Mature bucks and secondary trails

Discussion in 'Iowa Whitetail Conference' started by meyeri, Jul 11, 2019 at 12:42 PM.

  1. meyeri

    meyeri PMA Member

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    I was watching an episode of The Hunting Public the other day and they mentioned bucks using secondary trails and setting up for those situations. It got me to thinking that almost all of the mature bucks that I have shot were traveling trails that were not the main highway trails in the area. I generally have always chose my stand locations based on having the most trails in shooting range, but it made me rethink some setups.
    I'm curious as to other guys' experience and how you go about choosing which secondary trail to setup on? Obviously scouting, cams, sign, tracks, access, wind, etc, all come into play, but it can get tricky in areas with large networks of trails.

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  3. 203ntyp

    203ntyp PMA Member

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    True, older bucks do use secondary trails unless following a doe. I like to set up about 40 yards down wind of a heavy or lightly used trail just for that reason. Set up a couple locations like that to play the wind and I would think you'll see more mature buck.
     
  4. Daver

    Daver PMA Member

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    There is nothing like actual time in the woods to see where the bucks like to walk, but yes, I totally subscribe to this theory too. Sure, sometimes bucks will walk the same trails as the rest of the deer, but when cruising for does, bucks will tend to be about 30-60 yards downwind of major trails. These trails are almost always in thick cover and/or just on the downwind edge of thick cover.

    I think these trails are best in mid to late November when the rut is winding down. Older bucks tend to WALK, not run everywhere, these trails at a leisurely pace too.
     
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  5. bigbuckhunter88

    bigbuckhunter88 PMA Member

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    Yup I've seen it a lot. Seen it often where they use a barely visible trail that runs perpendicular to the main trails heading to a food source
     
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  6. jkratz5

    jkratz5 Super Moderator

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    I agree with what is said above. These are definitely the bucks use when they are paying attention. Early season when they are traveling and alert almost always on these. During the rut I tend to see them use both but that is situational (with a doe or scent checking)
     
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  7. 2-bucks

    2-bucks PMA Member

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    Another yes. Secondary trails are worth focusing on. I've got more than one wall hanger (150+) because I could cover a lightly used trail in addition to the main trail.
     

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