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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am impressed with the Hardcore Pusuit Team on the Sportsman channel. Year in, year out they tag mature Big Woods Bucks in the Upper Penninsula, Northern Wisconsin, Minnesota. I have been hunting EUP between Curtis and Newberry the past 5-seasons. We can't seem to see on trail cams or get an opportunity above a 2.5 YO Buck? Heading up to EUP Sept 18th-20th on a scouting mission, any suggestions for finding older deer in the UP BIG WOODS? I am thinking about trying no bait, I am just thinking it attracts too many wolves? Or maybe just a 10-gallon bucket feeder just enough to attract deer to stop by and check it out. We have been huntin both private and public lands, going back in as far as we can with Ranger 4x4 then walk it in a 1/2 mile. Been targeting hardwood ridges surrounded by cedar swamps. Thanks Mike
 

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Grizz is right on. Head to the west end. You might not see many but the chances are much higher for a mature buck if you put in the time and learn the terrain and the deer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was afraid of that, just hard to do when your good buddy bought 40-acres, has a fully functional comfortable camp to stay at with a Polaris Ranger, turn key operation. Just always thinking what can I do different for continous improvement? Thought I would access the wealth of knowledge the membership of this site has to get some advice. In 2009 the largest Buck harvested in Mi came from the cedar swamp we are hunting on the edge of Mackinac and Luce county. So it's possible some animals can make it to maturity and grow big antlers. I have a buddy at work who hunts the WUP near Marenesco and WI border, he claims the winter kill and deer numbers decline is so bad last 5-years, they will NOT be doing a week long rifle camp there this year, first time in 20+ years. If anyone has any advice I am listening, appreciate it.
 

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ImageUploadedByOhub Campfire1441633374.689527.jpg


I apologize in advance if this pic comes off as bragging.

I've shot 2 bucks in the EUP, the largest one of the two is the farthest left in the wall of 5, the other was a 6 pt (last year).

I've shot about 23 bucks in the WUP. My 4 best are in this pic. (The center buck is my son's.)

This might explain why I prefer the WUP.

PS-My son's buck was the only one shot over bait (during a migration) last year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Grizzly Hunter,

Those are nice Mature Bucks harvested any where! Congrats!! If you do not mind me asking, do you mostly hunt Private or Public Land in the U.P. to harvest those bucks? If private, are you in farmland areas? We are mostly hunting BIG Woods areas with a lot of active lumbering operations, you would think these selective and clear cuts would create browse and thick areas, the local deer would like. My buddy hunts WUP camp near WI border Marenesco, for over 20-years, they have never seen/harvested anything like the class of your bucks, maybe a 120 class on trail cam, very rare.

Thanks for the advice.

Mike
 

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Grizzly Hunter,

Those are nice Mature Bucks harvested any where! Congrats!! If you do not mind me asking, do you mostly hunt Private or Public Land in the U.P. to harvest those bucks? If private, are you in farmland areas? We are mostly hunting BIG Woods areas with a lot of active lumbering operations, you would think these selective and clear cuts would create browse and thick areas, the local deer would like. My buddy hunts WUP camp near WI border Marenesco, for over 20-years, they have never seen/harvested anything like the class of your bucks, maybe a 120 class on trail cam, very rare.

Thanks for the advice.

Mike
Thanx for the compliment. No problem with you asking...all of them were taken on Public Land hunting the Big Woods. There isn't a field (agricultural or otherwise) for miles as the crow flies in any direction. It's tough hunting and you don't usually see many deer. But...we all know that you always have that chance of seeing a nice wall-hanger. The bucks in my pic all range from 3-1/2 to 6-1/2 years old.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Grizzly Man,

Did you know those Bigger deer were in the area? Had you seen them, trail cam pics, BIG Sign like scrapes and rubs? When you look for a new area to scout out, do you use Bing or Google Map aerial photos? What do you look for edges where various habitats come together? Get way back in where one can only walk-in, no 4x4 trucks or quads can go?? Heading up north in 2-weeks to scout out a couple areas for this Nov., looking to narrow down the scope and focus in on areas with best potential.

Thanks,

Mike
 

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Grizzly Man,

Did you know those Bigger deer were in the area? Had you seen them, trail cam pics, BIG Sign like scrapes and rubs? When you look for a new area to scout out, do you use Bing or Google Map aerial photos? What do you look for edges where various habitats come together? Get way back in where one can only walk-in, no 4x4 trucks or quads can go?? Heading up north in 2-weeks to scout out a couple areas for this Nov., looking to narrow down the scope and focus in on areas with best potential.

Thanks,

Mike
Mike,

We do see some good sign like rubs and scrapes. But we don't use game cams. We've hunted this area for 30 years. We used to use topo maps before we became so intimately familiar with the area. Now the topo maps are just in our head. We do have topos for the younger hunters though. We hunt an area up to 2,000 acres of public land. We are WAY back in. Access is by quads only or walk in. It's about 3 miles from where we park the trucks. We hunt breaks in terrain, and changes in habitat edges. We have 250 feet of elevation change, and most of my bucks have been taken along the edges of the ridges while still hunting. It took me years to learn the area, learn the deer, and learn to still hunt...and I'm still learning more every year I hunt there.

I'm pretty sure the two biggest bucks were just passing through the area looking for does. The big bucks in the big woods seem to cover a lot of ground looking for a date.

Good luck scouting, and hunting this fall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Grizzly Man,

Thanks for the advice. We really prefer the bow hunting over the rifle, however this does limit us, we like to have stands up in funnel areas before the season shooting lanes cut. Then we are sitting hoping the deer move through the area. The still hunting approach your actively scouting, if you find hot sign, you have set-up over it real-time is an advantage. Heading up to camp on scouting mission Sept 18th-20th, found some areas of interest on the aerial photos will start there logging them into my GPS, also know a forestry person who works for the DNR up there, they have a spot they are lumbering where they have seen a good buck 4-times I am going to check out.

Thanks,

Mike
 
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