I’ve got a segment on my TV show called “Buck Science” where I talk about some aspect of the deer behavior in the area I’m hunting each week. Let’s make it a weekly segment here on the blog as well, since the more we know and learn about mature bucks, the better we hunt.
I dug this first one out of my research files. Tennessee deer researcher Bryan Kinkel says:
Reviewing the many trail-camera/observation data sets I have gotten from serious deer hunters and land managers, I have come to the conclusion that it’s common for hunters to see 90% of the yearling bucks that regularly use their property. That sighting percentage declines to about 70% for 2 1/2-year-old bucks and drops to 50% for 3 1/2-year-olds. Once a buck makes it to 4 1/2 odds are he won’t be seen a lot in hunting season. If hunters see 25% of the 4 1/2-year-old and older bucks that are on their land, they are doing well.
What it means: There are more shooter bucks on your land than you might think; the old boys are nocturnal and hide it cover…the more hours and days you spend in a tree stand, the better your odds of seeing and killing one (but you gotta pass all those yearlings and 2 ½-year-olds you are sure to see)…all things considered, the rut window of November 1-15 is the best time to see a 4- or 5-year-old giant on his feet in daylight…the less hunting pressure on your land, the better…the more pressure on surrounding lands the better because others hunters will push some of those older bucks into your area.