Tips & Tactics

Big Bucks Hide in Small Places

Big Bucks Hide in Small Places

By Ken Piper

Most hunters tend to think you have to go deep in the woods to find a big buck – deeper than anyone else is likely to go. That just feels right, doesn’t it?

It’s true bucks respond to pressure, and it’s also true they often move to locations where with less pressure. Those locations aren’t always what we picture in our heads, however.

You will find bucks where other people don’t go, but those places aren’t always deep in the woods.

I once shot a buck (pictured above) in a treeline just 20 yards deep at the edge of a cut cornfield. That thin strip didn’t hold bedding bucks, but they used it as the only available cover when moving from one large woodlot to another.

I saw seven shooters that day, the biggest of which, a perfect 160-inch 10-pointer, came in facing dead at me and didn’t stop until it was standing 5 yards from the base of my tree. The size of the immense oak combined with the poor angle made a shot impossible, and the buck winded me. At that time, it was the biggest buck I had ever seen from a stand. The 130-incher I shot a few hours later was still the biggest I had ever taken.

A smart, older buck will use small woodlots, hedgerows, windbreaks or even just tall grass as a hideout. That kind of deer has been around the block and will often let hunters walk right by without spooking.

You might not sit all day in a small clump of trees in the middle of a wide-open field, but such locations are worthy of your inspection. Approach stealthily from downwind, and you just might score.

During the rut, it might even pay to sit in those isolated pockets. If you’ve scouted the area previously and found fresh buck sign, there’s a real chance a buck will try to pair up with a doe and lead her there to avoid competition from other bucks. Such locations also offer a buck the security of being able to detect danger from a great distance, offering them a feeling of even more security.

If your goal is to shoot a bigger buck and not just any deer, take an extra minute to check out overlooked buck hideouts. You just might be rewarded with a wall-hanger.

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Copyright 2022 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd