Branching Out For The Bucks

Following Along With The Bucks, Step One And A Half…

Robert Hoague
Robert Hoague

The only way to find out where a buck is going and how he gets there is to get yourself into the woods. There is nothing on the shelves of the hunting stores that will do the job for you. Nothing you can make. No tricks.
Even if you put out game cameras chances are you won’t follow him very far. All he has to do is walk on the opposite side of the tree your camera is strapped to and you’re off the trail. The chances of that happening are better for him than for you. And if you do manage to get a pic of him a time or two as you move further away from your starting point it won’t be long until you hit a dead end.

In spite of what you may have been told or read, deer are not predictable creatures of habit, in my opinion. They are all about inconstancy as they go about their lives. If you’ve watched a large field for a few days that deer come to regularly you know what I mean. Maybe a buck will come nearly every day; but he will not use the same entry point to approach the field to check it out, nor will he go into the field from the same trail daily.

I like to use portable ground blinds to prowl around behind bucks. Basically I begin where I lost sight of them and check out that area out. Many time there is a trail that is used for leaving the area. The buck below has walked to the woods east of my blind at the food plot. My blind is 60 yards from here, which gets me out of the way but lets me see what’s going on around me.

whitetail buck pictures by robert hoague

After I observed where he entered the woods and traveled along I later went there and investigated. There was an established trail and it continued through the trees for over 100 yards in an easternly  direction. When the trail played out I moved my blind where I could watch there. Two days later he came through and took a turn on a trail headed north towards some very thick woods about 200 yards further, which could well be a bedding area for this buck and possibly others. Bottom line, he uses a zig zag route to travel south-east and very likely beds down in the cedar break on the southern hillside.

whitetail buck pictures by robert hoague

Returning to the food plot I wanted to learn about a place where the B-10 buck and others had recently marked the overhead limbs nearby a fallen tree. I took this picture of a nice buck leaving the fallen tree area and going east through the trees.

whitetail buck pictures by robert hoague

I moved a blind closer the next morning a buck came through and I noted where he was and afterward went to that place and looked around. I found a faint trail and followed it  into the trees. The trail came to an end at the edge of a more open area.

whitetail buck pictures by robert hoague

There were no trails here and I moved my ground blind and hid it inside the trees by the edge of area that was more open. There were no trails leading into this area where the trees were more sparse. That afternoon I witnessed a buck with a nice rack and a small buck there. The larger buck walked through the place below and when the land made a steep downhill change he turned west. The little buck had already wandered off so I snuck over and glassed where I’d last seen the buck and I spotted his antlers walking due west.

whitetail buck pictures by robert hoague

Then I moved the ground blind to where the buck had been. The next morning this buck walked very close to the blind. He was coming from the north-west.

whitetail buck pictures by robert hoague

Bottom Line: my food plot is only a few hundred yards from a buck bedding area to the north east and north west. I may have been able to follow along right to a bedded buck but I did not want to run the risk of spooking the bucks out of the immediate area.

More Buck Photos and My Comments coming.

CONTINUED…

GO TO Deer Scouting 2016.