Harvest Big Bucks by Targeting Thickets

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Oftentimes, some of the most memorable, and rewarding whitetail experiences happen far from the trail, and deep in the woods.  They happen in the places that people have trouble finding, but deer love embracing. They happen in the heart of the deep forest.  And those thick, dense, vegetation-filled woods are calling your name.

The idea of shooting a big buck far from any trail, and deep into the brushy land of the woods can be difficult.  Getting back to your spot can be challenging, your vision can be much different, and there are oftentimes many obstacles that are in your way of a perfect, clear shot.  However, it is worth it. The most distant and most secluded areas through the woods are where your chances for landing a whitetail are often best. Armed with the following knowledge and tips we are about to provide you with, you won’t want to hunt anywhere but the thickets that these big bucks call home.

First let’s go over, what a thicket actually is.

Characteristics of Thickets

Understanding what a thicket is and the reasoning behind why deer love thickets will help you enhance your hunt to the best of your ability. If you can comprehend why deer like to bed in thickets, then you will understand why hunting there will optimize your chances for success.

A thicket is defined as a dense growth of shrubbery and/or small trees.  Usually, this vegetation is growing very closely together, making it a more challenging place to navigate and difficult to see far distances.  Thickets are often dominated by only a few species, and in some cases, only one.

Usually dominated by large pine trees and a lot of brush, thickets are evergreen, giving you a lot of protection and coverage to blend in easily.  Deer love the thickets of the woods due to the fact that it is abundant in the vegetation the generally eat (berries, pine needles, leaves, etc.)

How to Plot Your Stand in Thickets

Now that you understand why a thicket is important to locating big bucks, it is important that you properly plot your stands.  Again, it is important to think like a deer, and take into consideration visibility. Generally speaking, plotting your stand along the borders, gaps, and ridges of thickets will give you the best chances of landing the big buck on your trail cam. This will not only ensure that your visibility and shooting lanes are as clear as they possibly can be, but also that there is still a lot of surrounding vegetation, because after all, that is what big bucks like.  Look for thickets that have a lot of scrapes, rubs, and bedding areas and then mark it on your HuntWise map for later.

Now that you understand the ins-and-outs of thickets, and how to properly plot your stands, it is important you master the approach during the hunt.

How to Approach Thickets During a Hunt

It’s no secret that approaching a hunt is one of the most exhilarating feelings - besides landing that big buck you’ve been chasing. It is the moment that we have been waiting for as hunters.  It is the moment that we have been preparing for all season long. And that is why, sometimes, it is hard to approach are stands at the crack of dawn in a quiet manner. The excitement has been in our minds for some time now, but, we must contain it. Especially when hunting in the thickets.

Due to the fact that thickets provide so much coverage with the thick growth of brush, pine trees, etc., they also provide a lot of room for noise and for scent disbursement. Therefore, that thick growth within the thickets causes sight to become obstructed, both for the hunter and deer. Therefore, approach your stand before day breaks and give yourself time to do so. This way, you can carefully walk to your stand, making sure that you are as quiet as you can possibly be. There is no worse feeling then being rushed during a morning hunt, and that is why time is very crucial to properly hunting in a thicket.

Also, you will want to make sure you rid of any scent. Although scent it always important, deer use scent and hearing for detecting physical presence of any hunter even more so when they cannot see. Therefore, some hunters make use of the pine-based cover scents for locating the location of deer. In order to deceive deer, when you enter any thicket, crush some young pine needles in your palms and rub the same on your boots, clothes and hands. You can even keep your hunting clothes inside a sealed plastic bag along with some green pine needles.  Anything to keep your scent off of your hunting clothes is going to optimize your chances.

Overall, we want you to be successful and we want you to land the deer that you have been eyeing all season. Therefore, try getting out of your comfort zone, and adventuring into the depths of the woods. We promise you won’t be upset when you score a nice buck and can log it onto your HuntWise app. Good luck hunters, and shoot straight.