Locating a nocturnal buck

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CShipp
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Re: Locating a nocturnal buck

Unread postby CShipp » Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:00 am

Bonecrusher101 wrote:
Bonecrusher101 wrote:So, he doesn’t bed on your property and you’ve only seen him a few times on camera during rut cruising through at midnight? Sounds like He’s scent checking does on the downwind side of a doe bedding area at night only a few times a year?

If it’s public land or you can get permission than you should back track him after it rains and find out exactly where he beds. There are some excellent threads and podcasts on bigwoods hunting. Some of those deer travel a very long distance from their home range. The patterns are very similar on certain dates sometimes to the exact day. With this one only being seen during the rut and in middle of the night, I don’t think his core area is there.

The best way to get him is to find his core area.


Just saw your update about the island, I’d get waders or a boat and get on that island ASAP. Keep us posted about that new camera placement.

You are making progress, stay with it till you find him!


Ill post back if i get anything of interest. Thanks for the input.


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Re: Locating a nocturnal buck

Unread postby PK_ » Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:13 am

What is the deer population like there?

If you have high deer numbers the buck may not travel far. Lower deer numbers and he may range a very long ways.

He may not be hitting the scrapes at midnight because of the distance from his daytime bed, it may be because you have been hunting there and he surely knows it.

I would not think those islands are a mature bucks bed, I would say Possible doe bedding, nighttime buck bedding and/or rut buck bedding. Given their proximity to food and they are in what I would expect to be a pretty high traffic(deer traffic) area.

Keep in mind deer use those islandS for travel not just bedding. The mature bucks usually bed on an island that is off by itself that doesn’t lead to any other islands or desirable habitat. They don’t like other deer or animals to come wandering through their bedroom. (Unless it’s does during rut)

Good luck.
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Re: Locating a nocturnal buck

Unread postby CShipp » Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:24 am

PK_ wrote:What is the deer population like there?

If you have high deer numbers the buck may not travel far. Lower deer numbers and he may range a very long ways.

He may not be hitting the scrapes at midnight because of the distance from his daytime bed, it may be because you have been hunting there and he surely knows it.

I would not think those islands are a mature bucks bed, I would say Possible doe bedding, nighttime buck bedding and/or rut buck bedding. Given their proximity to food and they are in what I would expect to be a pretty high traffic(deer traffic) area.

Keep in mind deer use those islandS for travel not just bedding. The mature bucks usually bed on an island that is off by itself that doesn’t lead to any other islands or desirable habitat. They don’t like other deer or animals to come wandering through their bedroom. (Unless it’s does during rut)

Good luck.


Deer population is very average. i think the more important factor is the Buck to Doe ratio, its close to 50:50. We hold a lot of bucks during the season, BUT this particular buck rarely shows his face. He is definitely the biggest, oldest buck in the area (that i know of) so he may not have to roam far from his bed too breed. Very good point about me pressuring the scrapes, id never thought about that. I would think it would still be a good idea to prep a tree downwind of those doe (presumably) bedding islands during the rut and hope he scent checks them?
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Re: Locating a nocturnal buck

Unread postby Wlog » Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:26 am

When does your season start?

How often do you hunt this property?

Is it public or private?

Do other people hunt here too?

Is there other human activity apart from hunting? How frequent?

You said Louisiana, when is peak rut in your area?

How big is this property?

Do you have set stands that you typically hunt here or do you move around and hunt different areas?

Would you be satisfied to take a smaller buck off this property or is it this one deer or bust?
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Re: Locating a nocturnal buck

Unread postby CShipp » Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:45 am

Wlog wrote:When does your season start?

How often do you hunt this property?

Is it public or private?

Do other people hunt here too?

Is there other human activity apart from hunting? How frequent?

You said Louisiana, when is peak rut in your area?

How big is this property?

Do you have set stands that you typically hunt here or do you move around and hunt different areas?

Would you be satisfied to take a smaller buck off this property or is it this one deer or bust?


Archery season starts Oct 1st and runs through Feb 15. I normally hunt this property from late November through December (Ruts are variable from year to year due to flooding). It is family land that is hunted by my brother, my dad, my aunt, and me. The property is about 300 acres but 100 of those acres is a crawfish field that went into crp last year, so there's not much going on there. The rest of the property in older 20 year old crp panted with sawtooth oaks that are producing heathy masts crops. I hunt exclusively mobile set ups, but my dad hunts box stands (he says he's earned the right to be warm and drink coffee lol). and i would absolutely be satisfied to kill a smaller buck on this property, BUT this specific buck would be one of the larger bucks taken in my area for as long as i can remember and I want him bad.
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Re: Locating a nocturnal buck

Unread postby PK_ » Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:50 am

CShipp wrote:
PK_ wrote:What is the deer population like there?

If you have high deer numbers the buck may not travel far. Lower deer numbers and he may range a very long ways.

He may not be hitting the scrapes at midnight because of the distance from his daytime bed, it may be because you have been hunting there and he surely knows it.

I would not think those islands are a mature bucks bed, I would say Possible doe bedding, nighttime buck bedding and/or rut buck bedding. Given their proximity to food and they are in what I would expect to be a pretty high traffic(deer traffic) area.

Keep in mind deer use those islandS for travel not just bedding. The mature bucks usually bed on an island that is off by itself that doesn’t lead to any other islands or desirable habitat. They don’t like other deer or animals to come wandering through their bedroom. (Unless it’s does during rut)

Good luck.


Deer population is very average. i think the more important factor is the Buck to Doe ratio, its close to 50:50. We hold a lot of bucks during the season, BUT this particular buck rarely shows his face. He is definitely the biggest, oldest buck in the area (that i know of) so he may not have to roam far from his bed too breed. Very good point about me pressuring the scrapes, id never thought about that. I would think it would still be a good idea to prep a tree downwind of those doe (presumably) bedding islands during the rut and hope he scent checks them?

Well. Depends on wind and access but yes, sounds like a good plan, much better than hunting the field edge scrapes. Lol

Are those islands just East of the scrapes along that transition?

With a property that size I would break it into sections and literally grid search it for sign. If the big deer is living on or using the property a lot, there will be some evidence of him...

I would also hang a cam over that beaver dam...also, a plot watcher or two over the field. The more intel you can gain the better off you will be.
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Re: Locating a nocturnal buck

Unread postby Ryan549 » Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:55 am

CShipp wrote:
Ryan549 wrote:I had a buck, that for 4 yrs would show up 10/26-10/31, then disappear. Then again 11/6-11/9. Like clockwork. I had summer pics of him occasionally, but mostly he came in and out. It took me three years to realize his pattern, which I am kicking myself for. His sheds were routinely found about a mile away.
I was on the outside of his core area, but he came around searching when the time was right. I did not have permission to go and get him on neighboring properties.
These older bucks get into a routine. They are predictable, not so much so that they walk in front of your camera everyday, but that they are in the same spots, year to year, when the time is right.
FYI- that buck was 6.5 when he met his match with a road hunter with a rifle in mid October.


Talk about frustrating! Looking back what would have you done differently to try to kill this buck?



I would’ve kept a better journal. I only found that pattern through looking back through trail cam pics and noticing the dates.
Now I write everything down and refer back to it often. He didn’t live on me, but he was killable and that was a valuable lesson learned on my part. Needless to say, I will not be beaten that way ever again.
But I think of it as a positive, I had to fail to learn. So actually, it will be a success in the future.
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Re: Locating a nocturnal buck

Unread postby CShipp » Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:36 am

PK_ wrote:
CShipp wrote:
PK_ wrote:What is the deer population like there?

If you have high deer numbers the buck may not travel far. Lower deer numbers and he may range a very long ways.

He may not be hitting the scrapes at midnight because of the distance from his daytime bed, it may be because you have been hunting there and he surely knows it.

I would not think those islands are a mature bucks bed, I would say Possible doe bedding, nighttime buck bedding and/or rut buck bedding. Given their proximity to food and they are in what I would expect to be a pretty high traffic(deer traffic) area.

Keep in mind deer use those islandS for travel not just bedding. The mature bucks usually bed on an island that is off by itself that doesn’t lead to any other islands or desirable habitat. They don’t like other deer or animals to come wandering through their bedroom. (Unless it’s does during rut)

Good luck.


Deer population is very average. i think the more important factor is the Buck to Doe ratio, its close to 50:50. We hold a lot of bucks during the season, BUT this particular buck rarely shows his face. He is definitely the biggest, oldest buck in the area (that i know of) so he may not have to roam far from his bed too breed. Very good point about me pressuring the scrapes, id never thought about that. I would think it would still be a good idea to prep a tree downwind of those doe (presumably) bedding islands during the rut and hope he scent checks them?

Well. Depends on wind and access but yes, sounds like a good plan, much better than hunting the field edge scrapes. Lol

Are those islands just East of the scrapes along that transition?

With a property that size I would break it into sections and literally grid search it for sign. If the big deer is living on or using the property a lot, there will be some evidence of him...

I would also hang a cam over that beaver dam...also, a plot watcher or two over the field. The more intel you can gain the better off you will be.


Much better than hunting the field edge scrapes! :lol: yea looking back I can't believe I did that but I guess thats part of learning. The best part about that is my Dad told me I would never see him along that edge during the day, but I didn't listen. and yes Those are islands east of the scrapes, it forms sort of a swamp in that north east corner and i did find some nice rubs in it when i put up my camera. Very good idea to put up trail cam on the beaver dam also.. as for the grid search I am slowly progressing with that, those palmetto jungles can be ruthless so it takes a while to cover ground. I find hunting palmettos is one of the most difficult hunting "habitats" to figure out... you can only see a few feet in front of you so its proven to be a SOB to scout to say the least.
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Re: Locating a nocturnal buck

Unread postby CShipp » Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:46 am

Ryan549 wrote:
CShipp wrote:
Ryan549 wrote:I had a buck, that for 4 yrs would show up 10/26-10/31, then disappear. Then again 11/6-11/9. Like clockwork. I had summer pics of him occasionally, but mostly he came in and out. It took me three years to realize his pattern, which I am kicking myself for. His sheds were routinely found about a mile away.
I was on the outside of his core area, but he came around searching when the time was right. I did not have permission to go and get him on neighboring properties.
These older bucks get into a routine. They are predictable, not so much so that they walk in front of your camera everyday, but that they are in the same spots, year to year, when the time is right.
FYI- that buck was 6.5 when he met his match with a road hunter with a rifle in mid October.


Talk about frustrating! Looking back what would have you done differently to try to kill this buck?



I would’ve kept a better journal. I only found that pattern through looking back through trail cam pics and noticing the dates.
Now I write everything down and refer back to it often. He didn’t live on me, but he was killable and that was a valuable lesson learned on my part. Needless to say, I will not be beaten that way ever again.
But I think of it as a positive, I had to fail to learn. So actually, it will be a success in the future.


Thats a good point. Ive been thinking about putting together a spread sheet for all of my pics so i can document moon, weather, wind, temps, etc. Thanks for the tips. I believe this season i have a better chance than ever to get this buck, and thats all that counts.
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Re: Locating a nocturnal buck

Unread postby CShipp » Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:49 am

If anyone else has any other tactics they'd like to mention feel free! Open to anything..
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Re: Locating a nocturnal buck

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:33 am

I have ran a lot of cams over scrapes through the years. Will say 95% of mature bucks pic will be at night on a scrape. If it’s a local buck that’s hanging in the area you usually can watch the times of pics grow closer to shooting hours. Doesn’t sound like the case for you. I suspect you are positioned in a spot along that particular bucks long range rut travel. Believe the best case for u is if he comes across a close to estrus doe on your property. That would keep him around a few days.

If you have historic evidence of the buck at same scrapes always at night I would scrap that area and start back tracking as far as I can moving cams. I would give up hunting him this year to figure out how to kill him next year. U can’t do both. I would get curious with my cams. I know u already have a general idea of when he visits your property. My goal for the year on the particular buck would be where can I catch him in daylight or is this a buck I need to write off cause he isn’t on my property in daylight. 2 good answers to have! Anything else is a cross your fingers type deal.
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Re: Locating a nocturnal buck

Unread postby CShipp » Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:29 am

Boogieman1 wrote:I have ran a lot of cams over scrapes through the years. Will say 95% of mature bucks pic will be at night on a scrape. If it’s a local buck that’s hanging in the area you usually can watch the times of pics grow closer to shooting hours. Doesn’t sound like the case for you. I suspect you are positioned in a spot along that particular bucks long range rut travel. Believe the best case for u is if he comes across a close to estrus doe on your property. That would keep him around a few days.

If you have historic evidence of the buck at same scrapes always at night I would scrap that area and start back tracking as far as I can moving cams. I would give up hunting him this year to figure out how to kill him next year. U can’t do both. I would get curious with my cams. I know u already have a general idea of when he visits your property. My goal for the year on the particular buck would be where can I catch him in daylight or is this a buck I need to write off cause he isn’t on my property in daylight. 2 good answers to have! Anything else is a cross your fingers type deal.


Thanks for the honest opinion! so much to learn from on this thread.
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Re: Locating a nocturnal buck

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:53 am

Will also add there is only 2 types of mature bucks in the real world that most of us hunt.

1.) the mounted beauties that grace our dens

2.) the nocturnal ones.

They are all highly nocturnal other wise they are dead shortly after 2nd birthday in most heavy hunted regions.


Takes something special to get a old pressure buck moving in daylight on pressured ground. So I assure you that you are not alone in your quest to kill a nocturnal buck. But I stick to my previous answer. When the time is right does he move in daylight in the place you hunt? Or do you need to write him off and find another that does. If u don’t know for certain you are just peeing in the wind and hoping. Hoping is for folks who play the Lotto. Knowing is what separates the killers from the excuse makers.
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Re: Locating a nocturnal buck

Unread postby <DK> » Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:36 am

I have read and listened to guys that say they like using dominant buck urine for these situations. If he checks the scrape at midnight then he could come back around to monitor his area.

Another thing to consider is your main doe bedding areas. You know the property well so apply that and start getting tighter to the does during peak rut. I like setting up right in the best bedding areas w the thickest spots.
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Re: Locating a nocturnal buck

Unread postby CShipp » Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:41 am

<DK> wrote:I have read and listened to guys that say they like using dominant buck urine for these situations. If he checks the scrape at midnight then he could come back around to monitor his area.

Another thing to consider is your main doe bedding areas. You know the property well so apply that and start getting tighter to the does during peak rut. I like setting up right in the best bedding areas w the thickest spots.


Use the dominant buck urine in what way, on the scrape?
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