Holding Bucks on a Property During the Summer

By GrowingDeer,

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Mr. Woods,

I have 145 acres that I have managed for 10 years.  I have a 1/4 acre turnip, wheat, clover field, and ½ acre clover field, and the Fisher River runs through the property.  The timber was cut 15 years ago and is still fairly dense.  The bucks don’t stay on my property in the summer.  I’ve got Trophy Rocks and two feeders out.  There are two doe groups that call my place home.  How can I get the bucks to call my place home all year?

Brandon (North Carolina)


In order to hold bucks throughout the year a property must contain good quality food, cover, and water.  It appears that your property has plenty of water.  Next, let’s consider food.  Turnips, wheat, and clover are good food sources during certain times of the year.  Deer readily consume turnips and wheat during the fall and early spring but once they “bolt,” or make a stem during the spring, their attractiveness and forage value quickly drops.  Clover is a great protein source during cool, moist seasons but tends to not provide much forage during the dry portions of summer and during the late winter.  I would try to increase my summer food sources by increasing acreage and planting Eagle Seed forage soybeans or even chicory depending on the plot size and number of deer.  The quality and quantity of crops produced are dependent on the soil’s fertility so it is critical to do an annual soil test and lime and fertilize as needed.

I also suggest you view the cover from a deer’s point of view.  Is there a significant amount of sunlight reaching the forest floor?  Is it difficult to see more than a few feet?  Sunlight means there should be ample growth that can provide both food and cover.  If the forest’s canopy has closed and limited sunlight is reaching the soil, it may be time to consider thinning a portion of the timber.

I’m glad to hear you are using Trophy Rocks.  I get gads of buck pictures throughout the summer at my mineral stations.  Remember, if you provide quality food, cover, and water throughout the year, it is likely bucks will remain on your property!

Growing Deer together,