Similar to people, bucks have their own individual personality. Some of them have poor attitudes, while others are difficult to get riled up. Some of them are lovers and set on breeding, while others like to hold back and hardly ever get in on the festivities. Then there are some bucks that are just downright cowards. Regardless of their differences, though, most mature bucks have a lot in common with one another.
They’re Slaves to Their Appetites
Food is and will always be king. If you want to know where you can always count on finding deer, then it is going to be near a reliable food source. This is a useful and effective rule, assuming that you take the time to do your research. With food source in mind, do some scouting and watch for what the deer ear consuming and when they are most hungry for it. What is most popular this week? Waste grain? Green soybeans? Natural browse? Soft mast? Hard mast? At different times, various food sources will attract deer and peak, and various food-related changes will happen throughout the hunting season, so it is imperative that your focus shifts accordingly.
Leg Up: Use a map to mark your mast-bearing trees. Locate other agricultural and natural browse food sources as well. Maintain a record of when these foods are peaking and use these guidelines to hunt.
They Have to Drink Water
Did you know that an average 200-pound buck will consume roughly three to five quarters of water each day, depending on the water intake from its food and the air temperature? Bucks tend to bed near a water source. They will also commonly detour to take a drink prior to eating every night.
Leg Up: Deer don’t normally drink from rivers or lakes. When they need a drink quickly, they don’t mind taking a sip from a small stream, mud puddle, or whatever they can find. So, find small and secluded sources of water near key bedding areas, especially in warmer weather, and hunt there.
They Choose Their Beds Carefully
While bucks may not be too picky about their source of drinking water, this is not the case regarding their bedding cover. Terrain comes into play here, as deer like to sleep in concealed areas with their backs up against a fallen log, hill, or some kind of secure feature. Deer also prefer to face the wind and keep an eye on their back trail.
Leg Up: When you’re in hill country, you should expect for deer to sleep on the upper half of ridges, generally on the downwind side. When you are on flatter terrain, they will likely place terrain features like a water source at their backs. Other hotspots are areas that offer pockets of cover with wind and visual advantages.
They Gain Confidence as They Age
Deer that are roughly six and a half and older tend to fall into more fixed practices as they get older. Oftentimes, they appear more confidence and will be on the move during the daylight more than they did just a year or two prior.
Leg Up: If you notice that a mature buck is showing up during the daylight, as soon as the conditions allow, hunt him. The buck’s patterns could potentially change if you hold off, so a premeditated decision is a must.
They Are All on the Move During the Day
Deer don’t sleep all throughout the day. Deer are indeed crepuscular animals, meaning they tend to be most lively at nightfall. They may move 50 yards, 500 yards, or somewhere in between, but they will move at some point throughout permitted shooting hours. It is up to you to decide where they are sleeping, how far they are moving, and where you should intercept them to get the best advantage.
Leg Up: Locate food sources near bedding areas that may work as a double-duty staging location. Generally, these areas are small patches of natural browse or mast within about 100 yards of the bedding area. Locate a decent entry route to the stand and make sure that you’re set up downside of the staging area.
They Make Use of the Wind
Believe it or not, deer do not always walk so that the wind is directly in their face. However, they will use it so that it is in their favor 100 percent of the time. For instance, deer tend to enter/exit fields from the lowest possible point. Why is this? Regardless of the direction of the wind, thermals will pull the air and the scent down when the sun sets and then push it up when the sun rises. When it comes to monitoring shifting winds, the best place to be is low areas.
Leg Up: To ensure that you are able to choose your entry routes, exit routes, and stand placement, you must be familiar with how bucks rely on the wind. Visualize the entire setup by using a map and plotting the potential bedding areas and then mark the direction of the wind. Consider actual winds, prevailing winds, and thermals. Keep in mind that the direction of the wind is influenced by numerous aspects on a micro scale, including how the wind blows around a ridge, through a hollow, and more. Don’t take the weatherperson’s word. Your favorite weather app may say that there is a flawless northwest wind, but that doesn’t mean that there will be one once you get to your treestand.
If you would like to learn more, get in touch with us at Full Draw Archery.