I asked that question of my friend, Dr. Grant Woods, one of the top deer biologists in the world, one time. He told me:

“Whitetails react incredibly quickly to either a positive or a negative stimulus. Most hunters fail to take that into account quickly enough. For example, if a buck sees or hears you in a tree stand near a food plot, he will learn to avoid that spot very fast. He will still go to the plot (the positive stimulus) but he will circle your stand (the negative stimulus) possibly out of sight and range. You might sit there, not see any deer and wonder what is wrong. So hunters need to take into consideration how fast deer, and especially mature bucks, react to the negative stimulus of pressure and human intrusion, and adjust their travel patterns. Then hunters immediately need to adjust their stands and strategies to account for that.

You’d do well to remember that this season.