Hunting public land near private agricultural land

Ghostmoney

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
126
Location
Oregon
Hunting a unit this year for mule deer that I have hunted a few years now for Elk and after a couple scouting trips I have found a 12 mile long ridgeline that is very steep, but has no road access above, but does have private land with small alfalfa fields and a road at the bottom. In a couple days of scouting other areas I have seen 2 bucks (not shooters) and 12 does/fawns, but on this stretch of area in one evening I counted 36 bucks with 10 being 4point or better. I would assume they are feeding down from the ridgeline into these fields then going back up at daylight.

I am thinking of backpacking into this ridgeline and hunting these draws that feed down into the farm land. South facing slopes are open and north facing slopes have trees and some cover. Are these deer likely working their way up this high from the fields (3/4 of mile from ridgetop to fields as crow flies) and bedding down in the cover on the north slopes? or would they stay closer to the safety of the fields? I am thinking my best bet is to find a spot to glass from on the south facing slopes and watch the north facing slopes waiting for the deer to work their way up.
 

codyadams

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Joined
Jan 7, 2015
Messages
3,498
Location
Southwest Wyoming
From what I have seen, I would do exactly what your saying, put in a scouting trip along that ridgeline, maybe out each of those ridges heading towards private, and glass those canyons. If your seeing that many bucks, there is a nice one in there that calls it home. Remember the bigger bucks are mostly nocturnal, try to time your scouting trip when there isn't much moon, so you will have the best chance of them being out at last light.
 

Ghostmoney

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
126
Location
Oregon
I’ll be in the area for 11 days for bow elk season and will make sure to spend a few days in there glassing morning and evening hoping to find a large mature deer. Timing should be the perfect with the moon phases.

From what I have seen, I would do exactly what your saying, put in a scouting trip along that ridgeline, maybe out each of those ridges heading towards private, and glass those canyons. If your seeing that many bucks, there is a nice one in there that calls it home. Remember the bigger bucks are mostly nocturnal, try to time your scouting trip when there isn't much moon, so you will have the best chance of them being out at last light.
 

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