E. Sutton from North Caroline writes to tell me that for past two years, he sees does in his food plot, and buck sign in the woods near the food plot, but doesn’t see bucks. He asks … “Why not?”
Dr. Dave Samuel
This is a great question, and a scenario that I hear often. Here is what I think is happening. It sounds to me like you have some good bucks in the area. It is common for bucks to be seen in food plots early, then disappear in the fall. My guess is that bucks are using your food plots after dark. You are seeing scrapes and rubs, so we know bucks are there. I’d move off the food plots and find the thickest cover within 500 yards of the plot. The bucks probably bed there. So, hunt the rub lines that connect the thickest habitat with the food plots. Hopefully that will increase your chances of finding the bucks that you know are there. Watch the wind when you decide where to set up. And watch the wind relative to how you walk into your stand. Also, watch the trails as you create a way to the stands you set, so that you do not walk where the bucks are likely to walk. I hope this helps. Good luck!
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Dr. Dave writes a weekly column for sportsmansguide.com. If you have a question for Dr. Dave, e-mail your question to Dr. Dave in care of Tom Kacheroski, senior editor of www.sportsmansguide.com‘s content at email@example.com. Dr. Dave studied deer for 30 years as a wildlife management professor at West Virginia University. In addition he has been a bowhunter for over 40 years, with deer being his main prey. He’s also an outdoor writer and has been with “Bowhunter” magazine for 31 years.