Find the Does, Find the Bucks


It’s safe to say that we are amidst the best hunting of the year. The rut seems to be in full swing and buck sightings are at an all-time high. However, capitalizing on a buck who is covering a lot of ground, or a buck locked down with a doe, is not as easy as it sounds. Here is what you need to do to get your shot at a buck.

Earlier this week I was hunting over a large soybean field. I, as well as a few other hunters, had recently spotted a group of does feeding during the evenings so that’s where I planned to hunt if the wind cooperated. Once in the stand I noticed a set of antlers levitating in the soybeans about 300 yards away. After a closer look through my binoculars I noticed the buck, a large 7 pointer, was bedded with a doe. Towards sunset the doe got up to browse and the buck followed her every move. They ended up moving only about 30 yards that afternoon.

The key is to find the does. However, as you can see that doesn’t necessarily mean you will get a buck in range, or even out in the open. If the does stick close to cover, so will the buck. However, food sources are a good start. A picked corn field, food plots, and especially soybean fields are where you should focus your attention. Also, areas in between where you suspect does are bedded and where they feed. There is a chance you can cut them off traveling between the two. When the bucks are locked down or chasing a doe they typically don’t visit scrapes like they’ve been doing. While hunting over buck sign is great, now is the time to find that group of does.

Also, as tough as it is, the more time you spend in the woods, the better. It’s not always possible to have a few days off and spend the majority of your free time in the woods, but the more the better. As the old saying goes, the best time to hunt is whenever you can. Midday movement is also at its peak. It doesn’t matter what time of the day it is, if a doe in estrus moves so will the buck trailing her. There’s no telling when or where you may see a buck this time of the year so hunt as much as you can to increase your odds. Lastly, keep in mind that while most bucks throw caution into the wind during the rut, you must still pay attention to the wind and only hunt stands that are suitable for the current conditions.

I would like to also give a shout out to Frankie Marshburn. He is a past client of Mossy Oak Properties and tagged the fine beautiful that is the featured image above. He harvested the buck this past weekend during an evening sit. The buck traveled into a narrow soybean field where Frankie put a solid shot on the buck. Congrats, Frankie!

Andrew Walters

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