It’s still hot, but fall is here. Big whitetails are hitting the ground all over the region, and everyone is excited about the action ahead. No one, on the other hand, gets pumped about having the bucks they’ve seen all summer disappear in a flash.
Nearly half of all bucks will relocate after dispersing from bachelor groups. That means a lot of the deer you’ve been watching will soon head for new territory, if they haven’t already.
The good news is that relocating them isn’t that difficult. The key is buck sign. The same increase in testosterone levels that spur bucks to shed velvet, leave their summer bachelor group, and chart new territory also spurs them to rub trees and lay down scrapes. So when bucks disappear, it’s time to burn some boot leather looking for fresh sign. If you don’t find any fresh scrapes, make your own mock versions. Place them in high-traffic areas where you traditionally see fall bucks and hang a camera to relocate bucks you’ve been watching and pin down new ones you’ve never seen.