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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Using Small Bucks to Draw Fire

While hunting elk this year I have been running into a lot of whitetail bucks - some very nice ones, in fact ... numerious 5x5 ... and occaisonal 6x6 and 7x7. Only elk are legal at present - so I have been stuck with watching. One thing that fascinates me (I'm new at WT hunting) is that the BIG bucks will allow the smaller ones to mill about in the open, while they keep to the shadows, coming out last, if at all, into the open. As though they are allowing the younger ones to draw fire - if any. Amazing. Further, they are gray-er ... more camo color, than the younger ones, and are coming out of velvet sooner. Seeing this on a number of occaisions I take this to not be coincidence. Have you more experienced WT hunters seen similar?

For the video of a big buck in the background (taking up most the screen) letting two smaller ones pass before it in the open ...

http://www.woodengineering.com/adventures/buck-movie.htm

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Location: Middle Tennessee
Joined: 08/25/2005
Posts: 409
Using Small Bucks to Draw Fire

The older deer will almost always be the last ones out unless its the rut and then sometimes they cant help it. Once the rut kicks in the older wiser deer suddenly become love sick and stupid.

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Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
Using Small Bucks to Draw Fire

There is usually an order no matter where in N.Amer. it is. The small does come first followed by the small bucks... then the mature does and last but certainly not least the mature bucks. Any mature deer has probably been in an opening at some point in their lives and have heard a gun shot and lost a member of their group. They know that they are safer in the thickets from both us and their usual array of predators.

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Location: Alabama
Joined: 08/25/2003
Posts: 634
Using Small Bucks to Draw Fire

Chesters right and the gray color comes with age usually the older they are the greyer.

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
Using Small Bucks to Draw Fire

I have noticed that the older a deer gets it has a tendancy to stop near or behind a bush, brush and/or trees, even when it's just going about it's normal buisiness. They do come out in the open last or after dark for sure but, even when I see them in the woods, it doesn't seem like they stop untill they have reached some sort of cover and they move from cover to cover. Its kind of like a hunter when he moves next to a tree to stop and look and listen...the older deer seem to do the same thing. As a result its harder to get a shot on these older deer too.

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Location: West Carleton, Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 12/23/2002
Posts: 1264
Re: Using Small Bucks to Draw Fire
Serious Hunter wrote:
BIG bucks will allow the smaller ones to mill about in the open, while they keep to the shadows, coming out last, if at all, into the open. As though they are allowing the younger ones to draw fire - if any. Amazing. Further, they are gray-er ... more camo color, than the younger ones, and are coming out of velvet sooner. Seeing this on a number of occaisions I take this to not be coincidence. Have you more experienced WT hunters seen similar?

Definitely - this is most visible in an open field, but it also applies in the bush too. When you bust a bunch of deer, the dominant buck (usually, but not always the largest) will be the one running with his tail down, and also usually off in a different direction. In the bush especially that big bright white flag really draws your attention onto a lesser animal while big daddy is sneaking away in a different direction.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
I tip my hat to you ...

I tip my hat to those of you on a steady diet of WT hunting.

Amidst work and house projects, slipping out in the morning and evening, I have tried to see if I could harvest a WT with my new archery equipment. There are a couple patches of timber not far from home that I have been hunting – actually, hunting the periphery of. After rifle hunting the past two years I forgot how TINY the circle of in-range terrain is compared to the hugeness of the great outdoors. It’s quite dry – so I have made only a few brief incursions into the noisy forest. Instead, I have maneuvered to ambush the deer coming in and out to feed. There are perhaps 20 deer that habit the one patch I have been concentrating on – a group of 5 bucks and one doe (see video), a group of 5 does and one buck, and some satellite does, fawns, and bucks. One buck has a four point rack on one side – and no antlers on the other. (I have an antlerless' tag - I wonder if I can shoot half of him.)I have learned a lot and am eliminating mistakes. Or trying to, … arghhhh. But none are yet in my freezer. I am about ready to start naming the deer. The smallest buck presently looks albino-ish. The dominant buck still managing to stay the most invisible – even when in the open. They are all out of velvet. I have been within 30 yards of almost all of them – but have not managed a shot. Either wrong sex (a nice 4x4 pt walked within 3 yards of me) – or they have been behind brush, behind my back, etc. I am learning to slither into their domain, and out, undetected – but it has been at the cost of embarrassing detection and mistakes on other occasions. I had my daughter wash all my camouflage clothing last night – only to realize this morning, at sunrise minus 30 minutes, that the brighteners in our household soaps lit me up like the statue of liberty. (Yeah, busted this morning's ambush.)

Oh, yes, this WT hunting is quite different than the other `big’ game out here in the `big’ west. Instead of sweat, big trucks, pack animals, tents, and all the logistics, …of hunting the mule deer, the elk, goats, and sheep, … it seems to be traded for the simple cunning, stealth, and staying motionless, and trying to get up close and intimate with these animals with ultra ability to stay alive. Gallons of gas getting there, high cholesterol meals, and exploring as many canyons as possible … seem to be traded for careful attention to details of odor, laundry detergent, wind, and animal habits. And I can see why tree stands are popular…

Anyway – I tip my hat to you – managing on a steady diet of this WT deer stuff - and just maybe I’ll get an arrow in one of these beautiful creatures.

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
Using Small Bucks to Draw Fire

After reading saskie's comments I thought of another thing that I have noticed a lot with WT's. If you bust a herd of deer, usually one of the older does see's or smells you and she bolts, bringing with her all (or most) of the herd. If there is a mature buck in that herd he will not always bolt with the rest of the deer. Sometimes he will just stay motionless to see what the problem was. Alot of times the deer will spook from something that they don't know what or where it is and run right into the hunter. I think the older bucks have seen this before and they want to identify what the other deer saw or smeeled. If you are hunting with a gun(or bow if your good) it is a good idea to get as close as you can to the area the other deer spoked from and wait for anywhere up to an hour. Several times I have done this only to see a large buck's tail flicker or an ear a half hour after the "last" deer cleared out of the area.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Using Small Bucks to Draw Fire

Sounds good ... this stuff fascinates me. I am learning patience, slowly. Right now it's an archery season ... later on it's rifle. Rifle season has the complication of many more hunters. This archery hunting is medicinal ... one is forced to learn things that may otherwise be omitted. We'll see ... I need to do some work so I can pay some bills ... maybe I'll venture out again tomorrow evening, or the next day. - see what next lesson I can learn - or maybe it will all come together and I'll bring one back, or both.

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Location: VERMONT
Joined: 07/07/2005
Posts: 57
Using Small Bucks to Draw Fire

Thumbs up Good luck in your quest, that Trophy buck did not get that way for being stupid. Up here I found that if I use Apple soap, shampoo, and cover scent in bow season I see more Deer, and I don't get winded. I have been walking behind the house for few weeks now(every night), and now I can get with 15-20 yards without spooking them, they know I'm there but aren't afraid. They do see every night, and I do not chase them so they aren't scared 8) . I guess I would suggest try to find a cover scent that smells like your hunting area, or leave your cloth's outside to pick-up the smell of your area, it might help. Oh ya the biggest buck down back is a 150 class 8 point, can't wait for gun season. Evil!

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Using Small Bucks to Draw Fire

Thanks Ruger for the tips!!!

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