Ask The Biologist

Just Passing Through

Just Passing Through

By Bob Humphrey

Bucks and does are just different, including in how they use food plots.

QUESTION: This year I have had several different bucks of different ages coming through my food plot, but it seems like all they are doing is passing through. I have just a small number of does that visit the plot on a regular basis. Could the bucks be passing through, checking out which ones are hot?

I have tried planting several things, and it seems like nothing I plant, nor any salt or protein blocks really hold them and keep them coming back. Is it common for deer not to come back on a regular basis?

Just Passing ThroughIs there anything else I could try to hold them and keep them coming back? I have attached a picture of a buck to see if maybe you could tell me by his structure how old he might be or maybe if he is lacking food or minerals. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I am in central Louisiana.

ANSWER: You didn’t mention when (during or outside the rut) and how often you are observing this behavior, but in general it sounds fairly typical, particularly if you only have one food plot.

Bucks and does are just different. Bucks tend to be less inclined to visit a concentrated food source on a regular basis, and this trend increases the nearer you get to the rut. They still feed right through the rut, but they’re more interested in locating does, which often requires them to travel more.

The downside is bucks become harder to pattern. The upside is if you have does in your plots on a regular basis, the bucks will cruise by, and you never know which buck might show up. You also might miss out on seeing them if you stay on the plot during peak rut. You might be better off setting up 100 yards or so back into the woods on the downwind side of your plot.

As for the picture, it looks like an older deer, but I can’t really tell much more given the image quality.

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Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd