Behind my house five years ago at 5 p.m., I killed a buck that I captured on camera 4 miles down the road at 2 a.m. that very same morning.
Four miles may not seem like a lot of ground to cover in 15 hours, but it forever solidified in my mind the fact that rutting bucks are constantly on the move.
And just think how many loaded rifles that deer slipped before walking out in my plot like a boss.
A few miles up the road from my house, Alan Fussell, a lifelong deer hunter who has refined his techniques in the pine stands of Washington Parish, has experienced much the same thing during our rut.
“Bucks have core areas where they stay all summer long,” he said. “Then I think they have an area they go to during the rut. I finally killed a deer last year that I saw during the rut three years in a row. But I never saw him any other time where I hunt.”
Fussell, who is a member of the Horseshoe Hunting Club near Franklinton, keeps feeders out all year long — and he never got a picture of this buck any time other than the rut.
“He would leave right after the rut and show up back at my stand about December 15th every year,” Fussell said. “During October, he was probably 6 miles away. My buddy had pictures of him the entire month of October before he came back to my place for his last time last year.”
These core areas are much like our houses.
Like humans, deer spend much of their time outside the rut in the security of their home base, where they are just about impossible to fool. Not much different from us