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Basic in season exploration.


I guess I will go first with some basics.  Basics always work and never change.  Time is precious and some just have to scout (explore) during season.  I have done this many times just because things change, as season progresses.  So, here are some Todd Tips, that I past on to newbies when they do it with me.

1.  This is not scouting, this is hunting.  We are not just looking for sign but game.  Far go many "tromp" through looking for sign, and spook game.
2.  Take the watch/phone and forget about it.  This is like a stalk, only time that matters is legal shooting time.
3.  Wind, before start have a good idea of wind direction.  Know that that wind will change, as the terrain does, adjust as can.  (know this will be a huge topic here).
4.  Enter the woods, and find a "fresh" trail.  Not just looking for any trail, but one with fresh tracks/scat.
5.  As follow the trail, look ahead for game (or other hunters so not to spoil their hunt).
6.  When looking at trail, if do not see tracks, look for crushed or over turned leaves.  This is important when "summer" trails, intersect with those in season, to ensure on active one.
7.  As you move along trail, the thought should be, "why are they moving here?"  Look at the terrain, you will likely notice either a rise/fall of ground or cover vegetation. 
8.  Take 3 or 4 soft steps, then look around, if have bino's, see number 5.  Notice if any vegetation has been nibbled on or ate.  Look for shrubs/saplings, that have leaves off, with fresh stem's showing.  (Cop's call that a clue).
9.  If and when you find several trails merging, shift your scouting to ambush mode.  Do not look for just a "tree", as you will likely notice not a lot to choose from (hence they chose the trail), but a ground ambush place as well.  Also, note how can I get in/out without being detected.
10.  Do not touch anything with your bare hands, animals can smell you for two days later.  (Learned that the hard way several times, each time remember Gene Wensel talking about it).
11.  Rubs/scrapes tell me a male is in the area, I am more concerned with their path to it.
12.  Scrape, two things, 1. look for one with licking branch over it (that the main one).  2.  I always circle the scrape at about 8-10 yard distance, to see if smell it.  With that wind, that is the area the buck will come to sniff it, to see if any activity.
13.  Fall Turkey's- In my experience, if you find and area with a lot of turkey sign, you will likely find other game that is much calmer.  As the Turkey seems to be much more leary, and is daytime critter like you.
14.  When exploring and see game- this now becomes a stalk.  No since in waiting to come back harvest them, when you both are there too.
15.  Write it down- a lesson I learned long time ago talking with old time hunter.  Write down the weather/wind, what you seen, time of season, possible ambush points and approaches.  This has been valuable decades later, when things are off, you look back and had already invested in your hunting time with a plan.

Hope this sheds light for some.  Look forward to sharing other more detailed woodsmanship.  Thanks Terry for an important board. :clapper:

Good information, thanks for posting.   :archer: :thumbsup:

Got to admit, I used to do a lot more “exploring “ than I do now days. That was almost as much fun as hunting. It also kept hunting more interesting because I always had a new place or new sight to hunt.


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