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Velvet shedding & buck dispersement - where they go?

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Had 3 different guys bring this up this week. Where do the bucks go when velvet sheds? Why do they leave? Where do they go?

IMO & experience ….. here’s a few things ….

1) the party is over! Boys club & bachelor groups are finished. They are not buddies anymore. They will push eachother off some locations &/or seek other type of cover & food.

2) fall food sources become key & change then. Acorns, greens of all types, natural browse, etc etc.

3) cover requirements change in my strong opinion. It’s like they know it’s time to get to thick stuff “guys are out to kill me soon”. Thermal cover & thick ground becomes HUUUUGGGEEEE!!!! The park-like farms turn into big buck deserts.

4) areas where the does are- they are back there. After avoiding all summer in Many cases. Finding areas they can scrape to mark turf & be close to does.

5) areas without human Intrusion. No people all summer & the farms that all the sudden pick up pressure- BYE!!!! Mature bucks are gone fairly fast in those cases.


You all see bucks vanish off cams In sept? Or pick up all sorts of new ones around then? What else think is going on??
 

Rous14

Well-Known Member
Agree Skip! My main farm is a low river bottom crep farm, almost all bedding/security cover. Very thick. I’ll never forget that first year when I closed on the farm in the spring. I knew the area was pretty good to above avg. Got the cameras up in early July and couldn’t wait to check them. Living 5 hours away I couldn’t check them until around Labor Day weekend. I remember panicking big time on that first card pull after being up all of July and August. Just had hardly any bucks and I’m thinking oh no EHD, poachers, somethings not right! Then literally as if a light switch got turned on, mid Sept through mid Oct I had bucks pouring in to the farm like crazy. Learned my lesson quickly that they just don’t like being around the does in summer and they don’t seem to like the thick nasty stuff in summer. But just like you said once they go hard horn it’s like they know hunting season is starting and they go from the wide open ag fields, fence rows, etc… to the best cover in the area.
 

Big8s1992

New Member
I hunt a few farms that have very thick low lying timber cover and bucks just aren't there in the summer despite there being crops & alfalfa surrounding the cover. But they show up like clockwork late September through October on those farms. My thought process was that they want to be somewhere more open with a breeze to stay cool and where they don't have to worry about snagging their tender velvet on nasty stuff in summer. I figured acorns, natural browse, hunting pressure & ladies are the main reasons they tend to call the thicker stuff home in the fall like you outlined in the OP.
 

Hardwood11

It is going to be a good fall!
I don't even put cameras out until September for this very reason. I won't know what I have till then anyway.

Agree …right now I’m not seeing much. But they will move in. Corn, beans, clover, acorns & water … all can shift deer.

They have their core areas.
 

Obsessed

Well-Known Member
I won't know where they are until I start youth hunting with the kids. Then they move around quite a bit between September 15th and January 10th.

I have seen bachelor groups hanging out together well into October several times though. They'll separate during rut, but will regroup again for late muzzle loader season.
 

CurtisWalker

Moderator
Common thing I always tend to see bucks in or next to “CRP” areas all summer along with waterways in fields. At the same time I don’t see nearly as many near the timbered areas. I don’t know if it has to do with their velvet and not damaging the antlers trying to navigate the timber. But as soon as that velvet comes off you start to get more pictures and sightings of them in and near that thicker woody cover.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Bassattackr

Active Member
We are a doe factory "here" during the summer, with nothing more than yearling bucks until the second week of September. Then they start showing up, one by one September 7th, 10th, ,14th, 23rd.. etc.

It seems the older bucks are the first to leave these bachelor groups. Many late September hunts I will have 3-4 bucks come through solely made up of 1.5 and 2.5 year olds. My cameras show similar travel to what I see hunting. The 3.5+ have all left those groups by then it appears, only ghosts in the night until mid to late October when they start daylighting.

We have done more edge feathering and habitat work this offseason, with some areas rather thick. But it has not changed the summer dynamic on our place. Was not the intent however, just an observation.
 

jkratz5

Super Moderator
Movement in the summer is pretty short, same bachelor groups every night, coming out of the same 2-3 trails into beans or alfalfa. I have never checked, but if I had to guess I would say they are within 100yds of the field all day. Once the velvet comes off the food usually is starting to change and I think the big boys know this best so they leave first to get closer to the next food source and fall cover. Only exceptions I see have been my clover plots, I can usually keep the bachelor groups around into early October on them as long as the acorn mast isn’t crazy.
 

[email protected]

Active Member
I always see bucks change locations in October. I think once they start to settle dominance it forces the fight losers to relocate to another area. Unfortunately, a lot of those losers seem to be high scoring bucks.
 

SB3

Active Member
I run cuddelinks from April till Jan and my place is full of doe and small bucks all summer. Then about now they start showing up, hope to see more options. These showed up for the first time early Aug and seeing them pluck apples from the trees in the background. There's a low spot that holds water right in front of the camera.


GapBucks1.jpgGapBucks.jpg
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
I always see bucks change locations in October. I think once they start to settle dominance it forces the fight losers to relocate to another area. Unfortunately, a lot of those losers seem to be high scoring bucks.
Exactly why any “mature bully” on any farm like that needs to be a trophy that’s hunted until folks get him!!! I’d shoot every mature bully buck & be proud as I could …. My fam & friends hammer older mature aggressive deer. It’s a blast & old bucks are trophies regardless score.
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
I run cuddelinks from April till Jan and my place is full of doe and small bucks all summer. Then about now they start showing up, hope to see more options. These showed up for the first time early Aug and seeing them pluck apples from the trees in the background. There's a low spot that holds water right in front of the camera.


View attachment 122953View attachment 122954
That’s awesome!!!!! Watering holes working i take it?!? How u do that one btw?

Same. I start seeing more now too.

I’m going through enough pics to see the bucks chase off the does. So- they aren’t getting pushed around anymore & no longer putting up with cranky does!! Be soon, 30 days, new bucks being shuffled will be game changer.
 

[email protected]

Active Member
Exactly why any “mature bully” on any farm like that needs to be a trophy that’s hunted until folks get him!!! I’d shoot every mature bully buck & be proud as I could …. My fam & friends hammer older mature aggressive deer. It’s a blast & old bucks are trophies regardless score.
Agreed. I shot an old buck (8.5) last season that was starting to go downhill. I didn't have any old, high scorers showing up consistently so targeting him was fun and offered a good challenge.
 

SB3

Active Member
That’s awesome!!!!! Watering holes working i take it?!? How u do that one btw?

Same. I start seeing more now too.

I’m going through enough pics to see the bucks chase off the does. So- they aren’t getting pushed around anymore & no longer putting up with cranky does!! Be soon, 30 days, new bucks being shuffled will be game changer.

This watering hole is in a old tractor crossing in the fence and it's just been wallowed out from tractor tires over the years. This spot seems to be a natural gathering place, the apple trees near this area are sure helping as well. I haven't seen those bucks since. The 10 looks young and we hope he makes it another year, the other is a 13 or 14 pointer need a better look at him. Let the fun begin! Here in MO we are less than a month away
 
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