In my experience, this “Follow Along” method of learning a particular buck’s movement works mainly in the morning. Also, this method works better before your deer season starts, and the earlier the better. It also works during the early season and after the main rut — when the bucks return to their home range. One thing, the places he leads you to that have good hunting potential will be likely be good both in the morning and the late afternoon. Because, basically you are moving toward his bedding area. You don’t have to follow him right to his bed, either, in fact jumping him up out of his bed is definitely a no no, you don’t want to do it.
But it can happen and if you do jump him out of his bedding area duly note exactly where it is and never return. Just set up somewhere along the route you followed that took you there. Just be sure you don’t get so close you spook him out of the area.
When the Y2K buck heard the soft noise of my DSLR camera take his picture from two yards away he took a couple of hops and stopped in 20 yards near a scraggly tree. He looked around behind himself.
He went back to doing Y2K stuff. He turned his attention to the scraggly tree. First he smelled the tree’s skinny trunk a little bit above the ground. Then he rubbed the sides of his face and his forehead on the thin trunk.
Next he mouthed a few of the limbs and began rubbing his forehead and the sided of his face on the tree’s parts. Now this particular tree has thorns on it, so rubbing his face and forehead on that tree must have been very important.
Maybe it was due to the thorns and they slowed him down but he spent two or three minutes covering the marking of this small tree.
Once that was accomplished he began eating the puffy ends of some nearby weeds. If you look at his wide open mouth you can see a couple of the plants that he is about to scarf down.
I regularly look around the areas I am in to note any other deer movement. Bingo, 80-90 yards away I saw a second buck, a big one, and two other deer. The big buck was biting, pulling and marking the lower limbs of an oak tree.
When I looked back for Y2K he had moved and was now marking limbs himself, ten yards away. Wow!
Y2K did not spend much time on this second tree and he paused for a few seconds and watched the other buck marking the limbs.
I got the camera on him but he was already on the move, strolling in the direction of the other buck.
As he got closer to the buck I zoomed in tighter and got us a better live action picture of of the two bucks. The other buck appeared not to notice Y2K yet.
When he did notice Y2K he stopped and starred directly at him. In the picture Y2K is standing on the opposite side of the tall grass and that has obstructed our view.
Y2K skirted around the buck in the picture above. There is a run down fence in the distance and I saw him walking along the fence, going north. The oth er buck turned to his right and walked and browsed to the north. Interesting! The picture below is the furthest I could take a picture from today’s vantage point.
After that, I lost sight of both bucks. So later in the day I moved my portable ground blind a little past the area where I last saw them. I couldn’t see nearly as far at this new location but this move might tell me what direction Y2K, and the other bomber buck, went in.