Post season scouting, it never fails!

H&Hhunter

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I spent the better part of 3 months looking for the big boys. A month after season closed they decided to show themselves!

All photos were taken through a spotting scope at longer ranges 600+ yards or more so the photo quality isn’t great but you get the idea!

Sleeping beauty. This buck was taking an afternoon nap in the grass I just saw his rack sticking out of the grass.

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I can’t say for sure how big this buck is, but he’s big enough.
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This guy wouldn’t score well but he’s a cool old buck.

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There’s a reason these old mature bucks have grown old! They get real smart over the years.
 
Here in Wisconsin, late January/early February and "old snow" make for the best times to scout.....and a good time to find sheds. Helps get rid of the mid-winter doldrums too.

There’s a reason these old mature bucks have grown old! They get real smart over the years.

....either that, or they developed patterns early in life that did not cross the patterns of those that hunted them. Patterns that "old snow" can expose. Used to be that old bucks had to be wise....nowadays, all they need is folks that practice "let them walk". Have friends that shoot big bucks all the time.....only because they let them walk for 4 years previously, not because the bucks were smart and wary.
 
Here in Wisconsin, late January/early February and "old snow" make for the best times to scout.....and a good time to find sheds. Helps get rid of the mid-winter doldrums too.



....either that, or they developed patterns early in life that did not cross the patterns of those that hunted them. Patterns that "old snow" can expose. Used to be that old bucks had to be wise....nowadays, all they need is folks that practice "let them walk". Have friends that shoot big bucks all the time.....only because they let them walk for 4 years previously, not because the bucks were smart and wary.
Yep, we've had a terrible winter for scouting (and skiing) because we haven't had any snow that's lasted more than a few days. On top of that, this is my busiest season at work, so I really need the snow to stick until I can get out to scout.
 
I went looking for shed antlers at the property where I hunt, with the landowner today. We saw a number of droppings of what we both thought was bear scat, which is surprising, since this is February 1st. But we have had the warmest winter I can remember here, so perhaps bears have not hibernated this year.

My friend's property is just outside the KY bear hunting zone....:(
 
I spent the better part of 3 months looking for the big boys. A month after season closed they decided to show themselves!

All photos were taken through a spotting scope at longer ranges 600+ yards or more so the photo quality isn’t great but you get the idea!

Sleeping beauty. This buck was taking an afternoon nap in the grass I just saw his rack sticking out of the grass.

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I can’t say for sure how big this buck is, but he’s big enough.
View attachment 1192047

This guy wouldn’t score well but he’s a cool old buck.

View attachment 1192048
Your photos look like impressionist paintings....and you could probably sell them as such!
 
Those old big ones didn't get that way by accident, they learned how to play the game and don't make many mistakes, especially during hunting season. I heard a wildlife biologists animals learn at an astonishing rate and they likelihood of seeing a 4-5 year old buck are slim and seeing one older than that is like winning the lottery on your first try. Now after the season 3nds they "know" they are safe as the idiot "hunters" have all left the woods and are leaving them alone so they may slip up some.

Your pics show some serious dedication to the craft to find them and get good shots of them. Keep posting more for us to drool over please.
 
Used to be that old bucks had to be wise....nowadays, all they need is folks that practice "let them walk". Have friends that shoot big bucks all the time.....only because they let them walk for 4 years previously, not because the bucks were smart and wary.
Yep it works and we have been practicing that for years and it pays off. The old if I don't shoot it someone else will don't work in the area I hunt. We hunt does for meat and bucks for horns unless it's a true cull or spike. The state finally got smart here and set a width limit for horns. It has paid off big time. Shooting year and a half old bucks don't cut it. Rewind 60 years ago when I was a kid, it was every man for himself. If it had horns shoot or your neighbor will was the theme. Fortunately times have changed...
 
So true, scouting or sighting on my tree stand. once the reason starts i know what to do.
 
Here in Wisconsin, late January/early February and "old snow" make for the best times to scout.....and a good time to find sheds. Helps get rid of the mid-winter doldrums too.



....either that, or they developed patterns early in life that did not cross the patterns of those that hunted them. Patterns that "old snow" can expose. Used to be that old bucks had to be wise....nowadays, all they need is folks that practice "let them walk". Have friends that shoot big bucks all the time.....only because they let them walk for 4 years previously, not because the bucks were smart and wary.

Case in point I let multiple “lesser” bucks walk this season. If I’d have just wanted to kill a deer I’d have been done in the first week.
 
Case in point I let multiple “lesser” bucks walk this season. If I’d have just wanted to kill a deer I’d have been done in the first week.
Exactly my point. Growing up as a kid in Wisconsin, iffin it had horn, you shot it. Even spikes and forkhorns were hung in a tree in the front yard and everyone in town came over to look at it. If you were one of the few lucky hunters to get a antlerless permit, you filled it....period. Public land deer were poached heavily and deer had not yet acclimated themselves to Ag crops/land. Like with catch and release for fish, the idea of letting it walk did not come into regular practice till the late 70s, early 80s. About the same time folks looked at hunting and fishing primarily as a sport and not a source of food. Also about the time the deer population exploded in Ag lands. I remember Musky fishing in the late 60s/early 70s and we killed every fish we caught. Since the late 70s/early 80s, I have released every Musky I have caught. Pretty much the same for every large mouth bass. Wish there was a way to "catch and release" deer.
 
Another weird winter in WI. I was hoping for a good hard freeze in the marshes to go looking for sheds. Snow has melted in Central Wisconsin. Ice Fisheries canceled do to thin ice or just held in parking lots for the charitable fund raising.

With the low fawn population in my area I expect that the bucks have or will drop their antlers earlier.
 
With the low fawn population in my area I expect that the bucks have or will drop their antlers earlier.
Just changed cards in my trail cams yesterday. Have pics from last week of everything from spikes to tens still holding horn, 7 different bucks. Some of the pics show the deer wading thru snow that comes up to their chest. Most all of that is now gone after only two weeks. Have yet to see anything with a empty pedicle, and found no sheds yet, but know folks in the area who have. Mild winter so far should mean good fawn weight and most bucks will make it thru in good shape. They really been hitting what's left of my corn and turnip plots. West central Wi.

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Just changed cards in my trail cams yesterday. Have pics from last week of everything from spikes to tens still holding horn, 7 different bucks. Some of the pics show the deer wading thru snow that comes up to their chest. Most all of that is now gone after only two weeks. Have yet to see anything with a empty pedicle, and found no sheds yet, but know folks in the area who have. Mild winter so far should mean good fawn weight and most bucks will make it thru in good shape. They really been hitting what's left of my corn and turnip plots. West central Wi.
So you still have a lot of snow?
We have very little in Wis Rapids. Friends North of Point have about the same.
We went snow shoeing last Tuesday near the Dells, but I can't see that there will be any snow left after this week with temperatures near 50°.
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I was also going to build a new bridge over a creek on my hunting land. I guess it will happen this spring! Hopefully we won't have a lot of water in the marshes.
 
So you still have a lot of snow?
No, anything that gets sun is gone. Two weeks ago the cameras showed deer wading thu chest deep snow. Yesterday, those same spots were bare. In the woods and or the north side of the hills there's a fair amount yet, but as you said, with the temps in the 50s next week, that too will be gone. Folks around here were tapping Maples already last week and the Apple orchards are afraid of buds popping prematurely. Even saw some Toms out displaying yesterday. Been a weird winter for sure.
 
Cool, thanks for sharing.

I let a nice spike walk this year. He had a beautiful grey pelt. I should have taken him, but... I'll be extra happy if he makes it and I can take him this year. I wanted his fur more than anything and was going to take him until I realized it wasn't a doe.
 
There's two things that I really like about January, February and March here in Oklahoma. First, the deer trails that have been hidden by vegetation all summer and fall become easy to see. This is your road map to patterning a big buck. If you find out where the deer are traveling after the 1st of the year they will be following the same trails next October, November and December. Secondly, after the 1st of January the deer from multiple family groups tend to get together and socialize in bigger groups that include many bucks, and bachelor groups of bucks also form. This is your time to take a census of all the bucks in your area and which bucks to look for the following hunting season. If you find the active deer trails it is easy to place a game camera and do a census.
 
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I've been looking for sheds and have yet to find one this winter. There are also still some active scrapes where I hunt....I think it may be another month before bucks shed here this year.
 
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