Mountain Hunters

Ashy Larry

Senior Member
Joined
May 17, 2017
Messages
648
Location
Mount Airy, NC
I've always hunted deer in "foothills" here in NC but I've got my eyes on some mountain public land. When you have hardwoods and pines for thousands of acres, what are your key areas to scout?
 

elkyinzer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2013
Messages
1,119
Location
Pennslyvania
From a broad sense I just like to look for the right type of cover. Our public land mountains in PA have a lot of different forest types, from useless wide-open mature pole timber to brand new dense clear cuts. My best areas are mixed age healthy forests of predominantly oak with a few other species mixed in, and have mountain laurel which the deer like to bed in. From there it's all about covering ground, figuring out which areas deer are using frequently based on sign, which changes throughout the year. Then trying to pinpoint travel routes, doe bedding areas, the typical whitetail rut locations. These can be pretty subtle and where a lot of the difficulty lies in mountain hunting, your funnels and pinch points are way less obvious compared to ag country. Obviously now is a rough time to be scouting, best time to scout is from the rut through the beginning of Spring.
 

ChrisS

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2013
Messages
793
Location
A fix back east
In the Adirondacks, deer populations are low density and the visibility is mostly very limited, usually 50-75 yards at best, so narrowing down preferred areas is reduces the amount of ground one has to cover. We focus on topographic features: saddles, benches, peaks, finger ridges, etc. Deer are pretty lazy when they're wandering around looking for feed. If you have them, follow creeks uphill as deer seem to like to cross in specific areas (usually related to topography). Find old rub lines and signpost rubs (some trees get rubbed every year by multiple bucks) and look for common entrances and exits to those areas.
 

fort fireman

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
412
I hunt Pisgah a lot in the fall. When I figure it out I'll let ya know.:rolleyes: I do pretty well up there for turkey but I haven't got the deer hunting zeroed in yet. It's a lot of area with low deer density and a lot of deep valleys and hiding places. I'm gonna figure it out though. Everything in the area I hunt screams deer. Low mountain laurel and rhododendron thickets. Water everywhere and bumper crops of acorns every year along with open fields. Just can't seem to zero in on the deer.
 

ncstewart

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
313
I'm from Arkansas but hunt public that's all wooded in the mountains.
What I do is start with topo maps! Look for terrain features. Lots of videos on YouTube and websites covering reading topos if needed. Then start looking at google earth and comparing topos. You won't be able to tell how thick it is but you can tell if it's pines, oaks, cedar..... My next step is to look for old trails and logging roads in these areas. And then just boots on ground and walk and scout them. Also I like to look for places 1/2 mile or more from a drivable road.


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bwlacy

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
419
Location
West Michigan
We hunt the mountains in southern Ohio. Scout the first bench down from the top. Bucks like to cruise the tops and the first bench down late in the morning checking the thermals for does. Read Brad Herdons (sp) book about hunting mountains and ridges, very good read on the type of terrain to look for. Find saddles, military crests, lots of rubs, acorns, etc.. After you find a couple of these spots it gets easier to find them and speeds up your scouting. Topo's are your friend, they can cut the boot time down a lot.
 

ezmorningrebel

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2014
Messages
867
topo is a good place to start. agree with the first bench down thing above. that's a great place to start. look for areas where the topo flattens out and makes for easier travel. look at satellite images and key in on areas where there is change in the habitat (edges of clear cuts, fields, thickets, etc.) after that it's boots on the ground looking for the hot food source as close to the beginning of the season as i can. i'm looking for an ambush spot between the bottom of the mountain and high bedding areas and trying and catch them moving between the two. many times it takes a few sits to figure it out so being mobile is key.
 

timekiller13

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2015
Messages
568
Hunting those western nc game lands is tough and rewarding at the same time. It is very difficult to figure out the deer when you have no agriculture to draw them to an area. I use topo maps to identify terrain features such as saddles and draws and then I go investigate those areas trying to find food sources and bedding areas. In the low density areas like the pisgah, finding a hot food source is the key. Usually that means boots on the ground or you can check out the forest service website and identify areas that have been recently cut,and burned. Not a lot of timber harvesting going on in the national forest but there is,some and if you can find those areas they can be awesome hunting. I have spent about 15 years messing around on the pisgah and some years I've been covered in deer and others I didn't know what a deer looked like. Its tough but fun.
 

vlad

Banned
Joined
Dec 20, 2016
Messages
45
Location
Arkansas
what people don't know about Deers is that they are smart, once their numbers start shrinking at a particular area, they start moving to a place where are less predator. all you have to do is scout area hunter don't usually hunt and Walah.
 

Backpack Hunter

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
3,157
Location
Some wilderness area, somewhere
Not too many places in western NC that don't get hunted. If it is public land, and you can get there, it is a safe bet someone else already has.
I try to get as remote as possible, and scout as many different locations as possible. That way when you get to where you are going and someone else is there you can quickly get to another productive spot.
In my area deer travel thru general areas randomly. There are no real established trails, and no real established entrances or exits to particular areas, but the deer do tend to want to go to and from these general areas....it is just random.


Esse quam videri
 

vlad

Banned
Joined
Dec 20, 2016
Messages
45
Location
Arkansas
Not too many places in western NC that don't get hunted. If it is public land, and you can get there, it is a safe bet someone else already has.
I try to get as remote as possible, and scout as many different locations as possible. That way when you get to where you are going and someone else is there you can quickly get to another productive spot.
In my area deer travel thru general areas randomly. There are no real established trails, and no real established entrances or exits to particular areas, but the deer do tend to want to go to and from these general areas....it is just random.


Esse quam videri

great strategy, i am adopting it for sure.
 

freshta

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
306
Location
NC
Saddles and benches especially benches just below the top of a ridge. I hunt the benches in the mornings on the uphill side to account for the rising thermals. I hunt the saddles in the evenings. I always go the last week of October so that when I don't see anything at least the leaves look pretty. :D
 

rayporter

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2014
Messages
3,302
Location
arkansas or ohio
last year in georgia i hunted food and got lucky.

in arkansas i hunt a travel corridor that is miles from a road and it produces frequently.

on my farm in ohier i let them drive deer to me. grin.
 

Blinginpse

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2014
Messages
1,044
Scout out buck and doe bedding. Hunt buck beds say September into early October then hunt funnels between doe bedding or down wind side of doe bedding on possible parallel trails if you can find any through November then December focus back on buck bedding or food if you can find it.

Lots of people say hunt terrain but lots of good terrain features are useless. Deer Half to have a reason to need to travel across through or by certain things.

My advice is look at a map find the upper 1/3 scout that line all
Over for bedding. You will find buck and doe bedding around 1/3 down from the top of the mtn. Also Military crests
Are solid travel places for bucks to windcheck too.
 
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