In the first part of “Buck Hunting Tips for Pressured Land Deer Hunters,” you will join Steve Bartylla and Dan Schmidt as they talk about the impact of hunting pressure on buck behavior during their time at deer camp. This conversation takes place in Season 7, Episode 5 of Deer Talk Now. Check it out here: The Conversation, Part 1 of 3: Pressure and Deer. Welcome to “Buck Hunting Tips for Pressured Land Deer Hunters”! In this video, presented by Deer and Deer Hunting, we’ll discuss some valuable insights for hunters like you who are looking to improve their chances of success. We’ll touch on the idea that 99.9% of the time, bucks are already familiar with your hunting grounds, although it might not be part of their core area. We’ll also explore the concept of bucks not venturing too far from their home range, but rather, visiting new areas during specific times. Additionally, we’ll dive into the effects of pressure on buck behavior, debunking the idea that they’ll take off to unexplored territories to escape hunting pressure. Instead, they seek out safe areas within their home range. Plus, we’ll highlight the importance of creating appealing hunting spots that they can’t resist. So, get ready to learn some effective tips and strategies for hunting pressured land deer, and let’s get started!

Buck Hunting Tips for Pressured Land Deer Hunters

Understanding Buck Behavior

Bucks, or male deer, exhibit certain behaviors that deer hunters should understand in order to increase their chances of a successful hunt. By understanding their behavior, you can adapt your hunting strategies accordingly. There are three important aspects of buck behavior that every deer hunter should be aware of: the buck’s home range, how bucks behave under pressure, and the domino effect that can cause bucks to travel long distances.

Knowing the buck’s home range

The home range of a buck refers to the area in which they spend the majority of their time. This range typically consists of a few square miles and includes their core area, where they feel safe and comfortable. It’s important to note that even if your hunting grounds are not part of a buck’s core area, it is likely still within their overall home range. This means that bucks will visit your area during certain times, such as the rut or when food is scarce in their core area.

Bucks under pressure

When hunting on pressured lands, it’s crucial to consider how bucks behave under pressure. Research has shown that during times of hunting pressure, bucks tend to seek out areas where they feel safe and undisturbed. They will often retreat to remote or secluded locations within their home range, such as thick cover or hard-to-reach areas. By understanding this behavior, hunters can adjust their strategies and focus on these areas that bucks frequent to increase their chances of a successful hunt.

The domino effect

The domino effect plays a role in the movement of bucks within their home range. When a buck is on the edge of their home range and encounters a hot doe, they will continue to travel, often outside of their familiar territory. This can lead them to travel long distances, following scent trails of other does in estrus. Hunters should keep this in mind when planning their hunting strategies, as bucks may travel far from their core area during this time. By understanding the domino effect, hunters can position themselves in areas where bucks are likely to travel, increasing their chances of encountering them.

Utilizing Core Areas

Understanding the concept of core areas is essential in hunting bucks effectively. Core areas are the portion of a buck’s home range where they spend the majority of their time. Knowing where these core areas are located can greatly increase the likelihood of encountering a buck during a hunt.

The importance of core areas

Core areas are critical for deer hunters to understand because they represent the areas where bucks feel safe and comfortable. They often consist of dense cover, secluded spots, or areas with abundant food sources. Bucks will spend a significant amount of time in their core areas, especially outside of the rutting season or when food is abundant. By identifying and targeting these core areas, hunters can increase their chances of a successful hunt.

Finding core areas on pressured land

On pressured lands, it may be challenging to identify core areas due to the behavior of bucks seeking refuge in secluded spots. However, it is still possible to find core areas with careful observation and scouting. Look for areas with dense cover, including thickets, swamps, or areas inaccessible to humans. Bucks will often seek out these areas to find safety and avoid hunting pressure. It’s also important to consider food sources in these core areas, as bucks will travel to these locations to feed. By identifying core areas and setting up hunting strategies accordingly, hunters can improve their chances of encountering bucks on pressured land.

Choosing the Right Hunting Strategy

Adapting to buck behavior is crucial when selecting the right hunting strategy. Seasonal changes, such as the rut or late-season conditions, can greatly impact buck behavior. Understanding these changes and adjusting hunting strategies accordingly can significantly increase the chances of a successful hunt.

Hunting during the rut

The rut is a crucial period for deer hunters as bucks become more active and exhibit different behaviors. Bucks will be focused on finding and breeding does during this time, making it an opportune moment to target them. During the rut, bucks may be more visible and less cautious, as their primary goal is reproduction. This can provide hunters with better opportunities for encounters. By focusing on areas with high doe populations or using calling techniques mimicking doe calls, hunters can increase their chances of attracting bucks during the rut.

Late-season strategies

Late-season hunting can present its own set of challenges, as deer behavior may change due to food sources becoming limited and colder temperatures. During this time, bucks will often concentrate around remaining food sources and spend more time feeding. Identifying these food sources, such as standing crops or potential food plot areas, can provide hunters with areas to focus on. It’s also important to pay attention to travel patterns and bedding areas, as bucks will adjust their behavior to conserve energy. By adapting hunting strategies to these late-season changes, hunters can maximize their chances of success.

Creating Attractive Food Sources

Food sources play a vital role in a buck’s behavior, making them a key consideration for deer hunters. By incorporating attractive food sources into your hunting area, you can increase the likelihood of attracting bucks and improving hunting opportunities.

Importance of food sources

Food plays a significant role in a buck’s daily routine and decision-making. Bucks will seek out areas with nutritious and easily accessible food to meet their nutritional needs. By identifying and providing attractive food sources in your hunting area, you can create hotspots that bucks will be drawn to. This can increase your chances of encountering bucks during a hunt.

Planting food plots

Food plots are a popular method for attracting deer, including bucks, to specific areas. Planting specific crops such as clover, oats, or brassicas can provide a consistent and reliable food source that bucks will be attracted to. It’s important to select food plot locations strategically, considering factors such as proximity to bedding areas or travel routes. By creating well-maintained and diverse food plots, hunters can make their hunting areas more attractive to bucks.

Using apple trees

Apple trees are another effective way to attract bucks to specific areas. Bucks are drawn to the sweetness and high-calorie content of apples. Planting apple trees or preserving existing ones in your hunting area can provide a natural food source that bucks will seek out. It’s important to maintain apple trees and regularly monitor them for ripe fruit. By incorporating apple trees into your hunting area, you can enhance its attractiveness to bucks.

Buck Hunting Tips for Pressured Land Deer Hunters

Designing Hunting Areas

Effective hunting areas require careful planning and design to optimize the hunting experience and accommodate multiple hunters. By setting up your property strategically, you can increase the chances of encountering bucks and create a more enjoyable hunting environment.

Setting up your property for multiple hunters

If you plan to hunt with a group of hunters, it’s essential to design your hunting area in a way that accommodates everyone. Consider creating separate stands or blinds that provide each hunter with enough space and a clear line of sight. Properly spacing out hunting locations can prevent overcrowding and minimize the chances of spooking deer. It’s also important to establish clear hunting boundaries and communication protocols. By designing your property to accommodate multiple hunters, you can create a harmonious hunting experience.

Optimizing small land for hunting

Hunting on smaller properties presents its own set of challenges, but with proper planning, it is still possible to maximize hunting opportunities. Focus on creating attractive features within your property, such as food plots or bedding areas, to increase the likelihood of attracting bucks. Carefully select stand or blind locations to optimize visibility and cover potential travel routes or feeding areas. By maximizing the potential of your small land through strategic design and planning, you can increase your chances of encountering bucks.

Attracting Bucks to Honey Pots

Creating irresistible hunting spots, also known as honey pots, can significantly increase your chances of attracting bucks to your hunting area. By utilizing scents and lures and maximizing attractiveness, you can create a hunting destination bucks simply can’t resist.

Creating irresistible hunting spots

To create an irresistible hunting spot, it’s essential to carefully select the location and enhance its attractiveness. Look for areas such as travel corridors, intersections, or areas with high deer activity. Clear shooting lanes, set up stands or blinds, and create mock scrapes or rubs to mimic natural deer behavior. By making the hunting spot aesthetically pleasing and appealing to bucks, you can increase the chances of drawing them to the area.

Using scents and lures

Scents and lures can be powerful tools in attracting bucks to specific locations. Deer urine, such as doe estrus or dominant buck urine, can be used to create a scent trail leading to your hunting spot. Lures such as rattling antlers or grunt calls can also simulate natural deer behavior and attract bucks. It’s crucial to use scents and lures in moderation and in appropriate situations to avoid spooking deer. By incorporating scents and lures strategically, you can enhance the attractiveness of your hunting spot.

Maximizing attractiveness

Maximizing the attractiveness of your hunting area involves creating an environment that bucks find irresistible. This includes maintaining food sources, providing cover, and ensuring a consistent water source. Regularly monitoring and adjusting food plots, clearing shooting lanes, and managing vegetation can improve the overall attractiveness of your hunting area. By paying attention to these details and continuously improving the hunting environment, you can increase the chances of attracting bucks to your honey pots.

Buck Hunting Tips for Pressured Land Deer Hunters

Managing Expectations

Managing expectations is an essential aspect of buck hunting. It’s crucial to have realistic expectations based on the hunting conditions, the size of your property, and your personal goals. Balancing family and hunting goals is also important, ensuring that hunting does not overshadow other important aspects of your life.

Realistic expectations for hunting big deer

When it comes to hunting big deer, it’s essential to have realistic expectations. Trophy bucks are scarce and require favorable conditions and a fair amount of luck to encounter. It’s important to understand that hunting success cannot be guaranteed, and trophy bucks may not always be within reach. Setting realistic goals, such as enjoying the overall experience or harvesting any mature buck, can help manage expectations and ensure a fulfilling hunting season.

Balancing family and hunting goals

For many deer hunters, family and hunting are both important aspects of life. Balancing these two aspects can be challenging but is necessary for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It’s important to communicate and involve your family in hunting activities, making it a shared experience. Setting realistic hunting goals that align with family commitments and ensuring quality time with loved ones is crucial. By balancing family and hunting goals, you can achieve a harmonious and fulfilling hunting season.

Maximizing Hunting Opportunities

Hunting with limited space requires strategic planning and making the most out of the available area. By implementing specific strategies and optimizing small properties, hunters can maximize their hunting opportunities regardless of limited space.

Strategies for hunting with limited space

When hunting with limited space, it’s crucial to focus on high-traffic areas and travel corridors. Use trail cameras to identify deer movement patterns and set up stands or blinds accordingly. Additionally, consider the timing of your hunts, focusing on peak activity times such as dawn and dusk. By concentrating your efforts on high-traffic areas and optimizing your hunting time, you can increase your chances of encountering bucks even in limited space.

Making the most out of a small property

When hunting on a small property, it’s important to make the most out of every available space. Consider implementing habitat improvements such as creating small food plots or enhancing natural cover and bedding areas. Additionally, carefully plan stand or blind placements to optimize visibility and cover potential travel routes. By maximizing the potential of your small property through strategic enhancements and planning, you can increase your chances of encountering bucks.

Buck Hunting Tips for Pressured Land Deer Hunters

Sucking Bucks In

Sucking bucks in refers to creating a hunting destination that bucks are irresistibly drawn to. By utilizing specific strategies and understanding how to attract bucks to your area, you can increase the chances of encounters and successful hunts.

Creating a compelling hunting destination

To create a compelling hunting destination, focus on providing the essential elements that bucks seek out, such as food, cover, and water sources. Consistently maintain and enhance these features to keep them attractive to bucks year-round. Additionally, consider creating mock scrapes or using visual attractants such as decoys to pique bucks’ curiosity. By designing your hunting destination to resemble an ideal deer habitat, you can increase its appeal to bucks.

Understanding how to attract bucks to your area

Understanding what attracts bucks and utilizing specific strategies can significantly increase the chances of attracting them to your area. Consistent food sources, such as well-maintained food plots or natural vegetation, play a crucial role. Bucks will also be drawn to areas with ample cover and water sources. Utilizing scents, lures, and calling techniques can further enhance attraction. By understanding the key factors that attract bucks and implementing the appropriate strategies, you can create an irresistible destination for them.


Understanding buck behavior and adapting hunting strategies accordingly is essential for a successful deer hunting experience. By knowing the buck’s home range, utilizing core areas, choosing the right hunting strategy, creating attractive food sources, designing hunting areas, attracting bucks to honey pots, managing expectations, maximizing hunting opportunities, and effectively sucking bucks in, hunters can greatly increase their chances of encountering and harvesting bucks. By balancing expectations and making the most out of their hunting land, hunters can create a fulfilling and rewarding hunting season.

Buck Hunting Tips for Pressured Land Deer Hunters

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