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What’s a Noob To Do?Bob Humphrey is the Biology & Deer Behavior field editor for Buckmasters Whitetail Magazine and holds similar titles with other major hunting publications.

He currently lives in Maine with his wife and two children. For more information about Bob, visit his website at www.bobhumphrey.com.

Click here to email your questions to "Ask the Biologist."

 

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Oh where have they gone?
Disappearing deer are looking for the same thing—bedding cover, high calorie leftovers and love.

QUESTION: I hunt on Scott Air Force Base near Belleville, Ill., and there is food, water and cover everywhere. Where are the deer traveling in early December? To cover or to food? —John T.

Oh where have they gone?

ANSWER: Though your question is geographically specific, I’ll try and provide an answer that can be applied over a broader area.  The short answer is: Both.

Deer should be doing basically the same thing in December that they were doing in November, with a few minor variations.  For the most part, they will still be most active at dawn and dusk, feeding in the morning then moving back to bedding cover around or shortly after dawn, then leaving cover to feed again around dusk.

The bad news is, if the area you hunt received heavy hunting pressure, the deer will be moving less during daylight hours and more during dark periods.  Also, the rut will also be winding down so bucks will have less reason to wander about during the day.

Now for the good news.  Colder temperatures will prompt deer to feed more, and they’ll be honing in on any concentration of high-calorie food like waste grain, acorns or very late season food plots.  You may also see a slight increase in buck movement because does not bred during the first rut come into estrus again and the second rut kicks in.

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Recent Questions
Is This Deer Safe to Eat?
Bob, The first time I checked my trail camera photos this year, I captured an image of a nice buck with what appears to be a large growth on the side of its mouth. I've never seen anything like thi...
 
What Exactly is a "Mature" Deer?
Last year I hunted with an outfitter who imposed an antler score minimum of 140-inches, or any "mature buck." I hear hunters use the term "mature buck" a lot, but I'm still a little confused about w...
 
Multiple Fawn Births
Here in Missouri, during the last few years, I have noticed an increase in multiple births of deer. A few years ago I saw my first set of twins, and in the last two years I have seen several sets of t...
 
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I have been using trail cameras to help me keep track of a big buck I missed the last day of hunting season last year. No luck finding him so far.
 
Will They Show Up Again?
Bob, I have about 200 acres in Eastern Kentucky. It has several food plots and mineral stations that are great places to set out trail cameras and record deer activity.
 
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