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  #1  
Old 10-11-2018, 08:26 PM
Prairiekid Prairiekid is offline
 
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Default Not sure what Iím looking for

I have been hunting wmu 350 for the last day and a half. But havenít seen a single deer. I started on the Swan Hills or west side of the zone, lots of snow around but not a ton of deer tracks. So I called an audible and moved over to the east side of the zone, a few more tracks but not many clearings to shoot.

I am traveling by car so have I put a lot of km on the boots. I just canít drive down the roads a truck could easily take on. I have a day and a half left before I have to be back at work. Any suggestions on landscape features I should focus on? When I hunt closer to home in 316/412 it seems a bit more obvious.

I am in Slave Lake tonight and will check out more on the east side of the zone again tomorrow.

Sorry for any typos this is on my ph
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:51 PM
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beaver hunter beaver hunter is offline
 
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I mainly bowhunt so take these comments with a grain of salt. I would hike in to a spot with a big ridge near water, sit and watch, maybe some doe bleats or the odd grunt. Or any crown land that is fairly close to farmland if you can find it.
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:16 AM
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3blade 3blade is offline
 
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You are likely moving to fast, and in that part of the world the deer wonít come out in the open till after dark. Find some fresh sign, figure out where the deer are coming and going, move downwind, and then sit still and be quiet. The opportunities will be close.

Big bush is hard to figure out. Look for aspen covered ridges that drop into pine and spruce, then find a funnel, and -you guessed it- sit still and be quiet. These ďridgesĒ might look only 20-30 ft higher than the surrounding country, but if you look close you will see the transition. Tamarack swamps are worthless. Every whitetail Iíve killed has been within 300 yards of water.

Lot of times you have to get back away from the ditch-side jungle to see what the terrain/vegetation is really like. Donít be afraid to hike off the highway.
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Old 10-12-2018, 05:15 AM
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Dean2 Dean2 is offline
 
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You will find more game close to the paved roads than you do further in. Hunting within a half to three quarters of a mile from the highway will produce better results than way back in the heavy bush, unless you can find a bunch of fresh cut overs or burn overs. Also, water is a big attractant until there is enough snow they don't need water, a ridge and funnel areas will improve your odds plus some farm fields near by will all add to your chances of success.
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:34 AM
Dano2395 Dano2395 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairiekid View Post
I have been hunting wmu 350 for the last day and a half. But havenít seen a single deer. I started on the Swan Hills or west side of the zone, lots of snow around but not a ton of deer tracks. So I called an audible and moved over to the east side of the zone, a few more tracks but not many clearings to shoot.



I am traveling by car so have I put a lot of km on the boots. I just canít drive down the roads a truck could easily take on. I have a day and a half left before I have to be back at work. Any suggestions on landscape features I should focus on? When I hunt closer to home in 316/412 it seems a bit more obvious.



I am in Slave Lake tonight and will check out more on the east side of the zone again tomorrow.



Sorry for any typos this is on my ph


If I didnít have to work today I could have taken you out for your deer.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old 10-12-2018, 07:39 AM
Bock Fever Bock Fever is offline
 
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There aren't a lot of deer tracks because there aren't a lot of deer there anymore. Are you seeing wolf tracks? There are a lot of those. I used to hunt 350 and 351 a lot 8-10 years ago and saw quite a few deer for the amount of bush and scarcity of farmland. I went back a couple years ago during the rut and saw more wolves (7) in 3 days of hunting than I saw deer (3).

If you're hunting off 33, the east side near deer mountain (350) has, or used to have more mulies than whitetails. the house mountain side (351) was more whitetails for sure.

I agree with getting up on some ridges near creeks where you can see. There have been some cool deer taken out of that area over the years. Good luck!
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:37 PM
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So tell us, how did you make out. Did the advice at least help you find some sign.
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Old 10-12-2018, 07:54 PM
BCSteel BCSteel is online now
 
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I had 11 days off at the end of September for hunting. I saw no big game for 3 straight days. Then just like a switch was flipped... moose, whitetail, muleys, elk and bear. Sometimes you just need to wait them out.
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Old 10-13-2018, 10:25 AM
Prairiekid Prairiekid is offline
 
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Hey Guys,

Sorry it took a couple days to get back to you. Thanks for the tips. I shot a good sized doe early Friday morning, dressed it and drove back to Canmore, then cleaned it up and butchered it as soon as I arrived home. Normally I would like to hang it for a bit but being a doe and having the time to do it, I just got it done right away. I'm not your normal hunter, I don't have a 4*4 or a garage. I slept in the back of my wagon, maybe I will have a garage someday but those are freaking expensive in Canmore.

I didn't take any pictures as it was raining quite hard in 350 yesterday. I know some people would disagree but for whatever reason we name the deer we harvest, I think of it as a way of honouring it. We named this one Mitsue after the nearby lake. I shot the deer at 25 yards with a Tikka M695 25.06 I bought 15 some years ago. The deer was struggling to make me out, I am going to say it was the Firstlite pants in Cipher pattern but it did't hurt that it was still early morning, overcast and raining hard. I hesitated to go in the rain, I know it's easier to move quietly but I wasn't sure if the deer would be moving.

I decided to try to get up a bit higher and as it turned out I was walking up a road when I spotted the doe, no great story here. I will return to 350 in future seasons, I was intrigued by Swan Hills, Slave Lake and just the general area.

I am always surprised that it seems Whitetail Deer prefer to be somewhat close to roads. It seems it doesn't matter how nice the terrain, water sources and protection might be deep in the forest, the further back in you get the less deer you tend to see. I can't figure out why. I have a bit of a better idea of how to hunt the area because of your tips and also just being there and seeing it, but I don't really know how to hunt big cut blocks? Growing up it seems I remember videos of guys hunting northern Alberta and massive deer would be passing through rough cut blocks and almost swampy areas.

So 1 tag is gone, now I get to explore another zone or two!
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Old 10-13-2018, 12:11 PM
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Very glad to hear it worked out so well for you!
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Old 10-13-2018, 11:19 PM
Sportsman Sportsman is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairiekid View Post
Hey Guys,

Sorry it took a couple days to get back to you. Thanks for the tips. I shot a good sized doe early Friday morning, dressed it and drove back to Canmore, then cleaned it up and butchered it as soon as I arrived home. Normally I would like to hang it for a bit but being a doe and having the time to do it, I just got it done right away. I'm not your normal hunter, I don't have a 4*4 or a garage. I slept in the back of my wagon, maybe I will have a garage someday but those are freaking expensive in Canmore.

I didn't take any pictures as it was raining quite hard in 350 yesterday. I know some people would disagree but for whatever reason we name the deer we harvest, I think of it as a way of honouring it. We named this one Mitsue after the nearby lake. I shot the deer at 25 yards with a Tikka M695 25.06 I bought 15 some years ago. The deer was struggling to make me out, I am going to say it was the Firstlite pants in Cipher pattern but it did't hurt that it was still early morning, overcast and raining hard. I hesitated to go in the rain, I know it's easier to move quietly but I wasn't sure if the deer would be moving.

I decided to try to get up a bit higher and as it turned out I was walking up a road when I spotted the doe, no great story here. I will return to 350 in future seasons, I was intrigued by Swan Hills, Slave Lake and just the general area.

I am always surprised that it seems Whitetail Deer prefer to be somewhat close to roads. It seems it doesn't matter how nice the terrain, water sources and protection might be deep in the forest, the further back in you get the less deer you tend to see. I can't figure out why. I have a bit of a better idea of how to hunt the area because of your tips and also just being there and seeing it, but I don't really know how to hunt big cut blocks? Growing up it seems I remember videos of guys hunting northern Alberta and massive deer would be passing through rough cut blocks and almost swampy areas.

So 1 tag is gone, now I get to explore another zone or two!

You bought First Lite Camo but are driving a car still? Get your priorities straight kid! Too bad you didnít get a wolf or 3, way too many wolves in 350/351. Nice job on the doe!
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Old 10-14-2018, 02:14 AM
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Talking moose Talking moose is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairiekid View Post

I am always surprised that it seems Whitetail Deer prefer to be somewhat close to roads. It seems it doesn't matter how nice the terrain, water sources and protection might be deep in the forest, the further back in you get the less deer you tend to see. I can't figure out why. I have a bit of a better idea of how to hunt the area because of your tips and also just being there and seeing it, but I don't really know how to hunt big cut blocks? Growing up it seems I remember videos of guys hunting northern Alberta and massive deer would be passing through rough cut blocks and almost swampy areas.

So 1 tag is gone, now I get to explore another zone or two!
I think a big part of it is that there are a ton of wolves now.
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:50 PM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairiekid View Post
Hey Guys,


I am always surprised that it seems Whitetail Deer prefer to be somewhat close to roads. It seems it doesn't matter how nice the terrain, water sources and protection might be deep in the forest, the further back in you get the less deer you tend to see. I can't figure out why. I have a bit of a better idea of how to hunt the area because of your tips and also just being there and seeing it, but I don't really know how to hunt big cut blocks? Growing up it seems I remember videos of guys hunting northern Alberta and massive deer would be passing through rough cut blocks and almost swampy areas.

So 1 tag is gone, now I get to explore another zone or two!
I mainly hunt 350, and there are plenty of deer here, but they act totally different than farm deer. They also act somewhat different than they did a decade or so ago, before the wolf population got so high.

Just a couple points, deer can be found off the road, WAYYY off of the road if you want. Deer don't like roads, I've tracked deer that did practically everything in their power to NOT cross a road, they like edges and they like ridges. IMO water isn't a big draw in much of 350... its everywhere. If you have edges and ridges in close proximity then finding deer is relatively easy. If one of these two elements is lacking then you need to be a lot smarter/ luckier and cover a lot more fruitless miles to find good concentrations of sign.

As for cutblocks and pretty much any other sizeable opening, I pretty much ignore the sign I find directly on them, it is almost entirely made at night. Hunting clearings might turn up the odd deer, but for every buck that crosses a cutblock in broad daylight there are 10 others that skirt it, so those are the bucks I concentrate on. This isn't to say that cutblocks are without value, they create edges, and if one can safely assume that deer don't want to cross these huge tracts of land during the day... that can offer a very good clue as to where they are actually traveling.

The deer my wife shot in the "This is bush hunting" thread was taken in 350... probably almost on the same day that you were hunting 350, we saw 3 bucks that weekend and over a half dozen does, none of them were viewed from the truck or the road. If you go through that thread you might find some useful information throughout it.

PS. Don't take any of this the wrong way, I admire a guy who drives all the way from Canmore to hike around these Boreal foothills chasing some of the smartest deer on the planet. Just trying to help make your future explorations more fruitful. Hopefully you come back and give the Swan Hills another shot as they can be pure magic once you figure out what you are doing.
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Last edited by Bushleague; 10-15-2018 at 01:01 PM.
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