Thoughts From The Field

Blog posts by the team

Got Nighttime Deer Movement?

During this portion of the season many folks experience limited daylight deer movement. It can be frustrating to see hit listers on camera only during the cover of darkness. One of the most frequently asked questions is, “How do I hunt these deer?”

There isn’t a clear cut answer that will result in harvesting a nocturnal buck. Below are the techniques we use when hunting nocturnal bucks.

Headturner is a nocturnal buck

We are closing in on this 4.5 year old buck, Headturner. We may need to wait until the rut to hunt his preferred travel route.

One of the first things we do is cut the distance. We have designated sanctuaries at The Proving Grounds. Much of the bedding occurs within these areas throughout a season. When a mature buck has a nocturnal pattern we start to back track his movements. By using terrain features and known deer trails the preferred bedding areas can be located. Once we’ve pinpointed travel routes to and from the bedding area, we hang a Summit. By cutting the distance close to the bedding area the odds drastically increase.

Next, we sit and wait for the right weather. Cold fronts generally get deer up and moving earlier than usual. This is the time to slip into this stand and hunt, hopefully catching the nocturnal buck on his feet during daylight hours.

Another option, simply wait. If a buck is traveling through an area that is unapproachable then wait! Knowing when to hunt is often just as important as knowing when not to hunt. As the rut nears bucks will begin to travel more. Research out of Pennsylvania has shown bucks travel nearly three times as much during November as they do in October. With that being said, that same nocturnal buck will become more visible during daylight hours. To put the odds in your favor, it’s best to locate a heavily used pinch point in the area. Now you are in the best location to observe the increase in deer activity. Waiting until conditions are favorable is often the quickest way to success.

Remember, pressuring deer only makes them more nocturnal.

If trail cameras are lighting up after the sun has set, there is still hope! Depending on the buck’s core area and travel routes these hunting strategies can keep you in the game. Don’t give up on a nocturnal buck, there is a time and place when that deer will become harvestable.

Chasing Whitetails,


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The Power Of Doe Patterns

Hold on to your seats, the rut is on the way! Within the next few weeks across much of the whitetails’ range pre-rut activity will increase. This spike in deer activity can make for excellent hunting. To capitalize on bucks spending more time on their feet during daylight hours, you need to find the does!

At this stage of the game, most hunters have bucks on their minds. But, if you plan on filling tags during the pre-rut phase, it’s important to know where the does are. During this stage bucks are just beginning to search and pester does. As a result, does have not yet begun to alter feeding or bedding patterns. This means they are still on a routine. It’s important to study patterns that show up on trail cameras and adjust stands to accommodate them. If done correctly stands will be ready when bucks are most active.

Don’t think you are the only one picking up on these patterns though. Scrapes are a line of communication among deer. By using scrapes deer can determine which individuals are most active in certain areas. Bucks know where does are frequently visiting as well. They too will be concentrating efforts around doe patterns. This will eventually change once does start seeking denser cover to hide from bucks. However, during the pre-rut phase, does are an important part of putting the puzzle pieces together. Being prepared in advance to hunt locations frequented by does may result in sightings or even punched buck tags.

Chasing Whitetails,

Matt Dye

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New Developments!

Last week Adam discussed the recent patterns of a buck we call Handy. We had predicted earlier in the summer he would shift to the center of the property. As of last week he hadn’t, keeping us on our toes. This week, the Reconyx captured Handy making the moves we’ve anticipated.

This great video of Handy working a scrape was taken in the center portion of the property. Boom Back is a portion of a ridge where Handy frequented the last two falls. We are confident Handy will remain in this area for the remainder of the season. This is exciting news for the GrowingDeer Team as we have been preparing our Summit treestands and Redneck Blinds for this moment.

Now that we are prepared it’s time to sit back and wait! This time we are waiting for the right conditions to hunt. This area is sensitive and tough to access. Therefore, we are waiting for cooler temperatures, high pressure, and strong winds to hunt. These factors combined tend to get deer on their feet and moving. The morning this video was taken was cold with a high barometer reading. We will be closely monitoring our Reconyx cameras and weather to determine if any more information can be gathered on this buck’s patterns.

Remaining patient for the appropriate time to strike is critical in this stage of the game. We will keep you posted! Be sure to follow along on our Facebook and Instagram pages as we set out for Handy in the coming weeks!

Enjoying Creation,


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The Changing Pattern Of Handy

The GrowingDeer Team has kept a close eye on our favorite hit list buck, Handy, throughout the summer. We watched him regularly frequent a food plot on the northern part of The Proving Grounds. As most hunters who have ever watched whitetails throughout the year know, the changing of summer to fall usually brings changes to deer patterns. The same is true for Handy and his summer pattern.

Our last pictures of Handy in velvet came in early September with his running partner Southpaw. After seeing Southpaw had already shed velvet we knew the pattern was soon to change. After those images we went two weeks without a single Reconyx image of Southpaw or Handy. Finally, we found these two bucks in a least expected food plot! North Field is a short distance from where we had captured Reconyx images of these two bucks all summer.

The great news about our MRI (Most Recent Information) is the location of our Redneck trailer blind. We had positioned the Redneck blind in North field a few weeks ago to help us harvest does. We often talk about not hunting mornings during the early season due to the arrangement of our road system to food plots. Fortunately, North Field is one of the few plots we can intercept deer going from feeding back to bedding during the morning hours. It looks like a morning hunt is in store!

Stay tuned to upcoming episodes and blogs as we’re in pursuit of Handy!

For Love of the Land and the Glory to God!


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