Ask The Biologist

Old Bucks, No New Tricks

Old Bucks, No New Tricks

By Bob Humphrey

Like an old dog, it’s just about impossible to get a big old buck to change his ways.

QUESTION: How can I change the pattern of big bucks traveling at night? — Gary from N.J.

ANSWER: My knee-jerk reaction would be to put something in their way so they have to go around it, but I suspect that’s not the answer you’re looking for.

You, like so many folks who send questions to us, would like to see more daytime activity. The bad news is there really isn’t much you can do to increase daytime deer movement. In fact, just about anything you do that increases your presence in the woods will have the opposite effect.

About the only thing you can do is wait. As the days grow shorter in the fall, daytime deer movement increases. Deer need to feed more to lay on winter fat. Then the rut kicks in and, for a brief, magical period, bucks sometimes drop their guard while the sun is up.

Food plots might help, particularly during the post-rut, late season. Then, bucks depleted by the rut must work extra hard to restore lost fat and energy reserves. When that happens, they’re more inclined to show themselves in daylight — provided you haven’t over-hunted your plots earlier in the season.

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Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2015 by Buckmasters, Ltd