For the hunters who chase the dream of harvesting a trophy buck, it usually requires hard work, hunting skill and a little bit of luck.
The process however can be shortened by understanding where to find trophy bucks, and in particular, where their bedding areas are.
Once you have located the bedding area, some further detective work should give you a huge advantage towards harvesting him.
The bedding area will have trails leading to and from it providing clues as to where the buck feeds.
These trails will also usually provide opportunities for an ambush site.
Trophy bucks are loners and usually like seclusion. They like an area that:
- Offers a good view of approaching danger
- Dense cover nearby for an escape route
- Prevailing wind bringing all scents up to them
The sort of places to look for them are:
- If there are food plots, crops or falling acorns, and if there is a ridge nearby [a few hundred yards] then look in the thickets on that ridge
- Look for big rubs and tracks in cover on ridges or benches. Trophy bucks like to bed high where they can scan below and also feels safe. He will probably travel between the ridge and the food source using cover such as an overgrown ditch, brushy fencerow or creek
- Edges of swamps
- Areas of tall swamp grass
- Patches of alder-brush
- Under conifer trees
- In tall grass on a brushy slope
- A common spot to check is thickets downwind of acorn flats
Big bucks spend a lot of time in ‘core areas’ within their home range, especially during the prerut and early fall. The more food in this area, the more time they will spend there. The best is a combination of crops, food plots, oaks and a variety of other sources such as sumac, honeysuckle and dogwood.
When you find a likely bedding spot, how do you know if it belongs to a trophy buck?
Because of their size, it will be a large deep oval impression measuring over 45 inches long. It will be by itself with no other bedding areas around it. The strong musky smell should also be there if it is being used regularly.
Often if you do some detective work and follow the trails leading away from the bedding area you will find rubs and scrapes.
As you don’t want to drive the buck away from the bedding area, don’t stay too long once you have found a bedding area. Before you leave, note the:
- Locations for a stand [preferably between the bedding area and the feeding area, or close to a promising scrape line]
- Prevailing wind direction
- Directions and destinations of the trails leading away from the area
- Nearby food sources
Once you have found a bedding area, determined the best place to carry out an ambush taking into consideration the wind and terrain, you should be in a good position to harvest your trophy buck.
The more white tail deer hunting tips you have, the more successful you will be.