifle season, made a mental note and came back a week ago to scout it and found smaller beds, as well as a bigger bed.

It's adjacent to a large swamp to the east and northeast, to the northwest and west is mature timber, (yet really thick with hazel, mountain maple and other shrubs covering the understory.... It's mostly hardwoods, no oaks though), and to the south and east by the reminants of the cutting where aspen suckers have taken over and are really thick.

There are a few mature maples on the NW edge to place a stand, or else find an ash on the edge of the swamp (which would mean cutting through the corner that is still under grown enough to hunt to get to).

What should I do, and when should I hunt it?

I'm thinking I will set up in those maples on the edge that I can get to by going through the thick hardwoods to get to, (probably the stealthest way to get in to area) and hunt it early AM. However, it seems from what others have said in another post that hunting a bedding area is a bad idea in the AM.


Note: the idea of setting up on a trail leading into area has crossed my mind, however, these woods are THICK! I really would have 1 chance to shoot and there are no definite trails going in or out to set up on with confidence. It appears they come in and out from multiple spots.....


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We hunt the woods up north and usually when there is a logged off clear cut, they are golden. We usually hunt the edges of the standing woods between the clear cut and the bedding area. If we can find a trail, bonus, but usually the woods are so big, they walk where they want. Cut a few shooting lanes and see what happens.

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Are you looking at bow/early season or more for rifle season?

Also something else poppped up in my head, sometimes those beds out in the open like that are night beds, they will feed and then lie down and chew their cud for a while. If that is the case their day beds might be back in that swamp so this could work out the same way.

Don't ignore the aspen either that thick area is also great for beddinga and food later in the fall.

Any aerial photos you can post?

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Bear, I'm wanting to hunt this spot throughout the fall, beginning around bow opener.

This area isn't exactly out in the open. It's a 10 year old+ cut. The vast majority of it has grown thick over the last few years, however, this corner is fairly open, but there is lots of shrubbery in there. I feel like it would be a daytime bedding area because of it's proximity to escape routes into the black ash swamp below.

I don't have an aerial to post right now. I've studied the area over and haven't found any features that really stand out (like funnels and such).

I'm pretty limited on places to put a stand. I have 3 options, I feel.

1) set up in the maples in the back corner and hope I don't spook anything going into it in the AM.

2) set up on the edge of the swamp and hope I don't spook anything going in and cutting across the 50 yd area of clearing.

3) set up in the hardwoods on one of the many trails going in/out and hope for one to walk down that trail. (clearing shooting lanes is something I don't like doing as I feel this spooks deer out of the area completely, I'll snap a branch or 3 to open a lane, but that's about it).

I guess really the only thing I can do is go in, set up and see what happens. If I screw it up, I feel like this spot will be around for a few more years and I may get another chance later on.

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Ok I see what you are talking about now, I would sneak in there and setup as close and as quiet to the beds as possible or at least so you can see the bedding area. If the deer get up and move your way you should be all set, if they move in another direction at least you will see where they are heading and you can maybe setup there the next evening.

Later in the fall those thick 10 year old clear cuts are hot spots for us, I get right inside them and cut what shooting lanes I can. The does bed in them pretty steady and the bucks know this. Some say you are suppose to hunt the downwind side of a bedding area during the rut but that never seems to work in the bigwoods, the bucks hang tight to the thick cover and are right in there mixing it up with the does.

I also like to position myself between these kinds of old cuts, the bucks will travel from one to the other looking for a date. A lot of times there isn't a funnel you see in an aerial photo but there is a preferred route the bucks take.

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Don't hunt it in the am early season. Think of it like a field. They'll be out there feeding in the am. Probably bust you coming in. Without seeing it, from what I gathered hunt the transition where swamp meets the hardwoods and the cut. Right on the edge of where the three meet. That's what I like to do. Kinda a northwoods funnel. Hunt the first few evenings and hopefully you see where they do most they're traveling. Then adjust accordingly. Come pre-rut/rut sit all day if possible.

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We occasionally hunt older clearcuts like your saying... I have noticed that, except in the rut, big bucks will stay away from them until after dark... Heres the clearcut that I hunt with the red dots indicating stands


I prefer to hunt them in the mornings contrary to what many people are saying but still hunt in the evenings... My best advise I can give you is move SLOW when your going into your stand I leave like an hour before I can see the sun on the horizon and I only have to go maybe a mile but this allows me to just creep through the woods

I like hunting pbly 50 yards off the edge of the clearcut since most deer will use the area to feed in after dark so I catch them while they are in transition... Also if you can find an area where different terrain or vegetation meet so they will funnel down... There is one stand on the map I call the four corners stand where hardwoods, clearcut, pines, and scrub brush meet and is probably the most productive set on the whole cut

Like bear said in this clear cut the deer will bed overnight while feeding and thats the reason why I never hunt directly over the edge since you are more apt to see the deer in daylight away from the field

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