Big Bucks Are Big-Time Roamers

Technology has allowed deer hunters to become much more knowledgeable about deer behavior. Through the use of trail cameras and year-round scouting, I’ve been able to document many bucks in our area that illustrate why it is so difficult to stockpile bucks.

 

Here are two examples.
 
Buck 1: In 1996 this buck’s home range was roughly 2 miles from our farm. During summer and into September, a landowner had several encounters with him and was even able to videotape the buck. The buck had disappeared by October.
 
As it turned out, the buck made at least one trip to our farm, which is where our paths crossed. On Nov. 17, he and an estrous doe came within gun range of my tree stand, and I harvested him. I had never seen this buck until we met in November. Had it not been for the rut, I never would have seen this giant, much less had a chance to kill him.
 
Buck 2: Throughout 2001, this buck lived on a large dairy farm, a little over 2 miles from our farm. Several people had seen this buck on that farm throughout summer and early fall. In November, he was still there, and on Nov. 11, a close friend of mine photographed the buck in one of the farm’s fallow fields. After the encounter he called me to share what had happened. I can remember my friend commenting that whoever hunted the farm when gun season opened was going to be in for a treat.
 
Although I knew of this buck, I thought he was living too far from our farm for me to ever get a glimpse of him. I was wrong. On Nov. 20, the second day of our firearm’s season, he walked by my tree stand. That night, many locals gathered in our barn to take a look at the buck. My friend who had photographed the deer nine days before my successful hunt, brought his photos with him to see if it was the same buck. Needless to say, when the photo match was made a lot of discussion took place concerning the amount of territory that buck was covering.
 

Charles Alsheimer is Deer & Deer Hunting’s deer behavior editor.

 

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