Where Did the Big Bucks Go?

By GrowingDeer,

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Hi Dr. Grant,

Where did the big bucks go?  On our farm, we’re seeing plenty of does and bucks that are 1.5 to 2.5, but the 3 older bucks that we’ve been watching have fallen into a hole.  No pictures or actual sightings the very time I think we should be seeing them.  I know they are alive, but where in the world are they?  I can’t even get a picture of them at night.




That’s a great question!  We have bucks that do that also.  One buck in particular at The Proving Grounds hits the road just after velvet shedding each fall.  Again this fall, for the 3rd year in a row, one of our oldest bucks disappeared after feeding on my soybeans all summer long.  As in past years, he will probably become a resident again in the spring and summer.  This can be a challenging situation.

GPS collared bucks tell us that bucks often have a slight shift or even an entire shift between their summer and winter ranges.  We’re not sure why it happens but every buck has its own personality and movement patterns.

Another thing to consider is that this time of year bucks can get tied up with estrus does for a day or two cutting down on their movements.  This is especially true when a deer herd is largely skewed toward does.  With few bucks and many does to breed, a buck doesn’t have to move far to find another hot doe.

Growing Deer together,