by Bill Vaznis

Yes, pressured late-season bucks typically seek remote, nasty cover. But some of the biggest, savviest survivors hole up right under our noses, in oddball places we tend to overlook. By uncovering a buck’s secret lair, you can begin to formulate a plan for success. Your first step is to stop ignoring these five hidey holes:

#1 – Field-Edge Brush Dumps
Bucks do not always travel far from the food source to lay low. In fact, one of their favorite spots is a pile of bulldozed brush right at the edge of a farm field. Not long ago, I kicked two Pope and Young deer from just such a spot. Both had felt secure not
0 feet off a cut corn lot.

#2 – Rotting Logs
Most hunters know that blowdowns with many branches are big-buck bedding areas. But the far subtler dead log is also a prime spot. A branchless deadfall that’s 3 or 4 feet in diameter conceals most of a buck’s body, while gray-brown bark matches a late-season buck’s coat almost perfectly.

#3 – Backyard Bungalow
Some bucks choose to hide close to danger, bedding down near barns, backyard outbuildings, and even occupied homes, as long as there isn’t too much human traffic. I’ve seen a buck hunker down behind two ornamental cedars with his back against a cement foundation.

#4 – Old Farm Implements
Most farms feature a graveyard of rusting corn harvesters and broken-down wheel harrows. And most hunters pay them no mind whatsoever. Meanwhile, tall grass grows up around the rusting metal machinery, making a good hideout for a smart, old buck.

#5 – Lone Trees
Who thinks to look for a buck under a lone tree growing in the middle of a field? You, if you’re smart. Look closer and you may find that there’s some tall grass or brush that the farmer couldn’t till right under the tree. It’s a perfect spot for a buck to be ignored as he watches for late-cycling does.