Hunting Whitetail Bucks at Feeding Areas—Part IV

On that day, this feeding area had 6 bucks feeding and sparring.

Beginning in early September, most whitetails feed with other deer. Typically, mature does are accompanied by their fawns and yearlings and sometimes by older bucks. Bachelor groups of five or more antlered bucks of all ages living in the same square mile will regularly feed, spar and battle with one another in chosen feeding areas until mid-to-late October. Does with young may be seen feeding in the same areas. While feeding, whether close together or within sight of one another, one or more deer will briefly take turns as sentinels while the others feed, making it difficult for a wolf or hunter to stalk near and or wait unnoticed in ambush (stand hunting). Actually, rare is the stand hunter who can avoid being identified by deer in a feeding area between less than an hour after beginning to stand hunt to the end of three consecutive half days of hunting there. Typically, once one or more hunters have been discovered, most or all of the whitetails that originally fed there will either feed in the same area in darkness only, feed elsewhere for the next four or more days or abandon that feeding area for the rest of the hunting season.

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