To be consistently successful, there are only 3 places to hunt:
- Hunt acorns. Successful hunters know where the Oak trees are located where they are hunting:
- Hang your stand near the trees with a heavy nut crop around September or early October because the deer will be there when the nuts are falling
- Hunt does. Know where the doe bedding areas are, and hunt the downwind edges:
- Hang your stand near the most heavily used trails on the downwind side of the doe bedding areas. Look for suitable trees about 20 yards from the edge as bucks know that they can scent check every deer in a bedding area quickly by skirting a bedding area on the downwind side. Chances of success can be increased by adding a scent wick or trail of estrus urine past your stand, as the buck is hoping to find a “hot” doe.
- If hunting food sources, bucks can use a similar strategy by circling crop fields by skirting the edges. Stands should be placed 10-20 yards inside the woods
- Hunt funnels [they bring deer through a narrow piece of terrain]. Bucks often expand their home range in search of “hot” does as they travel from one doe group to the next:
- Hang your stand in areas such as a saddle, converging hub [deer trails come together like spokes on a wheel], brushy fencerow separating two fields or woodlots, a bench on a ridge, a strip of woods or thickets connecting two woodlots, the edge where two types of vegetation meet, a strip of trees alongside a creek which connects two lots of woods, inside corners or double inside corners, or timber between two clearcuts.
Remember: The best time to be in the woods to bag a trophy buck is during the most intense part of the rut – a few days before peak breeding begins – which outside of the deep South, falls somewhere between November 7 and 10.
Be on the downwind side of a funnel connecting two bedding areas, and DON’T LEAVE THE WOODS FOR LUNCH. For more strategies, tips and information on bagging your trophy, see our book Whitetail Trophy Hunting Secrets