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A buck with no Pattern


cervidchasers

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So I have been chasing a particular buck this yr..challenge is it doesnt have any pattern.

Sometimes shows up twice a day. Disappears for days and then get 2-3 night time pics to disappear again. In the last 3 months only daylighted twice and that too early morning once with west wind and the other south. Of course both days when I wasnt hunting that spot.


Today shows up again out of the blue after 6pm..good thing its still alive


 

Have you guys chased a deer like this and since some of you have more experience how do you go about hunting it?

Edited by cervidchasers
removed name to help others cope
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Not a buck, but I chased this particular Adirondack doe for (4) consecutive seasons, finally killing her when she was at least 5-1/2 years old.  
 

I patterned her and she patterned me.  I encountered her the first time, during the early ML week, when she was at least 2.5 and had a single fawn.  I got a shot at her during the late ML week that year, but a branch caught my bullet and saved her. 
 

She had two fawns each of the next three seasons, and fell into a very predictable pattern.  I had at least one encounter with them on the second and third year, but no good shot opportunity. 
 

On the 3rd year, I got very close, getting into position in the dark one morning. They showed up a few minutes too early.  They got downwind of me, and the jig was up.  
 

Her luck ran out on our second meeting during the early ML week on the 4th year.  She had caught me on my way in earlier that week, when I had waited until 1/2 hour before sunrise, to still-hunt my way in.  She blew and ran off with her brood before I was 100 yards from my in-laws house. 
 

A few days later, I was blessed with a perfect wind. I got into position, up on the mast rich ridge where she alway fed in the mornings, 1 hour before sunrise.  I made sure to setup downwind of her favorite spot up there.  
 

She showed up right on schedule.  I felt a little sad, standing over her steaming carcass here when I took this picture, after the plan came together.  The hunting up there has not been the same since her demise.  She could always be depended on for providing some action.
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She was extremely territorial, and tolerated no other deer in the area.  The following year (last season), I saw more deer than ever up there, as a big herd moved in to fill the void that she left.  Unfortunately, they worked well together, and mostly kept each other safe from me.  
 

The only exception was a scrawny spike buck (likely one of her fawns from the year before).  He gave me two chances at chip shots, which I passed each time.   

This early ML season and opening week of gun was the worst ever up there, and the first that I didn’t see a single deer or even a sign of any.  I did run into a pair later, after Thanksgiving, but had no shot opportunities.  

Hopefully, another “camp doe” will settle in up there.  The hunting was a lot more fun when I had a worthy opponent.  


It’s got to be much harder to pattern a buck, since the deer woods is a matriarchal place.  The does control most of the territory, and prime feeding and bedding areas.  
 

If your after a particular buck, your best chance might come from patterning the nearest doe, and doing your best to be in the right spot, when she comes into estrous.  


 

 

Edited by Wolc123
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I often think we try to reason a buck into thinking like a person.  We want them to have a pattern so we can put it into something that makes sense to us.  

If you're a buck you're life revolves around security, food and tail during the fall.  You're in his home range and if you're near food and bedding you're in the game.  Just need some good timing.  

I often think setting up your stand in their area with easy access and good cover, playing the wind, and time over target when the conditions are right are about all we can do.  And these conditions change thru out the season changing the areas they frequent.  

This late season start working any food sources you have as much as possible.  

We have a deer that edges our property that I've had on cam for the last several years.  I've had one daylight pics of him ever in velvet.  I know where he hangs on private property in a swamp as that's where he comes out of in every pic .  He will come out at night only a couple of times a season.  I have determined he is unkillable for us, but I like knowing he is around.  The only real "pattern" I see to him is he eats at night because he's secure with that. 

I think it's more about where the bucks home range is and what is available for him.  But I don't know that a real pattern ever comes about for a buck other than I'm hungry, I'm horny, I'm tired.  Lol. 

"it's pointless for humans to paint scenes of nature when they can go outside and stand in it"- Ron Swanson

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7 hours ago, cervidchasers said:

So I have been chasing a particular buck this yr..challenge is it doesnt have any pattern.

Sometimes shows up twice a day. Disappears for days and then get 2-3 night time pics to disappear again. In the last 3 months only daylighted twice and that too early morning once with west wind and the other south. Of course both days when I wasnt hunting that spot.


Today shows up again out of the blue after 6pm..good thing its still alive


I am calling it Blue
 

Have you guys chased a deer like this and since some of you have more experience how do you go about hunting it?

How many cams do u have in the area? 
Try drilling down where he’s coming from and heading and setup some cams in those areas to see if you get any other pics.

I have a similar situation. Buck shows up (first time getting pics of this one) in my food plot 30min after I shot my buck with xbox. Have multiple pics of him since then but all night/morning pics in the dark. 
Each pic shows he seems to be coming/going from the same general direction so I hung a cam this week in a spot I believe he's heading towards/maybe bedding to see if I am correct.

This is where the value of having additional cams can help. I only have 2 cells and 2 old bushnells to cover 90+ acres so its a challenge.

 

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I have found over the years of using trail cam. I have only killed between 20 to 25% of the bucks I see on camera. Most of the time it's a buck I've never seen before. One of the reasons I don't make a hit list or hunt one or two specific bucks. I also never name them. I don't go by antler size anymore if a buck looks like it weighs over 200lbs I'm going to shoot it. I've killed more than my share of bucks that have grossed over 130. I'm just out to have fun now that I'm closer to 70 then 60.

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1 hour ago, ZAG said:

How many cams do u have in the area? 
Try drilling down where he’s coming from and heading and setup some cams in those areas to see if you get any other pics.

I have a similar situation. Buck shows up (first time getting pics of this one) in my food plot 30min after I shot my buck with xbox. Have multiple pics of him since then but all night/morning pics in the dark. 
Each pic shows he seems to be coming/going from the same general direction so I hung a cam this week in a spot I believe he's heading towards/maybe bedding to see if I am correct.

This is where the value of having additional cams can help. I only have 2 cells and 2 old bushnells to cover 90+ acres so its a challenge.

 

I have 2 cameras and he seems to either come in from the north side or east side. The parcel is really small only 60 acres of which 30acres is open fields that are fallow.

Edited by cervidchasers
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Each deer is unique in its disposition. I think on some level every single buck has a pattern of behavior as it ages, dealing with cover/security, food, and breeding. I don’t think they rationalize it like humans (kind of pointed to earlier). Instead I think it’s just hardwired for them as prey animals. Safe or not safe, essentially.

Some bucks have patterns more easily IDed. Some not. Some may also stick tighter to patterns with more disruption than others. 

I think the hardest for us to figure out are ones that roam in a larger home range, or big monoculture terrain, like big woods flat land.

Some of the things I might do in your scenario:

1. Take a weekend night, a big thermos of coffee, and legally shine/spotlight if possible the destination food sources around the area. You may see him a half mile away, a mile away, or close to your ground. You can use the info on this to backtrack his movements or determine where else he spending his time and maybe figure out why.

2. Look for common bits of info when he does show. Wind, pressure, a doe group going into estrous, a particular food source type, etc. Sometimes they prefer wind based movements, or certain weather conditions when hitting a spot (a low open field might be popular on high wind days, for example.

Lots of things to consider. Chasing a particular buck can be fun and also draining. Good luck!

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They definitely can and will have their own behaviors/personalities. And if they aren't living on your property, it will be harder to pattern them. But if you can keep tabs on them each year with dates, many mature bucks will do the same thing within the day or two as they do the year prior. Some fellas call this the one year rule. IT is definitely a thing.   pay attention to the weather patterns as well when he's around. Also, I've learned this and have to remind myself yearly, that just bc he's not on camera doesn't mean he's not there.. 

There is a lot to consider when trying to pattern big bucks, because at the end of the day, they are also patterning you. Its how they grow old. So do your best not to leave any evidence you were there when you go in. any new disturbance can set a trigger on their head, and once they catch a whiff of any not normal scent along with a disturbance, you've just put him on a slight alert.. 

 

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I have been very careful not to leave any sign and first yr access to this spot so have not changed any thing since I got the first pic. Next yr the farmer plans to plant in the fields too, so that should help with food source.

He is a nice mature buck guessing already 4 or 5 yrs old. So definitely not pressuring or going in with the wrong wind. Staying on the fringes for now for sure.
Spring may go in looking for the sheds

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