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As A Serious Whitetail Enthusiast

You understand we are entering one of the most exciting times of the year, maybe second only to the peak of the rut. Its that glorious time when we finally start to see whether the buck of our dreams made it to live another year. Not only that, but we are able to evaluate how the bucks that we passed in previous years as immature are progressing along and showing their potential. By mid-July, most whitetails across their range are exhibiting a significant amount of antler development and key characteristics including spread, splits, drop tines and kicker points are recognizable.

Somewhere around the first to the second week of August in the Midwest, for most bucks antler growth will have peaked and the process of antler velvet drying down slowly begins, ultimately terminating and resulting in bucks beginning to strip off the dried velvet revealing fully hardened antlers by mid-September. Just about everyone who runs trail cameras will have their cameras out by early July to begin monitoring known core areas in hope of catching images of these amazing creatures. There are a few predictable behaviors that can be capitalized on to put the chances of you getting successful interactions in your favor. Let’s take a look at these behaviors.

Bachelor Groups

As spring winds on into summer, bucks assemble in loose social groups and spend much of their time together as a result of low testosterone levels and no need to compete with one another. Food sources are readily available and in abundance, and the urge to compete for breeding rights is still months away. With the understanding of this social behavior, a hunter can expect to capture multiple bucks at one time either in camera images or in video sessions.

Mineral Sites

Most people understand that whitetails are attracted to salt and minerals, but not many truly understand the biology behind that attraction. Whitetails require salt to help their bodies process the water that they intake with the vegetation that they eat. As green forages become bountiful and are a larger portion of a whitetails diet, the need for that salt intake increases dramatically. That is why deer frequently visit salt blocks and mineral sites predictably through the peak growing months of the summertime. These sites make incredibly successful locations to frequently capture images of the bucks roaming the property, standing still to get full detail of imagery and often with many of their companions.

Green Food Sources

In the Midwest, it is no secret that deer absolutely love and are attracted to soybean fields. These plants are highly nutritious and high in protein and are a major draw to all resident deer in the area. Arguably just as attractive, green fields of other legumes such as clover and alfalfa are also a magnet to the local deer herd. Coupling that with the fact that deer do not need to travel far at this time of year between bedding and reliable attractive food sources, and as stated above bucks are congregated in bachelor groups, these fields of green are super effective locations for setting up trail cameras and also for direct observation excursions. A good strategy is to post a camera on both motion detection and time-lapse to ensure you can get images of the whole field during the last couple of hours of daylight. If no convenient tree is nearby, a camera mount can put your device right in the action.

Direct Observation

Armed with the knowledge above, hunters often time will set up in the evenings with a camera and/or video equipment in hopes of capturing images of the bucks frequenting their property. Although the deer will be using those fields consistently and likely every evening, successful observations are very predictable and usually earlier on days with cool fronts moving through. The deer will feel much more comfortable and more likely to step out of cover and into the adjoining fields on cooler evenings.

Strategies for Observing –With a little forethought, a hunter can plan where to park and how to access these hidden fields of green to ensure they stay undetected. Much like a hunting setup, your entry and exit must be concealed and your chosen location for observation should be downwind with the prevailing breeze in your favor. You will want to ensure that the deer are unaware of your presence so they remain relaxed which will allow all of them to hopefully enter the field. Even though this is a very relaxed time of year for them, mature bucks still have the tendency to show up later than the other deer. By not alerting any of the early arrivers to your presence, you will have a much better chance of getting glimpses of your mature target buck.

Equipment for Success –Much like planning your strategy of approach and choosing a good location, having some fundamental tools with you will help your trips be more successful. Obviously, a good set of binoculars or possibly even a spotting scope, will allow you to view details and pick out characteristics on these velvet-covered antlers. Ideally you should be 100+ yards away to prevent detection so matching good optics for observation at those distances is important. If you plan to photograph or video, having your equipment on a good tripod will allow you to capture great content by remaining steady. For you to remain comfortable and help minimize your movement, a folding camp chair and light camouflage clothing accompanied by some dependable, preferably unscented, insect repellent will keep your movement to a minimum. Again, even though they are relaxed, they are still experts of picking you out if you are not holding still and remaining well hidden.

What To Do With The Intel

When I was a young hunter, I thought I could just set up a tree stand up at the edge of the field where I witnessed those bucks enter all summer long. Don’t fall into that trap! While they are dependably appearing now, all that will change as summer winds down. Rising testosterone levels will make those bucks increasingly more agitated with each other’s presence. Those lush fields of soybeans will soon be yellowing and drying off and much less attractive. The heavy summer foliage of the timber will soon be drying down and offering less cover. Bucks will feel the desire to disperse and set up their fall home ranges, often very far from where they are summering. But, don’t be disheartened! By observing these bucks through the summer, you can create a list of potential target bucks and also one of deer you feel should be passed for more opportunity to reach their potential. Look at it as a pre-game inventory plan and allow that to help you make harvest decisions when you are set up during the season on those strategic stand locations determined by good scouting techniques. Enjoy it as an extension of your deer season and keep it fun!

As A Serious Whitetail Enthusiast

You understand we are entering one of the most exciting times of the year, maybe second only to the peak of the rut. Its that glorious time when we finally start to see whether the buck of our dreams made it to live another year. Not only that, but we are able to evaluate how the bucks that we passed in previous years as immature are progressing along and showing their potential. By mid-July, most whitetails across their range are exhibiting a significant amount of antler development and key characteristics including spread, splits, drop tines and kicker points are recognizable.

Somewhere around the first to the second week of August in the Midwest, for most bucks antler growth will have peaked and the process of antler velvet drying down slowly begins, ultimately terminating and resulting in bucks beginning to strip off the dried velvet revealing fully hardened antlers by mid-September. Just about everyone who runs trail cameras will have their cameras out by early July to begin monitoring known core areas in hope of catching images of these amazing creatures. There are a few predictable behaviors that can be capitalized on to put the chances of you getting successful interactions in your favor. Let’s take a look at these behaviors.

Bachelor Groups

As spring winds on into summer, bucks assemble in loose social groups and spend much of their time together as a result of low testosterone levels and no need to compete with one another. Food sources are readily available and in abundance, and the urge to compete for breeding rights is still months away. With the understanding of this social behavior, a hunter can expect to capture multiple bucks at one time either in camera images or in video sessions.

Mineral Sites

Most people understand that whitetails are attracted to salt and minerals, but not many truly understand the biology behind that attraction. Whitetails require salt to help their bodies process the water that they intake with the vegetation that they eat. As green forages become bountiful and are a larger portion of a whitetails diet, the need for that salt intake increases dramatically. That is why deer frequently visit salt blocks and mineral sites predictably through the peak growing months of the summertime. These sites make incredibly successful locations to frequently capture images of the bucks roaming the property, standing still to get full detail of imagery and often with many of their companions.

Green Food Sources

In the Midwest, it is no secret that deer absolutely love and are attracted to soybean fields. These plants are highly nutritious and high in protein and are a major draw to all resident deer in the area. Arguably just as attractive, green fields of other legumes such as clover and alfalfa are also a magnet to the local deer herd. Coupling that with the fact that deer do not need to travel far at this time of year between bedding and reliable attractive food sources, and as stated above bucks are congregated in bachelor groups, these fields of green are super effective locations for setting up trail cameras and also for direct observation excursions. A good strategy is to post a camera on both motion detection and time-lapse to ensure you can get images of the whole field during the last couple of hours of daylight. If no convenient tree is nearby, a camera mount can put your device right in the action.

Direct Observation

Armed with the knowledge above, hunters often time will set up in the evenings with a camera and/or video equipment in hopes of capturing images of the bucks frequenting their property. Although the deer will be using those fields consistently and likely every evening, successful observations are very predictable and usually earlier on days with cool fronts moving through. The deer will feel much more comfortable and more likely to step out of cover and into the adjoining fields on cooler evenings.

Strategies for Observing –With a little forethought, a hunter can plan where to park and how to access these hidden fields of green to ensure they stay undetected. Much like a hunting setup, your entry and exit must be concealed and your chosen location for observation should be downwind with the prevailing breeze in your favor. You will want to ensure that the deer are unaware of your presence so they remain relaxed which will allow all of them to hopefully enter the field. Even though this is a very relaxed time of year for them, mature bucks still have the tendency to show up later than the other deer. By not alerting any of the early arrivers to your presence, you will have a much better chance of getting glimpses of your mature target buck.

Equipment for Success –Much like planning your strategy of approach and choosing a good location, having some fundamental tools with you will help your trips be more successful. Obviously, a good set of binoculars or possibly even a spotting scope, will allow you to view details and pick out characteristics on these velvet-covered antlers. Ideally you should be 100+ yards away to prevent detection so matching good optics for observation at those distances is important. If you plan to photograph or video, having your equipment on a good tripod will allow you to capture great content by remaining steady. For you to remain comfortable and help minimize your movement, a folding camp chair and light camouflage clothing accompanied by some dependable, preferably unscented, insect repellent will keep your movement to a minimum. Again, even though they are relaxed, they are still experts of picking you out if you are not holding still and remaining well hidden.

What To Do With The Intel

When I was a young hunter, I thought I could just set up a tree stand up at the edge of the field where I witnessed those bucks enter all summer long. Don’t fall into that trap! While they are dependably appearing now, all that will change as summer winds down. Rising testosterone levels will make those bucks increasingly more agitated with each other’s presence. Those lush fields of soybeans will soon be yellowing and drying off and much less attractive. The heavy summer foliage of the timber will soon be drying down and offering less cover. Bucks will feel the desire to disperse and set up their fall home ranges, often very far from where they are summering. But, don’t be disheartened! By observing these bucks through the summer, you can create a list of potential target bucks and also one of deer you feel should be passed for more opportunity to reach their potential. Look at it as a pre-game inventory plan and allow that to help you make harvest decisions when you are set up during the season on those strategic stand locations determined by good scouting techniques. Enjoy it as an extension of your deer season and keep it fun!

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(888) 224-0517

info@basecampcountry.com

10412 Allisonville Rd Suite 108
Fishers, IN 46038

Earn Annual Income Just By Owning Land

Get annual payments for leasing hunting rights with Base Camp Leasing. Base Camp Leasing has been trusted by landowners for over 20 years to handle the hunting lease services.

(888) 224-0517

info@basecampcountry.com

10412 Allisonville Rd Suite 108
Fishers, IN 46038