How To Scout And Hunt Deer In Hills

Your complete guide for scouting, planning and hunting deer in hills and thermals…

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Now how many of you hunt in Hills Hill Countries whitetails and Hills There's probably more out there than you Might realize you look at the majority Of Wisconsin has Hills Majority of Pennsylvania There's a lot of states that you could Throw into this mix that have Hills of Some type and I'm talking 20 30 foot Elevation changes on a property 40 acres In size or larger where you have to deal With thermals and hills and how deer Move through Hills count yourself Blessed if you hunt in Hill Country What I found is everything being equal Hills push up push-up age structure Separates Hunters separates deer allows A mature Buck to get into some flat Somewhere back in the hill and truly age Because he's protected from Hunters if 100 comes over the top of the ridge you Spookum they come up from the bottom They spook them I began hunting in Hills In Pennsylvania in 1993 a long time ago And over there they had seven to eight Hundred foot changes in elevation and And you know for a kid coming out of Michigan flat land is 23 years old it Was certainly a learning car but it was Fun because I found I can find this Little Hollow that you just sit on a Ridge top and watch and you're two in Two hours from the car and uh you can Sit back there and you have this place

To yourself you know that intrigued me Right off the bat because I could put Some effort into it and get way back There away from other hunters and again Separating Hunters to the point where You know those guys out in Pennsylvania Deer camp they would walk all day and Still hunt you know nothing wrong with That and there's a lot of deer back in Those days there's nothing to see 30 40 Deer come through the hollow and one one Herd a couple little spikes four point There's so many deer it's hard to even Get a shot but I actually would hunt to Where I'd sit and you know coming from Michigan that's what we did we had small Properties we couldn't just move all Over the place it wasn't long before you Crossed another fence throwing another Fence rolling around three neighbors Over now so I sat Until Dark It was over two hours back to the truck So I had to walk all the way back I'm pulling in to camp and they're Coming out in the driveway with a car Load of guys to come look for me because Here's this flatlander from Michigan Obviously I'm dead out there somewhere I'm lost they just hunted different They'd already had dinner completed the Dishes and they were all geared up ready To come find me So that was my first introduction to Hills and boy you know I'm hunting on

This side of the hollow and I'm spooking Deer over there even though the wind's My face I didn't understand it all but I Like to study things like that it Doesn't matter in life and anything you Always ask yourself why you can't just Take a face value that if you do this This happens understand why when you do This this happens and now you actually Truly learn and that's the same with Wind and thermals So I like Hunting Hills it's a huge Advantage Structure you mix Hills with ag land and Boy you know recipe for great bucks and Great deer herds I'm gonna start just Number one first point here really Important understand is thermals go up In the morning they go down in the Evening but that's not equal see Thermals change with the temperature So if the temperature continues to climb At Daybreak meaning when the sun comes Up that's when the temperatures go up a Lot of times at Daybreak before the Sun's up that's the coldest time of the Day thermals are still just hanging low You can saturate the ground below you as Soon as the sun pops up and the Temperature goes up those thermals go Uphill and that temperature might be Going up till two three in the afternoon So if you're on a Ridge Top those Thermals will continue to climb until

That time when they level off Then when they level off you'll Experience more the true wind if you Don't have any Earth in the way or soil To wrap that around Which we'll talk about down here in in Saddles and points and ridges Then the evening thermals go down Unfortunately a lot of people go to a Stand location they have three hours to Sit in the afternoon and they think well It's going to go downhill the whole time It's afternoon it's not the case folks They go downhill for when the Temperature is changing which doesn't Take place so sometime during the last Hour typically unless there's a front Coming through just normal progression Of daytime temperatures you can expect Those thermals go downhill for the last 45 minutes half hour maybe an hour at The most but what do you do for the Other hours of the city you have to plan Accordingly for those but those just Some general information on thermals I Love Hills and thermal Soul mat so much That my fourth web class you've created That's coming out around right now is Our Hills and thermal web class there's A lot of detail in there we have about 18 videos It's very lengthy and it's meant for you That are Hunting Hills where clients Don't understand the hills and thermals

To the point where they just they just Go home you know and and you're missing So much opportunity and part of that's Because you can cheat the wind so we'll Talk about that but in the web class I Go over all these different details There's so much to hunting and hills and Thermals hope you guys can check it out If not you know I have a hills and Thermal uh playlist that you can check Out for free so if you want great detail Then check out the web class it go Through a progression of how to read This we actually go from stand to stand To stand location and actually Illustrate those on the board with Drone Footage with huntwise mapping so we can Look at a lot of different ways for you To understand why the wind's moving in a Certain direction so you can apply it to Your own hunt because this stuff is Pretty black and white for the most part We try to take a lot of the gray out and Make it more defined for you in that web Class so check it out the links in the Description but again you can cheat to Win that's what's the great advantage of Hunting and Hills how do you do that Here's a ridge system right here coming Down Wind is going that way the true wind The wind forecast let's say it's out of The West That means if you have a deer on a bench

Down here that is traveling in this this Area right here and you have a stand Location right here then when that wind Comes over even though this is a true Direction it's going to the left and Come back uphill So now you can hunt with the wind at Your back You can also hunt if the wind's coming This way obviously So you can a lot of times hunt 180 Degrees in the same stand location which Isn't possible without those Hills Without those thermals taking place so In the morning thermal's going up now in The evening if you're seeing that stand It spills down below Unless you have a strong wind in your Face so you have to know the difference Between morning and evening but you can Really cheat the wind and if the wind's Coming at an angle If that wind is coming over my left Shoulder Then it's going to tail back uphill to The right it's coming over my right Shoulder with my back to the upper Elevation it's coming over my right Shoulder then it's going to tail up to The left so if you have a bedding area Over that way you better make sure the Wind's not coming this way or it's going To hit that bedding area 200 yards over There eventually so all those things we

Go over in the web class of course but Just know that you can cheat to win you Can't do that on flat ground if the Wind's in your face it's in your face Now there's sometimes if there's Conifer Thickets if there's berms Ditches that might move the wind a Little bit Especially the Conifer but for the most Part The wind is what you what you have what The forecast is so you don't get to Cheat it which stinks because there's a Lot of times in the morning we can hunt Certain stands and know that we can get Away with a lot in the morning that's How I shoot a lot of my bucks I just Have to be above them pretty simple tip Evening it's a little bit more complex Because again you have to account for The wind is dropping the last 45 minutes But it's not the first two to three Hours of the set so you really have to Take that into account Flats rule what Do I mean by that is we're gear bad We're bucks bad in general and we're at A Buck's bed by the way we actually have A whole class on this pretty easy if Food's at the top the bed or the bottom The food's at the bottom they bet Towards the top don't let anyone ever Tell you they bed in the top third of The top 20 percent the military Crest All these fancy terms or guidelines

Throw them out the window if there's Food high the bed low if there's food Low they bet high if there's food high And low they bet in the middle if There's enough room left over If there's enough thick cover it's a Pretty black and white on that But They're going to bend a flat they're not Betting on that steep angle do you move On Flats they bet on Flats so when you Take all that steep area out of the Equation it really Narrows down exactly Where deer are going to move they're Going to move on Flats a lot of times They're moving on the top of the ditch Where there's a flat They're moving across Saddles which is a Low point in a ridge they're moving Around points on a flat or a bench that Extends around That point And then they're moving along Ridge Lines on a bench on the side of the Ridge using not right on the very top But they focus on Flats when you put it All together you can look at public land On a topo and say they're going to move From this flat to this flat to this flat They're going to go from this flat and This point to this flat and they're Going to follow this big bench that Wraps around the inside of a hollow to Get there

So you can pretty much look at a topo Map and so yeah they're going to use These Flats where those Topo lines are Further apart that's where there's a Bench that's where there's a flat Where they're tighter together that's Where there's a steep area within that So you can really really dictate in Hill Country not only can cheat to win but You can say hey this 70 of the land the Deer aren't going to live in or move in Regularly Because it's too steep focus on those Flats South facing food go out on public land Just about any south-facing slope Has a higher diversity of habitat more Regeneration more stem count which Equals more food and diversity of food a Lot of times you find sheds on the South-facing slope not because deer are Bedding they're soaking up the sun like We like to on a beach they're there Because there's a higher percentage of Food than the North facing slope that's Shaded out but rest assured if the South Winds which are usually the stable winds In your area meaning they're 35 winds Southerly in some way If you just had a temperature drop from 25 down to 12 12 degrees and the next Day it's 14 the next day it's 17 degrees And you have 20 mile an hour winds Coming out of the South because it's

Beginning to warm up those deer are not Going to sit on that south-facing slope No matter how much sun there is because They're exposed to the wind they Actually go on the Shady Side to bed Even if they go back on the south side To actually feed and move around under The cover of Darkness So never think well they're betting on That salt-facing slope or I have to hunt That there might be more food there and That especially applies for public land But they need to get all the wind during The winter time especially those cold Months in November December January That's why I say not bedding there's so Many other uh details that come into Bedding meaning food Dough betting then Buck betting that can Happen in any direction North or South We find a lot of our best bedding areas That I know of personally are North Facing just happens to be that way but We know some outstanding North facing Bedding areas just simply because They're left alone and it's adjacent to Food and there's those up top or down Below to give you that pattern of food Doze and then box and it doesn't matter If it's up and down north south east West if you have those conditions taking Place and you have adequate bedding Cover then you can follow that system Pretty easily for wear box bed finally

Ditches Saddles points ridges always Remember That the wind moves through The terrain Similar to water So think about that evening if your Wind's blowing side hell side across the Hill going down an angle and then it Hits a draw or a ditch that goes down It's going to follow that you can count On that so if deer are coming up that Ditch 100 yards down and they're Crossing out in front of you You could literally be facing this way It's downhill to my left You're expecting to shoot deer on this Flat right here they're Crossing that Ditch that ditch is behind me starts 50 Yards and goes downhill my scent is Blowing behind me into that ditch deer Crossing 100 yards down that way my Son's going this way but guess what You're blowing those deer out 100 yards Down because the wind's coming this way In the evening it hits that ditch and Then it follows the ditch downhill like Water would and Spooks those deer 100 Yards so I'm having wind in my face here And I'm blowing out deer there and I Don't know why it's because it's Following that ditch line it follows Hills it follows soil when it hits that Soil it spins it does all kinds of Things that's why I talk about true wind

You know if you're if you're on a ridge System that Ridge is going down like This you're hunting up here above the Soil then you get true wind whatever Direction that wind is coming from or Going to it's going to be true up there However if you're sitting right here Below the crust Now in the morning it's going to tail Back up If it's coming up hill in the evening But it doesn't have a lot of power it's Only one two miles an hour then it's Going to stay back and go back downhill So you really have to know these details But the cool thing is If you learn it one spot you can apply It to another so always remember when You're hunting hunt Flats hump those Movements the deer are going to be in The flats they're going to bed in the Flats they're going to move in the flats Always remember that The Thermals can go Uphill it will stay up and larger above The deer in the morning you're probably Safe to one two three in the afternoon And remember if you're counting on Evening thermals you can only count on For the last 45 minutes of daylight if You remember those basic things that'll Get you in the right direction there's a Whole lot more details again I urge you To check out our web class for honeys Hills and thermals it's a huge Advantage

For you and that's why a lot of the best Whitetail states in the country In the best counties in the country are Specifically located in areas with a lot Of Hills you know when you look at Eastern Ohio incredible Place Southern Ohio Anywhere from 100 to 300 to 400 foot Changes in elevation get into West Virginia Kentucky outstanding areas Western Illinois versus Eastern Illinois Southern Indiana versus Northern Indiana Western Wisconsin versus Eastern Wisconsin now I'm not saying there's not Other good locations in these spots for Example Western Wisconsin being better Than Eastern there's some outstanding Bucks to the east the point is we're Getting the hills and push to age truck Shop separates deer separates deer from Hunters and your potential is higher no Different than southeast Minnesota Eastern Iowa And all the way down the line back and Forth we get those Hills we find Hills You find great Welter Whitetail herd you Find ways to cheat the wind and you can Really hone in on your success and learn These traits of how wind moves and hills And thermals how deer move in Hills and Uh outstanding way to take advantage of Great Whitetail areas and everything Being equal I always choose to hunt in Hills it's really an advantage for you

It's just have to learn how to do it It's not a guessing game you just have To learn these details So I hope this makes sense to you again I urge you check out the web class or Just my Hills and thermal playlist if You want it all for free we'll go into a Lot more detail on the web class and a Lot more illustration but uh thanks Again for watching to the end I Appreciate you guys appreciate the Comments the feedback down below and Hack most of our huntings in Hills and Thermals around here so we get to do This stuff all the time playing for it And if you plan With the right strategies and tips in The right direction with hills Hill Country it'll set yourself apart from Your neighbors you'll be able to build a Good herd and uh and certainly enjoy Your passion like we do of Whitetail Hunter hunting to an even higher level This fall and Beyond

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