Don't Overlook Small Wood Lots

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The hunters eyes bugged out of this head!

Seventy yards away, a 180 class buck had just stood up from the undergrowth!

Well out of bow range, the hunter was powerless to shoot.

Over the course of the next three days, the buck was sighted two more times.

Three times in three days... and a buck of mammoth proportions, even by Midwest standards.

Deep in the biggest and nastiest part of the forest, you might guess?

Nope - this hunter has some medical issues and walks with a cane. He was about 300 yards from the camp and was hunting a piece of woods that were less than 2 acres.


Yes, two acres. Right beside a paved road.  

There was a small water hole hidden in the woods and some small interconnecting fence lines. Look at the attached image - that buck was literally living in this small section of woods shown where the push pin is.

I was stunned as he related his tales of hunting there. He saw not only that giant buck but several other bucks, as well. He stated the area was loaded with beds, rubs and scrapes.

I suggest that we walk past many good bucks in our attempts to get way back in the big woods - and that we are letting some of the best hunting pass us by!

Get out there and scout these small blocks of woods - particularly if they have water, heavy cover and a good travel path to and from the area.

Look for bedding areas, heavy trails coming and going and also look for rutting activity, if the months are appropriate for scrapes and rubs.

We may just find some superior hunting ground that is a lot easier to access than being a mile or more down in the woods!


ManOfTheFall's picture

Great tip. You are absouletly

Great tip. You are absouletly right about this one. I have heard so many stories of monster bucks living in small plots of woods. One other area you don't want to overlook is suburban housing developments. If you can legally hunt these areas they hold some huge monster bucks in them. My favorite area to hunt is a rural housing development. The homes aren't very close and there are AG fields, hardwoods, plenty of water, and alot of cover mixed inbetween these rich homes. I regularly see 50 or more deer in these fields on a nightly basis. Most people don't bother hunting in these area's and they are usually loaded with deer. Thanks for sharing.  

hunter25's picture

Good advice here. I have

Good advice here. I have found a spot on public land that over the course of several years has produced a few bucks for us. This spot is within sight of a parking area on public land and only 100 yards from the trail. A 50 yard patch of oak brush all by itself that the deer will hide in and watch a dozen hunters walk by them everyday because it's just too close to the road.

Don't overlook anything or they will surprise you every time.

groovy mike's picture


Notice that this is not entirely an isolated woodlot.  Ohh sure it is in the open - but it is connected by a neck of trees and cover to a larger woodlot.  This buck need not expose himself on teh open ground to reach or exit his hidy hole!

But just imagine if you put your tree stand in that thin neck of woods leading to and from the haven!

THAT is teh place to be my friends

steven_seamann's picture

im not shocked at this i have

im not shocked at this i have seen moster deer ii random patchs of trees in feilds then in nebraska one of the biggest shot in nebraska was shot on less then 5 acres.

CVC's picture

In my youth, had you asked me

In my youth, had you asked me what type of habitat is ideal for white tail, I probably would have said lots of timber.  You know and I now know that is wrong.  There are more deer today then when the settlers first arrived.  I have read the reason for this is not just deer management, but because we have removed so much of the timber that used to exist. 

As you aptly pointed out, deer do not need a lot of timber.  They need some, but really need open fields to go along with it.

Thanks for the great reminder and hunting tip.