failed scouting, now what?

fillthefreezer

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so my scouting trip this weekend was a failure. the area we scouted is a long spine ridge with 2 basins and a grassy slope opposite them. there were deer in the normal places at the normal times but no legal bucks this year.
now at this point i dont think i can get back up to the area til a day before the season opens
do i head in to hunt this area knowing pretty well theres no legal bucks and hope maybe i missed him or move to a new area ive never scouted for water, campsites, possible bucks or try to hunt a different basin from my usual camp until i can find a new one or ?

thanks for the input guys
 
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fillthefreezer

fillthefreezer

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i know! now im short on time, maybe i can get it done with getting up there 1.5day before season
not alot of flat ground in the vicinity makes it tough to find camps let alone most water sources are about 1500ft below
 

Ridgerunner

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How confident you saw every deer? If there were bucks in there last year odds are they will be back in there this year unless something has pushed them out.
 

2rocky

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I've hunted good areas where there are bucks, and been totally skunked more than once. Didn't see a single antler.

Do you have a back up area picked out? If not I'd hit that spot before opening day and give it a day or two with an Idea of where next if it doesn't pan out.

on a map it usually means the next basin or canyon over.
 
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fillthefreezer

fillthefreezer

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there was a kill down at the bottom of the basin(hips, pelvis, spine), not sure how much effect this has, or what killed it for that matter.
im not sure that i saw every deer as im not a seasoned vet at this. i watched 2 young bucks and a doe feed for a couple hours in the morning, watched them feed til the sun was way up and the hit the timber. found the bucks again in the evening. opposite side of the ridge. watched them cross up over the saddle and feed til dark. watched 3 does in the opposite basin in the evening.
 

dreamingbig

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I wouldn't give up on the area too quickly if it has produced in the past. There has been so much feed in the mid range this year that the bucks might not be that high yet. Also the archery hunters will have two weeks to push them around before you start so you might get a few more looking to escape some pressure.
 

Benny

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FTF, I mean no disrespect by this but the area you are hunting (you told everyone when you noted the TH elevation. There is only one TH in WA that high) get's hammered by outfitters. There are lot's of other areas that are less of a drive for you and will be more productive. If you hunted it last year then thow this comment away...but if not, you'll see more horse trailers in the parking lot than at an acution house on sale day.
 
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fillthefreezer

fillthefreezer

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FTF, I mean no disrespect by this but the area you are hunting (you told everyone when you noted the TH elevation. There is only one TH in WA that high) get's hammered by outfitters. There are lot's of other areas that are less of a drive for you and will be more productive. If you hunted it last year then thow this comment away...but if not, you'll see more horse trailers in the parking lot than at an acution house on sale day.
youre right for sure, i also find that theres lare pockets of land that are inaccessible on horseback and thats how i try to capitilize. in my experience it seems the unit is mostly hunted by outfitters and not too many boot hunters unlike some of the other units..
im not all that familiar with other high hunt units either though so maybe the talk of crowds is all heresay?
 
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fillthefreezer

fillthefreezer

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i also know that some people ca figure out what trailhead i leave from, but i dont think anyone would really benefit from that hahaha
 

Benny

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youre right for sure, i also find that theres lare pockets of land that are inaccessible on horseback and thats how i try to capitilize. in my experience it seems the unit is mostly hunted by outfitters and not too many boot hunters unlike some of the other units..
im not all that familiar with other high hunt units either though so maybe the talk of crowds is all heresay?

There's goods and bads with all of them. There's crowds at any of the main drainages but there can be room once you get in there. You're right about the horse hunters but there are quite a few boot hunters in there as well. The guys that ride in on horses don't concern me as much as the guys getting hauled in there for drop camps. Sounds like you have a great game plan...I was just giving my two cents. Good luck this year!
 

robby denning

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I didn't read all the replies
but were you able to check for tracks?

I often don't see big deer when I scout, but if I find bucky country and find those blunt 3"+ tracks, I know they are around.

Scouting is never a waste, sometimes though you just know where not to go. All the best to you.
 
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fillthefreezer

fillthefreezer

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i did see what appeared to be large tracks crossing some of the saddles but was somewhat unsure of the validity of the size as its very dry and hasnt rained in over a month up there
 
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