Buck is back from vacation, only shows late

pb26518

New Member
First post on this forum. Only been hunting a couple years and feel like this is my first chance at a good buck (8pt, super wide spread).

First saw this buck show up on camera in early-Oct. All visits to my corn pile/mock scrape were at night, except for one early morning visit that of course I did not hunt that day. Then from November 1 to 18th- nothing. Didn’t see him at all. Figured someone else got him.

Then on the 19th much to my surprise he showed up again on camera. Certain it’s the same buck. He has been coming back fairly consistently (3-4x a week), and around the same time (9pm). Sunset is around 4:45 here in Maryland.

I’ve hunted the stand near my camera but have not seen him during shooting hours, then he will show up on camera a few hours later. Pretty frustrating.

My first question is, is it pretty safe to assume I’m in his core area? I also see a bunch of tree scrapes where he shows up. My assumption for why he didn’t show up during that 18 day period is that he took a little “vacation” during the rut and is now returning to his home range. The property I hunt is about 80 acres, with a lot more of undeveloped government property surrounding it. My stand is on the edge of one of the fields near a funnel.

My second question is, what’s the best way to try to get to him during shooting hours? From what I’m reading I need to get closer to his bedding area…but what’s the best way to figure out where he is bedding? What should I look for? It seems like on camera that he comes from the same direction most times. Should I try to move around some cameras in that direction to see if I can catch him earlier? How far should I go?

Any help is much appreciated. Gun season goes for another 10 days or so here, and feel like this is my best shot before the end of the season…
 

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First post on this forum. Only been hunting a couple years and feel like this is my first chance at a good buck (8pt, super wide spread).

First saw this buck show up on camera in early-Oct. All visits to my corn pile/mock scrape were at night, except for one early morning visit that of course I did not hunt that day. Then from November 1 to 18th- nothing. Didn’t see him at all. Figured someone else got him.

Then on the 19th much to my surprise he showed up again on camera. Certain it’s the same buck. He has been coming back fairly consistently (3-4x a week), and around the same time (9pm). Sunset is around 4:45 here in Maryland.

I’ve hunted the stand near my camera but have not seen him during shooting hours, then he will show up on camera a few hours later. Pretty frustrating.

My first question is, is it pretty safe to assume I’m in his core area? I also see a bunch of tree scrapes where he shows up. My assumption for why he didn’t show up during that 18 day period is that he took a little “vacation” during the rut and is now returning to his home range. The property I hunt is about 80 acres, with a lot more of undeveloped government property surrounding it. My stand is on the edge of one of the fields near a funnel.

My second question is, what’s the best way to try to get to him during shooting hours? From what I’m reading I need to get closer to his bedding area…but what’s the best way to figure out where he is bedding? What should I look for? It seems like on camera that he comes from the same direction most times. Should I try to move around some cameras in that direction to see if I can catch him earlier? How far should I go?

Any help is much appreciated. Gun season goes for another 10 days or so here, and feel like this is my best shot before the end of the season…
No! Do not move around, that deer knows when and where you are as you enter his domain, humans simply stink and is a threat to them, I don't know how but it seems deer know when hunting season is there, by you walking finding scrapes and so on your changing all the natural smells other words you don't belong in their habitat, I don't have to do it anymore because I have the luxury of shooting off my front and back porches, we used to put our hunting clothes in trash bags with leaves and foliage stuff like that just to help knock human scent down, that deer knows when you get in the woods assuming you arrive in the dark, and they know when you leave, figure out the wind normally wind will be constant all year from a certain direction unless some front is pushing in from somewhere else stay up wind on your entry, flash lights use at minimum, the longer your shot distance increases your chances simply for he might not have pinged on you yet, 80% of the time to down the deer is luck, and all has to be in your favor. Good luck, happy hunting
 
First post on this forum. Only been hunting a couple years and feel like this is my first chance at a good buck (8pt, super wide spread).

First saw this buck show up on camera in early-Oct. All visits to my corn pile/mock scrape were at night, except for one early morning visit that of course I did not hunt that day. Then from November 1 to 18th- nothing. Didn’t see him at all. Figured someone else got him.

Then on the 19th much to my surprise he showed up again on camera. Certain it’s the same buck. He has been coming back fairly consistently (3-4x a week), and around the same time (9pm). Sunset is around 4:45 here in Maryland.

I’ve hunted the stand near my camera but have not seen him during shooting hours, then he will show up on camera a few hours later. Pretty frustrating.

My first question is, is it pretty safe to assume I’m in his core area? I also see a bunch of tree scrapes where he shows up. My assumption for why he didn’t show up during that 18 day period is that he took a little “vacation” during the rut and is now returning to his home range. The property I hunt is about 80 acres, with a lot more of undeveloped government property surrounding it. My stand is on the edge of one of the fields near a funnel.

My second question is, what’s the best way to try to get to him during shooting hours? From what I’m reading I need to get closer to his bedding area…but what’s the best way to figure out where he is bedding? What should I look for? It seems like on camera that he comes from the same direction most times. Should I try to move around some cameras in that direction to see if I can catch him earlier? How far should I go?

Any help is much appreciated. Gun season goes for another 10 days or so here, and feel like this is my best shot before the end of the season…
Welcome to the forum! That is a nice deer you are after. It is hard to give you advice as there are many factors involved. Probably the biggest factor that influence the movement of mature bucks is hunting pressure. So, unless you are in the middle of several thousand acres that are not hunted, that bucks already knows he is at risk during daylight hours. That doesn't mean he doesn't move at all during the daytime, but his movements are typically limited to safe areas.

In some places, there is a fairly consistent movement from bedding to food outside the rut, but in other places there is not. When I lived and hunted in the mountains of PA, there was a clear bedding high can moving low. That is because typically the mountains were woods and the valleys were farmed. Mountains have thermals, making general wind patterns pretty consistent.

When I moved to VA things were quite different. The land I hunt here has been much more rolling. Deer trails are much less obvious in this topography. Vegetation and wind seem to drive bedding. Bedding seems to change much more frequently and seasonally. Trying to identify the bedding area of an individual deer can be challenging.

Now, here is something else to consider. Hunters often analyze trail camera pictures incorrectly. I have a high end wireless camera network that runs 24/7/365. I use it for collecting data for QDM decisions. Back when I was trying to decide trail camera system that would work best for me, I looked at a lot of comparison testing. One independent testing sight had a testing board made up where they mounted many cameras side by side. The did walk tests in front of all the cameras and posted the results. They then took one of the best performing cameras and put in in the field along side several lower end cams that only cost a few hundred dollars each. After they were in the field for several weeks they posted the results. The number of pictures on each camera varied wildly. The low end cameras had a fraction of the pictures of the high end camera.

So, while you know the buck is there when you get a picture, you don't know how and when he is there when you don't get a picture simply based on the particular camera you may be using.

Next, I recently got a security camera system for my barn. Several of the cameras are pointed outward facing. One points to an open field. I happen to have a T-post with one of my high-end wireless cameras on the post. That camera does not miss pictures like many low end cameras do. I occasionally get pictures of deer from it. When testing the new security camera system that covers the entire field plus more ground, I got some great insight. When I a playback of the video, I was able to see deer using that field much more often than the trail camera indicated. They were there and just did not go in front of the camera.

So, even when the camera dependability is not an issue, you never know what you are missing. Don't presume that deer is not using the area during shooting hours. He may not be, but you just don't know.

The key to killing a target buck is stand selection. Finding the right stand location and access path can take years and may require a lot of out of season boots on the ground.

Best of luck!
 
Even on 80 Acres you can find and set Several Great Stand Sites.

IMO, Hunting the SAME Stand each time you go is a huge mistake and they WILL Pattern You just like you are trying to Pattern Them.

By having multiple Stands set you have OPTIONS. Options like where the Wind is blowing that day, What Food Source is near and if producing or not at that time, Where The Does Are, and many more things.

We have 4 sites on our 80 and it doesn't begin to cover all the Options.

Lastly, if it is nearing the End of the Hunting Season you have nothing to loose by trying to get as close as you can to his Bedding Area.
 
Even on 80 Acres you can find and set Several Great Stand Sites.

IMO, Hunting the SAME Stand each time you go is a huge mistake and they WILL Pattern You just like you are trying to Pattern Them.

By having multiple Stands set you have OPTIONS. Options like where the Wind is blowing that day, What Food Source is near and if producing or not at that time, Where The Does Are, and many more things.

We have 4 sites on our 80 and it doesn't begin to cover all the Options.

Lastly, if it is nearing the End of the Hunting Season you have nothing to loose by trying to get as close as you can to his Bedding Area.
Yessir you are correct on not covering all the acreage on where you hunt, I only have 12,I oni let 1 or 2 of my good friends hunt here, I have tagged out every year for the last 6 seasons, these deer aren't pressured, simply because I am able to shoot from my front and back porches I have 7 shooting lanes combined front and back, anywhere from 75 yds to 300 it's a gift, and I'm thankful, but my deer all get processed and ate, at the beginning of season I give what's left to friends, start all over
 
Possibly the most important thing to remember about hunting pressure is ingress and egress. If you can’t get in and out of your hunting spot without being detected, be it a tree stand or ground blind, nothing else matters much, because you are screwed before you start.
 
Even on 80 Acres you can find and set Several Great Stand Sites.

IMO, Hunting the SAME Stand each time you go is a huge mistake and they WILL Pattern You just like you are trying to Pattern Them.

By having multiple Stands set you have OPTIONS. Options like where the Wind is blowing that day, What Food Source is near and if producing or not at that time, Where The Does Are, and many more things.

We have 4 sites on our 80 and it doesn't begin to cover all the Options.

Lastly, if it is nearing the End of the Hunting Season you have nothing to loose by trying to get as close as you can to his Bedding Area.
Good afternoon deadeye, gonna send a coupleIMG_20231203_145648586.jpg pics to show you my redneck hunting set up, IMG_20231203_150009138.jpgIMG_20231203_145807161.jpgIMG_20231203_145820447.jpgIMG_20231203_145609879.jpgIMG_20231203_150923558.jpgthese are off my back porch, IMG_20231203_145648586.jpgIMG_20231203_145239715.jpgIMG_20231203_144455581.jpgIMG_20231203_145216919.jpgIMG_20231203_145310797.jpgIMG_20231203_144934759.jpgIMG_20231203_144539531.jpgthe rest are off my front porch and up my driveway with the shooting table I built to go up my driveway to 350 yds, the one pic taken from behind looking down the driveway you can see target burm IMG_20231203_144614572.jpg
 

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I will make you one I got tired of walking up and down my driveway shooting in the prone position all the time that's the prototype, I build all kinds of pic moc tables on the side I can make one for you
 
First post on this forum. Only been hunting a couple years and feel like this is my first chance at a good buck (8pt, super wide spread).

First saw this buck show up on camera in early-Oct. All visits to my corn pile/mock scrape were at night, except for one early morning visit that of course I did not hunt that day. Then from November 1 to 18th- nothing. Didn’t see him at all. Figured someone else got him.

Then on the 19th much to my surprise he showed up again on camera. Certain it’s the same buck. He has been coming back fairly consistently (3-4x a week), and around the same time (9pm). Sunset is around 4:45 here in Maryland.

I’ve hunted the stand near my camera but have not seen him during shooting hours, then he will show up on camera a few hours later. Pretty frustrating.

My first question is, is it pretty safe to assume I’m in his core area? I also see a bunch of tree scrapes where he shows up. My assumption for why he didn’t show up during that 18 day period is that he took a little “vacation” during the rut and is now returning to his home range. The property I hunt is about 80 acres, with a lot more of undeveloped government property surrounding it. My stand is on the edge of one of the fields near a funnel.

My second question is, what’s the best way to try to get to him during shooting hours? From what I’m reading I need to get closer to his bedding area…but what’s the best way to figure out where he is bedding? What should I look for? It seems like on camera that he comes from the same direction most times. Should I try to move around some cameras in that direction to see if I can catch him earlier? How far should I go?

Any help is much appreciated. Gun season goes for another 10 days or so here, and feel like this is my best shot before the end of the season…

Welcome to the forum!

If you’re only getting pictures several hours after dark it’s not safe to assume you’re in his core daylight area. It’s hard to say with limited information but it’s completely possible that specific buck isn’t hunt-able on your 80.

However, it’s time to get a little more aggressive in my opinion. If you dive deeper into the areas you think this buck might be frequenting during daylight hours you should find some sign. If you want to play it conservative this season I’d be in there the day after the season closes scouting every inch. That would at least provide you with more information for future seasons.

Good luck!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Good afternoon deadeye, gonna send a coupleView attachment 26886 pics to show you my redneck hunting set up, View attachment 26885View attachment 26887View attachment 26888View attachment 26889View attachment 26890these are off my back porch, View attachment 26886View attachment 26893View attachment 26896View attachment 26897View attachment 26898View attachment 26900View attachment 26895the rest are off my front porch and up my driveway with the shooting table I built to go up my driveway to 350 yds, the one pic taken from behind looking down the driveway you can see target burm View attachment 26901
Good afternoon deadeye, gonna send a coupleView attachment 26886 pics to show you my redneck hunting set up, View attachment 26885View attachment 26887View attachment 26888View attachment 26889View attachment 26890these are off my back porch, View attachment 26886View attachment 26893View attachment 26896View attachment 26897View attachment 26898View attachment 26900View attachment 26895the rest are off my front porch and up my driveway with the shooting table I built to go up my driveway to 350 yds, the one pic taken from behind looking down the driveway you can see target burm View attachment 26901
Hi, welcome to the forum, I like all of your pictures. Also, I would like to respectfully and politely point out that you kindof hijacked someone elses post about how to hunt a nice buck that only shows at night. I suggest that you go to "Property Tours" and start a new thread about your place where we all can go to look at it, and post these interesting pictures there. Thanks, Allen
 
First post on this forum. Only been hunting a couple years and feel like this is my first chance at a good buck (8pt, super wide spread).

First saw this buck show up on camera in early-Oct. All visits to my corn pile/mock scrape were at night, except for one early morning visit that of course I did not hunt that day. Then from November 1 to 18th- nothing. Didn’t see him at all. Figured someone else got him.

Then on the 19th much to my surprise he showed up again on camera. Certain it’s the same buck. He has been coming back fairly consistently (3-4x a week), and around the same time (9pm). Sunset is around 4:45 here in Maryland.

I’ve hunted the stand near my camera but have not seen him during shooting hours, then he will show up on camera a few hours later. Pretty frustrating.

My first question is, is it pretty safe to assume I’m in his core area? I also see a bunch of tree scrapes where he shows up. My assumption for why he didn’t show up during that 18 day period is that he took a little “vacation” during the rut and is now returning to his home range. The property I hunt is about 80 acres, with a lot more of undeveloped government property surrounding it. My stand is on the edge of one of the fields near a funnel.

My second question is, what’s the best way to try to get to him during shooting hours? From what I’m reading I need to get closer to his bedding area…but what’s the best way to figure out where he is bedding? What should I look for? It seems like on camera that he comes from the same direction most times. Should I try to move around some cameras in that direction to see if I can catch him earlier? How far should I go?

Any help is much appreciated. Gun season goes for another 10 days or so here, and feel like this is my best shot before the end of the season…
Welcome, and thanks for posting! That's a nice buck for Maryland if you can get him, and if he survives till next year he' be really nice. Step one is having one or several stands where he can't wind you, stands with upwind access as well, preferably from at least 100 yards away from the corn pile, (I'd set back the max range of my weapon) from where he is, and step 2 is hunting him every evening for a week. It takes multiple sits in a row to kill a big buck at a food source, they are no nearly as consistent in showing up as smaller deer are, their survival method is to vary their movements. The Indians in Saskatchewan taught me that to hunt a mature buck you need to plan to sit for seven sits in a row...
 
Hi, welcome to the forum, I like all of your pictures. Also, I would like to respectfully and politely point out that you kindof hijacked someone elses post about how to hunt a nice buck that only shows at night. I suggest that you go to "Property Tours" and start a new thread about your place where we all can go to look at it, and post these interesting pictures there. Thanks, Allen
Not a problem!! Will do by the way I haven't told anyone how to hunt a buck at night, I don't do it nor would I try to tell someone that, if you are suggesting that I did, or have you simply read the thread wrong, the only hunting I do at night is coyotes and fox, but I keep that across the highway from my place to not run off the deer, FYI
 
Hi, welcome to the forum, I like all of your pictures. Also, I would like to respectfully and politely point out that you kindof hijacked someone elses post about how to hunt a nice buck that only shows at night. I suggest that you go to "Property Tours" and start a new thread about your place where we all can go to look at it, and post these interesting pictures there. Thanks, Allen
Who are you referring to shooting deer at night, please make yourself more decisive
 
I think he was implying that you were trying to help someone if the buck mostly shows at night how to best get them during the day, not that you were encouraging them to hunt them at night. Sometimes words can be misconstrued when written. As I tell my wife if she has an issue tell me on the phone or in person not thru text lol
 
Who are you referring to shooting deer at night, please make yourself more decisive
Right, I definitely need to be more decisive (haha) anyway, all I meant was the topic of conversation on this thread is how to hunt a deer in daylight that doesn't seem to be moving in daylight. If you have any ideas to help this guy legally get this buck please share them here.
 
First post on this forum. Only been hunting a couple years and feel like this is my first chance at a good buck (8pt, super wide spread).

First saw this buck show up on camera in early-Oct. All visits to my corn pile/mock scrape were at night, except for one early morning visit that of course I did not hunt that day. Then from November 1 to 18th- nothing. Didn’t see him at all. Figured someone else got him.

Then on the 19th much to my surprise he showed up again on camera. Certain it’s the same buck. He has been coming back fairly consistently (3-4x a week), and around the same time (9pm). Sunset is around 4:45 here in Maryland.

I’ve hunted the stand near my camera but have not seen him during shooting hours, then he will show up on camera a few hours later. Pretty frustrating.

My first question is, is it pretty safe to assume I’m in his core area? I also see a bunch of tree scrapes where he shows up. My assumption for why he didn’t show up during that 18 day period is that he took a little “vacation” during the rut and is now returning to his home range. The property I hunt is about 80 acres, with a lot more of undeveloped government property surrounding it. My stand is on the edge of one of the fields near a funnel.

My second question is, what’s the best way to try to get to him during shooting hours? From what I’m reading I need to get closer to his bedding area…but what’s the best way to figure out where he is bedding? What should I look for? It seems like on camera that he comes from the same direction most times. Should I try to move around some cameras in that direction to see if I can catch him earlier? How far should I go?

Any help is much appreciated. Gun season goes for another 10 days or so here, and feel like this is my best shot before the end of the season…
hi just checking to see how this story progressed. there is a lot of bad information in this post that i wouldn't recommend following. in this situation with this buck coming in at 9 pm, he is more than likely living closer than you think. here is how i go about this situation based on my personal experience. baiting is not legal in VA but from just trying to get my head around the situation the corn pile and mock scrape combination has several does hitting the corn pile and that is what is bringing the buck to your camera. To simplify he's simply using that to monitor the does in the area. If this deer is still alive he will more than likely return to the same area in the same general time frame as he did this year. so this off-season aka now until summer i would go in there and try to find that buck track and follow that to his bedding to confirm that he is indeed bedding on your property. if you find his bed you'll kill that deer next year. if you are ever put in that situation again pull up a topo map and look for changes in elevation and other bedding features .. I would indeed like you said deploy more cameras in the area to try to further widdle down his home range. the bedding is going to typically be easy to find just look for the thickest stuff in the area unless the entire area is thick. look for rubs and if there's a solid rubline follow that. find his scrapes find his rubs find his bedding and you will be successful. As the old saying goes you can't kill them from the front porch :) good luck!
 
hi just checking to see how this story progressed. there is a lot of bad information in this post that i wouldn't recommend following. in this situation with this buck coming in at 9 pm, he is more than likely living closer than you think. here is how i go about this situation based on my personal experience. baiting is not legal in VA but from just trying to get my head around the situation the corn pile and mock scrape combination has several does hitting the corn pile and that is what is bringing the buck to your camera. To simplify he's simply using that to monitor the does in the area. If this deer is still alive he will more than likely return to the same area in the same general time frame as he did this year. so this off-season aka now until summer i would go in there and try to find that buck track and follow that to his bedding to confirm that he is indeed bedding on your property. if you find his bed you'll kill that deer next year. if you are ever put in that situation again pull up a topo map and look for changes in elevation and other bedding features .. I would indeed like you said deploy more cameras in the area to try to further widdle down his home range. the bedding is going to typically be easy to find just look for the thickest stuff in the area unless the entire area is thick. look for rubs and if there's a solid rubline follow that. find his scrapes find his rubs find his bedding and you will be successful. As the old saying goes you can't kill them from the front porch :) good luck!
Thanks for sharing, you give some good solid advice here. I'm not sure whether the others input can be called "bad" advice, it's just a different way of thinking or doing things. It's up to the individual reader to decide which advice makes the most sense. On a forum there's always a lot of rather questionable info, prolly cause people who spend the most time on their computer spend the least amount of time in the field getting experience. If they haven't seen it and done it themselves they can't grasp the concept.
 
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