Getting a deer’s attention

Big bucks will often use the same escape routes time after time when pressured by dogs. Find one and set up within range.

When deer season opens, once-desolate hunting grounds become overrun by hunters on a frequent basis. Whether checking trail cams, erecting tree stands, scouting or hunting, disturbances will quickly change the natural patterns of deer. Sometimes, the disturbance is just what the doctor ordered. Having the woods stirring by nosey hounds will set off a leery buck who wasn’t planning to leave his bed at all during daylight hours.

Throughout the year, deer will change their daily travel patterns as seasons and food availability changes. Their biggest change comes when hormones start flowing as breeding season nears, but deer hunters are their own worst enemy at times, altering the activity of bucks in a negative fashion. The rise of woods activity and increases in strange odors will make even the least intelligent animals out there weary.

In places where human activity levels are the highest, deer will learn to travel and feed when hunters are home watching college football or the Jimmy Kimmel Show.

No doubt, mature deer on a heavily hunted property will go nocturnal, making it almost impossible for still-hunters to be successful. Bucks who don’t learn from these life lessons won’t get a second chance.

Every year, stupid and immature bucks end up at the deer processor. If hunters want to get a big, mature buck in their sights, they need an alternative to get one during daylight hours.

Dog-driving clubs and neighboring properties have something special that results from intense hunting and a high level of disturbance. When hunting lands are pummeled by three dozen  hounds with extrasensory noses, the big, mature bucks get flushed out of their comfort zones and do things they wouldn’t normally do.

While these bucks may never get pursued by a pack of dogs, the massive disturbance will get them on their feet when they would normally be bedded and waiting until nightfall to move.

But they aren’t exactly going out for a morning jog to the food plot, either. They are slipping out of the action and looking for a more secure location where they can lay up for the day.

About Jeff Burleson 1302 Articles
Jeff Burleson is a native of Lumberton, N.C., who lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He graduated from N.C. State University with a degree in fisheries and wildlife sciences and is a certified biologist and professional forester for Southern Palmetto Environmental Consulting.

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