Big Game

What to Do When Your Bucks Disappear? | Early Fall Deer Food Sources

Relocating Bucks When they Disappear

It never fails, season after season, year after year, your big summer bucks disappear right at the start of fall. Whether it’s the first sign of shedding velvet or when the first acorn falls, they abandoned the area they used to call home, including the feed or mineral in front of your trail camera. Phillip Culpepper shares the reasons his bucks disappear from his well-stocked corn feeders, and what he does to try and relocate them. Corn is king in a lot of areas and for a lot of hunters in the southern states, but some of these hunters can live and die by corn. Why? Phillip walks just 50 yards away from his corn feeder to reveal a food source that is sure to pull any deer herd off a feeder.

Hard and Soft Mast

When fall starts, mineral and bait sites are challenged by native mast-bearing trees. Hard and soft mast tree species drop their precious cargo right around the start of deer season, allowing deer to scurry from trail camera sites, hunker down close to bedding areas, and feed on a plentiful and rich food source. In Phillip’s case, the deer are being pulled off the corn by water oak acorns, and a giant persimmon tree. Further up in the Midwest these species might look more like white oaks, chinquapin oaks, and still consistent through much of the whitetail’s range…persimmon trees. Beyond mast-bearing trees, once velvet sheds bachelor groups typically break up causing these bucks to sometimes relocate to altogether different home ranges for the fall. In this scenario, which almost all hunters face at some point or another, in season scouting and moving trail cameras to hot sign and food sources is the best solution for finding those lost bucks.