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Ridges vs Bottoms

1,717
379
37
Central Ohio
#1
Wanted to get a few opinions on hunting ridges versus bottoms in the steep remote areas with no real ag fields around for obvious feeding areas. I’ve always heard that the bucks like to run the ridges looking for does but have also heard of a lot of nice deer being killed out of thick, brushy creek bottoms. The area I’m hunting this year is pretty much a large tract of unbroken hilly wooded terrain. I’ve identified a pinch point on a bench and and a nice creek bottom where 3 points come together and set a stand at each location. Camera over the summer showed some decent traffic at each location so I’m hoping that continues and when the does start coming into heat the bucks will be in tow. I’m not baiting at either location, just trying to do it old school based on terrain, sign, etc. Only thing I did was put out some minerals which are long gone. Thanks and look forward to hearing your opinions!
 

angelzd28

Junior Member
816
95
31
Tuscarawas County
#2
I personally like to hunt ridge tops as Ive had more success seeing and shooting mature bucks there. Like you I mostly hunt hilly timber areas with no AG fields. I've found the early season hard going because of this, but during pre rut and the rut I find pinch points and funnels on top of ridges or just off of them is killer during prime time breeding season. Good luck either way!
 

bowhunter1023

Administrator
Staff member
Site Admin
40,404
2,293
169
Appalachia
#3
I'd rather hunt off the ridge spine in a saddle or bowl than directly atop of the ridge itself. And I love a good brushy creek bottom, especially when a finger noses down in it and I can hunt a bench just above it.
 
Likes: at1010

Dannmann801

Senior Member
Supporting Member
8,555
245
91
Springboro
#4
I like to identify deer trails running parallel to ridge tops, and set up on the ground in a heavily brushed in hidey-hole next to a tree that I can lean up against, about 10-15 yards above the trail.
The best place is where a trail takes a sharp turn around a hill.
The steeper the better; you’re on the ground but it’s like being in a treestand.
 

giles

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
15,865
3,865
108
Lost
#8
I’ve found that each property is different depending on human pressure. Those deer know how to sneak around away from people, so I do the opposite of what others are doing.
 

Buckeye79

Junior Member
19
6
0
NE Ohio
#10
If you come to our area in North east Ohio we don't have terrain so it takes that out of the equation. I do agree with the statement on thermals. I personally don't focus as much on high and low as I do the obvious fresh sign.
 

OhioWhiteTails

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
3,384
756
88
Flatlands
#11
I Like to hunt saddles when I'm down in hill country or in VA. I like finding a saddle where numerous ridges meet and plain out, the more the better. Acorn flats in between the thick and nasty are also a go TOO.
 
#13
Thanks for all the good advice! I really appreciate the opinions and will definitely be incorporating them into to trying to figure out this new property. Deer hunting for me is largely a self taught endeavor as I wasn’t raised doing it so having all you guys’ years of wisdom is an invaluable resource. I’ve been studying the heck out of topo maps which at times has been maddening but the more I study them, the more I start to notice little spots that look promising. The fog is beginning to clear a bit lol!
 

Quantum673

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
3,045
398
75
Jamestown, OH
#16
This is the kind of stuff I like seeing discussed.

If anyone has any links to references on "thermals" or wishes to explain in detail, I'd sure like to see that.
I will look for a good article I read a few times.

The general principle is that in the morning as the sun shines on the ground the air begins to warm. Warmer air rises. That carries scent from the low areas up.
In the evening as the sun go down the air begins to cool. The cool air drops and carries scent to the lower areas.
 

Carpn

*Supporting Member*
2,022
236
76
Wooster
#18
The wind is rarely gonna be good down in the bottom between to big ridges . Your wind is gonna either blow down the valley or up the valley effectively allowing 50% of the deer traveling up or down the bottom to wind you . For this reason I avoid hunting the bottom of the valley between two ridges .

If it's a broad Creek bottom type environment or a bottom in a rolling section of Ohio that's a diff scenario and it can be effective .

I don't think you can say to just hunt the bottom or just hunt the ridge top. Entry and exit play the biggest role in success , but you gotta have the right wind direction ...and that holds true if your on a ridge , flat land , or in a bottom