We all know that when hunting the rut, we want to be around the does. But which does are more likely to lure a big buck your way? Knowing the answer to this question can be a key to success for rutty bucks! In this episode of the Southern Way Hunting Podcast, Josh talks with Brandon Barlow about how Brandon tracks doe estrous dates to get on big bucks. The guys discuss how Brandon tracks the does on his properties, how he calculates their estrous dates, and how he sets up to capitalize when the bucks move in. Enjoy!
Thanks for tuning in to the Southern Way Hunting Sportsman's Empire Podcast Network. I'm your host, Josh Raley. And on this show, you'll hear hunting tactics, stories, and strategies from hunters across the South. Our aim is to sharpen our skills as hunters and outdoorsmen, become more efficient and effective in pursuit of our craft, and even have a little fun while we're at it.
And of course, no matter the pursuit, we focus on doing things the Southern Way.
Hey everybody. Welcome back to the Southern Way Hunting Podcast. We've got a good episode for you today. I had Mr. Brandon Barlow back on. Now, the last time I had Brandon on, we talked all about using historical data to get on bucks. And I knew there was a lot of that conversation that we left on the table that was out of necessity.
We were both pretty busy this time. I had him on though, to talk about a different angle on historical data. And that is how Brandon [00:01:00] tracks and hunts does. A pretty big part of his hunting strategy every fall is based around when bucks begin to show back up in certain areas. And he learns where they're going to show up and times when they're going to show up according to does in specific areas and when he knows they're going to come into estrus.
So this is a really good episode. Lots of good information here. One that I'm looking forward to going back and listening to myself because there's just a lot to pick up when it comes to finding doe family groups. tracking Dove family groups, and then essentially hunting the bucks who are after those Dove family groups.
So stick around, I hope you enjoy the show. Man, I gotta say, you're quickly becoming one of my favorite people to talk to. About deer hunting. You don't know many people about it. No, listen. I've done a couple hundred episodes at this point. And you're very quickly becoming one of my favorite folks to talk to.
Because I appreciate that. You are so stinking strategic about everything that you do. I [00:02:00] don't know where that came in for you. If that was just like always the way your mind works or if later in life, you took some engineering classes or something like whatever it is that has gotten in there to you at this point has made you extremely like strategic about, about everything that you do and that carries over even into your dough hunting.
I'm and start recording if that's good with you. And go ahead and start chatting, go ahead and start chatting about does, but before we get too far down that road, can you give me just a quick rundown of your season since last time we talked? I think last time we talked, you were like a week post awesome September buck.
Yeah. So as far as the post from the buck, so killed that buck, the 10 pointer on nine 25. And that was a goal accomplished for me. I wanted to kill a September mature buck and I did with my bow. And that was a really great time for me in September, but it was immediately followed by October, which is when I make hay.
That is my month. [00:03:00] That is when I've probably killed 80 percent of my mature bucks or any really all my deer, because that's when I hunt. So if you hunt in January, you're going to come all shoot during January. I've always been an October. An October hunter and so not being able to hunt this October really hurt me.
I had three business trips that lasted a week each. I went to Gainesville, Florida. Yeah, I went up to the Northeast and then I went I don't even remember where the hell else I went, but Jersey, I think it was. But I went, I did three trips in October for a week for work which were last minute and unexpected.
Expected and that really hurt my October hunting. I had, you've probably seen some of the videos, but I had just buck showing up on like right on cue. Hey, it's October 12th, here I am. Lemme just claw this tree with my horns. It's I'm in, I'm outta state, , I'm like, I should have been sitting at that scrape right now, literally with my bow on a hook.
So that was very upsetting. But there's nothing you can do about it. Business is business. And that's why we set ourself up with [00:04:00] a lot of opportunities for late season, for early season for the rut. And for me, I know that S could hit the fan at any moment. So I'm trying to make sure that I always have a lot of bucks to hunt.
And so October was tough. I did have also a preplanned family vacation in October, which is, I guess I always give my wife that one week because I. Commit a lot to hunting. And so I completely understand the leaves changing are pretty and all that. So we went to Gatlinburg and did the Tennessee thing this October, that was like October 18th to the 25th.
How about those days? There's no deer hunter that wants to be in Gatlinburg. Yeah. So dude, that's and that was
your October bread and butter. Strategy is, if folks haven't listened to the last episode you were on, they need to go back and catch it, but like You're counting on specific bucks showing back up at specific times in specific [00:05:00] locations.
You're like keying in on that very first, very early pre rut, first bit of rutting activity. Is that right?
Yeah. Yeah. Or, and oftentimes if it's not, if I don't kill the buck that I'm chitlet. that I'm there historically hunting. I'll kill somebody that's like his buddy. That's with him. Like the 10 point this year, I wasn't specifically hunting that 10 pointer, but about 50 percent of the time it happens where I'm hunting a deer that I was expecting.
And then he'll cause it's early season. So like they're bachelored up here in North Carolina until really the end of. October, they can stop seeing them stay bachelorette, even in pairs. Like I saw a pair of bucks just the other day, and they're still sticking together a little bit. It's about 50 percent of the time if I'm hunting like an eight pointer, a 10 pointer that I have historical data on maybe he'll come in at 50 yards or 80 yards and I'll stick his buddy and that's what happened out.
And because if you've probably noticed bucks tend to bachelor with similarly aged [00:06:00] bucks. So if you're hunting a bachelor group of two year olds. And you might get a chance at one of his buddies that are a two year old, but if you're hunting a mature buck and he's bachelored and he's got two buddies with him, chances are, if he's five, he's with a three and a four or another five and another four, or he's with similarly classed animals generally, not always, but generally.
So the historical data early season on these bucks, yeah, if you can be in that area where you're expecting them, it's not uncommon for them to come. I have a success rate with that of about this year. Let's, I'll just talk about this year because this has been a bad year for me on historical data. I lost a lot of bucks and I've still got about a 50 percent rate of the bucks I expected came back.
And that's terrible. And that's actually
pretty good. I was going to say, if you told me, if you had told me at the beginning Hey, Josh, this historical data game that I'm like teaching you on. This historical [00:07:00] data game is about 50%. I'd have been like sweet dude.
That's awesome. Worst case scenario. Yeah That's worst case scenario because in years past I've had a hundred percent of my bucks come back.
Really? Man. Yeah if you're only hunting five bucks and they all came back that sounds oh, that's great I mean in years past that's been the case There's been years past where I literally was expecting 25 30 bucks Because I cast that big of a net. And so out of those bucks, sure.
Maybe 10 came back, 12 came back and that's where that statistic comes from. But on years where I didn't have a lot going on, maybe there was, okay, so I'll give you an example. There was one year I just hunted private land and it was one piece, 300 acres. And there was really only three or four bucks in there that I was hunting.
And for two or three years, those three or four bucks came back like clockwork. And so there are years where a hundred percent of my bucks have came back, but. I like to tell people 75 percent of the time, but a lot of that really has to do with the parcel and the piece and the pressure and the predation and everything like that.
Because in my spots that I hunt that are more [00:08:00] urban, it hangs around 50 cause I get a lot of vehicle accidents and there's just nothing you can. Do about that. And I got a buddy right now who's up in Long Island. He's looking at it to historical data. And he's dude, every time I get queued in, this is the third year.
My buck came back last year. He came back the year before I was going to kill him this year. And he's dead on the side of the highway. And I'm like like that's. Yeah, and that, that happens. So especially in a place like, urban area, Atlanta, Long Island, these guys that are hunting these urban areas and I do hunt a lot of urban bucks and it happens quite a bit.
And then even in the wild forestation. Can displace animals. And, we talked about dogs and other things in the past, but yeah,
sure. So a lot can have hunting pressure. People harvest these deer too. You know that, so you have when you expect,
yeah, that's hard when you're counting on them and building your strategy around it, but.
So this year though, like even sitting at 50%, like the strategy still worked, like you still had a good number of bucks coming back.[00:09:00] You just weren't able to be in the stand maybe when you were, uh, maybe when, not when you should have been, cause I think you're doing the right things, right?
You're doing family stuff. You're doing work stuff. That's the right thing, but you weren't in the stand when you needed to be to kill the deer.
But the process, so yeah, exactly. Yep. Yeah. And what the season is it's a series of opportunities and you have to capitalize on them. And if you miss one, you've got to move to the next one.
You can't get hung up on it. So that's where having multiple bucks to hunt is key. Because as like we talked in the first podcast for anybody who listened to that. I had. I think five or six summer bucks, mature bucks in the summer that straight up just dispersed a couple of got displaced by hurricanes and flooding and things like that.
And then this fall had some dogs, big pack of coyotes, big pack of hunting dogs came through, displaced a couple of bucks and I know some guys will argue like dogs don't really affect deer, but. They do. You [00:10:00] can't send 25 blue picks through 300 acres and you won't see a Fox for two weeks.
So yeah, so that definitely affects them and maybe they only moved to the next Ridge over, but it affects them. You're not hunting the next Ridge over. It might as well be a hundred miles if it's a hundred yards, it affects them period. And because I've read some of these studies recently, especially where they're like, hunting dogs don't affect deer and maybe not in the grand picture on 10, 000 acres.
No, they don't. But on grandma's 200. 12 dogs come through and you're hunting Saturday. You're
done. Exactly. And I think too, like a lot of those folks, yeah, a lot of those folks are building this theory of dogs don't bother it. Somebody came through and Kuhn hunted last night.
And, at our least or whatever, and that didn't bother the deer were, there's, they're still there. It's yeah, but there's a difference between somebody came through and coon hunted last night with a couple of hounds and, covered whatever section that they did.
And number one, huge packs, like you said, of hunting [00:11:00] dogs that are used to actually push deer. We're talking. We're talking deer hounds trained deer hounds, but then we're also talking, here in Georgia, we have a huge problem with wild dogs, just dogs that are fair. And when you get a pack of feral dogs living on a property, you get eight or eight or nine of them that run that property.
They don't necessarily kill the deer. I've seen very few deer, like actually dead, but they chase them for fun. You see it on your trail cameras all the time. And if you've got those same eight or 10 dogs running your 500 acres. Four days out of the week, three days out of the week, you're going to tell me that doesn't impact deer behavior?
Come on now.
It absolutely does because, yeah, because it depends on your hunting style, right? But if you are hunting day walking mature bucks, then you're hunting them where they bet because. That's where they are during the day. When you think about like where a mature buck wants to lay down and catch a REM cycle, a lot of people don't realize that all [00:12:00] terrestrial land mammals have to have a REM cycle every day.
So there's a brief moment in time, that 20, 30, 40 minutes where you've probably seen tick tocks where like a guy or gal walks up on a buck and he like kicks it and the thing jumps up and takes off running. There is a moment, a brief moment where an animal. A mammal has to catch a REM cycle and it cannot do that on a place that is inundated where it's going to be walked up on by dogs or landscape people, or they need a spot that is completely sacred to, to catch that sleep.
And so I think and there's, that's why when people say buck beds, that's a kind of a taboo word too, because to find a buck bed, what kind of better are we talking about? It was just like a. a place he's catching a REM cycle or is this just some staging on some early estrus does where he's camped out for a week because they're completely different, and then within the same area, you have your pre daylight and post daylight beds where he shifts as soon as the sun's up.
[00:13:00] So people say bunk beds and. There's a lot of definitions of a buck bed. If you're talking a place where he catches a REM cycle, it's not going to be where there's dogs, right? He can't, they'll find them. That's right.
That's right, man. That's really good. All right let's shift just a little bit now.
Cause I want to get into talking about does and. Here's my thought process on the timing of doing this podcast. Like guys right now there are some of some who, the rut's not even close yet. Like they're thinking December, January, early February rut for, parts of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, like Florida, like I get that.
But at the same time, a lot of guys are either, in the middle of the rut right now they're like peak breeding dates, a lot of the South is going to have that peak breeding date, mid. November on into Thanksgiving time frame. So this may not be super helpful right now, but the reason I want to talk about this right now is not so you can capitalize on it for this season, but so that people can start to capitalize on it for next season, because now is the time.[00:14:00]
to start paying attention, right? Now's the time to start getting some of the intel that you like to use when it comes to not just tracking, but also harvesting the does that you choose to harvest, which you're really strategic about both of those things. So can you just start by giving me like a high level overview of Brandon Barlow's approach to does, doe tracking, and doe hunting?
In general and how that relates to your overall strategy.
Yeah, sure. So I guess the best way to define that would be to just back up and talk about my trail cameras. I run a large, we talked about this in the first podcast, but for those who haven't listened, I run a lot of trail cameras. I run around 14 cell cameras on 14 local scrapes, local within two hours of my house, those are my reactionary cameras.
They're either on. Scrapes that I can get too fast. If an unexpected buck shows up, which happens a lot, we don't know all the bucks in our [00:15:00] County, or if it's an area that historically gets a lot of stragglers unexpected bucks, I'll run a cell camera on those types of scrapes. So I have around 14 of those that if a slob shows up, I can get too fast.
I can get. If he shows up this morning, I can be there tonight. But I own a tri state area and that's not always the case. So I run just over a hundred SD cameras, Tasco, eight megapixel cameras, get five of them for a hundred bucks and for historical data. They're perfect. So I run a lot of Tascos and specifically I get into these areas with.
The half deer. I guess rule number one, if hunting deer is find deer. So it doesn't do you any good if you're in the Adirondacks and you're hanging cameras, where there's no deer sign, you need to find browse damage. You need to find bedding activity. If you can't find beds because you don't know what they look for, or because beds are hard to find, then you need to find browsing damage.
Browsing damage [00:16:00] is goes hand in hand with bedding. So if you can find an early browse, damage, browse lines that lead. That will lead to a bedding area. That's your first, that's your first rule. So once I get on deer, I start to ask the question what deer, what are we talking about? And is the deer track and it's some browse damage, but it's obviously a deer, but what are we dealing with here?
So what I'll then do, depending on the terrain and the property, everything is different, but I'll run some cameras and. To give the listeners an idea on, let's say I came over to your house. You're like, Oh yeah, you can hunt my house at my house. It's 50 acres on 50 acres. I'm probably going to run five cameras on a line through the center of it and depend like a trap line.
And I might do corners. I might do, if it's a narrow piece, I'll do it differently. But if it's a square piece. 50 acres, I'm probably going to run a trap line diagonally through the center of it. Just, I just want to see how the deer [00:17:00] are using the terrain. First of all, because there's going to be parts of the property that you can completely X off that they're not using.
And there's going to be parts of the property where your cameras are dead because they've used the hell out of it, right? That's what you first need to determine, after establishing, like That you can then start to take some of that information and start to uh, try to identify if you have different groups using your property and what their range is, that's going to be really important and that's where it can get tricky because a lot of people think that all the deer in the woods are just one giant herd, everything in the United States is just one herd of deer and that's It's just not the case.
I've had deer on the same property that fight, they have different estrous dates. I have properties where there's probably a hundred does on the property and they all estrous at the same time. It's all [00:18:00] very circumstantial. And so what I look for is the early estrous does. And I'm not a big road hunter.
I don't want to be out doing 25 sits straight in December when it's cold. So I look for the early estrous does that are going to provide those early opportunities because those draw the most bucks. And in December, sure, a hot doe can draw a buck, but in October, a hot doe will draw a buck.
She will draw many bucks. Like you'll get to choose which buck you want to shoot. You know what I mean? So that's good. Yeah, if you can find those early estrus, that's the first thing first and foremost when you get on a property is to see if there's deer, find the deer and then figure out what deer.
So let's say a lot of that has to do with, it's hard to break it all down in a podcast, but a lot of it has to do with stem count and food. In the Adirondacks, in a big wood situation, does would be more nomadic. They would travel for food and that can make the whole [00:19:00] situation extremely difficult because in order to really study those and collect data on them, you have to be able, you have to be on them 24 seven and you can't get one pick a week of a dough and oh, I'm going to unlock this dough secrets.
Like you can't do that. You have to have hours and hours of footage every single day. To see her behavior to see her, when she's standing in a scrape tail cupping or when she's, rub urinating in the scrape verse around the scrape. And then there's, when you run multiple cameras, you can, the data that you collect is more accurate.
And I shared a post recently where a doe was rub urinating. In a scrape and in front of a signpost rub and like laying in it because she was an early estrus doe. But then I turned around and shared another video where a doe was rub urinating and doing the same thing and then a buck pops in the picture and he was an intruder and it's they do that when they're stressed too.
So if I only had [00:20:00] the one camera, I would have just said, Oh, there's another early estrus doe. And I would have documented that data as a doe that was, acting. Like she was in heat almost like a cat acts, but in reality, it was a similar behavior for stress. And so you've got to have your data points accurate.
And once you get into an area and you get on some deer. I hate to say it, but you really, unless you're going to sit there all day, every day and observe, you have to run cameras. And if you're not going to run video, you have to run more cameras because still pictures are limiting and what they can tell you.
Let's assume you have an oak flat and a thicket on one side of your property and there's a dough group living in there because there's year round food, there's briars, there's acorns, and then on the other side of your property you have an orchard and a thicket over there and there's another dough group.
Assuming that those two dough groups overlap, I would make a mock scrape in the [00:21:00] center of them. And for me, how I identify that is... Usually within a week or two, you'll have a two does fight at your scrape. And if I don't have does fight in my scrape, I will generally kill the scrape and move it.
Because I know my scrape is only servicing one dough group. So I guess that's the one thing I would tell people like, look back right now on. Season, do you have any pictures of any does fighting in any of your scripts? You can like on video, you're not going to see it on still mode. And that's what I mean by still mode, but on video, like when you see a dough puts her head down and she like torpedoes towards another dough, she's another goal run away.
They don't always fight, but you'll see the chase off and, if you don't have that, your scrapes not servicing multiple dog groups, right? And right away there that's not a good community scrape. It just
lessens your opportunities, right? It's not to say that it, that a buck will never use the scrape.
It just means that's a lower. Act lower activity hub [00:22:00] than one with multiple dough groups using it.
That, but at this point we don't really care about bucks cause we're just thinking about the does. So what that really means is. If you can find a scrape where two does are fighting, then you know the edges of those territories.
thE first thing to establish is the does territory, and find, trying to identify a does territory, and that's what I meant by the food was, if you're in a big wood situation, like up in the Appalachian Mountains, And, let's say it's a bad acorn year and the deer have to travel, the does have to literally travel from residential neighborhood to residential neighborhood for bird feed or wherever.
That makes it really difficult. And that's why I do a lot of these habitat plans with like little micro food plots and hinge cuts and stump sprouts and stuff like that to keep those in a location because tracking them is a lot easier. So food is going to be the number one thing. Making sure you identify what deer on your [00:23:00] property, figure out the does that are in the same group, they'll get along, they'll groom each other, they'll clean each other, they'll bed together, they'll bed in a circle, they'll lick each other's ears, they'll even with the spike horns and little four pointers and stuff in the spring and in the summer, they'll groom each other, they're in the same group, and then That's the end.
You need to find a deer group, find its territories, that doe group's territory, find another one, find its territory, those two territories will generally bump together, that scrape location will define the edges of those two territories, and that's really what I do on public land. I find a lot of those.
I find, I'll go in, I find some does. I'm like, okay, great. I'll set a couple cameras. They're grooming each other. I'm right in the middle of their area. I'll move those cameras. Won't get any does. Move them back in a little bit. Maybe I'll get a couple of them once a week. I'm like, okay, that's the outer edge of their territory.
I'm getting them on this oak tree twice a week and that's it. Whereas some of my [00:24:00] cameras, I'm getting their die. I'm getting all day long videos. So I know I'm in the heart of their bedding area. And then on the other edge of their territory, maybe there's a mock scrape where it butts up to another dough group because that's where I'm putting a mock scrape.
And so identifying your does and their territories. It's first because without knowing that it makes it really hard to really do anything else. And that's why doing the whole historical data thing and the mountains is a completely different game than here where there's high deer numbers, because it's a different strategy.
You're purely using historical data, knowing you saw a big buck at Burger King last Halloween. So he's going to be back this Halloween, but there's no real strategy to tracking the does. Okay. Thanks. On a daily basis and documenting when they're coming on and things like that. In a big wood situation, it's a lot more difficult because of the range of a dough here.
A dough has. Approximately a 10 acre home range where back [00:25:00] home, it was like 200 acres. So unless you train for the iron man every day, it gets hard to track those when they have a huge range, it's, uh, versus here where it's really easy and then more deer numbers are how living in the South is how I found hunting the way I did because of the increased deer numbers, I identified that does have a dramatically reduced range.
With increased deer numbers, and it's also green and herbaceous year round here. So there's no lack of food and there's a lot of other deer territories overlapping. So does have a very small home range here. And sometimes it's less than 10 acres. Like I'm thinking of a doe there's, I think there's six of them in this group and they live behind my house and they don't read three acres because it's just.
There's five different nuts are dropping in there and all different kinds of stuff. So right. Yeah. So here in the South, it's a lot easier to key in on your dose and to perform [00:26:00] dose studies as far as yeah I've performed all kinds of dose studies. Like I've ran 23 cameras on a single dope before.
So yeah. But just out of the essence of trying to figure things out, not understanding how, cause I didn't have anybody to tell me how big is a doe's territory when I started doing this 15 years ago, I just thought deer were all nomadic. I had no idea that, I thought if me and you live 10 miles away, I was thinking it was like ducks.
I see a doe this morning. You'll see her tomorrow. Like they're just moving along. I thought they were purely nomadic animals back in the day. And it took all of this studying and all of this, A lot of these findings for me to realize that's not the case. And in a lot of kind of digging into this was going back with my grandfather who used to really emphasize when you see a big buck, mark it on your calendar and be there next year and the same tree because if he's alive, he's coming back.
And building off of that, and I used to, I was like I don't know if that's really true. You know what I mean? It [00:27:00] seems maybe they are like geese, they just migrate one way and migrate back and they're all nomadic. But that's not the case. They have a very small range and I find that does here have a range of around 10 to 15 acres and bucks have a range of around a thousand.
I'm getting pictures of bucks a mile apart, but not too much further than that. I've got a piebald, a couple of piebald spike horns that one of them ventured out a couple of miles this year. But um, and it's, when you talk and you're like in our last podcast, you said you lost a buck and you got back on him.
But I think if you run cameras in the same type of places, they're good places. Like when you lose a deer, they just turn up on another camera because the camera's in a good bedding area. So for me, I think when you lose a deer, sure, he might be on some private guy's bedding area for a duration, but if you're in a vast country of public land and you have cameras in these, you have a hundred cameras and, 25 bedding areas.
That [00:28:00] buckle it's going to turn back up on another camera. So it does a little bit of become about just making sure you have your cameras out. And it's hard to do with five cell cameras. It's possible you got to collect data and you have to make sure the biggest thing is you have to make sure your data is clean It makes it very difficult when you start contaminating your data with baiting, or when you add scent to a mock scrape, or you, when you do things like outside nature's natural cycle, then you start to dilute your findings.
And so how far do you go with that? If you put forehead gland on a vine and a buck hits it. Tomorrow. Do you count that as historical data? Because you made him hit it. He smelled it from across the field. And he came and he hit it. Is he going to do that again? Or do you need to go make a natural scrape that he hits routinely on his own, that he didn't smell from a [00:29:00] thousand yards that didn't pull him across the field.
That, so when you start to add Bay and you start to add scent and you start to. Draw deer attract deer and naturally you start to dilute your data and then and so a lot of the guys are like I can't believe you don't use like buck fever any of that and it's I know it works I did a video a long time ago where I put some on the sidewalk and like 2 a.
m A doe was rolling around in it. And so I know that stuff works, but I'm not going to hang a stand on my sidewalk. That's not historical data. So if you really want to figure out the historical timing of the breeding of the deer on your property, you have to first know what deer are on your property.
What's there? You gotta know. You can't leave it up for guessing. A lot of the guys out west and stuff. Oh, that's a bedding sanctuary. I don't go in there. No, you gotta go in there. You need to hang your cameras high. You need to hang them in there. Put solar panels so you're not going in there all [00:30:00] the time.
Cut the top of the tree out. Whatever you gotta do. But hang some solar panels. Face them south. Get a camera in there, get it a couple of sticks high and do a Watts branding, but you've got to go in there. You have to know the deer that you're hunting. First of all, like you can't leave any of that up for guessing.
So you need to know your deer, you need to know their territory. Especially the does, cause it's probably small and And then you can start to collect data, but it has to be real data. You can't. Call this meadow a does area if you have corn out there, right? Because she's gonna come and eat the corn and other does and her gonna fight and stuff But that's not a natural fight over territory when you see a natural fight in the woods That's two does establishing a territory line, and that's really important when you see two does fight over a corn pile.
That means nothing. That means nothing. That just a corn pile attracted a [00:31:00] bunch of deer and they're fighting over it. It's not it's not a piece of data that I care about versus when you see two does fight in the woods. Okay. Scratch a tree, drop a pin, hang a flag, something, because this is a territory line.
And this is money versus two does fighting over some apples. That means nothing. So making sure your data is real data, you didn't pull the buck to your scrape. He naturally came and he's going to do it again. I think that's huge.
Let's start to talk about some of this data then.
One of the things that intrigues me has been how you're tracking this. This estrus data because like you said, you want to key in on those first estrus does like as soon as it's time for them, you want to be in there you want to be there the day they go into estrus, like you just want to, you want to be able to time it.
Even before. Because the bucks know that, right? They know it's coming, right? What are the details of the data that you're trying to pull from that help you to do that? Here's where I'm at, man. I moved, I've got a [00:32:00] 30, 000 acre piece of public down the road. About 30 minutes, right? I want to get in there and, first of all, I'm overwhelmed because it's 30, 000 acres, right?
It's huge. And it's hard to get into, there's no, in the off season, there is no driving your vehicle in and around on this place. Like you've got to, you're going to be hoofing it, or maybe riding a bike, but the Hills are so steep. Your bike is basically useless unless it's an e bike.
So I've got to get in there. I've got to find an area to focus on. I need to canvas it. So I've got a lot of work to do, but then what data am I looking for coming on these cameras besides, okay, they're fighting, but now I want to start to put together my timing plan for next year. How are you backdating or getting to the timeframe that you want to be there?
Yeah, there's a lot of different things. So it's a compilation of data year round. So for starters, I run cameras. Months a year, because I don't like to just say, okay, this doe did this one time. So [00:33:00] this is, you take it to the bank. She's an early estrus doe. I need to verify and verify and verify multiple different ways that she's an early estrus doe.
And some of those data points are her body language. If it hits a certain time of the year, you're going to see her do certain things like tail cupping in the scrape, rub urinating in the scrape. You're going to see her shed her fawns. She's going to, she's going to ditch them. With that. It's the second time of the year that you're going to start seeing predators hit your scrape.
Early in the spring, I know you probably saw some coyotes and bobcats. They'll hit your mock scrape like June, May. That's because they know that those fawns are coming out of hiding. And mom's taking them to the community hub to show them, Hey, this is McDonald's. This is where we go. Those coyotes and those predators will hunt those new fawns based on that.
There's a second opportunity for predators is right now, those fawns that were born maybe July or a little later, and they're 50 [00:34:00] pounds, 60 pounds, 70 pounds. Maybe you got a little bit of deep snow right now. Those fawns that get abandoned for breeding. So another thing that I'll see is the second time the predators start hitting scrapes.
I don't know if you saw a couple of videos I posted recently, but the coyotes moved into one of my early extra spots hard, really hard. There's probably 30 coyotes in there right now and they've killed my cameras. The coyotes have killed my batteries. They moved in there hard and that's an early extra spot.
So I'm torn now. I don't know if I want to just go in there and just start shooting yotes or try to go in there and kill a buck. But, those fawns, uh, are very vulnerable in that location because we had a late season flood that knocked a lot of the grass down. We've also had a frost this year which killed a lot of the grass and now those younger fawns are about to be abandoned for breeding.
And a 60 to 70 pound fawn is pretty vulnerable to 10 coyotes, especially if there's no grass to hide in. The [00:35:00] presence of predators on your scrapes is a good one. The body language of the deer is a good one. The body language of bucks, you have to know the signs of the rut. And so on your property, you're going to start seeing.
The sign, the rut phases, kick off the sign phase. You're going to see your buck start hitting signpost, rub, stuff like that. How those does interact is really important. So for example, the doe I killed with my recurve, she was still feeding in the feet, she was still feeding on the edge of a field with acorns, with her two doe fawns.
She was still feeding with, I think it was a Dauphin from last year, who looked to be two or three, who had a pair of buttonhorn fawns with her. That's why she was safe, because of her buttonhorns. But so the fact that they were still all just... Happy go lucky feeding together indicates that they're nowhere near asterisks and it's November 15th That dough is useless to me So I don't care about a dough that comes hot in three more weeks And so that's why I killed the other one because screw her [00:36:00] she's you know, I don't mean it like that I really respect the animal and I'm grateful to have harvested her.
But what I mean is her timing, right? He because that's It's not doing me any good. If she's not even thinking, like there was no chasing happening. The yearlings weren't chasing, they're all still feeding together and it's a November 15th or so. So if that's going to be the behavior you display, you're completely useless to me for hunting the pre rut and the rut.
And so now you become an eater dough versus another spot that I have where I have heavy predators moving in. I have a doe who's been like just rubbing and laying on a community or on a signpost rub. She literally has been sleeping at a signpost rub, rubbing against it, scraping around it.
Arching her, when they do their rub urinating, you can tell by the arch of their back and how low they go. There's a lot there. I would tell people to really study body language if you're going to deduce data from these cameras. So body language, bucks, predators, those are all really [00:37:00] important.
And that's in season, in the fall, what you're going to see. And then you take all of that and you combine it with your historical box sightings, you're going to have bucks that stage and show up prior to her estrus. And that's probably the most fun way to tell, but it's also A really good indicator when you see the chasing happen by the yearlings, that's usually about two weeks before, every four pointer in the woods is gonna start chasing her around and being a terrorist.
And that's about a week or two before what you're gonna see is her scrape go dry. I'm just spitballing it. There's a million things I look for literally, but the. Just prior to peak estrous scrapes, dry up you right now. I have, I just posted a video as we were getting on here of some chasing happening at a scrape.
I know that scrape is going to turn off probably in the next one, two weeks. Right now, the buck hit it this morning. She hit it. Another spike horn [00:38:00] hit it last night. The scrape is just getting Annihilated and the chasing is happening. When we get off here, you'll be able to see the video, but it's chasing is happening, but I know in the next week to two weeks.
That scrape will just be a ghost town, like a saloon door swinging in the wind, man. There's not going to be any action there. And when that happens, I know for a fact that she's hot. I've documented it before. I've seen those get bred. I've seen standing estrus. And in those moments, in those days, day, two days before that happens.
Scrapes dry up completely. The bucks don't need to hit the scrape anymore. They only do that to early season. They'll hit the scrapes to leave their scent, establish their thousand acres, whatever it is, but also to see who else is around. But when estrus approaches, I think bucks can tell from greater distances.
Cause what I have documented is scrapes dry [00:39:00] up completely and bucks will start more cruising and doing like. Crossing bedding entrance trails instead just right or leeward side, like either trails into bedding where they can smell the ground or they'll downwind edge bedding. But I think a lot of guys talk about like you want to hunt leeward those bedding areas and I have to be honest the way does enter bedding is not always leeward.
Sometimes they just graze in and they'll do it with tailwind. So if that's how a doe enters a bedding area, that's how the box will enter a bedding area. So if someone says, Oh it's easy to hunt the route. You just have a leeward or, downwind your doe bedding groups. Is that how they come in?
Because I want to hunt the entrance trails more than downwind. So knowing, having those cameras in place to know how your does filter into that bedding area is [00:40:00] important too, because where they Is where you want to hunt when the scrape turns off, right? And that's, that's a huge missed opportunity where people either stay on the scrape too long or they hunt just downwind bedding area, even though that's not where the entrance trails are.
I saw a lot of that.
I just got back from Wisconsin, right? And, I try a mix of let's get downwind of the bedding. Let's do this. Let's do that kind of thing. And I saw more this year because I paid a lot more attention to it and I was more careful to hunt it like this. I saw more number one bucks running that, parallel trail from the direction that the does enter and like stopping at each little trail that goes up into the bedding and they would stop and they'd walk down at just a couple feet sniffing and turn around. They look like a dog searching for a bird, and they would hit each trail and take that trail for just a couple steps sniffing around and then they turn around and keep running the other trail that was perpendicular.
To all of those other trails. Another thing that I saw [00:41:00] was bucks that were really hot and heavy and doing a lot of searching, not more like calmly searching and I'm going to go check the trails, chasing does or flushing does out. They're just barreling through the bedding area. They're not, they do not give a, they do not give a rip.
And these aren't bad bucks either. I'm not
talking about, Oh, that's yeah. They're just trying to flush a rabbit.
Yeah. They just run straight up into there and run through it. So I'm like, man, honestly, if my strategy was to hunt downwind only of dough betting and not have other things going on in my favor.
I don't think the downwind of doe betting would have produced for me now.
But you'd be surprised how many guys, especially out West, that's their entire plan, right?
Downwind of a betting. Yeah. Just get downwind. And it's man, I saw a lot more deer. Now. Yeah. At times I was downwind and the deer were running perpendicular to the doe trails, but I saw a lot of bucks just like.
Come from pretty open timber, cross like this little terrain feature that I was hunting specifically, and then just barrel off straight into [00:42:00] the bedding, they're not scent checking, they're not doing nothing. They're just like, I'm getting in there and I'm messing some stuff up.
Like I'm finding something. Yeah.
Yeah. But I'm guessing that was South. I'm sorry. I'm guessing that was not down South. No, that was up North. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Because I'm thinking, cause that sounds like behavior I'm expecting in two to three weeks.
Yeah. No, this was this was up in Wisconsin.
Yeah. See that's the B. So that behavior you're talking about right there is pretty much when I'm out of the woods. If I'm not tagged out, I'm pretty much just waiting for late season. I hate the rut. I don't have a lot of places here to hunt it when I was up north. I loved it, but we had terrain and funnels and pinches and stuff, but here it sucks.
It's thick, it's herbaceous, it's green year round. There's no real terrain and it's. There's a million does. So you got one mature buck per square mile and, 45, 000 does good luck. Good luck picking the dough he's on. Yeah, the rut really is tough here. So [00:43:00] I would rather, for me, what you're describing is peak rut.
That sounds and that sounds like peak rut. And that is a time where you just forget about all of. This and you just enjoy the scenery. You try to sit in a nice, either a nice, like an interior opening in a thicket where you can get an arrow off or you try to sit in a pinch where you can see a long ways of the rifle and let one rip.
But It makes it really hard to do any kind of strategic calculated move where it really does once that starts to happen. Yeah, because they just want to flush those deer up like kicking a brush pile and kicking out rabbits. They just want to run into that bedding area and if they come in if they go into the bedding area with some sort of conservative manner, they'll kick up a dough or two, but when they just run in there, like you're talking about, they kick them all out.
Like all the deer, just Holy shit. And they just explode. I've seen that a bunch of times. And that's when I really hate personally, that's when I really hate hunting. [00:44:00] And I know everybody loves that, but it just. It really becomes a game of luck at that point, and I'm not lucky. Yeah, I've never won anything.
So I don't like the rough so, yeah, I'd rather just know defined territories, defined timing, and look for body language, look for signs at the scrape, look for signs on the animals, look for, and then that's all in season. I went down a rabbit hole there, but it's a year round endeavor. So I was talking about making sure like verifying and verifying.
So that's, that was eight or 10 ways that I verify a Doe's estrus date based on body language and the box and the predators and all of that stuff, but also year round. So a Doe's territory. Changes. It doesn't travel a lot, there's acorns and then there's soybeans and then there's, as the food changes, their territories will change.
So if those distances are 10 miles because it's the [00:45:00] Adirondacks, that makes it really tough. But if it's like here in North Carolina where there's so much food, one of my properties, I think I got to 10 or 11 different types of nuts that are dropping in there. So like they don't have to go anywhere.
They're not going to go anywhere. Yeah. There's pecans and walnuts and red Oaks and white Oaks and black Oaks and beach and. There, there were cherries. There's like everything in there. And so it's they don't have to go anywhere. And then that doesn't even count the Greenbrier and the vetch and all just the crap that grows in there.
That's what I look for. And so sure. Yes. I can go find a place where there's not a lot of food and the does are really more nomadic and they're very hard to track. And I avoid those places. If I get into an area where I feel like. I'm going to have to work my ass off too hard to stay with some does because there's just not enough there.
I abandon it. But if I find a place where there's five different nuts dropping and there's green briar and maybe the landowner says, Oh, Hey, yeah, sure. You can throw some clover out on a gas line or [00:46:00] maybe there's, they'll let me do some hinge cuts or on public where I really key in on is storm damage specifically from flooding and.
These creeks, when I can find where a storm like in an oxbow just did 30, 40 acres worth of damage and knocked over trees and stuff that provides so much diversity that the does will get in there and they will not leave period. You can't fly even a buck like you're talking about. Can't even flush them out because the grass is so dense.
And that those areas provide increased chasing and the pre rut and can provide you with a lot more opportunity that buck. We'll hit that scrape four or five times in a day versus once because the stem count is so high. So I really key in on public in those areas. I guess what I'm saying is it's not easy to track those everywhere because the food's not there and the covers not there, but.
But abandon those areas. You're wasting your time. Go to areas where you have high diversity, high stem count, high deer [00:47:00] numbers. You know the doe group is going to not have to travel for food. She's not going to have to travel for fawning, which is going to be my next point. And then also, she with the security from coyotes and dogs and stuff like that, because one thing I've learned is it doesn't do any good to invest all this time if there's no grass and then the next pack of coyotes come through and they just ruin your whole game.
So for me, STEM count is really huge. Just because I just, I can't stand when my does are just moving all around. It makes the entire effort. Waste a waste of time. So because as a segway is to fawning, which is the next phase. So back up to the backup. This is the
part that I'm like, super intrigued by like this is really interesting to me.
I've never, ever done it.
Yep. So fawning, so all of that being said, so let's say you. You found some, you went into your property, you found a dough group over there, and you found a dough group over there. You thought they were all [00:48:00] one big dough group, but you put some cameras out and that they were naturally fighting, not over corn or anything like that, but you put this mock scrape in, it didn't work, you killed it.
You put another one in, didn't work, you killed it. You put a third one in and guess what? This one, you've got two doughs fighting at, so you're like, holy crap, all right, I'm right between the two dough groups, this is perfect. So from there. You're going to use, that's a good scrape for historical data.
So that's what you're going to start to do there. You're going to start getting your historical data. You're going to start documenting these doughs. You're going to add additional cameras on each dough, on each of the two dough groups, with whatever you have for dough groups to start to define their outer territories as food changes and things like that.
And you need to know the food for every month, every season of the year. Again. Because if your does are moving on you, it doesn't do any good, but assuming you did your homework and you know that these does are not going anywhere, there's apples and then there's acorns and then there's green briar.
And then you planted some [00:49:00] winter rye, whatever. And they're just not going anywhere. And you know that for a fact, so you found two dough groups, you put a mock scrape between them, they're not going anywhere. You've studied their body language. You've pretty much have some historical buck pictures.
Now let's say it's been out there for a couple of years. When your bucks are coming You went back, looked at some of your doe's body language, maybe one of the does is, uh, showing signs of being solo and showing signs of, deep arching back, rub urinating, things like that, whereas the other doe, maybe she's still eating with her fawns and, not showing any signs of breeding.
So you start to paint a picture. Guess what? I might have one late doe and one early doe. It's starting to look like. That, but the only real way, no, it's not going to be buck pictures or anything like that, the real way to know, unless you see her be bread, um, it's fawning. So if you spend enough time in the woods, you will see a dog get bred, but you can't do that all the time.
It's [00:50:00] very rare. I've only seen it a couple of times and I live in the woods. So I think you should, fawning is going to be your easiest bet for nailing down estrus for me. Identifying when a doe drops her fawns can also be very difficult. You first of all need to be able to anticipate what food source she's going to be on in the spring.
And that food source pretty much has to bump up against. Some grass or some briars or some kind of stem count, or, she's really not going to fawn there. So understanding where your does historically drop fawns is important because it's just like historical buck sightings. If you know where those historically fawn, then it's like taking candy from a baby.
You can run five Tascos and no one, every single fawn was born, but that's not always the case. I [00:51:00] think sorry, I got a bunch of messages in one short succession. What
remind me what I was saying? We're talking about figuring out when those fawns exactly are dropping and where and you were like, hey You can you if you can figure that out you can find you can get five Tascos and get them in there and start to
Figure it out.
Yeah, so exactly so it's all based gonna be based on food So a lactating mother requires certain things and so you need to figure out what she's gonna eat Right before she drops her fawns. And one thing I found is greenbriers are huge. Anything broad leaf, she's gonna really key in on broad leaf, but anything with new generation or regeneration or new generation.
So if there's something new growing, she's gonna key in on that. For the nutrients, if I used to call them stump sprouts, I guess today. There's a bunch of guys calling the mineral sprouts, but we used to cut down trees and we found a long time ago logging efforts that the does [00:52:00] how this started was years ago with logging efforts, we found that in the spring, we would literally see those dropping funds on stump sprouts.
And we pretty much. Learned maybe 10 or 15 years ago that they like them. We didn't really know why, but it's a big effort. I use stump sprouts to key in on lactating does anything broad leaf that they can eat. This is a time of year. They're really going to segue off of grass, off of nuts, any kind of old acorns that are still hanging around.
They're really going to be looking for the most nutrient rich stuff that's touching high STEM counts. Generally, that sounds great, but where do you find that? So for me, a lot of times I make it. I go out on public and I find these areas with storm damage where nature made it for me. It's another reason why I key in on, last year's hurricane damage or this year's hurricane damage because I don't have to do the physical work, but let's say it's at your [00:53:00] house and I don't have what I'm saying.
I have to go in there now and I have to make hinge cuts. Hinge cuts. Are the biggest dough magnet in the world. If you make enough hinge cuts in an area, the dough will fawn in them, especially if you add the stump sprouts and you have other natural broadleaf forage for them at that time of year. But again, it still comes down to the amount of cameras you run.
But knowing that dough has a short range. You're really only trying to hone in on an animal that has a 10 or 15 acre range, especially here in the south. So that doesn't require a whole lot of cameras. And so that's where I go more to food cameras in the spring and I'll see a pregnant doe hit my food.
Whether it's guys bait and do supplemental feeding, if you don't have the ability to stump sprouts or hinge cuts or, plant a [00:54:00] broad leaf like soybean, but you can find on food, you should see your does come in the spring. They're going to come in, they're going to be pregnant and then you're going to see them tomorrow and they're not going to be pregnant.
You can tell when a doe drops a fawn. She looks. Significantly different after dropping a fawn. She's much smaller. So that kind of goes back into what I was saying when you have those that you can identify. And the last podcast it's makes life a lot easier. I love more than anything. When I find a doe that has a distinguishing feature because I can tell her from the rest of the crowd and it makes life a lot easier for me.
But but food cameras in the spring and where food. Where their preferred food in the spring, generally something broadleaf is up against thickets and grass is generally where the, where they'll do their fawning and I'll run, five task goes on 10 acres on that dough group on that dough, and I'll see two or three of them drop their phones.
And I'll have a [00:55:00] good idea, when those funds were dropped based on. A number of things, but they'll pass my camera pregnant and then they'll pass my camera. Not pregnant. I've seen them drop their funds on camera. I've seen a doe disappear and seven days, eight days later, she returns with a fawn following her and You start to put together some auxiliary data that they stash their funds for a couple of days.
And generally it takes around 12 hours. They'll lay down and they'll have their funds. Then you'll see the dough and then you won't see the fun for up to a week. I find two, three days and then the final. behind the mom. But so just again, reading the body language and reading what on your camera and watching pregnant does until they're not pregnant.
And then also seeing those funds for the first time when you see the funds for the first time, that's a good indicator. Once you've watched them long enough,[00:56:00] a farm that's a day old from a farm. That's a week old period. One looks one's fuzzy looking and he has wobbly legs and the other one can jump four feet in the air, right?
That was going to be after about a week.
They're pretty wily. That was going to be my next question is like, when you get a fawn on camera, like I, I am probably personally not very good at telling how old a fawn is yet. If I'm getting a fawn on camera and it's what I would consider early to maybe to be getting a fawn or maybe, on the earlier end, like how old are you considering, if you just got a fawn on camera for the very first time, typically, are you going to say, Oh, okay that's two days to a week, somewhere in that range.
I missed a bunch of your question, but I think you were saying basically how do I age a fawn once I've seen it, excluding the obvious, which is if you see an April fawn, it's an early doe, or if you see, so there's going to be the obvious benchmarks, right?
So if you see a fawn in April or say before May 15th, cause you're in the South now, like you're [00:57:00] going to see, you're going to see. April to early May fawns, then, for fact, those are going to be your late October to this time of year breeders. Those are the does that now you've seen that fawn drop, let's say May 15th.
You've done the math. You're like, okay, holy crap. October 30th or whatever. I'm not in front of the calculator, but let's just say that, the math works out to October 30th. So then you're like, okay, so that lines up with what I found with the chasing. And that lines up with what I found when she ran her fawns off.
And when the coyote showed up at the scrape and that lines up when the big buck started passing my camera. And that, that lines up with 7, 000 things that we talked about that, all the signs that point to have now been confirmed finally. with a May 15th phone drop because she disappeared for seven days and came back and the phone was following her and May 25th, that type of thing, as an early fawn, if you start getting into, let's say july [00:58:00] is where it gets hard because when it's july You could have a fawn that was born 10 days ago or 25 days ago.
And that can be pretty tough, especially because now the soybeans are tall and everything's tall and the little buggers just disappear in that stuff. And you can't get a good look at them. And so around July is when I stepped back and I pretty much just get away from the deer altogether. I'll do some camera maintenance at that time.
I start to move my camera. I'm still probably moving cameras from. From bedding to from dough fawning back to looking for summer bucks and bachelor groups. I'm pretty much pulling back off them around July because it's hard to tell on fawn age, but as soon as August rolls back around, you're back in business again, because there's a couple of ways you can tell when August 1st approaches for one, while everybody else is out glassing bucks I'm out [00:59:00] glassing fawns, because...
That's where my opportunity is going to be late season. Generally speaking, I'm not out glassing because I don't care about this year's deer. I'm not looking for, if I, even if I found a buck, I'm not hunting him. I'm not, I'm going to put cameras out for a couple of years. I never hunt a buck when I first find him.
So I'm never out glassing bucks. It would be. Pointless for me to, unless I found like a booner or something in my neighborhood, of course that would never happen here. I, I don't glass in the summertime unless I'm glassing fawns. And what I'm looking for in August 1st is those fawns that have either lost their spots.
Or they've almost lost their spots and that's going to be on a bell curve compared to everything else. So when you look out in the field and you see a bunch of spotted fawns, cool. And you get to the next field and you look out there and you see a bunch of spotted fawns again. And Oh, wait, Oh, wait a minute.
There's one in the back. He's only got half his spots. That's what you want to know. So there's two ways to tell in the fall, which [01:00:00] is the fawns that lose their spots first, because it can be. Be really hard to judge their weight on the hoof or their size when they're out in a bean out, yeah, on a bean field.
So you've got to try to get them on trail camera where, you know, that. 10 other trail cameras have these fawns. They're all spotted. Some of them are 40 pounds, 50 pounds, 60 pounds. They got spots, but then you got this one doe who has a pair of button horns and. They've just about lost their spots. So you don't have to know when the dough drops.
The fawns in the spring, it's helpful to confirm your fall findings, but there's another opportunity to confirm those findings. And that's in August. That same, those same dough is gonna have fawns lose their spots before any of the other do. So I'm out looking for that. I'm out looking for those fawns that are already losing their spots when no other fawns are.
That's a huge indicator. And then. That's from the vehicle. But thirdly, if you're going to be boots on the [01:01:00] ground, you can measure their tracks. A fawn's track that is going to estrus this year. A fawn, not all fawns estrus, as I'm sure most listeners know by now, they, if they're born early enough and they reach a certain weight and maturity, 70, 80 pounds they'll estrus in the same year they're born.
So those early fawns will lose their spots first. But those early fawns are also bigger, like physically. So in the woods, when you find a doe track that is accompanied by fawn tracks, you can measure the tracks and determine the age of the fawn. That way, a fawn that's going to asterisk in my experience, people listen to this, maybe it's, but my experience has been that if a fawn track is 70%, the size of the mothers.
Around october, around august 1st, that fawn is going to estrus that fawn is the fawn that is either doesn't have spots or the spots are almost gone. And [01:02:00] I've proven that a million times. I will go out and I will follow deer and deer tracks and I'll see little fawn tracks. Maybe the mother's track is two and a half inches, two inches, maybe two inches wide and little fawn tracks will be, an inch wide.
And I'm like, nope. Three quarters of an inch wide, inch and a quarter wide. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Then I'll go out and I'll glass up a fawn that has almost no spots. Then I'll walk to the back of the field and I'll see the mom's track is two inches and the fawn's track is an inch and seven eighths.
I'm like, yup. That, if it's more than 70%, that is an old fawn. That fawn is going to. It's going to asterisk. Measuring the tracks is a way to age funds that you can't physically lay eyeballs on. I, you'd have to do that in soybean fields sometimes because they just disappear in there and they live in there and there's really no way to glass them up and tell if they're losing their spots yet.
You have to physically go out in the bean field and just find a dough and bond tracks and just see around August 1st and just see how big those tracks are, if they're,[01:03:00] 50 percent or less her size. That font's not going to asterisk but if it's in their big tracks, 80, 85 percent of her track, then they're absolutely going to asterisk.
And if you could see that font, it wouldn't have spots at that time or they'd be almost gone. So there's a couple of ways to back up the backup for the backup, if that makes sense. But yeah and the more that is in an effort to reconfirm what you're seeing in. The
fall, and that's what I was going to say.
Like the more of this you have, like you're stacking it all together to where now you're able to make some pretty reasonable conclusions at the end of Hey, all of these things add up. Therefore, this dough group is probably going to be my priority dough group that I need to get dialed in on.
Yes. And so that's how I plan my hunts for the year. Based on that timing, I plan my SIDS at those scrapes. At those times, pretty much only. And I have enough of these spots where I don't hunt them twice. Like the spot [01:04:00] that I killed the 10 with my bow in September, there was the eight that I was hunting with him, seeing them with my eyeballs.
And then a mystery buck also that I didn't see a mature buck with them. I haven't been back there and I probably won't because that's. Sanctuary spot back to the word sanctuary where I don't go in there and pound that spot like that. I know what we can hunt it. I make sure I'm there. I'll be there next year.
Hopefully I'll get a crack at that eight. But for me, I have a lot of those spots. So like this coming Saturday, I have a spot that I would never go hunt that Island where that eight was this coming Saturday. Cause it's going to be, around 1120, I'm expecting a buck on another scrape from last year.
He'll be five this year. I'm not going to go hunt that eight on that island. I'm going to go where I think I need, so when that opportunity passes me, it's generally behind me at that point, unless I have historical data where, which happens where a buck shows up, say October one, and then he comes back, late season or again, a second time, and that can happen.
But for the most [01:05:00] part, I had one crack at that island. I killed a buck in there and I'm out of there until next year. It's. I very dedicate, I'm very dedicated to historical data in that regard. I do some reactionary hunting where I. I'm getting to that point this year. I'm getting desperate where I'm just gonna have to go find hot deer signed and set up on it because I'm really just seeing a lot of three year olds and I'm getting discouraged locally here, but Maine didn't work out, we didn't talk about that, but that was a debacle.
And I think I've had a good season on paper. I've sat six times and killed three deer and a hog, but I feel like I'm getting my teeth kicked in. So I'm about there. But yeah, I'm not going to go back to that island and just hunt. For the sake of hunting. I guess if that makes sense, I, it's not a high odds sit that way, and that's really what I seek out is to have a lot of these spots, just tons of these types of spots where it's a high odd sit once or [01:06:00] twice, and then forget about that spot until next year.
Just. On to the next. Cause you, I think a lot of people eat tag sandwiches by over hunting spots. Oh for sure. Man, that is. So I do the opposite. I get a lot of spots and I hit them once and that's it. One and done. Maybe Old Man Earl, I sat on Old Man Earl three times, two, two or three times this year and he's dead to me now.
I'm over him. But he, for the guys that don't know, the gals that don't know, he's smoke buck. I found he's got big bases, but he's doesn't have a great rack anymore, but he's an old animal and he didn't get that old for no reason. I've sat on him a couple of times, but that's a good example of a buck that, he's old news to me now or else I hope somebody else gets him because the biggest takeaway I think is for people is to just move on, have a lot of bucks, have a lot of historical timing, a lot of expected.
Showings and just move on move on that way every hunts a first time You know, you always hear these guys is like these [01:07:00] pros talk about like the first hunts the best hunt I always kill on the first sit, and like I do actually always kill them for I always come the first day, but I often kill on the first set I know all these guys that runs around saying that but it I think it's it goes in part because I'm always hunting a new animal.
I'm just a one set to sit down like old man, or I'm not going to hunt him five times. I'm just not, it's a waste of time. You go in there once or twice. If you didn't do it, you're not going to, you could, sure. There's guys that put their nose to the grindstone and get it done, but that ain't fun for me.
I don't like that. That's tough. Two more sits on Earl and I'll quit.
Yeah, for sure. Man, look we've been going for about an hour, but dude, this has been incredible. You have a standing invitation, man. Anytime you want to jump back on the show and talk deer with me. But for folks who maybe didn't catch our last episode or don't know where to find you, where are you?
Where would you send them? Check me out
on Instagram. It's going to be the only place I'm really sharing any real content. It's a [01:08:00] Carolina underscore Reaper three one five on Instagram. Not really doing anything anywhere else just yet, but yeah. Yeah. I appreciate it, man. Just for the list.
Listeners out there, find the rut party, write it on a calendar and make sure you're there next year. It's a lonely, it's a lonely sit when you're in the woods and nothing's happening this time of year. For the people who maybe are struggling, leave, I know it sounds funny to say, leave the weapon at home and grab some cheap cameras but do it, go walk, find the deer, find the rut sign, find the rubs and hang some cameras and mark it on your calendar where they were for next year and go back and hunt this time.
It's. Cause right now when you set up on hot sign, you're hunting yesterday's buck and that's no fun.
And man, those Tascos, they are workhorses for the money. If you're a guy that's I want to buy some trail cameras, but I don't know what I should get. Man, go spend 30 bucks on a Tasco and you will not regret it.
Yeah, even buying them singly they're under. [01:09:00] Yeah, they're like 29. I have one that has, I have one that rattles. It has buckshot in it because somebody shot it, but it still works. That's awesome. It should be a Tasco commercial. Yeah, for sure. For sure.
Cool, man. Thanks for coming on the show. I appreciate your time.
Yes, sir. Likewise.
That's all for today's episode. Thank you so much for tuning in. If you dig this show, please go subscribe to this podcast, wherever it is that you get your podcast. And if you can leave us a review, I would really appreciate that until next week, let's keep doing things the Southern