Why am I not seeing mature bucks?

By Grant Woods,

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Hi Grant. I love your show. I have been trying to practice QDM on 400+ acres in north eastern WI. There is about 100 acres of mixed northern harwoods surrounded by cedar and tag alder swamp. I have 10 acres of beautiful foodplots throughout the hardwoods in a variety of crops. I have owned this land for 4 years now and it seems like each year i am improving my food plots and get more does and fawns, however I am seeing less and less 2.5 yr old and older bucks. I have heard that does will chase away bucks in order to raise their fawns and wonder if this is happening. Is this true? And if so what can I do to get more older bucks to stick around and still have a good supply of does? Most of my neighbors do not shoot young bucks and several will not shoot does unfortunately. I have the most and best foodplots in the neighborhood too. Thank you for your help.



Congrats on owning a neat property in northern Wisconsin!  

Does tend to only defend areas when they are about to give birth and are nursing young fawns,.  I doubt they are chasing bucks away from food plots during the fall.  Is your land in a known CWD zone?  If so, that may explain why you are not seeing many mature bucks.  

If it’s not CWD and immature bucks are not being harvested by neighbors, then I suspect there’s a better or more preferred food source somewhere nearby.  When you deer it’s always a good idea, after the deer’s stomach  is removed, to check the stomach contents. I’m always amazed at how much information I gain from doing what I call “scouting from the skinning shed.”  You’ll likely know soon if there are illegal bait piles on neighboring properties, etc.   

Enjoy creation,


October 12, 2015