Whitetail Hunting: Not Seeing Any Bucks?


Question: This my first year on a new deer hunting lease. The habitat is great and I am sure it will be good hunting. Anyway, last week I put out two game cameras over two different deer feeders. After checking out the pics, I am only seeing does; large groups of does and no bucks at all. All of the other hunters on the lease who have cameras out are getting pictures of some very nice whitetail bucks. The land we hunt is basically the same with no notable difference and we are all throwing corn, so why am I not seeing any bucks at my feeders?

Answer: Stay calm. If you have does hanging around then you will have bucks. A lot of hunters think deer feeders are a cure all for deer hunting. Don’t think that you will shoot a good buck at a feeder, but think that you will attract does to your feeder and then the does will attract the good bucks. If you have the does, the bucks will surely come your way come the rut.

In the past, I’ve tried all kinds of deer scents, including doe in estrus and drag rags. The absolute best deer attractant of all of them is a whitetail doe in heat. So, if you say you have lots of does on the cameras, then relax and wait. You are in a good place. Now, it’s only a matter of time before they go into rut. Get in the stand around the rut and you will see all kinds of action. The bucks will be looking for does, and guess what? You’ve got them!

Deer Hunting in Kansas – How Does It Work?

Question: My father and I would like to go to Kansas whitetail deer hunting this year and we are wondering if you could give me the steps to take to get something planned or done for the upcoming hunting season? I have heard that alot of the farmers up there will let you hunt for next to nothing, but is this true? Any advise you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: As non-residents you will have to put your name into the draw for Kansas deer hunts. If you have a place to hunt in Kansas that information will be required for your draw permit. Because that information is needed, you will need to find a farmer that will allow you to hunt before you apply for the permit.

Draw permits are over $300 this year plus about $75 for the non-resident hunting license. A large portion of the land in Kansas is leased by outfitters from the farmers. However, it is not impossible to find farmers that will allow you to deer hunt. I have known hunters that have met some of the locals that have allowed them to hunt deer.In areas where there are a lot of farmers and very few hunters, the deer will eat the crops and are a nuisance.

Also, there is a lot of public ground to hunt. Look at North Central to Northeast Kansas. Some walk in areas have really good looking country. Another tip would be to contact every chamber of commerce and every vistor site you can.

Best Feeder Times for Whitetail Hunting in Texas

Question: I hunt in North Central Texas, what are the best feeder times to set for morning and and evening during the general (gun) season? Thanks for your help.

Answer: For most of Texas, a good rule of thumb would be to have your spin feeder run around 6:45 m and about 3:30 pm. Some hunters prefer a bit later in the morning and in the evening, but the times mention above work well. When a feeder goes off, some deer wait for the noise of a feeder and then come right in. These are typically the younger and smaller deer, which most hunters are not after. These early deer want to get there before the big bucks kick them out, especially later into the evening.

In my opinion, it’s about trying to get the bigger bucks in early enough in the eveing with enough daylight to see the antlers on their heads clearly. If you can get the does to come in early in the afternoon then its only a matter of time before the older bucks come following closely behind, particulary during the rut. That is, if there are any bigger or mature bucks in the area.

Although most hunters prefer an evening time later than 3:30 pm, you’ll be surprised at what you will see during the early afternoon. Early feeder times are great in the morning, except that on a cloudy morning you may have the deer (especially if you have a high deer density) consuming most of the feed before you can see them. From my experience from hunter around feeders, the larger bucks tend to be there very early in the morning, so the early your feeder can go off, the more likely you are to have larger bucks come in. Of course, they may finish eating before you can see well, or legally shoot.

Where Have All the Bucks Gone?

Question: I have 13 different bucks on game camera on my property and have not been seeing any of these deer on our lease. In all, we have 900 acres with 8 guys whitetail hunting on it. I shot a nice 9 point first week in October with my bow, and opening day of the general season another guy shot a nice main frame 10 with 3 kickers. It was a nice buck, but those are the only 2 bucks that have been seen and killed by hunters on our lease.

I just had 2 new bucks show up on camera in the last week, but we just aren’t seeing them while hunting. Most of the photos are at night of course, but one buck showed up during the day time (on camera). I have tried grunting, rattling, can calls, but have had no luck.

We have 900 acres and the lease next to us has about 1,600. The one to our north has 500 and then there are several other lease properties with about 200 to 300 acres of food plots. Will we see any bucks?

Answer: If you’ve got bucks on camera, then they are around. Whitetail bucks can stay under the radar very well, but they lose their cool when the rut kicks off. When they start rutting, you will see those bucks moving around, as well as chasing does. I know it may be hard to believe that with all the different bucks you have on camera that you are not seeing them, but just give it time. The neighbors may have them using their food plots at night, too. However, the rut will mix things up. Just be ready when it happens, and hope your whitetail hunting turns out good.

What Time Should I Go Deer Hunting?

Question: What time do you usually get into the woods or your deer stand on opening day? I live about 30 minutes from the property that I hunt and am curious on when I should get in my stand for optimal whitetail hunting?

Answer: Opening day is typically the best day of the year as far as the element of surprise goes. I like to get there at least 45 minutes before daybreak, which is about 1 hour and 15 minutes before official sunrise. The earlier the better really, just so the hunting area can settle down. Often times, white-tailed deer will “creep” into an area well before sunrise so that they have firsts on a food plot or at a deer feeder.

The worst feeling in the world is walking up to a stand and hearing deer running off. I would also have nightmares that it was a monster buck running off, so now I get there early. To give you an idea of what deer really har, make sure you listen good on opening morning. Listen to all the noise other hunters on neighboring properties will make. You will hear vehicles starting up and driving on the roads, car doors and tailgates slamming, and people talking, and radios off in the distance.

The trick is for you to get into position first, so that they will scare the deer out of their hunting area when they move in too late and the run into yours. So, about 1 hour and 15 minutes before official sunrise for optimal morning whitetail hunting.

Do Turkey Decoys Calm Whitetail?

Can a turkey decoy improve your deer hunting?

Question: I have tried different types of deer decoys over the years. From my experience, most of the whitetail deer I have observed seem to lockup once they see the deer decoy. Deer seem to know something is wrong. However, while turkey hunting I have had deer come in to my turkey decoys several times. Although a little skittish, deer seem much more comfortable and inquisitive about the turkey decoys. They will most often almost touch them. I think I am going to give them a try next time I head out whitetail hunting. Has anyone tried them for deer?

Answer: That’s a new one, but you really never know! Hunters commonly use deer decoys when deer hunting to lure deer in for a closer look. Bowhunters commonly use decoys to get aggressive bucks to come in and do battle. As such, many bowhunters use buck decoys, but some will also use doe decoys with added scent to make mature whitetail close the distance.

In the waterfowl world, confidence decoys have been used for years. If we take a note from them, then turkey decoys may have the same effect on whitetail deer. The turkey decoy may act as a confidence booster for whitetail. As most deer and turkey hunters know, turkey are about 10 times more spooky than your average whitetail.

I think you may be on to something here. Give your turkey decoy a shot because I surely don’t think it will hurt. Good luck with your experiment and whitetail hunting!

Good Whitetail Food Plot?

Question: I planted a food plot to improve my whitetail deer hunting, but I’m not sure what I’ve got growing. The seed was given to me in an unmarked bag. I was told it was for winter food plots, so I planted. It’s growing great, but not sure what I’ve got or if the deer will like it. What do you think?

Answer: Your food plot has got as much buckwheat as austrian winter peas. The tallest plant with the white flower on top is a buckwheat plant. Buckwheat is good deer food, but it is not frost tolerate so it will die at the first frost, but that could be a while in your area. The peas are very cold tolerate and work great in food plots. In fact, I’ve had a low of 25 degrees and the peas are still growing. Most of the time it has get around 10 degrees before they are “done” for the year.

As for pea pods, the deer relish the whole plant and most likely will keep them grazed down to where pod formation is unlikely. Ideally it would take around 50 days until pods form, but with less day length and cold temperatures that could take much longer and as mentioned the deer will be devoured them by then.

If you applied fertilizer prior to planting, then I would not add any now. I’ve noticed peas grow at a steady rate regardless of fertility. If no fertilizer was applied, then I would broadcast as soon as possible and right before a decent rain, to try to prevent damaging the newly planted seedlings.