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Location: Murray KY
Joined: 01/23/2008
Posts: 22
Hunting Nocturnal Bucks.

I have at least two nice bucks on the farm I hunt in KY. Its mostly white oak bottoms and cedar thickets that they use for beds. But they're both nocturnal. I think that hunting 150-200 yards from their beds, and putting up a mock scrape early in the year and then using one of those scrape drippers that drip only during the day closer to pre rut may work. My theory is that by doing this they'll think that an "intruder" is coming in during the day. Then they'll be more likely to cruise through there on their own or be more likely to come in to the horns.

Is this a possible solution to hunting these nocturnal bucks or is this mostly nonsense? This is my third year hunting these bucks and they're getting old so I'm open to any advice anyone may have.

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Location: Minnesota
Joined: 11/26/2007
Posts: 74
Hunting Nocturnal Bucks.

Sounds like a lot of work, that is for sure. I guess i would scout them from a far, way a far. Figure out their travel corridors to and from their beds. Stay out of their until the season starts, then wait for the right wind and set up on them. I would think that if you get settled into a good spot early, like around 1pm, then wait until well after dark to leave. I've had some success with this strategy in the past. It is not perfect, but it works ok. I think that by setting out mock scrapes and all that you are just intruding.

just a suggestion, but wahtever you do, make a plan and see it through. don't give up on your plan half way through.

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Joined: 05/19/2008
Posts: 1
Hunting Nocturnal Bucks.

Older bucks tend to go nocturnal because of hunting pressures, so making them think an "intruder" is coming isn't going to help, in my opinion. Here's a couple tips to try:

1. I would actually lay off for a while, then do NOT go out to your stand unless the direction the wind is blowing makes you virtually scent-proof.

2. Place your stand on the outside of the deers food source (standing corn, wheat,rye,etc.) and hunt them during the late-season. This is because after the rut the deer need to repleish fat reserves that they have lost. So essentially the need to eat will have the deer coming out of seclusion in daylight.

Good Luck!

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Location: Pa.
Joined: 06/15/2008
Posts: 45
Nocturnal bucks

There has been alot written and spoke about the infamous nocturnal buck. While this is true to certain degree it is partly fiction. Any deer, no matter how big they are will not stay bedded all day long. hey will however extremely limit the distance that they move and that is what makes them hard to kill. All deer will get up and move around and for the most part, a deer won't stay bedded for longer than 4 hours. The question is how far will they go before they bed down again. They won't stay bedded all day but may stay within their bedding area sanctuary all day. That makes them relatively safe but still vulnerable.

Hunting right next to the bedding areas during the hight of the prerut will offer the best chances. Paying attention to your entry routes as it relates to their travel patterns, wind currents, thermals and your own personal scent control are all extremely important when hunting near or in bedding areas and yes I have killed some nice bucks IN their bedding areas but unless you have your scent control system and the other factors mentioned above down to a science, stay out of those areas.

If Ihad a big buck that I felt was "nocturnal" and I had a lead on wher he was going at night, I would slip in extra early inthe morning with the wind blowing into the bedding area in hopes that he wasn't ther yet. I would make a scent drag with estrous urine to my stand area and then position myself with a good estrous scent placed accordingly.
The i'd sit tight and throughout the day I'd do series of trailing grunts, breeding grunts and estrous bleats. I then wouldn't leave that spot until after dark.

I have killed many nice bucks using this tactic which included Pa's 2003 #8 typical archery buck.
Just remember how youcontrol where your human scent is left and wher it goes as well as how you control any attractant scent is esential to success.

Location: Butte, MT
Joined: 01/02/2006
Posts: 234
Hunting Nocturnal Bucks.

Nocturnal bucks are tough. I've hunted a couple successfully. Both times I got them right at first (barely) light moving toward his beding area. Both were during the rut. Just a simple ambush. I got the attention of one of them with a very quiet doe grunt and got him to come toward me a little, so I could see him better in the low light. I got set up very early and had been still and quiet for longer than I usually care to be.

Another thing you might try is watching areas where does hang out in the mid morning and evening, but only in the peak of the rut. I've developed the opinion over the years that older bucks will become nocturnal due to hunting pressure, but they still get horny in the peak of the rut. I've seen some nice ones cavorting about like goofballs in the mid morning if there are does around. These would be bucks I never see any other time of year leading me to think they're mostly nocturnal.

In my experience, mock scrapes and scents don't work. Maybe they do in places where the hunting pressure is very low, but those are not the places I've ever hunted. Nocturnal bucks are generally educated and nervous. Aggressive tactics just spook them. I wouldn't rattle or use challenging buck grunts or change the environment in any way (ie. mock scrape). Just be patient, peak rut is their weakness (IMHO). If any thing, just very quiet doe grunts... used sparingly.

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