Thursday, September 29, 2011

How to identify deer signs in Massachusetts

Today was the most encouraging day of the season. I walked a few hundred yards to an area which I feel should be hunted on opening day. I was able to locate a mature deer bed along with a few small rubs. This is very good, the branches are still laid down pretty well and I'm getting excited for opening day October 17th.

I think the more time you spend in the woods the better your odds of finding a good deer. This year I've made it a point to focus on this large buck I caught feeding under an apple tree in an open field. Sounds like an easy task tracking this guy down but believe me he's big for a reason.

I laid some feed down about 150 yards from the deers bed and I'm hoping he'll come out to feed and get rather comfortable. I have a few concerns about the trees nearby and whether or not they will provide ample cover during the winter months.

I was able to bring a hunting buddy in with me to show him a few basic signs. For those new to hunting there are what I call 4 Basic Deer Signs.

Tracks/Pellets- A mature buck will leave a track that is about 5 inches from "toe to heel"
Scrapes- Scrapes are one of the best indicators of where a buck will be, as long as he doesn't get wind of you
Rubs- Rubs mean a little less. It's hard to indicate how long the rub may have been on the tree and unless there are a bunch in a straight line it's simply the way a deer communicates with other bucks that this is his territory.
Beds-Beds are a fun find in the woods. If you can find fresh fur or urine in the beds it will indicate the sex of the deer. Often times surrounding rubs and the size of the bed indicates the size of the deer. 45+inches usually indicates a large buck.

For a better more in depth explanation of the main deer signs check out

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