This week on the Southern Ground Hunting Podcast, we're talking to Jake Lishen about how to make a game plan on southern public land bucks when deer are entering into the post rut phase. For many of us, it's easy to decide to hunt deer like it's the rut when you're within a few weeks of the peak. Especially when you're on an out of state hunt. What Jake talks about is how him and his buddies analyzed the sign on their trip to Alabama, determined it was in fact later than peak rut in that area, and started inching closer and closer to a mature buck based on his sign alone.
In this convo, Parker and Jake just have a candid conversation breaking down what Jake did to play the odds in this hunt. January in Alabama can be a great time to be in the woods and it sounds like Jake and his friends had a heck of a time enjoying it!
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Parker McDonald: Hey, thanks for tuning into this week's episode of the Southern Ground Hunting Podcast, where you're gonna hear a valuable hunting based conversation that's tailored for us southern folk. If you love what we do and would like to support Southern ground Hunting, you can visit patreon.com/southern Ground Hunting, or you can click on the link in the show notes.
We'd love for you to join the Southern Ground Hunting [00:01:00] community today. Again, that's patreon.com/southern Ground Hunting. You can also support us by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. It helps more than and we greatly appreciate it. And now let's get to the show.
Jake Lishen: I don't want to overstate, my experience, I've been hunting for a long time, and the last three, four years I've had the chance to travel a fair bit. So I've been all over the country hunting. I bet I've probably hunted a dozen states in the last four or five years. When I tell you, I have never seen scrapes as big or as deep into the ground as I saw there this year.
Like really impressive man. Like it was, huh? It was really impressive Just jaw dropping. Like as big around as big, around as large trashcan lids, if not bigger, like venturing into the size of car hoods that were three and four inches dug into the ground. Golly,
Parker McDonald: that's, the most of [00:02:00] that sign had to have been.
A week ago after it was we, after we left, cuz we weren't seeing
Jake Lishen: that it was Yep. We were 100% a week late. Like we were a week. We and I. It's hard because, you know how Alabama's rut is. It's all over the board and , we came, I was doing my best between talking to you and talking to Jordan and talking to as many people as I could.
I could thumb up to try to make sure that I was dialing it in on time because I felt coming outta last year, if we were just on time, we would have some real serious opportunity to put multiple bucks on the ground and we were. We were just a week exactly the same thing as last year. We were a week, we were a week late.
We had a little really hot action the first day or two. But in general it was a busy week as far as deer sightings, a slow week as far as mature buck sightings, but tons and tons of signs.
Parker McDonald: Yeah, and I've [00:03:00] found, I have found, To like what you guys are doing as far as going, and y'all, the last two times, which I guess before, before we get too far into this, I need to introduce you.
This is Jake Lyson. Jake, you've been on one time before right? Talking about travel hunting. Yep. One time before the whole setup and stuff. So if you're not familiar with Jake, go back and listen to that episode. He's an awesome dude, but he and a group of buddies have come to Alabama for the last two seasons, yep. Two seasons. I wanted to pick his brain because he has a very interesting way of going about it. Jake, you really do like you. You do your research really well, and you always seem to like. After you, after one of these trips or during these trips, you call me and you tell me about all the landowners that you made friends with.
And it even happened in North Dakota. When I ran into you up there, you were like, yeah, I got permission on this property and this one. Know the game warden, I'm going to his birthday party next week. And you just got like , all these [00:04:00] like really good relationships with everybody around and it's just a really interesting process that you go through and I kinda wanna talk through that.
We're just recapping what happened this last week here in Alabama and yep. As we're talking about, man, you saw tons of big buck sign. We're on deer all the time. But what I was gonna say is thing that I noticed. Is, especially in Alabama, like I've been to certain WMAs that you'll read on Facebook, whatever, on all the groups.
Oh, there's just tons of pressure there. Or there's not that many deer there or whatever. But if you hit it at the right time, you can go and you can really have a pretty dang. Good week because Alabama is actually one of the highest deer densities in the country. Strangely enough. Yep. They're just it's a different situation to try to hunt them if you hunt them outside of the rud.
A lot of times if you're not there in that magic time, , you're gonna feel like there's no deer there. And I don't [00:05:00] know what it is about Alabama. It may just be the thick cover, hilly terrain could be it. But it's really neat to me to hear your your thoughts on how to go about hunting places like Alabama, and it probably can help everybody else too.
Jake Lishen: Yeah. So I think. I think, getting started on that is just I'll preface it with saying that, we were a little late. I touched on it earlier, like we were a little late on the rut, this year and what I learned last year coming into Alabama was, or af I said, coming into af coming out of Alabama hunting last year, I felt really confident that at least on this specific WMA.
Pre rut or rut would be my best time to catch a d a, a good bucket in daylight. We had a really good deer last year that was close that we were real close to shooting probably mid one forties and I had him at In Bow Range Close, and another one of our crew ended up [00:06:00] having him in be range close, but he was always moving just before or after daylight and there was just no way to get close enough to him to shoot him in daylight.
He was. , he was unbeatable unless you were in the right spot to catch him or he made a mistake. And, I was banking on the, being a little bit more on time this year and once again, Alabama's , sporadic rut took us by surprise, and we were about a week late again.
Parker McDonald: that doesn't, and honestly, that was, it seemed to be statewide, yeah, it, it seemed to be pretty much anywhere that I hunted, it was off just a little bit. In some places it was really like, really dramatic, dramatically off than other places, it was, maybe a week or two later than it normally is.
And I talk to a lot of people, and I know you do. And it seems to be pretty consistently said that this season rut was a little bit weird, especially in the [00:07:00] south, in a lot of the country even.
Jake Lishen: Yeah, and I think that, I think it was weird, I don't know whether this area of the state of Alabama is a little less inclined to deal with what you and some of the other guys were.
But it, the rut, I feel the rut was exactly the cause. We hunted the exact same week, this week as we did, or this year as we did last year. And it was exactly the same thing. I mean to a t and I and based on the fact that you had hunted. Two weeks before that, I really feel like that midweek between when you were there and when I was there was just probably a five day window of just it being on fire, which is what it seemed like last year when we were there.
Yeah, so now I'm pretty excited going into year three about coming back and knowing when to be there. Like that mix of pre rut time. Knowing that I can hit it on the head, it's just if work lines up, yeah. Because it's, one of the things [00:08:00] that's so interesting to me is I've been lucky enough to hunt a lot of places, and I'm really, I'm typically pretty against the idea of bucks being nocturnal, but Alabama seems to have this weird thing where there's a lot of deer that tend to move well, big bucks specifically, where they really are.
Very minimal in the amount of distance they moved during the day. And they will stay in some really gnarly stuff there where there's just no way to hunt 'em until it gets extremely close to dark, or fully dark. And we got in on a really good one this year again, and that was the same story.
Was he just, he was in a very specific thicket. Dude, he was living in like less than a half acre spot. And he just would not move. Unless you bumped him out of there, he was not leaving in daylight. Was this a, did he stand up?
Parker McDonald: Was this another situation where y'all saw him or bumped him on multiple occasions?
Is that kind of how [00:09:00] you figured it out and nailed it
Jake Lishen: down? No we actually figured it out because he, so what happened was, and I, I. Maybe the best way to do this is to talk about like how the week progressed. Cause that's gonna help give some context. Yeah. And it'll probably keep me in line.
So anyways, so to give everybody some perspective, we got there on Saturday evening. So we drove, we made the drive from North Carolina up on Saturday evening and Sunday was, I always like to take the first day or even two days depending on what I find. And all we do is. So all of Sunday we just covered ground.
We just walked every road we could walk. We looked for every bit of sign. Thankfully it had rained pretty good Saturday night. So when we were walking roads, we were really looking for fresh cut tracks. Or we were looking for any scrapes that had been made the morning. Of our scouting day. So we [00:10:00] walked a ton.
We walked hundreds of acres as much as we could possibly do. We blew as much stuff out. Found tons of sign, actually found a bunch of sheds, oddly enough. Huh. And and like good sheds too. So anyways good sign. And got really confident going into Monday. So Monday comes around.
We had pretty much isolated down where all of the big bucks sign was to two specific regions on this property. So it w they were split apart by a big drainage ditch and two separate main tickets. So we figured they were two different bucks that were working. Two separate dough groups, do dough groups because this place has no shortage of dough.
An absolute ton of. So one of the guys in our group took one group, one spot, and I took the other spot and we just, my goal then was in the place that I'm hunting and I can't talk, I could give you a [00:11:00] synopsis of what Chris dealt with, where he was hunting that, that deer. But I, I'm obviously not him, so I don't want to dive into that.
So what I was running into, by narrowing down initially where I felt this buck was based on the sign that he had left. The week prior, he was still hitting some of the more major hub scrapes that he was using to travel past. So if you think about think about just a square, like just a four-sided square, and then imagine in the dead middle that there's a buck be right in the middle of it.
If he's leaving scrapes only in the southeast corner of that square, then it's a matter of finding out that's part of his predominant range that he's active in at some point. And we were using that activity to understand his travel pattern as far as where he was crossing to [00:12:00] come back to bed.
So what I like to do, Especially in places where Bucks will run scrapes on roadways. Cause I like to walk those roadways after each sit during when I'm hunting and I'll monitor all those scrapes and I'll look at whether they were hit that morning or not when that buck came back to bed. So now fast forwarding through the week.
By the time we started to get into the end of the day on Tuesday going into Wednesday morning, the buck had hit. Specific scrapes going and coming to bed three days in a row. So we knew exactly where he was going based on which community scrapes he was hitting. And we could look at the size of the track that he was leaving, which was a four finger walking track coming to and from that bed.
So now it's a matter of, it wasn't whether he was. because there's [00:13:00] only so many places he can bed within that block. It's just how do we get to him without alerting the other deer. And Parker, I know you have hunted to other areas around this wma, but I don't know if you've been on this specific one.
It's extremely thick, but thick in a really odd way. So it's very it almost feels like hunting north. In the sense of it's very oak heavy, but very thick, very short oaky very dry in this particular spot. And and the thick stuff is surrounded by other thick stuff, , that you can see really well through so what this buck was doing was he was betting in the thickest part of. and then there were all these dough be areas that surrounded him in cover that you could see when you're standing up, it's hard to see through, but when you crouch, you can see for 300 yards. Yeah. So your app, your approach was really [00:14:00] difficult because you inevitably were bumping deer no matter what it was very hard.
It took a while to figure out how to actually get in on him without bumping him. But unfortunately we did not actually see him on the hoof like I wanted. We were just chasing his sign and he was in there, he was in there every day. We would just, the option was either go in and bump him real hard and kick him up out of there, which I was afraid to do.
Because it's Alabama and not the Midwest. I didn't, yeah. I knew he would relocate altogether and I didn't wanna have to relearn an entirely new spot. So I was figuring that we would kind pin trick around him until we found out where his main exit trail was. And by the time we figured that out, it was closing in on the end of the week.
It was, towards Fri it was on, it was towards Friday, which is why. I'm a big fan of leaning on more. [00:15:00] I tend to find my success outta state is on day six or day seven on killing one. Not usually in a four or five day window, especially in places like Alabama, only because it's just, I feel like when you're hunting a really mature deer, Sometimes it can take that long just to understand how he's leveraging the terrain and how to like actually make it work.
Parker McDonald: Yeah and and that, I think that's specifically southern deer. Obviously some people get lucky here and there, whatever. Maybe they put themselves in the right position. And luckily the, a big buck came through that same day. But I've had multiple times where I've gone to another state and set up on Big Buck sign and seen the buck that made the sign in Alabama.
It's just not very often that you can go and set up on that sign the first time you set up there that you get a shot at that deer. A [00:16:00] lot of it's just yep, learning. Consistently learning. Now there are times where you're in the right place. That's why I really like not so much banking on sign out here as I am the terrain and vegetation features.
Yep. They're just gonna have naturally moved deer through. So even if there's not a lot of sign, that doesn't mean I, I don't need 'em to stop in the area and do a whole lot. I just need 'em to walk through. Did you find did you find that to be the case for you guys this week as well? Like maybe I, and I don't know, this is the first time I'm hearing about it, so I don't know if y'all had any actual like in-person encounters with big bucks, but I'm just, I'd just be curious to know, like I don't even know what the question would be.
I wanna know if you guys were setting up on that big sign or if y'all were finding those features that funneled deer
Jake Lishen: movement. Yeah, so it's a combination of things, right? So so I agree with you in looking at terrain [00:17:00] features. So this place, as is pretty flat. And so there wasn't a lot.
there wasn't a lot of like actual, like hard terrain features that you would expect maybe in more central or northern Alabama. You're hunting real subtle things. So like a fire break would be a change in elevation for this place. So the, that being said, what the reason I was looking for sign the way I was not, it was just to, it was just to narrow down his path of.
And then when we knew where he was going and coming from, because it was like, for example, I wasn't expecting to kill him over a scrape necessarily as much as I was. I just wanted to know it's the tail end of the rut. And I'm expecting that he's going to check on his weight back to bed and leaving bed, any big travel corridor scrapes that he can in the early morning hours or late at night.
And if he's doing. , [00:18:00] then I can, I might be able to correlate where his bed is in relation to that, because he's not gonna hit every scrape in the area like he would in the peak rut, but he's probably still gonna work two, maybe three within this circle of his, within this circle of pattern that he's probably doing.
Yeah. And that was what proved to, to be accurate. Now that also, to what you were saying lined up. Specific vegetation features. And what we found was he was tra his route of travel, with the exception of a couple different open bottoms that he had to cross, which presumably were occurring in the dark other than those two open bottoms, one on the way out from bedding, and then one or one after he exited bedding, and then one on the way back to bedding that he was crossing in the early morning hours.
He was staying in fit cover the entire time, like his [00:19:00] route to betting and out of bedding. He was 100% not visible to the eye. Even if you were within 25 yards of him, you had to be on his trail if you had wanted to see him. So we were hunting a lot of places where our visibility was fairly minimal.
There really wasn't a lot to. We were hunting a very specific trail where we had cut his tracks or we thought he was going on an exit trail or where we had found a fresh rub from the night before. And we were trying to determine where his path to and from bedding was. He also wasn't in, he wasn't exiting bedding the same way he was entering.
Which was what we ended up figuring out when dependent Every buck is different, obviously, but this deer specifically based on his path of travel, once again I preface this is we didn't, we were always a step behind him. So I'm basing this off of where his feet were, which [00:20:00] is the one thing that doesn't lie.
That like we were following, basically following his tracks and his scrapes all week. But what he did was he was always leaving nose to the. essentially was he was leaving bedding nose into the wind as he exited bedding to ensure that he was not gonna get busted. So we had to hunt. We had to hunt very close to just off winds to be able to get him.
Like we were always cutting our wind right off of where we thought he was vetted. And it. He was always mo I mean it I, I don't want to be redundant, but I feel like it would just, it was so thick and so gnarly in there, and on a four day window to hunt him. It was probably a little bit more than was accomplishable in four days, unless, especially in post rut, which is what we were doing.
I think had we had, six, seven days, I think the odds of killing him would've gone up a lot more because you just [00:21:00] learned the area a lot better. But I feel like we learned it enough to know that if there's a big deer in there next year, he is probably gonna do. Very similar cause there's only a certain way that you can stay safe and be that old and live there if there's any pressure at all.
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That's the word six, followed by day grind coffee code.com. I've got a question for you. I want, and I, and it's just like a, I just want, I want you to answer this truthfully don't answer with what you think is going to be the right. But really truthfully, do you feel like if you had not [00:23:00] focused on this one deer and trying to figure out those, just microscopic details about what he's doing and you just hunted based on.
What you know about deer, what you know about how deer moved through that area, through this, in this specific wma, you feel like your odds would've went up if you wouldn't have focused so much on him as far as killing a deer that you would've been happy with. Do you feel like that was more achievable than trying to pinpoint a specific buck?
Jake Lishen: I think it's, no, not necessarily. And I and the reason for that was after the first day, it was after our scout day, or I would say after the scout day on Sunday and then Monday, it was pretty clear that we weren't in the middle of the rut. So for me, had we had. Between those two days, had it been very identifiable that it was just jam packed rut.
Rut was heating [00:24:00] up and firing off, I think I would've sat way more traditional funnels way more areas where I was expecting to just be on any deer versus my strategy in post rut is very similar to pre rut. I find more success hunting a specific deer where it's okay, I'm gonna put my, I'm gonna find this deer and it, once I find them, if it's within the first day or two, which it was again, I feel really confident about getting a crack at him as long as he moves during daylight or I don't make a mistake.
Which I did make a mistake this trip and we can talk about that. I made a mistake Wednesday afternoon and that was on me.
Parker McDonald: And that would've been on hunt day number. Was that hunt day number two.
Jake Lishen: Day number three. Okay. And and we made a push to go in and hunt. In a spot where we knew he was exiting.
So we had cut his, some [00:25:00] of his tracks coming in and out of bedding on his e on an exit trail that was leaving a spot where we knew where he was entering by this point. And we should have, th this is a heart, this is a heartbreaking part. So we should have shot him Tuesday morning. Or if, yeah.
No. I think it was Wednesday morning actually. Sorry. We should have shot him Wednesday morning. So we, on our scout day, one of the things that we found is on this one specific part of the property, it was pretty easy to see. It was like his path back to bed. He was going out and feeding on these oaks on the north side of the property.
And there were a bunch of doughs that were beded up there so he could go up, feed, check these doughs, come back and he had thrashed a bunch of scrapes coming back into bedding and there were tracks and sign that he was coming back through. It was a very specific, thick funnel that crossed a roadway. And this roadway he had laid down.
Just absolutely [00:26:00] giant scrapes on, monster scrapes. And we were waiting for the right time to sit that as far as the wind and the, and just being able to get in there because we were, it was a long haul to get there. And on Wednesday morning, Tuesday night, sorry, it rained all night long.
It rained all night until probably, it was still raining when we were going in. That's her perspective. As we got there, we were a little late. We were, it's we were having to use a boat to get into this place. So as we got there, like we just had some problems with our vehicles and it was, we ended up being late to the spot and we're now hanging right after gray light.
He had come in and hammered those scrapes in shooting light, going back to bed. Just demolished those scrapes right where we were gonna hang. [00:27:00] So it was raining enough to where I know he didn't, he did not hit those scrapes before visible light. He was just late to bed. Had we been on time, we probably would've.
Parker McDonald: not using any cameras either, right? Like you're, you don't have trail cameras up telling you any information? This is just like straight No, no woodsmanship,
Jake Lishen: righten side stuff. Yeah. We hung a trail camera for kind of just giggles on a food plot to see how many deer were coming into a food plot while we were there.
But this was completely separate from that. We weren't hunting. Hunting a deer. We weren't hunt, we weren't like getting pictures or seeing the deer. I don't even, I don't even necessarily know. I'm not, I, he could have been, an eight point, he could have been 150 inch deer. I don't know specifically.
I know what his rubs look like, and I know the size of his track, which was four fingers wide. And I know the size of the scrapes, which I, I think I told you earlier, Parker is scrapes ranged anywhere from the [00:28:00] size of a trashcan lid to the size of a car. And they were, two to four inches deep.
All of 'em. They, we had, we shot him. We'd already, we'd been joking about calling him the cereal bowl buck because he was carving the scrapes out deep enough to where it was like a cereal bowl. That's honest to God. What was going on?
Parker McDonald: I think it's really cool trying to think of the right way to even talk about it.
There, there's been. Chatter lately talking about cell cameras and all that kind of stuff. And I have my own opinions on things, and I know you do too. But one of the things that I really like about not using cell cameras is I like what we're talking about here in that you really don't have any idea what this deer looks like.
You're you have some context because you've hunted deer your whole life. And you know what a. A big buck track is probably a big buck. There's not a lot of small bucks with giant tracks running around. And so you're just using all the [00:29:00] knowledge woodsmanship that you've learned to this point in life and you're trusting it, that it's telling you.
That's a big deer, and I think that's really cool because had you shot him, or maybe if you shoot him next year or whatever it's. This deer that you have hunted, that you've actively hunted, that you didn't even know what they looked like. You know what I mean? Okay.
Jake Lishen: Yeah. And I think that's what's exciting too though, is it's like that, in, in a day and age of everybody knowing what they're hunting and knowing what's on a piece of property it's fun like having that surprise factor, would
Parker McDonald: you consider it like, It's like an, it's like internet dating, right? ? Yeah. Cause you don't know exactly what they look like until you land that first date.
Jake Lishen: Yeah. I, it's probably, it's somewhat accurate. I think it's it's, yeah, it's it's Like going on a date with somebody, A blind date versus a blind date. Yeah. There you go. .
Parker McDonald: But sometimes those blind dates [00:30:00] can man you go in with low expectations and sometimes they'll prove you're wrong.
Jake Lishen: This is this is actually the starts of Parker's new podcast, Southern Ground Dating Advice.
Parker McDonald: suck. Dude, I haven't been in the dating, I haven't been in dating scene in so long. I'm so happy about it too. My gosh.
Jake Lishen: Da Dating with Parker. A southern ground experience, Southern dating on southern ground,
Parker McDonald: Galilee.
Sorry I derailed us a little bit there, but I do think that is a cool aspect to this style of hunting that you're doing is just, you don't know, but you're committing to everything that you've learned, trust in that
Jake Lishen: instinct. Yeah, and I think there's things that guys can lean on inevitably and a lot of, if you're playing, if I play devil's advocate here, a lot of guys would be like you don't know if a buck is big enough.
If you know by, by a track or [00:31:00] by a rub or, and it, and you're right. A little buck can hit a big scrape. A big, a little buck can have a big track, a little buck. I watched, I had trail camp pictures this year in North Carolina of a year and a half old eight.
That was rubbing the biggest sign poster up I've ever physically seen. So it's not that they can't attribute to that. But the reality is like I'm playing a game of odds when I'm reading sign, and the odds are most big bucks are probably gonna have a big track. Not that they can't have a small track, but they're probably gonna have a big track.
And most big bucks are probably going to make a bigger. At least a rub that's higher on the tree. So I'm looking for height on a tree in size of rub, and I'm assuming not that a small buck couldn't have made that, but that the odds are a bigger buck probably tackled that. Same thing with a scrape.
If you're looking at a scrape, usually in my experience, it's not that a small buck won't make a big scraper, won't [00:32:00] hit a small. But how deeply the scrape is carved out to me is usually an indicator of of the fact that it's like it takes some gumption in that buck to be able to dig that dirt out.
Like he's got some weight to his scrapes and he is probably hit it time and time again. Either that, or depending on location, it could be like a big hub screen, I felt confident going into hunting him that we were in the right place and I was keeping the rest of my crew aware of what I was doing and getting, like support in that I was making the right decision, which I think is not, it's not something, is not something to, to shy past.
I'm lucky enough to get to hunt a lot, but I do, I still question myself. I think everybody does, and I like to share information with people that I'm close to. Now, obviously not with everybody, but there are times where I'll just call up a buddy and I'll just be like, Hey man, let me paint the picture for you for what I'm seeing, and I'll have them pull up on X and I'll sit there and [00:33:00] talk to him about what I'm dealing with, and I'll see if he thinks that what my decision is or what she thinks is the right.
And it's, that can be really helpful. And usually I'm not running into a lot of Hey, you're making the wrong decision. It's more of like just reiterating that you're making the right call and it just gives you a confidence boost going into the woods. And I and I feel good about, I don't think we could have hunted him any better than we did this week.
We. , we missed our one real opportunity to kill him, which was that morning. I feel confident he was everything in my in my, in the fiber of my being based on the rain and how like, when he was there and the freshness of that scrape and how everything was laid down. He was there right at daybreak and we just missed him.
That's, and that's on me. I, we should have been there earlier. And he probably would've been, would've taken a boat ride. It, it didn't work out. And then the following day, my, or the [00:34:00] following afternoon, I made a mistake because we knew he was in there beded down.
And once again, as if we didn't learn in the morning we just, we ran out to go grab lunch instead of bringing it with us into the field. And then we were a little late getting back and as we were walking in, we had a dough bust us. Cuz we were getting set up later than we should have been.
And when she busted us, we tried to hop up in a tree quicker than we needed to on his exit trail outta bedding. And the tree that we were trying to hang a set in was just the gnarliest loudest tree I have ever . It was just like, whatever, higher power. Was up there, was not looking favorably on me trying to get my set hung quietly.
on this day, . So it was like, it was everything that could go wrong went wrong. And it, lessons learned in, in being, sometimes it's important, like one of the things that I always tell [00:35:00] people and I need to remind myself on occasion. Is even if you're running late to your stand, like it's better that you just pause and take a deep breath and it's I would rather be hung quietly in the right spot at 4:00 PM than loudly in the wrong spot at three 30.
So just take your time for sure. Be smart, and everybody's inclined to make mistakes. I definitely made a mistake and. I'm fairly confident when we made those mistakes, he was vetted within 75 yards of us as the, and he probably got up and got out of there.
Because where we were, there really wasn't much other people pressure, so I don't think he was getting hunted where we were hunting him very regularly, if at all, because it was such a brutal process to get in there.
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That's tethered nation.com. Check 'em out. Everything you're talking about to me l you could almost do a whole podcast episode about the importance of your whatever elevated hunting platform you use, tree stand, climber, saddle, whatever. The importance of being able to set that up quietly oh my gosh.
I don't know. You're from the south. You've probably been on public somewhere and heard somebody climbing a tree with their climber.
Jake Lishen: It's, [00:37:00] it noise is the most underrated thing. Like everybody wants to be so critical of their scent. And I, and that's a whole different ballgame. We won't go down that rabbit hole.
But I believe, like firmly in my. The number one thing that gets people ruined on killing deer is noise. Like I re, I really do like it without a shadow of a doubt. Whether it's the noise in your set, whether it's rushing through the woods, being too loud when you're walking, whether it's popping sticks and not taking your time.
You're always better if you play the wind. You can, for the most part, always win in the scent game if you're playing the wind, but if you're loud, it doesn't matter whether you smell good or smell bad, like he can hear you, especially inside of a hundred yards, which is what you have to be that close on some of these big deer, yeah. The closest we got to him was on Friday. We knew it was the last night of our [00:38:00] trip and we pushed in to hang. We hung within 60 yards of where we thought he was beded, and I'm fairly confident he got up out of his bed and stood in his bed within 60 yards of us right at dark because we heard a deer stand up right where we thought he was vetted.
And and it took us two hours to get in there. Huh, quietly, like two hours from the time we left the roadway, it was probably 150 yard walk and we took two hours to do it and two and another probably 30 to 45 minutes just to hang the set. And the reason was because he's when they're in there like that man, even though I knew he couldn't see us where he was beded it, assuming he was.
Like he's he's so dialed in and it was so quiet and still any sort of odd noise at this time of year, especially in post rut. After he [00:39:00] had, I think what this WMAs had four or six rifle weekends by this point, and people walking around and marching around and he's in, he's definitely encountered people, whether it's been there or on the adjacent private, like he's not gonna get.
If he feels uncomfortable. Yeah. For any reason at all. Like for sure, he's gonna stay locked in. So my job becomes, I know without a shadow of doubt, he's not moving until 30 minutes before dark. So if it takes me until 45 minutes before dark to actually get set up, if I'm just ninja quiet, then that's what I'm gonna do.
And the closest we got to. Presumably, which, like I said, we heard a big deer stand up because of the, we heard him stand up and we heard him take several steps because of the, he broke some giant stick and we heard what we thought was like, this is a very specific sound when a buck is moving through thick cover and you can hear the brush hit his antlers.
. [00:40:00] And we heard that as he was leaving be. . And so we think it was him, but I don't want to act like we knew for sure, but there was a good deer that was in there and we were able to get in within 60 yards of him and hang a set and do it quietly, but it just didn't work out in our favor, he literally exited bedding the opposite side of the bedding area that we thought he was gonna exit on, and, just how the cards were dealt.
Parker McDonald: If you had to if you had to. Let me start this question by saying this for people wondering the thing I find interesting about Jake's experience here in Alabama is, both times, Jake, you've come to me after the trip told me about it, like finding really good intel, really. Getting on deer and seeing a lot of deer too, which is a big, another big factor.
You're able to come in as a non-resident and see a lot of deer while you don't, while this the thumbnail image for this episode [00:41:00] isn't gonna be you behind a big giant Alabama deer. You got closer, I believe, than most people coming as non-residents to hunt public land. And so I think that's pretty cool.
And that's why I, for me, I wanted to have you on the show and do a podcast about this because I feel like I even learned things about hunting Alabama when I talk to you. Just, you have a, an interesting perspective on things. So that being said, If you had to give one piece of advice to somebody looking to come to Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana any of these kind of deep south states that tend to hunt pretty similar, what would you what would you tell '
Jake Lishen: em?
I think the most important thing that you can do is to not underestimate the value of not only scouting at the beginning of your. But also scouting during your trip. Like the, it's so [00:42:00] understated. It guys think that they can just go into a property and set up and just work your way through the property during the week, or just sit and assume that you're gonna see what you need to see.
But there, there's you're hoping you're, when you hunt like that, you're just hoping for the best. You're not. You're not pun based on what you know and if you're gonna be successful outta state. And this is not, I don't wanna take credit for this. I've learned this from a lot of other guys that are much more successful hunters than me.
And I've just been lucky enough to apply it to states that I hunt and it works just as good in the south. Cause when you go somewhere, you have to scalp, take a day or two. And I know it's hard because at times, like you have such limited time to. , but you're better off scouting a day or two days, even if you only have three to hunt and then hunting where you know you need to be than spending three days where you don't need to be.
And [00:43:00] man, it just puts you in the game, and the same thing applies for during your hunt. Like my, one of my favorite things to do is to scout during lunchtime. Like if, especially if you're on a property where you can scout and not bust, bust deer, which. , a lot of Alabama land that's roaded up like, man, just when you finish, you get outta the stand.
If there's roadways that deer ha, they're crossing or they have to cross, whether they're pine ticket roadways or even through oaks or whatever, just go walk the roads. Look for crossing tracks, look for scrapes on roadways. Look for whatever it is that you need to find to identify if a deer's in there, especially in the.
Like really, especially in the morning because if you find him coming back into an area in the morning, you can look at a map and pretty much figure out where he is at. So that, that would be my biggest piece of advice is scout. Scout before your trip on Maps Scout, when you get there so that you understand the property and how to access [00:44:00] it, and then scout during the week between your.
To understand what those deer are doing and how they're evolving not only to your pressure, but also to just what that time of the year is doing, because everything is gonna continuously change and you need to evolve with it.
Parker McDonald: Absolutely. Yeah, you're talking about from the week that I was there, so in a three week period, you almost went into hunting like a completely different hunting tactic, whereas I think most people would've.
I'm close enough to the rut, I'm gonna haun it like it's the rut. You know what I mean? I know I get in the habit of doing that. If I go to somewhere new, I get in the habit of oh, if it's two weeks after the rut, three weeks after the rut, I'm just gonna set up like it's still rut.
And so I think, here in this little conversation, for anybody who's listening it's valuable information. I'm, I know for me, I'm gonna put it to you. So I've got one more deer hunt coming. And it's a bonus buck hunt [00:45:00] that's it's taking place this weekend and I'm gonna go and do that and hunt.
I can for one day, I can kill a buck and even though I'm tagged out already. So I'm gonna put this stuff to use, man. I really am
Jake Lishen: lucky. Good stuff. Lucky you, dude. I'm jealous. Can't wait. Can't wait to hear about the slammer that you
Parker McDonald: killed. . I don't know man. I've got a lot of days under my belt this season.
I don't know that one more day is gonna do a whole lot of difference, but I I'm gonna try, I'm gonna give it my best shot.
Jake Lishen: Hey Kim, man, I'm excited. I'm right now, I'm just looking forward to 2020 fall 2023 and getting back and I think now two years of Intel. Hopefully I can strike at a better time next year.
And, just or apply the same principles, to a different part of Alabama. Who knows, but I like, I've told you, and tell everybody else, it's there's Alabama's an awesome place to hunt. I, [00:46:00] there is no shortage of deer. It doesn't mean that the big deer are easy to kill.
That's an important thing to remember. But they're available, like they're there. You just have to work for 'em.
Parker McDonald: Hey guys, thanks for listening to this week's episode of the Southern Ground Hunting Podcast, and as always, a big shout out to all of our partners. Let's go. Wild tethered, Spartan Forge, and six Day Grind Coffee Company. You can keep up with southern ground hunting by following us on Facebook or Instagram or subscribing to the YouTube channel, and you can be sure to check us firstname.lastname@example.org to pick up some of our merch, read some blog articles and all that good stuff.
I truly hope you enjoyed this week's episode, and we'll see you here again next week. Remember that God gave you dominion over the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and the beasts of the earth. So go out and exercise that dominion. We will talk to you next.[00:47:00]