So what is a bottleneck? For the purpose of deer hunting, a bottleneck is a narrow strip of land that controls or restricts whitetail deer travel areas. There can be many types of terrain that meet this criteria such as funnels, land edges, and saddles.
A funnel is a section of land that connects two other sections of land together. For example, a small tract of trees that run parallel with and in between two fields can be considered a funnel. Another example is a patch of undergrowth that runs along the edges of a creek or river bank. Narrow sapling thickets that divide two other types of land is another.
A land edge is the area that runs along and borders different types of land. For example, a crop field edge that joins a wooded area. Deer will often travel just out of sight walking along the perimeter of a field until an area is reached to enter. A swamp edge that borders other terrain is also an example.
A saddle is a low area that runs between two higher sections of ground. These areas are more common in mountain or hill terrain. Deer will travel the bottoms or lower edges of saddles. Deer will cross over the higher ground when directional change is needed.
Deer Hunting Bottlenecks
When it comes to hunting, the key to success is finding the bottlenecks and then setting up in the proper area. The use of aerial photos and topographical maps can be of assistance. However, the best approach is to scout on foot.
Once these areas are located, the next step is to find the most active and freshest deer sign and set up accordingly. One suggestion is to break the bottleneck into sections and hunt each until the best set up is found. Make sure to use proper scent control and to factor in the wind directions.
Bottlenecks offer hunters excellent opportunities and can be hunted throughout the season.
Farm land deer hunting offers much success to many hunters each year. This article will take a look at some of the techniques for hunting farm land.
The first obvious choice for food when deer hunting farm land is the available field crops. Beans, corn, and other crops are ideal for holding deer. These open fields allow the hunter to observe deer from a distance and setup accordingly. Pay close attention to the field corners, low points, and small isolated fields as deer will often use such areas more frequently.
Also look for any fruit orchards such as apple trees that may be available on the property. As the season progresses, these locations may become an effective place to put a tree stand or blind.
A farm will have some form of water supply used for irrigation. This may be a nearby river or a man made pond. Pat attention to these areas as deer will take advantage of them. Look for deer crossings or an abundance of tracks or other sign near the edges. Especially if cover is provided, a water hole can sometimes be a honey hole for taking a deer.
Bedding And Cover
Many farms have small tracts of standing timber throughout the property. These areas generally provide good cover and bedding areas for the deer. Hunting the edges of these tracts can offer good deer sightings.
Another factor to consider is hedge rows and ditches. Many farms are structured where an irrigation ditch or hedge row flows throughout many sections of the land. Deer will use these areas to bed down and also for traveling from one location to another.
Tall grasses or wheat fields also provide good cover for deer. It is very easy for deer to disappear in such areas. Also don’t forget about the field crops for bedding. Deer will take advantage of standing corn and other crops for cover.
Many farms also have fences. Deer are often spotted and hunted as they bedded against a field fence. Deer will also use a fence as a directional means of travel. Often following along beside a fence before jumping over at a certain area.
Hunting farm land during the rutting period can be exciting. Especially if there is small patches of trees or hedge rows for cover. Does in estrus will move into isolated areas to get away from the other deer. The bucks will be on the move searching for these does. A hunter can setup near these patches of cover and often be in a good location for buck sightings.
Deer Hunting Tips
As in most hunting situations, finding the fresh and active sign is the best approach to proper farm land setup. Use good scouting, observation, and scent control skills for success. Although tree stands or ground blinds can certainly be effective, don’t forget about still hunting or stalking techniques. Since a majority of the land will be open country, a sneak approach may be worth while.
Deer have the ability to disappear in any kind of terrain. Thick brush or wooded lands make their hiding easy. However, just because a property has limited or no tree cover does not mean the deer won’t be there. Open country terrain has deer too.
Hiding In Plain Sight
Deer will take advantage of open country hills, grassy fields, ditches, and field crops to hide out. I once observed a nice buck bed down in the middle of a cow pasture in a patch of two feet tall grass. The grass was only about three feet in diameter. The only thing visible was the antler tines.
Why Open Terrain
Sometimes the terrain will dictate how a deer uses cover. There may not be any thick cover around, so deer take advantage of whatever is available. Hunting pressure can also make deer move out of the woods and thickets and into more open country.
Hunting Open Country
Deer hunting in open country can be just as productive as any other environment. A good pair of binoculars can be used to scout and spot deer from distances. Adequate camouflage clothing and proper scent control is a must.
A spot and stalk can be an effective way for deer hunting in open terrain. Make sure to use the wind properly. The wind in your face or a cross wind blowing away from the deer is best.
Another approach is to set up a natural or portable ground blind. A blind is an excellent tool for open terrain deer hunting. Look for fresh deer sign and place the blind accordingly.
Don’t overlook open country terrain when considering a deer hunting location. It may just be the spot where the big boy is hiding.
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Deer Hunting Tips – A corner is where two or more sections of land come together. These locations can occur naturally or be man made. Setting up a stand and deer hunting an active land corner can be an effective way to increase deer sightings. The deer will often use corners as travel routes.
Aside from walking on foot, one of the best ways to locate corners is by viewing a satellite or aerial photo of the land. Google provides excellent tools for such information. A photo will help in distinguishing how and where terrain changes occur on a given piece of property. These changes will provide a starting point for locating the most active corners.
Types Of Corners
There can be many types of corners on any given property. Here are a few examples. An oak or hardwoods grove that joins a field. A swamp edge that joins hardwoods. Rolling hills that join flat land. Two distinct types of woods that meet such as oaks to pines. A cut over that joins a field or standing woods. Basically anywhere that two different terrains meet.
How Deer Use Corners
Deer will often walk along the edges of different types of terrain. They will use the corners to make directional changes and to cut across from one area to another. A corner will often funnel deer travel to a specific location. For example, deer will most often enter a field from a far corner.
Deer Hunting Corners
After viewing a photo from above, it is then time to enter the area on foot to prepare for deer hunting. When evaluating a corner for possible set up locations, apply proper scouting skills to help with determining the best place for a stand. As with most hunting tactics, the areas with the most deer activity is generally the better locations.
A good approach is to set up 10-25 yards along the inside or the outside of a corner. Pay attention to the wind direction and only hunt if the wind is appropriate for the particular area. Also make sure to take scent elimination precautions.
Good luck and be safe.
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Deer Hunting Tips- A scrape is a relatively small area cleared of leaves, dirt, and debris. A buck makes a scrape by raking the area with it’s front legs. A scrape is made to identify dominance, mark terrain, and to signal the rutting period is near.
Locations And Sizes
Scrapes can be found on the edges of fields, near other food sources, bedding areas, and any other travel areas used by bucks. There may be a single scrape here and there or a line of scrapes found throughout the woods. They come in different sizes from 1-2 feet in diameter on up to 4 feet or more.
Frequency Of Use
Some scrapes are made by bucks and then left alone. Others will be made and occasionally cleaned out again from time to time. Then there are those few scrapes that are kept clean throughout the season. More than one buck will often use the same scrape.
Active Or Inactive
There are two types of scrapes. Those that are active and those that are not. Obviously when it comes to hunting, finding the active scrapes is the important factor. However, this is not the only factor.
The next step is to locate an active scrape line. This consist of several scrapes in a directional pattern. Such findings will be more productive than hunting a single scrape. It is also better for the line to be inside of cover rather than in open terrain.
When To Hunt
When it comes to hunting scrapes, generally the best time is during the few weeks leading up to the rutting period. This is usually when bucks become more likely to visit during day light hours. Bucks will scent check and freshen up the scrapes looking to get the first indications of does coming into estrus.
Good luck and be safe.
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Deer Hunting Tips – High pressured areas can make for some tough deer hunting. Deer will often change their activities or even become strictly nocturnal making them even more difficult to hunt. However, there are a few things that a hunter can do to improve the odds of seeing deer.
Many hunters don’t take full advantage of the property they are hunting. They hunt relatively close to their vehicles only moving a few hundred yards or so away. When the pressure is on an area, go deeper into the woods than other hunters. Deer will often change their travel areas so getting away from others can be productive.
As with any hunting situation, the more time spent afield will only increase the opportunity for success. Especially with pressured areas, staying a few extra hours or even hunting all day may be the best approach. Make sure to have adequate supplies and a comfortable stand to help with staying focused.
Another idea is to change the normal deer hunting schedule. Most hunters will use the morning and evening approach. While these times have always been considered the best, taking a different plan into the woods for pressured areas may up the ante. Try a nine to three or something similar. This way you will already be on stand when others are coming in or out.
Hunt Mid Week
When the pressure is on, deer sometimes will detect certain activities and lay low for a few days. Most hunters use the weekends as their primary deer hunting days. When possible, try setting up a mid week hunt. Often this will catch the deer movement being a little more active.
Hunt The Weather
Many hunters prefer to stay home when the weather is rough. This means less pressure on the deer. Although the conditions may not be great, deer hunting in rain, wind, or snow may provide another opportunity for those brave enough to endure. Make sure to use proper gear for comfort.
These deer hunting tips are provided as helpful suggestions for pressured areas. Be patient and go the extra distance for success. Good luck and be safe.
Deer Hunting Tips- A travel zone is an area that connects a bedding area to a food source area. They will at times provide a safer set up than deer hunting food or bedding areas. They often allow for easier access by the hunter which reduces the chances of being detected by the deer.
The simplest way to locate travel zones is to first find the current food sources or bedding areas. Work your way back from these areas to find the travel zones. Try to find places that have several intersecting trails that come together that head back to either the beds or feeding spots. These such areas offer good deer hunting travel zone set ups.
Also look for any buck activity such as early rubs or scrapes. This type of sign will help pinpoint a set up location. Don’t be overly alarmed if such sign is not observed. Not all areas will have it. This does not that the bucks are not using these areas.
The terrain will also help influence travel zones. There may be creeks, funnels, ridges, ditches or other terrain that is preferred by bucks. Any type of terrain that narrowly controls possible deer movement should be considered. Remember that deer will take advantage of easy access routes. Make note of such findings as they are often deciding factors as the best locations for deer hunting.
Use these deer hunting tips for selecting travel zone set ups. Remember to adjust for the wind and use proper scent control. Be safe and good luck.
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Deer Hunting Tips: Cut Overs
Cut overs or clear cuts as they are also called, often can provide ideal deer hunting locations. After the first year that the land has been cut, there will be an abundance of browse foods available as well as adequate cover for the deer.
The initial first season of a cut over will normally be used as a food source assuming it has had time to begin new growth. It may also be used as a travel zone leading from a bedding area to another feeding area if the under growth isn’t available yet.
Deer Hunting New Cut Overs
In order to prepare for hunting, walk the edges of the cut over searching for trails, rubs, and scrapes. It may be possible to place stands along the outer edges. However, often it will be better to back track the trails or buck signs leading to the cut over.
Locate the best and most obvious signs of buck use and place stands 50 yards or so away from the cut over. After a few days of hunting you should see deer. If not, move the stands another 50-100 yards further away from the cut over. Continue this process until sightings occur.
Deer Hunting Older Cut Overs
After a few seasons the cut over will not only hold browse for feeding but also provide excellent bedding sources. There will be enough cover available so the deer will spend more time during day light. Hunting these locations can provide both excitement as well as frustrations. There will be more deer but they will be harder to see.
The hunter must be able to see so a stand placed on any remaining tree left after cutting occurred may be used providing deer activity is nearby. This is also a good time to place tripod stands through out the cut over. They are more versatile in such terrain. Obviously you wilh be looking for the best available buck sign preor to placement* This can be tricky since the food is every where.
Another idea that can be used for deer hunting cut overs is to set up controlled man drives. This requires several other hunters for best practices. Depending upon the size, it may require several persons walking and several persons setting up on the perimeters. Obviously extra caution should be applied for safety.
Still hunting such locations will be difficult but very possible. There will be limited visibility so a slow approach with the use of binoculars and scent control is most important. Walk into the wind to reduce detection. This approach can be very effective on days with steady winds. It will help reduce any noise by the hunter. It will require the hunter to be extremely observant.
Try these deer hunting tips for cut overs and see if they can be used in your area. Good luck and be safe.
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Deer hunting isolated areas can at times offer an excellent opportunity at harvesting a nice buck. The seclusion of such places often provide cover and a sense of security. The key is to find such areas that have a nearby food source.
The locations of isolated areas don’t necessarily mean that they are miles away from anything else. A small acre food plot, for example, that is surrounded by cover may only be 100 yards from a large field crop.
Another example could be an oak grove nestled inside a small patch of woods. If the oak trees are producing acorns, the deer will come. Such a location provides for good hunting.
Even if hunting farm land that are large in size, many times there will be a section of only a few acres that are used as fill crops. Deer will often feed on field crops in these smaller areas quicker than in the larger fields.
Another isolated area could be a small section of woods that run in between different crop fields or even cut overs. These areas are used as roads by the deer. They connect one type of terrain to another.
Water such as creeks or rivers that run through a hunting property also generally have isolated sections. Deer will find a shallow crossing area and use it. These locations should not be over looked as they will be used often.
Bedding areas are sometimes found on small isolated sections of a property as well. Especially if hunting near large open areas, there may be only a few places that provide adequate cover for beds. Deer will use such areas to be close to food sources.
If deer hunting on heavily pressured lands, this would be the time to go deeper into the woods. You may need to travel further to locate such areas that have not been disturbed by other hunters. Finding these areas may put you ahead of others.
Good luck and be safe.
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The warm temperatures often associated with the early deer hunting season sometimes result in late day or even after dark feeding habits. A hunter can set up near a bedding area to catch deer as they first begin moving towards food sources. This approach can often lead to better activity than hunting the actual food supply sources.
As the summer feeding habits end deer become more nocturnal. They spend most of the day bedded down. Hunting near a bedding area is an excellent tactic for producing results during these periods. A well placed stand that takes into consideration wind directions should offer a good hunting opportunity.
The rutting period is known as the time of the year when bucks are the most active during day time hours. Finding bedding areas that are used by does can be a very effective way of harvesting a nice buck. Since bucks are in search of estrus does during this time, they will often visit and monitor various locations that the does use to bed down in.
The late season brings with it shorter day light hours. Deer will move less frequently during the day due to hunting pressure and dropping temperatures. They prefer to bed down and absorb as much heat from the sun and spend more time on foot after dark. In some cases, hunting a bedding area is the only chances at consistently seeing deer late in the season.
Locating Bedding Areas
Deer will use many different bedding areas during the course of a season. For the most part, these areas are based on nearby food sources. Since the food sources change throughout the year, so will the locations of the bedding areas. Find the food source and back track the trails to locate the beds. Also look for rub lines as they will generally be directional from a bed to the food.
Beds can be found in tall grasses, patches of woods, thickets, cut overs, swamps, ridges, and anywhere else that offers concealment. The main criteria is that they provide protection from danger with numerous ways to escape should the deer become alarmed.
Tips On Hunting
The main rule to follow when hunting beds as with any other form of deer hunting is to not be detected by the deer. Unlike other set ups, deer are less tolerant to intrusion near their beds and will leave and relocate if too much pressure is put on them. Pay close attention to wind directions and scent control. Make quiet approaches to and from stand locations. It is better to hunt these areas sparingly to reduce the chances of being detected.
Good luck, be safe, and enjoy your next hunting experience.
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