You spot a really good buck, put up a stand and wait, yet the big boy does not show. Should you continue to hunt the stand? Come back several days later? Or abandon it for another spot?
Depending on the amount of human presence in the vicinity, the buck may have become nocturnal, but how do you know without a trail camera image?
The concept of whitetail deer becoming nocturnal in archery and firearm season is a tough one to challenge. Fortunately, this article (once hosted on the Deer & Deer Hunting website), by well-known whitetail deer authority Charles Alsheimer will give you some answers.
You can’t kill a buck if you can’t encounter him during daylight. Of course, this isn’t always easy, as many deer — especially older bucks — seem to turn to the dark side when hunting season opens. Here’s an expert’s insight into what drives nocturnal behavior.
Whitetails are not born with the ability to differentiate what is dangerous to them. Their ability to discern danger comes from their mothers. Does are incredible teachers, and because of this, fawns quickly learn what can harm them. As a fawn ages and moves into adulthood, it has hundreds if not thousands of encounters with all kinds of predators, of which man is the greatest. If man is not common to an area, whitetails will not have nocturnal tendencies.Until the quality deer management model (limited access and hunting methods) took off in our region of New York, whitetails were extremely nocturnal because of human pressure in the woods, especially after the second day of firearms season. When more landowners began practicing quality deer management in the 1990s, greater deer sightings during daylight became the norm. Today, the practice has become so widespread it doesn’t matter what day of firearms season you hunt on quality deer management properties, because in most cases, deer will be on their feet throughout the day.
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