How can I attract mature bucks to the 50 acres I hunt?

By Grant Woods,

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Dr. Grant, how do I make my 50 acres (highlighted) more attractive to the mature deer over the vast acres of woods behind mine (about 800 acres). My property is the closest to civilization than all the others. I have small bucks and occasionally the big boys will show up at night once every week or so. I have small food plots, lots of white oaks, thick brush and water, but the deer dont stay. So how do I keep them on my property or at least keep them coming more often. Any advice will help a lot. Located in western North Carolina. Thank you!


Deer, especially mature bucks seldom leave their home range.  In fact, the home range size of bucks often decrease as they mature.  

Are there many mature bucks in the area?  Are hunters on neighboring properties passing immature bucks?  

Deer need food, cover, and water daily.  To encourage deer to spend more time on the 50 acres where you hunt there needs to be an attaction. You mentioned white oaks. I assume there are white oaks on the adjoining property (the 800 forest).  I would consider establishing a tree plot with fruit trees that aren’t available locally.  Check out or call them for more information about treeplots!

Water is probably plentiful in the neighborhood.  That leaves cover.  Cover is strongly associated with hunting pressure.  Is there more hunting pressure on your property or the neighbors?  Where will mature bucks feel the most secure – be alerted the least?  

Can you approach/access your property from multiple directions?  For example if you can only access your property from the south and there’s a south wind it will be tough to get to stands/blinds without alerting deer.  

By the way, my wife, Tracy, is from North Carolina!

Enjoy creation,


November 19, 2015