Have you know properties that bucks don’t use?

By Grant Woods,

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← Grant's AnswersHabitat Management
Hello, I have a small piece of property 10 acres in Vermont surrounded by big woods and great neighbors this is my fourth year doing a small quarter acre plot and qdma. The Hurd in Vermont has been poorly managed now for a number of years. I shot my very first deer on the property when I was 15 years old with a bow first day bow hunting, I have followed up every year with a deer (doe) off the property i am now 25 and purchased the propriety from my parents when they decided to move, while hunting year after year I would only see maybe 3 deer the entire month long bow hunting season (all does) year after year . I used each year as a fun hunt I could do quickly when I got out of work and harvest a doe put meat in the freezer and ready myself for the out of state hunting trips I would take. Four years ago my first year doing a food plot I recieved an over whelming joy of creating something that deer could use! In trying to learn and research better ways of creating better food plots I came across my first growing deer tv video on YouTube! Since then I have completely questioned and re looked my management and deer hunting practices. I now have my own qdma management plan and a healthier deer Hurd because of it. Following your helpful tips to T I now enjoy my small propert to the fullest and for that I thank you!! The question I do have is I never see any bucks if so only fawn or 1.5 old and with my trail camera servay more as if they are passing through never hanging around I have improved bedding and thick cover, I have a small clover plot with a small rape plot .5 acre soybean .5 acre corn,12 nut producing white oak trees and a dozen apple trees truly a really productive 10 acres! Have you ever seen an area bucks just don\’t inhabit? And is the corn better left standing this winter or chopped? Thanks grant! Prayers for your father and with your family!!


I’m thrilled to learn that you are enjoying managing your property!  It sounds as if you are doing a great job improving the habitat!  

Bucks tend to use the best habitat within their home range and does are being bred in your area so bucks are present.  Yearling bucks can and do bred does.  It may be that not many bucks are surviving past 1 1/2 years old in your neighborhood.  It would be interesting to visit with neighboring property owners and see if they are seeing mature bucks.  

You might consider if there are any disturbances at your property such as free ranging dogs,  etc., that would discourage mature deer from using the area.  

Are deer consuming all the corn in your plot?  Deer tend eat chopped corn faster than when it’s standing. However, chopping the corn will also make it easier for rodents and birds to consume.  If you have corn left during the spring chopping may be a good plan. If it typically snows a lot in your area or critters consume all the corn before spring then leaving it standing is probably a better option.

Enjoy creation,


November 16, 2015