Hunting Clear Cuts

bassface

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They aren't really clear cuts but something more selective. That is all I could come up with for a title though.

I have this new spot that I checked out tonight that I think could be really good but I know zero about how to go about hunting it.

Here's the scenario. Former chunk of woods with a field to the South and a Pond a touch to the west of the field. North of the field and pond there are skidder trails and selective cuts meandering through the once contiguous forest. Most areas are only as wide as the piece of heavy equipment brought in to remove the trees but the trails wind all over. The topography is all over too. Nothing super rocky or high or low but it undulates pretty good.

My question in short is how the F do I hunt this. I see some early successional plants coming in along the edges of the cut so it wasn't yesterday they cut it which I like. There is some space of woods that remains along the field edge. Should I focus on that? Should put a stand up within the labyrinth of trails that now go throughout the property and just adjust as I see or not see deer? FYI I did jump a doe smack in the middle of all the trails along one of the edges about an hour and a half before dark. I can do what I think is best but I thought it would nice to get some perspective from more seasoned guys on this one.

Anxiously awaiting some thoughts.
 
N

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Dumb question I guess, but what does the sign in there look like? Does it look like you will be hunting that one deer? Did they leave any nut trees? Once that grass dies off, and the nuts start falling if you don't have any in the area it will be a long sit would be my guess. You won't hurt anything walking around in there on the day before a rain storm. Find the runs and crossing and figure out why they are doing what they are, then set your stands accordingly is how I would go about it. Spend a couple nights on the edge of the field and figure out which way the dominate wind comes out of before you set your stands, and you should let the air out of one fairly quick if they are hanging in there. If they are using and crossing those skid roads, it will give up tracks pretty easy. Openings like ponds and fields can be tricky with swirling winds, so keep track for a few days and see what The Weather Channel is saying for wind directions and compare them to what you are seeing, that will tell you if the thermals are putting the screws to you before you go through all the sweat of putting up stands.
 
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bassface

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There are a few. I was in there with a quickness today and really haven't discerned red vs white and what is left. It is a little early to see if any of the oaks, either species, are dropping either. There are definitely some there though. From what I could tell they cut mostly soft woods out and only a couple hard wood trees here and there.

I am not alone here either. no stands that I saw but I am definitely on someone's trail cam :) Flash nearly stopped my heart. The area the cam is in though is easy enough to avoid. I would crack up if someone here got my picture, that would be hilarious. I am pretty sure there are a couple people on here that hunt out this way.
 

geoff40

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Same way you hunt anywhere. You're going to determine how after you scout it and study what the deer within it are doing. If it was just cut this year, stick to the food to start, look for the trails. If its an older cut, food is everywhere in it. Start by studying the trails, they will lead you to the food.
One of my favorite areas is a piece that has been selectively logged within the last few years. There is food everywhere within. I mean everywhere, often the deer bed down within just a few steps of where they finished filling their bellies. The new growth is almost all edible. They haven't had to go far to find food in the last few years. And, millions of acorns, the landowner left an abundance of oak standing.
The main problem I have in there is trying to guess, on any given day, where the deer will be feeding.
 

oneshott

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selective cut

You said a pond a touch west of the field. I would think that may be a good funnel/ safe travel area without going into the open field, maybe a staging area, probably some bedding areas near that pond , normally tall grass or swamp near ponds to bed. I would start the scouting between the field and pond, food from the field and if there are any oaks in between the field and pond, and may be bedding around the pond, and again a safe travel area/pinch point
 

mbVT

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You said a pond a touch west of the field. I would think that may be a good funnel/ safe travel area without going into the open field, maybe a staging area, probably some bedding areas near that pond , normally tall grass or swamp near ponds to bed. I would start the scouting between the field and pond, food from the field and if there are any oaks in between the field and pond, and may be bedding around the pond, and again a safe travel area/pinch point

I was thinking that the pond would be an important feature to work off as well as it will focus some of the deer movement to its edges. I would key off that to start with, contemplate other hunters and how they might impact movement and find something different to do than them. Also, are you bowhunting in there, rifle/shotgun hunting, or both?
 

Bucksaw

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Last night I went for a walk in an area similar to the one you are describing, but in NH. It is located directly across from my house and they had done some logging there this winter. Was walking towards a spot I have hunted in before when I realized how much logging they actually did. They were only supposed to cut a few trees to make room for some basketball courts and a skate park (this spot is located near some rec fields), but there were road wide trails cut through the entire area. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as the new growth will attract wildlife, just worried that more people will hunt there now. My plan was to walk the trails and look for sign, tracks, droppings, old rubs, etc. I also hung a cam near an area I think they enter or exit a huge swamp. Going to leave that there for a week or so and move it if I am not seeing much. I did find lots of tracks and plenty of droppings so I may hang another camera to see if I can find a good spot to hang a stand. I have hunted areas like this in the past and they can be productive. Just going to make sure I do my homework and get an idea where they are coming from so I can hang a stand soon. Want to get in there before anyone else as I have seen people hunting there in the past.
 

bassface

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Thanks for all of the replies. Here's a little more of what I know...

I will be bowhunting exclusively. The side of the field with the pinch point near the pond is where I stumbled into the trail cam. I never saw a stand over that way but I imagine whoever owns the cam is probably lookin to set up over there somewhere. Not a problem. There are plenty of other places.

As for sign I did see some tracks and poop, nothing concentrated though. Again, I was flying through this place because I needed to get home. The ground was really dry too so there was a lot less in the way of tracks than I imagine I will see if I go back after a good rain to soften things up a bit.

Next time I go back I will take a closer look for any mast trees that are left and see if I can't get a better idea on the major travel routes.

For people who have hunted this type of area before from a stand do you prefer to set up right on the edge of a cut or further back in what woods remain on runs and what have you?

Again, thanks for the replies.
 

geoff40

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I've had the best luck scouting, patterning, and then hunting the trails they use.
 




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