When do Bucks move in Fall?

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HuntingParadise
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When do Bucks move in Fall?

Unread postby HuntingParadise » Wed Jul 14, 2021 1:23 am

Hey yall,

Centralish Wisconsin here and I have a question. We have had a recent issue for the past two years that looks to be going into this year. Just pulled the cameras on one half of our property and had one small buck show up about 6-7 times on the 7 cameras and two ok-ish bucks show up once. Its not rare recently like I said where we dont have bucks in this area and are working on fixing that for the future. Past few years were very flooded. Would have liked to be able to have one pinned down in one of the bedding areas for early season but its not looking likely. We do get bucks in fall that are obviously moving around and checking out doe areas etc. My question is, when do most of the northern midwestern hunters see bucks that move in fall? Im going to look back at trail cam data soon but curious to see when you guys would expect the movement?


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Re: When do Bucks move in Fall?

Unread postby KRONIIK » Wed Jul 14, 2021 1:39 am

The last three years I've run trail cameras, I've gotten probably 90 percent of my buck pics between October 23 and November 25.
And 95 percent of those pics are at night.

Bucks don't summer where I have those cams; they are cruising through that area searching for hot does; some of which DO summer there.
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Re: When do Bucks move in Fall?

Unread postby dan » Wed Jul 14, 2021 2:50 am

its spot dependant... If bucks are not on your cameras early, go to where bucks are early
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Re: When do Bucks move in Fall?

Unread postby rhagenw » Wed Jul 14, 2021 4:53 am

In my areas I can catch bucks in grassy swales jetting out in crop fields as long as the beans/corn are great and grass is still standing tall...so maybe up to the first couple days in October depending on weather and such...but usually it ends on the last week of September...missed a big one in that scenario the 29th of September last year...buck fever is real
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Re: When do Bucks move in Fall?

Unread postby HuntingParadise » Thu Jul 15, 2021 1:40 am

Thanks for the responses. I was kind of thinking mid October or when crop fields come off. Ill be hunting public until then trying to get on something but was curious of when to expect. We do have does here so I know eventually bucks will come.
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Re: When do Bucks move in Fall?

Unread postby rhagenw » Thu Jul 15, 2021 4:23 am

Ohhh that’s a tough one...And I have found it dependent one a multitude of factors...hope some more seasoned Beast’s chime in...seems like doe’s, and increasing hunting pressure greatly changes my areas during this time
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Re: When do Bucks move in Fall?

Unread postby Elite » Thu Jul 15, 2021 6:17 am

HuntingParadise wrote:Hey yall,

Centralish Wisconsin here and I have a question. We have had a recent issue for the past two years that looks to be going into this year. Just pulled the cameras on one half of our property and had one small buck show up about 6-7 times on the 7 cameras and two ok-ish bucks show up once. Its not rare recently like I said where we dont have bucks in this area and are working on fixing that for the future. Past few years were very flooded. Would have liked to be able to have one pinned down in one of the bedding areas for early season but its not looking likely. We do get bucks in fall that are obviously moving around and checking out doe areas etc. My question is, when do most of the northern midwestern hunters see bucks that move in fall? Im going to look back at trail cam data soon but curious to see when you guys would expect the movement?



What do you mean by “move in the fall”? If you’re asking about the fall range shift, that would be after they shed their velvet to about the first week of October.
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Re: When do Bucks move in Fall?

Unread postby HuntingParadise » Thu Jul 15, 2021 7:35 am

Elite wrote:
HuntingParadise wrote:Hey yall,

Centralish Wisconsin here and I have a question. We have had a recent issue for the past two years that looks to be going into this year. Just pulled the cameras on one half of our property and had one small buck show up about 6-7 times on the 7 cameras and two ok-ish bucks show up once. Its not rare recently like I said where we dont have bucks in this area and are working on fixing that for the future. Past few years were very flooded. Would have liked to be able to have one pinned down in one of the bedding areas for early season but its not looking likely. We do get bucks in fall that are obviously moving around and checking out doe areas etc. My question is, when do most of the northern midwestern hunters see bucks that move in fall? Im going to look back at trail cam data soon but curious to see when you guys would expect the movement?



What do you mean by “move in the fall”? If you’re asking about the fall range shift, that would be after they shed their velvet to about the first week of October.


I could of been more specific but thats what I was getting at. Thanks
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Re: When do Bucks move in Fall?

Unread postby Lockdown » Thu Jul 15, 2021 7:59 am

If you made me pick dates for fall range shifts:

September 6th
October 22nd
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Re: When do Bucks move in Fall?

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Thu Jul 15, 2021 8:02 am

I’m not from the North or Midwest so hope u don’t mind if I chime in. Summer is the easiest time for me to line up on bucks. I find the food and they aren’t far. Have captured dozens of pictures of some whoppers past few weeks. Fun to look at but I don’t put much stock into it. Now a daylight hard antler pic I will pay attention to.

I see just 3 major shifts in my area each year.
1.) Being Velvet to hard antler.

2.) Gun season pressure

3.) Going from survival to the need to breed.

I focus my efforts around #3
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Re: When do Bucks move in Fall?

Unread postby phade » Fri Jul 16, 2021 2:44 am

Likewise, I see multiple shifts IMO. I wish there was more research done on this - lots of scholarly articles on shifts but I don't think any of them reflect what I observe/or actually witness.

Between cameras and glassing, I have consistently seen multiple shifts. One right at velvet peel, one at the end of September, rut madness, and then late season. Then another at June time.

I have history with a very nice 140-150" 8, which is large for our area that demonstrated an absolutely clock-work-like shift. I have four years of this buck on cam, thousands of images and even videos (by an actual camera while glassing). This buck would appear in February and be present through summer, and disappear as if he has a watch on his front leg. The last date of having eyeballs or photos of the deer for all four of those years....9/29, 9/30, 9/30, 9/30. There were variations in crop rotation, adjacent pressure, farming practices, etc. In none of those years did that buck show up in hunting season in daylight, and only once did he show up at night, peak rut, paired up with another large buck chasing a doe. Outside of that, that buck was a ghost in season, only to return in February two months after season close. Face value one might think it's pressure related, but there was no constant there to cause that buck to be THAT exact, even me and my hunting partner. One year we had a gap of stepping foot on that property for a long time before and after that shift on 9/30.

mature bucks are so simple and complex at the same time.
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Re: When do Bucks move in Fall?

Unread postby DaveT1963 » Fri Jul 16, 2021 3:00 am

What I have found is that bucks have several core areas within a home range. I think most everyone has it backwards. IMO mature bucks relocate in early spring because they are in VELVET. THEY MOVE FROM THOSE THICK NASTY SPOTS to go to more open areas. I also find that they like windy spots to avoid bugs. Then, once their horns start to harden, which also coincides with the time the woods get flooded with preseason prep, they return to more remote thicker areas.

Obviously food, water and does can dictate what core area he is in..... But a buck usually lives and dies in his home range. Trouble is, most of us are only good (oe semi good) at locating Fall core areas as the visable sign is easier to read. Just my 2cents.
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Re: When do Bucks move in Fall?

Unread postby Elite » Fri Jul 16, 2021 4:51 am

I too have noticed that large antlered bucks avoid very thick clear cuts because of potential velvet damage. I see them (via trail cams) coming from and bedding in open areas during the summer.
As an example, the buck I’m after this year has yet to make an appearance in my plot behind the house. The plot is surrounded by a thick clear cut that he would definitely catch his rack on. He did the same thing last year and didn’t show up in the plot until hard horned. In contrast, he’s showing up in my new plot (yesterday) that has pines to the north of it.
I don’t put much stake in summertime patterns as they change in the fall. However, you can develop a pattern with specific bucks if you pay attention to them year after year.
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Re: When do Bucks move in Fall?

Unread postby Phillynocheeze » Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:15 pm

I recently made a spreadsheet on excel that I comprised with trail cam data over the past couple of seasons so I could concentrate my vacation time and have the best chances at seeing bucks in “big woods” parts of Wisconsin. I found that there’s a flurry of activity on scrapes and edges of bedding cover in the middle of October when there is a weather event, but typically daylight pics on October 25-28th depending on weather conditions spiked dramatically. Continuing into the first week of November. Hope that helps.
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Re: When do Bucks move in Fall?

Unread postby KRONIIK » Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:53 pm

phade wrote:Likewise, I see multiple shifts IMO. I wish there was more research done on this - lots of scholarly articles on shifts but I don't think any of them reflect what I observe/or actually witness.

Between cameras and glassing, I have consistently seen multiple shifts. One right at velvet peel, one at the end of September, rut madness, and then late season. Then another at June time.

I have history with a very nice 140-150" 8, which is large for our area that demonstrated an absolutely clock-work-like shift. I have four years of this buck on cam, thousands of images and even videos (by an actual camera while glassing). This buck would appear in February and be present through summer, and disappear as if he has a watch on his front leg. The last date of having eyeballs or photos of the deer for all four of those years....9/29, 9/30, 9/30, 9/30. There were variations in crop rotation, adjacent pressure, farming practices, etc. In none of those years did that buck show up in hunting season in daylight, and only once did he show up at night, peak rut, paired up with another large buck chasing a doe. Outside of that, that buck was a ghost in season, only to return in February two months after season close. Face value one might think it's pressure related, but there was no constant there to cause that buck to be THAT exact, even me and my hunting partner. One year we had a gap of stepping foot on that property for a long time before and after that shift on 9/30.

mature bucks are so simple and complex at the same time.


That is a fascinating story.
I have a somewhat similar history of a big buck that just came out of nowhere and simply showed up for a nice nocturnal portrait on a pinch-point trail camera.
Disappeared, and then showed up in the exact same place-almost to the hoofprints- at almost exactly the same time of night, almost exactly one year later-within a day or two of the actual date. (October 29, IIRC.)
Vasatly different weather conditions, food sources, crop locations, yet something set the date for him.
Maybe he was playing a Halloween "Trick-or-Treat" prank on me?


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