The Fall Sessions- Ep. 2

Show Notes

This is the second installment of "The Fall Sessions" with Aaron Bleise. On this episode, Dan and Aaron talk about how they break down how they hunt bedding areas, travel routes, staging areas, and destination food sources. As you will hear, the guys talk about the importance of access routes in to these areas and how they use the wind to their advantages in the tree and while walking to the tree.The cool thing about this episode is that Dan and Aaron have different approaches to just about every aspect in accomplishing the same goal. This is another great episode that will provide you more insight towards hunting mature deer. Enjoy and share!

Show Transcript

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Yeah, buddy. Yeah, buddy. Yeah, buddy. Ladies. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to another episode of The Nine Finger Chronicles. I'm your host, Dan Johnson, and today is episode two of the Fall Sessions with my man Aaron Blyk. And we [00:01:00] are going to break it all down. Today, we're gonna break down how we hunt, where we hunt.

How we access those locations. We're gonna talk about different access routes to staging, to bedding, to destination food sources, to travel corridors. We're gonna talk about what some of our favorite strategies are and each one is really different, right? If I'm gonna hunt a bedding area, it's gonna be a different strategy than if I hunt a staging area or if I hunt a travel corridor or some kind of pinch point or destination food source.

I think you guys are getting the idea here. And so the cool thing, the thing that I really like about this episode is that there is a lot that is the same between Aaron and myself when it comes to strategy, but there is also a lot that is different. And so listen very closely in this episode about the similarities and then the differences between our [00:02:00] strategy and the end goal is the same, right?

So what this tells you is that there's more than one way to kill a deer. And that's what this conversation is about today. And hopefully you guys enjoy it. I know I enjoy I've been enjoying these conversations with Aaron and and so that's why we're gonna do more of them. So here's the deal.

I've had a lot of p this and I, because we are talking about access routes. And we're talking about strategy. I have every, not every day, but almost every day, I have someone reach out to me with a map. And on this map, they they're saying, Hey, Dan I'm having some trouble with this. Or, what would you do in a scenario like this?

And I try to answer as many of those as I possibly can, and most of the conversations are really good. Most of the conversations I start to ask questions about the land. The people respond and we have a [00:03:00] really good constructive powwow about that particular land. Now, if your. If you get frustrated, because I'm not saying do this because each property is different, and you'll hear this in this conversation today on how Aaron Hunts ag versus how he hunts big woods's, right?

You need a completely different strategy. You need to know the differences in the landscape. You, each one's gonna require something different. And so if you reach out to me and go, Hey, Dan I want to talk about this piece of public, and I wanna know how to access, I found some points during scouting.

I want to know how to access them or how to hunt it. And then I start asking questions to you. About, okay, is it thick in there? Where's the destination? Is there any destination food in the area? Is there any water? Is there any, where's it thick versus where it's wide open? Where's the parking lot?

So [00:04:00] all these questions have to be answered in order for you to, in my opinion, to put a well planned attack on said property in order to try to locate deer. I can't just come to, I can't just go, here's what you need to do. If you show, you say, Hey, this is where I park and this is where I saw deer sign.

There's a lot that goes into it, so don't get frustrated. And end the conversation and not respond to me when I start, asking questions back to you. I can't do that. And the, I don't think anybody listening should do that. And that's the difference in the level, right? Of understanding how dear move, because it's different for every single property.

And so not only do I ask those questions to people, but you need to be asking those questions to yourself. What's this? Now, by no means do you have to get that technical. You can go out and hang a tree, stand and hunt. But if you really wanna understand deer movement, you wanna understand thermals, you [00:05:00] wanna understand wind direction, food sources, travel corridors, staging areas, bedding areas, how deer.

Use all that stuff then you gotta ask yourself all those questions. And it's the questions really that it's the questions that you need to ask and that's gonna a lead you down a path to finding more information about the properties that you hunt. Had to shut off my air conditioner there, started kicking in.

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Let everybody know that the Nine Finger Chronicles is one of the realest podcasts about deer hunting in hunting period. We'll talk to you at the back end. Good vibes, and enjoy this episode. 3, [00:11:00] 2, 1. Alright, we're, we are back with episode number two of the fall sessions, and today I wanted to talk this, usually my, all my ideas kind of pop into my head when I'm in the shower or on the toilet.

The, I guess that's where I do most of my thinking, only because it's the only place in my house that is quiet enough for me to hear my own thoughts. Aaron how has your last week been? Good. A good week. Good. 

[00:11:28] Aaron B.: Good. Yeah. We just come off Mo as we're recording this, just come off Mother's Day.

Yeah. And had a good weekend there and trying to put a new lawn in. I built my house last year, so trying to get the lawn going. Did a lot of stuff there, but man, we talked a little bit about it last week. The farmers are getting the crops and the ground still, and here in Michigan we need some rain.

We're dry, real dry and, to get those, spring plots or even just, the ag. Ground and the farmers get those things outta the ground, the, their crops and everything. We need some rain pretty bad right now, but yeah,[00:12:00] we're, it's going good. Yeah, 

[00:12:01] Dan Johnson: we're sitting at least where I'm at, we're sitting pretty in Iowa as far as rain is concerned.

I think we could probably use a little more, once all the crops are in, we could probably use just a little bit more. I always feel like on wet years or wet summers tend to lead to bigger antlers, and I'm sure there's a Oh yeah, I'm sure there's a correlation there. Just like out west, the guys who chase elk and whenever there's a mild winter with a wet spring and they're able to have plenty of vegetation, the elk and the mule deer seem to have bigger antler.

At least what, that's what I'm told. 

[00:12:35] Aaron B.: I see trends like that. Definitely. And we're still early. We're still in May, so we got some time, but a nice like slow rain for a full day would be nice. Yeah. To have that. 

[00:12:45] Dan Johnson: For sure. I saw a picture on May, maybe it was Instagram of your daughter with a medal around.

Is she in gymnastics or something? 

[00:12:56] Aaron B.: Dance. Dance. She's in, she's pretty heavy into dance. Yep. 

[00:12:59] Dan Johnson: Okay. [00:13:00] Yep. My daughter is in dance too, but she's not in, they have this division called the All Star division, and what really all that means is you're paying more money for more time to dance. And I think you can agree, like dance is, can be a very expensive endeavor if you're not prepared for it.

[00:13:23] Aaron B.: Dude, my daughter's five. Yeah. And she, the thing is dance season, she's just, this is her second year doing it. It's so long though. It starts in like September and then, it ends in, I. April, yeah. Ends in April. So it's a long season, but I'll tell you this. So one of my good friends and my cot David Riley, he, his two daughters are older than my daughters, and they are like, it's like a full-time job for them.

Yeah. They're very good. They're known nationally. I think I think both of us daughters are two-time national champions. Wow. They're very good. But like I hear him talk about and like, how much they [00:14:00] spend a year. It is crazy. Yeah. How much they like, and it's the time invested, but also the money.

I remember him saying one, one of his daughters came off the stage one time, like there was a lady wanting to buy her costume for stupid money walking off the stage. Yeah. And I'm like, holy cow, what am I about ready to get myself into? Because it's you almost gotta take on another full-time job just to pay for that.

It's so expensive. 

[00:14:26] Dan Johnson: Yeah. So right now she's in two classes and she goes two times a week. If we bumped her up to the next level, it would be like five nights a week and it would be, oh man I want to say I want man, what was it, $7,000 a year and that, oh my gosh. And that does not include, that does not include having to pay for the costumes, having to pay for the additional travel.

Cuz they would then travel to different locations and they would do hotels and [00:15:00] you gotta eat and all that other shit. And I'm just like, Jesus we could probably afford it, but I just I can't get past having to spend that much money on a kid activity. 

[00:15:12] Aaron B.: So much. Your daughter's a little older, right?

She 10. She's 10. 11. 

[00:15:15] Dan Johnson: She's 

[00:15:16] Aaron B.: 10 10. So yeah, so David's youngest daughter's right around that age, so I know how much they do it. They do it like that, about four or five times a week. And then, Friday, Saturday, Sunday is like, those are regionals and Yeah, and dances that they're all weekend, they're there and it's man, and they're traveling to Missouri Georgia or wherever they travel all over.

It's not just in Michigan. 

[00:15:38] Dan Johnson: So the only thing that's really holding me back is check out this spectrum. My daughter really loves dance, but now she's dad, I want to put a lot of energy towards wrestling. And okay, now she's, now she wants to be a wrestler as well. And I'm like, that's the own yes.

Anything wrestling, yes, I'll pay for anything you wanna do [00:16:00] wrestling, because I know that the alternative then is if she's not in wrestling, then it's, she wants to be all in on dance and I just don't wanna pay that money. A pair of rest a singlet and a pair of wrestling shoes is way cheaper than than a full-time dance.

[00:16:17] Aaron B.: You're just gonna have to get another job. Go back to cubicle 

[00:16:19] Dan Johnson: life. Yeah. I don't know about that, man. Man, I don't know about that. All right. Today's episode I was hinting at it earlier. Here's what I want to talk about. I wanna talk about things like, Bedding areas, staging areas. I want to talk about terrain features potentially saddles and ridges and spur ridges.

I want to talk about destination food and I want to talk about that bed to food pattern, but ultimately with the end game of how do, where do I put my tree stand locations in these areas. And so I think that's the topic of conversation. Today I want [00:17:00] this to be a, we've already done our scouting type episode. We've identified the bedding, we've identified the staging, and then how do we get our tree stands in there and how do we get our access routes in it and stuff like that. Do you have a specific method that you use when trying to identify tree stand locations? 

[00:17:22] Aaron B.: I'm, man, I'll tell you what I'm almost a hundred percent running gun, so I'm going in with everything on my back.

And hanging it, and then taking it down and yada. Like in some of my farm country stuff that's really tight and small wood lots and everything, I will do set locations in there just if I gotta sneak in and there might be a deer beded close by or something like that, I can sneak in.

Don't have to hang everything. But I'll tell you this, when I'm out there looking for a stand location in an area that I know I wanna be in, that I've scouted before, and a lot of times doing spring scouting, summer scouting, I'll pick out the tree. Okay, it's the tree [00:18:00] right there. It's up in the crotch.

It's about 18 feet up. I want my, platform here yada, all that stuff. I'll put it in like an app or whatever. But then when it comes back to the fall and you're ready to hunt it, there's always something that's different. There's always, there's foliage usually on the tree, the trees, but it might be a little different wind that you're, You're thinking.

And for instance, last year we were onto Hudson Public in northern Michigan, and we went into an area, it was the last night to sit and I had never been in the area, but it was it was a inside corner, but it was a staging, staging area kind of transition just into the timber, off an inside corner of destination food.

And dude, there had to been 10 different hot trails coming into this field. None of 'em were intersecting. It was just like, they all are cattle passed going to, and I had a guy filming me and I'm like, I'm sitting there for trying to figure out, oh, this tree would be good for right here, but then I can't shoot those four runways.

I only can shoot [00:19:00] these two. So I'm like trying to do the numbers game and all. Ultimately it's just okay, that one's gonna be the best one. The numbers are the best for me there. Let's do that one, yeah. I'm terrible. I'm terrible. I will sit on the ground and look around and look for 20 minutes and waste 20 minutes when a lot of times you just need to freaking go with your gut and get in a tree.

Yeah. Honestly. 

[00:19:18] Dan Johnson: Yeah. Yeah, I've fallen victim to overthinking I feel like a hundred times. In the last episode we talked about when we got serious and when, all the times we failed a little bit, but one of my biggest failures was walking into, we're talking running gun here, walking into a a property and then backtracking, right?

And so I put my son all the way in, in the timber already, and then I was like I better back up and come in, turn right here. How many deer would come in? And then they'd stop, maybe not blow per se, but they knew something was up and then they would go the long way around, or they would flank me real hard [00:20:00] and they would still go back, but they would go around me.

And and, and then some did blow and that was really frustrating. But that did teach me, Hey, you gotta be very picky about where you're gonna set up. And you just, sometimes you just gotta get in a tree because ultimately, you, ultimately the goal is get in a tree and maybe it's not the right night, the first night, but the next night you, or the next day or whatever, the next time you can get into the woods is then you can find that tree.


[00:20:37] Aaron B.: for sure. Yeah. I have a scenario too. It's on a, it's on a really hard transition on one of the farms I hunt. If I can paint the best audio picture, so to the north is a wet and it, you can't access from there. Okay. So I'm on the transition and from transition from the wet area to some terrain.

Okay. And I'm in the bottom, but it necks down. I, it's like I'm right where this corner [00:21:00] wraps around, it's all timbered. But where the wet air, I'm right on that hard transition. So the only access I have is from the south. Okay. I can't come in from the north cuz the, it's too wet. So I'm hunting a scrape and a really hard transition where, there's two deer trails that come right together and it's a really good transition spot.

But the thing is from where the trees located with the prevailing wind, It's north of the trail and I'm coming in from the south, so one of my biggest pet peeves is coming in from the south. Crossing the trail that you're hunting. Yeah. And then getting up the tree, turning around and hunting that trail.

I hate doing that. Like I, I try not to do that. So what I have to do in this certain location is I have to actually go like west along, far away, west loop back around and how the water kinda loops, it loops back to the north. I gotta get on that north transition line and walk that whole transition line back.

I have to go,[00:22:00] a couple hundred yards out of my way to, to hunt this location just so I don't have to cross the trail of where I'm gonna be killing that deer. And I know a lot of people are like, cross the trail right when you're gonna have the arrow in the deer. I understand that. But still, I try to like, I try to cross all my T's I and just try to do it.

I don't want any of any extra scent that I have to have in there, so I just do a big loop and come around. That's one of those things like, I don't like going across a feature that I'm trying to hunt, and then getting up in the tree, turn around and get hunting. That feature. I really 

[00:22:32] Dan Johnson: hate that.

Oh dude, I love that. Dude I, what you just ab described is exactly what I do every running gun. Really? Yes. So I'm gonna u I'll use an example. I got this staging area that I absolutely love before these deer cross the road to go into a a destination ag field. There's a thicket, right?

So there's a thicket and [00:23:00] there's a C r P field, and then there's a road, and then there is the ag field across the road. And so these deer come off the point of this ridge way down, and then they all work their way up into this staging area. So what I do on this ridge is I stay low, I parallel the ridge as low as I possibly can go, and then right to this tree stand location, I'll take a hard left turn straight uphill to my tree stand location.

My wind is blowing in my face on that 90 degree turn. Okay, so I'm I, the wind is to my face as I approach the tree stand. When I'm up in the stand. There's ground scent obviously, but with the thermals and with the the thermals in a consistent, let's see what direction it'd be a west wind. All my scents blown over top of that trail.

So if I get in there early enough, your ground scent over time probably does some dissipating [00:24:00] and. The goal here is if there is a shooter, caliber deer that comes through and his nose is to the ground and he catches my ground set, the, or he catches my air set. Maybe the thermals have shifted a little bit and they're dropping down, man.

He's within shooting range at that point. Yep. And so I do this ni I call it the rule of 90 or where I will walk in whatever the access route is, and then take a hard 90 degree turn towards my tree stand location in hopes that if I'm gonna get busted, it's gonna be in the shooting lane. Because I feel like there's times where you have a moment where the deer goes, who?

Yep. What's that? And you're already drawn back by then. That's, yep. That's the ultimate goal. Does it work out like that every time? No, it doesn't. But 

[00:24:55] Aaron B.: I want to go a step farther with it because I have an instance from [00:25:00] Iowa, okay. On a seven and a half year old, very mature deer. Yep. And I have an instance, a couple instances from Michigan and I and basically, I'm not saying you're wrong.

I love the dynamic. I love the, the, what you have and what I have. We're hunting two vastly different areas. Okay? Yep. So this is really cool to, to see this. A deer over my shoulder right here. I shot him in 2019 in Iowa. And that scenario happened. He's a seven and a half year old deer scored in the mid one eighties.

And what had happened, it was midday. And I watched him that morning chase some dough out in front of me, and then he goes up and he beds this dough around this pond. I feel okay. He, I couldn't see him, but I, he was going up there, I think just to spend the day up there with her.

We had to get out of the tree. We were losing batteries and cameras and everything. We had to get outta the tree for about an hour and a half. So when we left, we had to leave and go by him. So what we did is we went, did a big loop around, okay. [00:26:00] And we were in this ditch, and it's a c r P field that would come all over, like down, like it, it's high on both sides.

And it come down and there's a c r p cedar Ditch that was in the middle. And we were on the point of it. So we get back in the tree and we come in from the backside and it's thick, it's, we're thick in the tree. And when this deer end up showing up, he comes on the backside of the tree where we had walked in on.

And when we saw him, he was at like, I don't know, right at 22 yards. And he hits our ground set. Okay. Talking about a seven and a half year old, like just different specimen hits our ground set, walks to the base of my tree, and I shoot him at 17 yards. Now,

A three year old, I do that basically same thing, hit my ground set and bug the hell out. Yeah. So that's where it's very situational dependent and very what am I trying to say? Like location dependent of like where geographically you might be, [00:27:00] I like that I had to, I've been hunting a Michigan my whole life because I was taught to like, everything you're on eggshells during the fall.

You have to be on point to try to, because when I go anywhere else in the Midwest, it's almost like I'm still doing that stuff. But it it's almost a little easier for me. Like I'm crossing my teeth and doubting all my eyes and it seems like things happen more frequent and more often and that it, if, does that make sense?

Oh dude I get it. 

[00:27:25] Dan Johnson: It's a very location. I get it. I've hunted Michigan before. Yeah. And so when I went to Michigan, coming from Iowa, I was like, man, this dough group came through and she was so nervous. I've never seen an animal. Like I, I picked her up probably 70 yards. My wind was consistently going away from her, but she was just look like she was looking up in the tree.

She had probably a yearling with her. And then a two-year-old, another [00:28:00] two-year-old with her, that was her two offspring from the last two years. Is that what I had to guess? And they had their heads down and they were munching and stuff, but she was like bing.

Like she was a spak. And then she, they came, man, I was gonna shoot her, but she came really close. But then something spooked her out. And I don't know what it was maybe my wind was swirling and I didn't know it. But then a spike butt came through like a half fork, half spike, and he was real nervous.

And I was like, is this what Michigan is like? Because Jesus, man, I feel sorry for these guys in Michigan where that's what every hunt is like. And man in, in Iowa, if you, if I was to compare my limited time in Michigan, in my time in Iowa, it's just night and day dear way relaxed there, you can get away with, catching some ground scent.

Now I've had a big mature buck [00:29:00] in my day catch my ground scent and just leave immediately blow at me. But that was like, it happened. Real quick, I wanna run an idea by you. Okay. And I feel I came up with this theory. Maybe it, I didn't come up with it, but I wrote an article about it several years ago, and I think I called it something like, A deer can Tell time based on the potency of the scent that they're smelling.

Meaning if a coyote walks by an hour ago, they're able to their noses are so good, they can say I smell a coyote, but the scent is not as strong. So there's no need to be afraid of it because it's, it. Or, oh my God, there is something here right now. I'm gonna get outta here. And so I think that if, you know the ground scent that I take and a deer, deer smell it, they'll identify it, but they won't get [00:30:00] freaked out about it because it was four hours ago when I took, when I walked there.

And so over time, my scent and all those molecules or whatever has had time to half-life and half life. And so the potency of that of that scent is not is not as concentrated, therefore, they're not afraid of it. 

[00:30:20] Aaron B.: Yeah. I wish I, I agree with you, your theory. I agree with you. I think there's some caveats to it as far as Yeah.

Let's say you come in the, in a morning hunt and there's some dew on the ground. Yeah. I think that might, that scent might sit there a little bit longer. Yeah. But if it's a dry time, like I do agree though. I've had, it's right away they, it's almost like they stepped in a mouth trap or something.

They're just like, whoa. Like we're, it's crazy. I do think there's something to that theory though. Because and another thing you have talking about coyotes, get off on little tangent here. Do you see a big correlation in coyotes, like disrupting deer? Like we, I see a lot of coyotes amongst [00:31:00] deer and fields and everything like that in the fall, or, they bug out a little bit, but it's really, it's not that bad.

Like the coyotes really, they obviously live amongst each other, the deer and the coyotes. But do you see every time, like a coyote comes in the field of deer just completely bug out all the time? 

[00:31:18] Dan Johnson: I've seen it both ways. I've seen a field full of deer, 15, 10, 15 deer. Completely tails up, run as hard as they can away from a coyote that was trot one, coyote that was trotting.

Meanwhile, I've seen on one field all these deer, probably more than I would say 20. There's a big bottom that I hunt, and in this bottom it's a big ag field, and then there's a river on one side and big timber on the other. And so on one side all the deer were feeding. And then on the other side there was two coyotes and they were going crazy.

They were howling and yiping and all that stuff. Not ahead lifted [00:32:00] up. Over on that, on those deer I've seen real close encounters where. A dough and a dough group was feeding in this alfalfa field. Two coyotes walked by and the, they just lifted their heads up, they identified them, and then they put their heads down.

And just like anything hunting related I could tell you a story where deer were spooked by coyotes. And then I can also tell you a story that deer were not spooked by coyotes. So yeah, your guess is as good as mine. 

[00:32:33] Aaron B.: Yeah, I was just curious. You brought up the coyote thing at Struck. I had a set earlier last year and about eight doughs came out in the al bean field, and I'm watching 'em, everything and they're they're walking a little bit, but the tails slowly go up and then they come down and it's just they're looking around man, there's gotta be something in the field.

And I looked out. Yeah. They just flank 'em. They'll just kinda walk around them just but yeah it's hit or miss, it's 50 50. It depends on, I think if the [00:33:00] dough has got, babies with her or whatnot, or time of year there's a lot of times in the summer when you're scouting alfalfa fields, there'd be a hundred deer in the field and Kyles would be amongst all of them.

Yeah. And they won't even do anything. 

[00:33:11] Dan Johnson: And I think, like you said, I think a lot of that has to do with time of year. Do I feel like a coyote is gonna try to go get a brand new fawn or very little fawn? Yes. It's easy for 'em. But in November or, the winter months when the coyote is going to have to work for that, that even a young dough.

Eat would have to work for it. I feel like most of the time coyotes are eating rabbits and, all that stuff, like Yep. A small game and things like that. So I feel like there's oth, there's easier prey for a coyote than a deer, but they are op opportunistic and they will go after the young ones or the injured ones for sure.

Yeah. Yep. Okay. Do you have a favorite terrain feature or scenario that [00:34:00] you'd like to focus on, like a betting area or a travel corridor or a pinch point or something like that? 

[00:34:06] Aaron B.: I would say probably my all time favorite terrain feature would be I would call it a secondary ridge, but they're these little micro ridges amongst.

In a hill country setting where you can't hardly even see 'em on a map you gotta get boots on the ground to see 'em. And they might only be 30 by 40 yards big, but it's like a little bench. And it's like a secondary ridge off a bigger ridge. I call those 

[00:34:32] Dan Johnson: spur ridges that Yep.

[00:34:34] Aaron B.: That is probably, that is probably up there. I yeah, you're gonna find a lot of sign there. They can be difficult to hunt as far as, thermals and wind and trying to get that to be true. Because those are, I don't know, I've, the wind can be like, the working class guys would say a whiskey wind.

You, you might get some some different winds in there. Yeah, that'd be one. The [00:35:00] other one I really is like in a ag ground, I hunt a lot of flat ground. Finding a terrain feature that might only be about a two to three foot, like difference in grade. And if I can find that, where a hard transition of timber, if it might be like OTA, mall of two, some oaks, a transition right there.

There's usually always gonna be in, in the scenarios I hunt, there's usually always gonna be like a community scrape right there, man, give me that 10 outta 10 times in the right area and I'm gonna kill a pretty good deer right there. Yeah. I love that scenario. 

[00:35:39] Dan Johnson: So when you say transition, then do you also mean edge, like it's created?

Yeah, that's what I mean. Yeah. Okay. Yep. All right. Yep. All right. Yeah, man, dude, finding that thick and let me tell you about that scenario that I just presented to you earlier with the, I was taking the 90 degree in uphill. And so why I love this state, why I love [00:36:00] this, is it be, is it because it checks off all these boxes?

It has a spur ridge coming up on a long ridge, and on the top is all staging and further little bit down is bedding. So what you have here is a really good terrain feature meets really good vegetation that opens up into big timber. So now you have edge and you have so you have some oaks in there.

So there's some food. And so you, what you're doing is you're just checking the boxes of all these things that deer, where deer liked to travel. And I always try to find two, try to check off two of those. Like I'm not just sitting up. On a terrain feature, but I'm sitting up on a terrain feature that has edge on it or that meets a spur ridge or there's at the end of its bedding or, but ultimately has to have good access to get to those places.

And so I'm always trying to find the, we talk about the [00:37:00] place within the place hey, here's a good, here's a good ridge, but where on this ridge? Oh, here's where two trees fell down in a storm two years ago. So now it's all thick and nasty in there because more sun has hit the ground and it's created, a high stem count lower to the ground.

You best believe there's gonna be rubs around that. Or like you said, a, some kind of scrape where deer have now started to bet in that they feel comfortable or stage in it and then, just hang out and so now you're stacking the odds in your favor. And that's, those are the type of locations that I look for.

[00:37:34] Aaron B.: Yeah. And honestly those spur ridges as you would say, those get me so excited. Oh yeah. Because normally, like you talked, there's, they're usually about halfway up the hill, are, they're usually somewhere in that transition of a good hill location. But when you get in the bottom, it, it's difficult also.

It can be done, but you get a lot of, if you get, if you're in a ball, you'll get some swirling [00:38:00] effect With the wind, it's very, it's, I'm not a master at the wind in thermals, in, in hill country. You might wanna talk to a Jake Bush or someone like that. But I love trying to figure it out.

That's why I like the scenario and ag that I told you about with the flatter, you get more consistent wind. Yeah. In those areas and I can really get in there and fine tune some areas. But I like you're talking about finding the spot within the spot. And I have a perfect example for that. I've got a section of five acres of timber.

That's it. It's surrounded by complete ag. Okay. There's just a, it's looks like a turd and a punch bowl. Out in the middle of an ag field. Okay. And you know it's flattered pancake, but you'll get that two to three foot difference in elevation and you'll go in there. Okay. If you walk this little section of timber, you're gonna find a giant scrape in the, under the same tree every Yeah.

But that is not the spot. And I'm gonna tell you why I've monitored this over [00:39:00] the last six seasons. Okay. I'll put a camera on it, I'll let it soak a cell cam on it, whatever. I will get pictures of deer and bucks on that camera, but I will never get pictures of good bucks on daylight in that camera. I moved, I found this little elevation change and it's not much at all.

Okay. But I think what helped here is that it is in that it's right on the edge. Okay. And there are some white oaks right there as well. So I think that's another box you can check right there. Now, where the scrape was before where I get all the dark pictures, it's just like monotonous. It's flat.

There's no train change. There's really not a lot of cover out there is cover, but it's not tied up to it. It's like a crab apple tree. Just a yeah. Where trees don't really grow in there. But I'm telling you, you go about 50, 60 yards in one direction and there's a scrape there, it might not be as big of a scrape.

I will get daylight [00:40:00] buck pictures on that all the time. And that's where you can, that's where I 

[00:40:02] Dan Johnson: can kill 'em. Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense, man. What's your take on betting? Do you try to get tight into bedding ever? 

[00:40:12] Aaron B.: It depends because An ag. Yeah, I do. And I've got some, I've got some areas where I can get about 60 yards from bedding.

Last year I did, I got about 60 yards from a buck that I knew was in there and I ended up killing them, at last, just right before last light. And I was about 60 yards, but I had that terrain feature. It was about just a little hump that I could get up in a tree just enough. And so an ag I am tending to get as close to the bedding as I can now, in the timber setting.

Yeah. I'm still trying to get as close, but where a lot of the timber that I hunt, I try to correlate it with food and I try to I really try to hone in on if an acorn crop is like a bumper, crack that year and then some be, some bedding will definitely, be better there.

There's [00:41:00] some very specific bedding, buck bedding. On a piece of ground that I hunt is, it is very dependent on the bumper crop and what acorns are there. If that is the case, then I am going to hone in on as, get as close as I can. That might only be 150 yards, which I still think is far. Yeah.

But, I'm hunting a lot of cedar swamp edges and the cedar swamps. I think the ones that I'm hunting are pretty wet and I don't think the deer are betting that far in there. So I think they're more on the edges where it's still dark timber. So I'm trying to get as close as I can, but if I can find a bumper crop of acorns that first stop from that bedding, it might be 150 yards from it.

That's where I'm gonna stop. Okay. If I can get a little tighter, I will, but more than likely I can't get right on their bed. Like a, like a Greg Litzinger, like he's so good at getting right on beds. And being able to beat that deer to the bed. And[00:42:00] I so hard to do 

[00:42:02] Dan Johnson: that. Yeah. It's difficult, especially and I'll tell you two, two scenarios here.

One, I have a bedding area that I'm thinking about right now and they have the high ground, so it's a knob and they bed on the top of this knob. And so no matter what direction I come to hunt, there is a potential that they're in there and they're watching the low ground. So they would watch me come up and so I don't hunt it that much cuz I feel like they're, they know that I'm coming.

The other one is a staging area or it's a bedding area. And I'll talk more in depth about this one later, but it's a, across the creek is a bedding area and they cross it. They cross the creek, they come into the staging area, and then they they head on out to the ag field, and I have a tree stand on the northeast corner of that.

They can't see me walk in [00:43:00] because of the bank of the creek, but once I start to climb the tree, th they can see me climb the tree. And so do, they may not necessarily bump, but they will walk away from where the disturbance was, even if I get in hours early, like multiple hours early.

And so that's another hard one to hunt. So I typically am not, dude, I don't focus on betting areas too much unless I have hard evidence that I need to get in there on a morning hunt. But I'm, yeah, but I'm not, man I'm not focusing on bedding areas that much. 

[00:43:41] Aaron B.: I'm not either. When it comes down to if you're thinking about where to go hunting or what you're gonna do that evening, betting is not in my top three.

No. That, nope. I am more, more often going off historical data on a scrape that I have. I love to hunt scrapes even in October. I love to do that. I'm [00:44:00] betting, yeah. I don't really hone in on that too much. And you bring up that hill country, like where the beds are right on the top of the knob.

Yeah. I have that same scenario. And actually it's funny you said that because you described about the same situation I have now. There's a family group of do that beds on this knob, and I'm trying to flank them in the f or no more of, more or less the timeframe of, in the rut phases, of where a buck would be coming down. Wind. I have a scenario that this this spring I was scouting that area. I cannot get into this. These, it's like a group of three ridges and they're on the middle ridge and it's surrounded in pine trees and they're not like mature pine trees.

You could get up in 'em, but it'd be pretty difficult. There was a, there's this little hub where the pine trees didn't grow like where the pines meet the timber. And it's just south of that ridge. But they're on the middle ridge. And then there's another one, and then me probably, I'm gonna say it's about 150 to [00:45:00] 200 yards away from that bedding.

Now it's south of the bedding. What makes it so great? What I think is gonna be great with it is the access I can get in there really good. The only crappy thing is it's gotta be very wind specific. And when I was scouting to this summer, I found a really good community scrape right in this area. And I'm like, I'm thinking on any North wind, Or northwest wind, anything like that.

I will have bucks that'll come down on the bottom side of this ridge and the thermals will pull down. And I think they could set check that whole ridge system. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. And I'll be able to be right on the other side of them and flank them and kill 'em right there. That's what I'm hoping.


[00:45:40] Dan Johnson: Almost you almost put yourself into the position of a deer where you say, how can I smell the most surface area from one location? Dude I know exactly what you're talking about. And it's almost like a trail. There's probably a trail down there where a lot of deer [00:46:00] at some point in the day walk, but on a whatever wind, they can smell all three of those ridges at one time.

Yeah. On the same trail. Yeah. Yeah. I know exactly what you're talking about. And so then your, you're just a hair further down, wind off that trail. Yes. That's all I 

[00:46:18] Aaron B.: am. Yeah. And it just so happens to be, and I think the reason why there is, there's a big scrape right there. And I think it's because the thermals pull everything from that ridge system right down to that hub.

Yeah. And then it disperses from there. Cause I'm in the, I'm in the bottom. I'm in the lowest part of the whole ridge system. Yeah. And I'm on the south end and there's no ridges behind me. So I think what happens on any North Wind, it's gonna hit me and then it's gonna disperse to the south.

I don't think it's gonna swirl and come back. I think it's, I think it's pretty bulletproof 

[00:46:46] Dan Johnson: to be honest with you. Yeah. Man, I absolutely love that type of location. But I don't hunt it that much because they're very rare. They're very rare. Very rare. And [00:47:00] that on top of here's the scenario, like it has to be locked tight.

And I know for it, it's almost like in a scenario like that, and I want you to tell me what you think of this. Those areas seem to be the, have the least consistent wind you need to have the number one, a good thermal day mixed with a consistent wind. And because the scenario that I'm thinking about is if the wind is not consistent or and it's maybe moving you're in a period of the day or a period of a storm front where the wind's gonna go from south to north or east to west or something like that, within the given day.

But in the four hours that you're gonna be there, it's gonna be outta the west. Let's say my example's actually gonna be outta the south. But if the wind is not heavy enough, what happens is the wind will blow and then it will breathe back in. It's [00:48:00] almost like it's breathing. And so all of the low points, especially along this creek bed, my wind will blow out into this field.

That, I want the wind to blow out there, but then when the wind takes a breath almost, it sucks everything back in. And then my wind will just go right into the timber. Yep. And so I've had to learn, I can only hunt that area on winds that are only like fif over 15 miles an hour. Anything less than that.

There's these breaks and pauses and it just does not, it, it doesn't work cuz I get busted. I get busted a lot. 

[00:48:36] Aaron B.: I could see that for sure. And on my scenario, since I'm on the south end of this whole system, I think it's only gonna be beneficial on a north wind. If it's a west wind. It's still good for me and good for the deer, but I just don't think the bucks will have the wind that they want to have to come down and check that rich system where I'm at.

It's gotta be a north. I love the consistency you're talking about. Yeah. Cause I [00:49:00] agree with you. I think. Almost like lungs opening up. Yep. And then closing, opening 'em up and closing. I really think that's a true 

[00:49:06] Dan Johnson: thing. Yep. Absolutely. Yeah. I like that. Yeah. Now what's your what did, what's your favorite place to hunt?

I think we got off on a little tangent there. It doesn't sound like it's betting. I'm not a betting guy. If I feel like if I was, if I could be patient and be an all day hunter from morning to night hunt all day I might hunt more betting areas, get in there in the morning.

But because I don't hunt all day, I've made my, I've made other, I've curated my strategy around different tactics. So what would you say your number one go-to? Terrain feature or location would be? 

[00:49:51] Aaron B.: Flat ground and ag. A historical scrap that's in a section of timber that is just thicker than dog hair in a [00:50:00] dog's back around it.

Yep. And if I could paint my perfect picture, it would be, I'm planning an all day sit in there, but the buck's gonna show up about 11 o'clock. Okay. In the morning. And I like it to be thick. I just think it's really cool. You see these guys that like hunt, you know when they're filming they look around them and like they might only have one pocket to a scrape.

Yeah. Like I think that's really cool because you're trying to place this deer here and that scrapes there for a reason and he's coming in an area, his bedroom more than likely where he feels safe all the time. And he hits his scrape and you put an arrow through him. It's I just beat you. Yeah. I just beat you at your game and your house.

That to me is the ultimate, that would be like my prototypical. Perfect 

[00:50:48] Dan Johnson: scenario. Yeah. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I, man, and here's where we differ again, I just, I don't hunt over scrapes. I, now[00:51:00] I guess I shouldn't say I, I say that because I definitely have scenarios in the past where there is a scrape within shooting range, all right?

And, but I can tell you this, I've never shot a deer over a scrape before. Really? No, never. I've either, maybe I've watched him lay a scrape first, then shot it, then shoot, shot a deer, but never over top of a scrape. I, when I scout and identify these places, or, you know, even during the season, like in season scouting, I'll iden I'll, I will identify rubs and I will identify scrapes.

But if those rubs and scrapes are not in, what I feel is a, is that. Connection point where it's the edge versus the staging area versus the be, and the bedding or the spur ridge, whatever. If it if it doesn't have those, then I'm not worrying about it because then I usually say, okay, that's done after shooting light.

And [00:52:00] so I am more focused on the actual terrain features and most of the time there's sign in there, but I don't put my tree stand in a position based off of where a rubber or a scrape is. 

[00:52:14] Aaron B.: Okay. Now I will say there, if I'm fi, if I find a big hub scrape or a big community scrape, I'm not necessarily always setting up on it.

Yeah. I am backtracking it. When I'm scouting it, I'm backtracking it to find the first available food or a bed. Yeah. And like I had a scenario this spring. I was scouting, found a hub, scrape all the ridges, all the wind dumps down to the scrape and. It's just a thermal pole down to this scrape.

Okay. Yep. And I'm like, so then I started wind mapping it right there. And I'm like, there's no way I can hunt this. Scrape not right here. And that's why the scrape is there. Is because these bucks can check this and they're getting every wind from this huge ridge system. So then I started backtracking, I thought I was gonna find a bed within 60 yards of this scrape a buck bed.

Nope. [00:53:00] It was like 190 yards away from this bed or from this scrape. And I found the bed and I'm like, how do I hunt the bed? The bed wasn't great as far as it looked like it was only bedding when there was acorns. Cuz they, he was on like an acorn ridge. He was on a point looking over some wet ground.

But he was also flanking that scrape and they're all over. And it's only good when those a are gonna be dropping, I think. Yeah. So then I go back to the middle between the scrape and between the bed. I know I can't hunt the scrape. I know I can't hunt the bed. Just because of the thermals. So I had to get off the main trail about 40 yards, and I started wind mapping right there.

Okay. Wind mapping with throwing milk weed and everything and trying to figure out my pole. It was a nine mile an hour wind outta the west that day. And so I put all mental notes in there because that's a great wind for me to get in there, access. And then I figured couple trees [00:54:00] when, but I got a tree pinned out and I'm 90 yards from the scrape and about the same from the bed, maybe a little bit farther, but I've got that good, it's a good pocket.

There's a cedar thicket that kind of meets me and I'm in the hourglass part of it. Yep. I think if anything's right there, I'm not necessarily hunting the, I'm hunting both features, but I'm not hunting right on 'em. Okay. So it's very situational dependent 

[00:54:23] Dan Johnson: as well. Okay. Yeah, man. J I don't know about you, but this talk is getting me fired up.

Like I want, I love this str, I love this strategy type stuff. Yeah. Especially when we can get as detailed as we've been getting here. What are your thoughts on staging areas? 

[00:54:41] Aaron B.: Honestly, man, I don't hunt a ton of 'em. Yeah. I'm not against them by any means. I just don't, if I can find like a buffer strip and ag land where it might be like ag and then there's maybe like tall c r p, like going into the timber.

I [00:55:00] see a lot of bucks using that for, and it might be like 40 yards, you know where, but it's tall. It's a big crp. It's good cover. Yep. I might get in a scenario like that, but honestly, like the bedding, it's. Staging areas really aren't like a big play for me, unless it sets up really well. Gotcha.

[00:55:17] Dan Johnson: Okay. Man, I love staging areas. I absolutely love them. And it's because I think I, I don't know if I've pigeonholed myself in into this way of thinking because I used to get busted so much going into these betting areas, right? And how dangerous we've already talked about that is, is, they're betting in an area for a reason.

And w if you're trying to move in on an animal that's vetted you, you a have to know where they're going once they get up, and that's never a guarantee or you have to come in on a way where they don't have the wind to their back in this particular access route. So what I've [00:56:00] done then is I've said to myself, okay, I'm, I've started to focus on staging areas that was.

15 years ago or whatever. And so I'll tell you this man, I, once I made the decision to not necessarily focus downwind to bedding, now I do that sometimes on a morning hunt and in, in a historic good in a historically good rut location, downwind of bedding. I usually have a tree stand or a saddle platform already in these locations.

They're pre-hung and they're there for a reason. It's because they're good. But when it comes to running gun, man, I just feel like a guy can get away with a lot more when he can identify the bedding area and then know where the staging area is. Now, I've, I ha I very rarely hunt field edges anymore, so I had to be okay with seeing way less deer in a given hunt than, cause when I was young, I [00:57:00] would be like, oh, I saw 25 deer today. And then, I'd have a guy ask me how many were within shooting range? And I'd be like, one, right? And so you're like, what's the difference between seeing a deer at 200 yards and not seeing a deer at all? There's not any difference cuz you can't shoot on a bow.

Right? And so I was like, ah, a, an aha moment. So I started moving into the timber. And so what that did was it allowed me to have more deer within shooting range. I did, I see less deer, absolutely saw less deer, but I had more deer within shooting range. And so I always, here's the scenario of this one staging area that I love, absolutely love.

Big long ridge going deep into the, in this block of timber ag, all surrounding it. But it's this one long timber and in it, in this timber, the closer you get to the field, there is a drastic edge that starts this really thick. I would put it at 40 yards, [00:58:00] 40 or 50 yards from where this thickness starts and it goes thick all the way into the, or all the way to the field edge.

And so I drop down on one side of the ridge and then I do the same thing that I do the 90 degree hook. But my wind now is It's blowing south or it's blowing out of the north, and so it's blowing over top of, or it's blowing down into the low spot. And usually, depending on if it's a northwest or northeast wind, it either gets sucked out into the field or it gets sucked down into the bottom.

And by the time it hits, the bottom it's, I don't know, it's diluted enough to where I'm not really concerned about it. With that said, all these deer walk up and then they hit this edge and they just slow down. The bucks are making scrapes. There's rubs, there's rub line on this one main trail, and so I can hunt this ridge system on a north wind or a [00:59:00] south wind.

It's just two different stand locations, but something about a staging area I absolutely love is the fact that. They slow down and they hang out there. And so it gives you the opportunity to maybe throw a grunt or maybe do a light rattling sequence if you can see 'em. And it tightens every, it just tightens everything down because staging areas are not big open timber.

They're always this concentration of maybe a five acre area on this specific example. And the, they're not dropping down way low. They're not walking the bottoms of the draws. They're not walking typically up top. And so that shortens it down again. So now, so you have the terrain feature, you have the edge and in, and the staging area.

So that's three check marks right there. And I, dude, I don't know what it is, but I just am a that's where I focus. 90% of my attention these days is on [01:00:00] staging areas. 

[01:00:01] Aaron B.: Do you see a trend? Because. You're, I do have some areas that I will throw a sit at on some staging areas. Yeah. I talked earlier about a cedar swamp and everything.

So this is another farm by hunt that it's all timber. Yep. With some destination food. Now, there is a ridge system that runs through us. It's got all acorns on it. All acorn trees. And so they bet on the backside of a ridge system of a ridge, and it's where the turns into a cedar swamp get too tight to it because once you get on top of that ridge, they can see you.

Yeah. So you gotta be on the other side of it. And that's where all the acorns are and everything. And that would be probably the most prevalent staging area that I've thrown sits at. But I agree with you. They're not very big and you're gonna, you just get deer just milling around.

Yeah. Now, do you see a trend as far as What is that buffer zone from the destination food to that staging area? Do you see, is it a hundred yards? I know it's situational dependent, but on average, [01:01:00] what are you seeing mostly?

[01:01:05] Dan Johnson: Oh, that's a good question. I'm trying to think here. So I think what we need to do is talk about a bed to food pattern. Let me think here. A bed to food pattern. And it's not like it's bedding, then it's a transition area and then it's staging and then it's destination food source in that order. I don't think it's in that order every time.

I think sometimes it could be bedding cuz I have a river bottom property that I hunt where it's bedding. Then staging, then travel corridor, then destination food source. So they're walking right up to the field edge and they're going right into the destination. The destination ag field. So what they're doing is they're getting outta their beds, and then they're milling around for a little bit, and then they're taking off 

[01:01:57] Aaron B.: and and that point, sorry to cut you off. When [01:02:00] I see that, that's when I see the deer bedding on the transition. Does that make sense? Oh, 

[01:02:05] Dan Johnson: so in the edge.

Right along the edge, yes. On the edge. So 

[01:02:08] Aaron B.: like that's when they'll get up, they'll mill around, and then it's more hit the staging and then destination food. Yeah. 

[01:02:14] Dan Johnson: Yeah. And I think if it's good enough let's just say there's a bedding area that has an oak tree in it, man.

Sometimes a bedding area and a staging area could be very close to each other, if not the same, like the same one acre area. Yeah. And then they, all they're doing is standing up, maybe hanging out for a little bit and then make their way to the oak stand or the oak flat or the ag field or the clover field or whatever the scenario might be.

And so when you're talking about how many yards it is, it's very hard to tell because everything is, everything's different in every area, every bedding area. And so here's another [01:03:00] thing I wanna comment on. A lot of people look for beds. I never look for beds because I feel in the areas that I hunt deer bed in different areas every single day.

If the wind's out of the south, they have a brand new be area. If the wind's out of north, they have a brand new be area. If the wind is, and I've talked to guys who. Let's just say there's a northwest wind, a west wind, a south wind, they may be on the same ridge and they're just on different points of this ridge point.

I don't, I do not see that. I see extremely big shifts in bedding based off of wind direction change. And so it's hard for me to go and look for a bed and get excited if let's just say I find this gigantic bed and I'm just like obviously a deer here lays here repetitively, but at what wind direction does he lay here?

Repetitive repetitively. And so [01:04:00] if, let's just say I just, I use my knowledge that I have and I say, okay, based off of this bad location, I'm thinking he lays here on a North wind. I go in there on a northwest wind or a northeast wind, and he's not there. Or I try to get there in the morning and I set up on it because there's a north wind.

It's not guaranteed. It's almost like the scrapes that you that you talked about. I feel ter my, and this is my opinion, I feel terrain is the biggest dictator in deer movement. Meaning deer go through terrain a certain way every single time, and unless they're chasing or they get spooked or things like that.

But if they're calm, they're going through, they're walking on a ridge on a certain wind. Every single time and they're walking they're going into a be area on a certain wind every single time, as opposed to on this wind, he may not be betting here. He may not be hitting this scrape.

So I don't [01:05:00] know. That's a thinking out loud type moment there. 

[01:05:03] Aaron B.: No, I agree with you. Train is the most consistent. Yep. Consistent thought you can go from. In my opinion. Now when I'm trying to find, you were talk when, go back to the scrape I talked about that was gonna be, I knew it was gonna be a specific reason.

If I get these three check boxes or the wind's right, and it's the time of year and the acorn's dropping, I know that's where I'm gonna be. Because it's not a guarantee he's gonna be in that bed. I am not that person. I know that, but, That one time that he is, I want to be, I want, hopefully I'm there.

You know what I mean? So yeah. But I agree with you. Like terrain is the only consistent, I shouldn't say the only consistent, but it is like the number one consistency that you can go off of to, predict deer movement. 

[01:05:52] Dan Johnson: Oh man. And we talked about a little bit about bedding and we talked about the spur ridges and staging areas and destination food plots [01:06:00] today, or su food sources today.

Now, do you feel that there is a specific time of year that is better for all of these specific areas? Man, pre rut, post rut type scenarios? 

[01:06:16] Aaron B.: Are you saying, is there a time in the year. That all these are the best at, like if or so? No. Here, 

[01:06:23] Dan Johnson: I'll give you an example. My success most years comes in a staging area during the pre rut. Okay. And again, like we talked about last week, pre-read doesn't mean it, the pre-read is over on October 30 th 31st.

I feel like the pre rut on my farm goes all the way into the November 5th, sixth timeframe, and then it starts to get real heavy. But I shot my buck this year on November 4th, the previous year. I think I shot my buck on November 6th, maybe. Maybe it was November 4th. [01:07:00] Again, I think I've killed more deer on November 4th than any other day.

Okay. And all, in most scenarios, it's a pre rut. A pre rut type deal. So what I'm getting at here is I love staging areas during the pre rut. I love getting closer to bedding areas during the rut. Rut or Okay. Or a pinch point during the rut for cruising purposes. So do you have a favorite location during a specific time of year?

[01:07:29] Aaron B.: The one that's been really recent, the last couple years that has really panned out for me and I've killed deer on is the quote unquote law. October 13th. I've killed two bucks the last two years on that same day because of a scrape Michigan I'm sorry. One was Michigan, one was Illinois.

Okay. Sorry. Okay. Yep. But it was based on scrape. Now I will say food played a role in both of 'em. Okay. So [01:08:00] the one in Michigan, I was on an inside corner. Of a bean field and there was a historical scrape right there, and I killed him right there. Okay. Okay. Because of the scrape. He was coming to check the scrape and I killed him right before the scrape and didn't kill him on the scrape, killed him right before it.

The one year before the same day, October 13th, real hot day. It was, I wanna say it was almost 80 degrees, but I was sitting on another bean field and this deer comes off the bedding off the ridge, and he is coming over to investigate his scrape. He's eating while he is doing that. And I shot him in the beans before he got to the scrape.

Okay. I firmly believe that like those two things, the food and the scrape and correlation helped out a lot. Yeah. So that is, do I want to hang my head on the food or do I want to hang my head on the scrape? I don't know if I want to hang my head on both. I think it was just the correlation of both or I don't wanna hang my head on one.

I want to hang it on both. I think the correlation of both and the location I was in that is the scenario even [01:09:00] in Michigan. And every year I have a historical scrape, that same one I killed on, I'm going to be sitting on that same day, October 13th, that timeframe every time because it's just hammer data.

And what I've done on that is just, I really like that. 

[01:09:14] Dan Johnson: Now, did that correlate with any weather? 

[01:09:18] Aaron B.: Okay. Yeah. This year, and I'm a huge fan of rain. I love hunting in the rain now. I love hunting in the rain when I know it's gonna stop when I'm in the tree. Yes. Yes. This year in Michigan, I got in the stand and I knew it was gonna start raining.

I wa it wasn't raining yet. I got into the tree and it starts raining down, pouring. And. I figured it was gonna stop. The radar said it was gonna stop, but it wasn't letting up and it was getting be prime time. And I was like, man, I don't know if I'm gonna be able to pull this off. And then it stops, the sun comes out a little bit and I look over literally at 35 yards and here he comes.

Yep. And I'm like, holy shit. Like he's coming. Yeah. And he was in the thick stuff. I couldn't [01:10:00] get a shot at him. And then he goes back into the bedding and I knew there was a couple of satellite dough and stuff like that in there with him. Yeah. And I had another deer come out from across the field and comes right underneath me.

That deer starts working up into the timber. And I think that deer brought him out more. And then he's I gotta go check this scrape. And it was right after the rain. He, I think he was gonna freshen it up and I just shot him three yards before he could get there. Yeah. And so that was that.

But the Illinois one, that was an evening hunt. It was really hot. So hot. It was in the nineties most of the week. And. I wanna say it was two days before this, we had some rain. Okay. And I couldn't, it was raining so hard I couldn't even go hunting. And it was gonna rain all day.

So I'm like, I don't know if I'm gonna do that. And the cameras lit up. Yeah. Okay. And I was glass in the deer and the fields and everything. I'm like, shit. So I had rained two days after that, so I'm like, I'm gonna get in that tree. And it was supposed to stop and it rained and it almost got [01:11:00] humid, you know what I mean?

Yeah. And it was hot. It was in the eighties, but we had a 10 to 12 degree shift and temperature down from what it had been. It was so hot. And I got in the tree and I was sweating just because it was so humid. But he ended up coming out, man. And he was, he came out an hour before it was gonna get dark, and I shot him right there.


[01:11:21] Dan Johnson: That's awesome, man. So that's awesome. Yeah. Yeah. That reminds me of 2018 and 2016 and 2022. And where, and I wanna say 2012 too where there was literally a 48 hour rain event I got in the stand, I wanna say an hour before they said it would stop raining. I'm, I got my rain jacket on and what happens right after that?

The first 24 hours after a 48 hour rain event are some of the best deer movement that I've ever seen in my life [01:12:00] in that, in, in the pre rut timeframe. Yep. Yeah, buddy. Yeah, I agree man. 

[01:12:05] Aaron B.: If you can gimme rain. If you can gimme rain in that oc from October one to the 20th I'm gonna be hunting.

I love those days my favorite 

[01:12:14] Dan Johnson: days. Awesome. Anything else that we need to touch base on this episode? 

[01:12:19] Aaron B.: I don't know, man. I, we covered a lot. Yeah. My brain is like blown. I love it. Yeah, 

[01:12:22] Dan Johnson: absolutely. It like, I don't know about you, but I have specific trees I'm even thinking about right now or a cri crossing that kind of meets up with a like any eroded bank on a crick where it's just man, I wish I was there right now.

Just standing there envisioning the deer that are gonna be coming off this hillside. Yeah. Hey, Aaron, man, really appreciate your time again. Looking forward to our next episode where we can continue these in-depth conversations, man. 

[01:12:52] Aaron B.: Yeah, same here, Dan. Thank you. 

[01:12:56] Dan Johnson: And there you have it. Huge shout out to Aaron.

Thank you for taking your time time outta [01:13:00] your day to hop on and talk deer hunting with me and share your experiences with the followers and listeners here. Really appreciate that. Huge shout out to Tethered wasps, vortex HuntStand and the Woodman's Pal. Please go out and support the companies that support this podcast.

Go to iTunes, leave a five star review or wherever you download. Be sure you're subscribing. Listen to every episode on the Sportsman's Empire Podcast Network. And yeah. Good vibes, right? Good vibes in, good vibes out, and we'll talk to you next time.