Where To Find Summer Bucks?
Find Your Target Buck Now
This time frame of the summer is an often-overlooked phase of scouting for mature bucks. Bachelor groups of bucks this time of year tend to seek out open hardwood canopies adjacent to high quality summertime forages such as soybeans or alfalfa fields. Depending on what type of parcel you hunt you may or may not have your particular hit list buck living on your property during the summertime. It is easy to be discouraged if you are not seeing any mature bucks on your property during this time. Often times their summer hang outs may be 1-2 miles away from their fall time core area, or in some cases much further depending on the surrounding habitat.
This has become more and more apparent to me over the years after chasing individual bucks in one particular area of open agriculture ground. When I start scouting for the upcoming season, I head approximately two miles North of where an open patch of hardwoods draws out into a large alfalfa field. Each year, bucks that I glass in this parcel will end up on my farm in the fall. This is largely due to the change in fall time cover and food source. This can be a useful clue to your habitat management strategy…
“Here in the Summer, Gone in the Fall”- Why Do Summer Bucks “Disappear”?
I’m guessing most whitetail hunters in the Midwest have experienced this in some way… You will have a handful of mature bucks on your property all summer and they disappear right before deer season. Maybe you see them again during the rut or maybe not at all until the following summer. If that’s the case, chances are you lack quality browse cover and a quality fall time food source. A common and easy way to increase the attractiveness of your property in the fall is to increase your woody browse by hinge cutting, logging, or TSI (timber stand improvement). It creates structural bedding areas, that increases security, and a buffet of fall time browse that deer love, and will increase your holding power in the fall. Large food plots get all the rage now, but I personally think security cover (especially in pressured areas) are hard to beat for upper age class deer.
Don’t be discouraged if there’s not a mature buck on your hunting property now, broaden your search area for several miles around your farm. You might be surprised at just how far bucks will travel come fall.
Last Updated: June 29th, 2023