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Canyon Hunting Advice #8100891 12/23/20 06:43 PM
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A family member recently purchased a ranch in West Texas that I now have access to hunt banana.. A canyon runs the length of the 1000 acres. I usually hunt the brush of North Texas, so this is a new style of hunting for me.

Do any of y'all have advice as far as how to hunt this type of terrain? Things to do or not to do? Glass the brush from up top? Walk the dry river bed? Will deer bed in the canyon or up top primarily? Also, should my hunting approach differ depending on whether I'm hunting WT or mule deer?

There are currently no feeders on the property, but a small tank where the wildlife tends to congregate.

Any advice is greatly appreciated! I got my mule deer buck for the year so I'm hoping for a WT this week.

Pic for reference:
[Linked Image]

Re: Canyon Hunting Advice [Re: Sauerkraut] #8100907 12/23/20 07:05 PM
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No expert, but I would glass the canyon from above.

Re: Canyon Hunting Advice [Re: Sauerkraut] #8100918 12/23/20 07:15 PM
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Wow brings back memories. We had a lease for many years in the 60s 70s 80s that we called Ft Stockton but it was actually out of Bakersfield. Looked a lot like that country. We had about equal numbers of WT and MD. We never had feeders or stands back then but i would do it different now. We would glass from the ridges and then slowly move to the next ridge and do it again. Just stay out all day doing that. On only 1000 acres you would wear it out pretty quick if you did that real regular. I WOULD FIND VANTAGE POINTS WHERE YOU CAN SEE THE MOST COUNTRY and put feeders that you can hunt from there but still be able to see a lot of country. You can also strategically place other feeders/stands so you see more than one feeder at a time even though its a long ways. Then you can spot and stalk the other feeder or just learn from what you see at the distant feeder(need spotting scope). You can also make a road about anywhere just drivable enough to be able to corn it with a vehicle. Once again do this where it can be seen from a distance from one stand but shootable distance from another. All stand should be setup with spot and stalk at a distance in mind. Anytime you have that kind of country I would primarily always setup where I can see a lot of country and be ready to move. Being able to see a lot of country you will learn a lot about deer activity and movement besides just right where you are. You can adjust over time to what you are seeing. Seeing a lot of country is my favorite way to hunt and is how I hunt mesquite country in NW Tx that has similar topo that you have. I call is S.A.S.S. It stand for Scout, Adjust, Spot, Stalk. The Scout means to scout while you are hunting and learn from it. The Adjust just means to make changes based on what you see and that may mean relocating a stand the next year or moving in a temp tripod for later that year or it may mean getting down right then and going after the deer. The Spot and Stalk just means going after the deer on foot at whatever point you actually see it.
Im getting excited just thinking about it. Good luck and keep us posted on how it goes.

Last edited by freerange; 12/23/20 07:18 PM.

Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Canyon Hunting Advice [Re: freerange] #8100928 12/23/20 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by freerange
Wow brings back memories. We had a lease for many years in the 60s 70s 80s that we called Ft Stockton but it was actually out of Bakersfield. Looked a lot like that country. We had about equal numbers of WT and MD. We never had feeders or stands back then but i would do it different now. We would glass from the ridges and then slowly move to the next ridge and do it again. Just stay out all day doing that. On only 1000 acres you would wear it out pretty quick if you did that real regular. I WOULD FIND VANTAGE POINTS WHERE YOU CAN SEE THE MOST COUNTRY and put feeders that you can hunt from there but still be able to see a lot of country. You can also strategically place other feeders/stands so you see more than one feeder at a time even though its a long ways. Then you can spot and stalk the other feeder or just learn from what you see at the distant feeder(need spotting scope). You can also make a road about anywhere just drivable enough to be able to corn it with a vehicle. Once again do this where it can be seen from a distance from one stand but shootable distance from another. All stand should be setup with spot and stalk at a distance in mind. Anytime you have that kind of country I would primarily always setup where I can see a lot of country and be ready to move. Being able to see a lot of country you will learn a lot about deer activity and movement besides just right where you are. You can adjust over time to what you are seeing. Seeing a lot of country is my favorite way to hunt and is how I hunt mesquite country in NW Tx that has similar topo that you have. I call is S.A.S.S. It stand for Scout, Adjust, Spot, Stalk. The Scout means to scout while you are hunting and learn from it. The Adjust just means to make changes based on what you see and that may mean relocating a stand the next year or moving in a temp tripod for later that year or it may mean getting down right then and going after the deer. The Spot and Stalk just means going after the deer on foot at whatever point you actually see it.
Im getting excited just thinking about it. Good luck and keep us posted on how it goes.


Great advice, thank you. Definitely trying to avoid wearing it out. I think we're going to get some feeders up in the spring...I'll keep this advice in mind. Good news is that I can just about walk the length of the canyon on top (except for a very short section), so I can just move from vantage point to vantage point without disturbing the locals.

Last edited by Sauerkraut; 12/23/20 07:26 PM.
Re: Canyon Hunting Advice [Re: Sauerkraut] #8100980 12/23/20 08:20 PM
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You might keep in mind if you are walking along the top that IF YOU CAN SEE THEM THEY CAN SEE YOU. Thats always good advice wherever you are when hunting. I always ease out to a vantage point staying as undetectable as I can and then ease back out again and go way back off the rim to circle around to the next vantage point and then ease up to it. Im not saying any of this is the best way or the only way but its just how I have done it so take for whatever its worth. A lot of guys(I have too) will not try to be sneaky but will instead throw rocks down into the canyon to try and spook deer that will stay low even though they know you are there. Im not for shooting a running deer so that has its drawbacks. Speaking of which, i would never hunt country like that on the ground without a portable rest of some kind with me.
Others will come on at some point and advise you soon. Some guys hunt a lot of the mountain states and they likely use tactics you could apply. Several guys on here hunt Panhandle and West Tx that will have valuable insights. If you dont mind sharing where you generally are located it may help with advise. Knowing what kind of mix you have between WT and MD would help. They are different creatures but could both be hunted like I said, among other tactics. One of the main differences to consider is that often the way guys hunt country like that is taylored towards big ranches.
Another point, if you have flat areas up top kind of like mesas or if there are any mesquite flats then you could put a stand on that flat mesa and see alot of that flat area cause it probably wont be real thick. It seems those deer will feed up on that flat and move from one ridge to the next across it. Really I better stop cause there are just many ways to hunt out there.


Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Canyon Hunting Advice [Re: Sauerkraut] #8100987 12/23/20 08:25 PM
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One thing I can add, If you are walking rimrock ,, watch out for rattlesnakes on warm winter days. I can testify it is a little unsettling to
look at the base of the rock you are standing on and see dozens of big rattlers sunning. Look before you leap. smile smile


MO



MY BACKYARD , 20,000 ACRES , NO MOWING smile


Re: Canyon Hunting Advice [Re: MO] #8100995 12/23/20 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MO
One thing I can add, If you are walking rimrock ,, watch out for rattlesnakes on warm winter days. I can testify it is a little unsettling to
look at the base of the rock you are standing on and see dozens of big rattlers sunning. Look before you leap. smile smile


MO

Yes!!!!! I was walking along in country like that but it was down in the bottom. Going along slow looking for deer and not at my feet. Came up on a big flat rock about 18" tall and about the size of a big dining room table. I jumped up on the rock I guess for a better view and a big rattler cut loose from on top of the rock with me. I literally jumped off and fired that 06 in the general direction of the rock as I ran for at least 100 yards. Scaredest feeling iver ever had.


Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Canyon Hunting Advice [Re: Sauerkraut] #8101013 12/23/20 08:49 PM
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Some fun hunting. Hunted that country years ago. We’d walk rimrocks and rock the little creases, draws and canyons. Good sling shot also worked well. We also had access to a lot of country to move around and be able to hunt like that.

Re: Canyon Hunting Advice [Re: Sauerkraut] #8101034 12/23/20 09:14 PM
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Don't walk on TOP of the rim, move slowly from spot to spot just below it and use any cover to your advantage. STOP often and glass often. Also DON'T walk the bottom, everything around will spot you. Take your time glassing. You'd be surprised how difficult it is to pick out bedded deer. In the mornings on cool/cold days deer will prefer to bed down on the side of the canyon that is getting the sun, so you'll want to be on the opposite side. The wind is going to be your nemesis. When blowing over the top of a canyon....it tends to makes things swirl below. .


Getting some feeders out will help tremendously. Good luck.

Last edited by flintknapper; 12/23/20 09:14 PM.

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Re: Canyon Hunting Advice [Re: Sauerkraut] #8101216 12/23/20 11:30 PM
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I would set up in one spot and road feed on the way to the spot. Animals learn quickly what the noise of corn coming from a truck/ utv means. They will also tend to not be as shy when they see or hear them.
Good luck

Re: Canyon Hunting Advice [Re: Sauerkraut] #8101463 12/24/20 02:18 AM
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This late in the season I would not do much other than sitting back and glassing from a good easy to get to vantage point. I would try to overlook that small tank. I would probably go in and hand corn around it where I could see it from my vantage point. Do not disturb the area to much other than getting in and out as quick as I could. I would use the vantage point to see how and where deer move and live at. Water is key out in a lot of that country. Corn around will draw them in well.


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Re: Canyon Hunting Advice [Re: stxranchman] #8101520 12/24/20 03:04 AM
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Until I read STx post it never crossed my mind you were looking for THIS YEAR advise. All my advise was geared towards long term hypothetical. If you hunt this year then you only have a few days to do so and your tactics would be different. Good luck.


Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Canyon Hunting Advice [Re: freerange] #8101578 12/24/20 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by freerange
Until I read STx post it never crossed my mind you were looking for THIS YEAR advise. All my advise was geared towards long term hypothetical. If you hunt this year then you only have a few days to do so and your tactics would be different. Good luck.


No worries! Looking for advice for this week and in the future as I should have access for a while.

Re: Canyon Hunting Advice [Re: Sauerkraut] #8101589 12/24/20 03:53 AM
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Rock the canyons and stay quite and put for a few minutes

Re: Canyon Hunting Advice [Re: Sauerkraut] #8101635 12/24/20 04:29 AM
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Any nearby winter wheat or other ag? If so, some of the deer will head that way in the evening.

Also, if there are any nearby feedyards, those can be nighttime deer magnets.

Last edited by Herron; 12/24/20 04:37 AM.
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