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Dick Ellis Blog:
1/21/2020
On occasion, On Wisconsin Outdoors is asked to participate in various events to help raise funds for the disabled, blood drives, children in need of healthcare, wounded veterans or many other worthwhile campaigns that people in Wisconsin get behind with a passion. Silent auction winner John May works Wern Valley during a pheasant hunt to benefit New Berlin West athletics and activities. It might be trapshooting, or a fishing event, or whateve...
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Bob J. Mercier - Deer Behavior 101

Fact #2 Whitetail deer walk at crosswind angles

Written by Bob J. Mercier  ©2014

Whitetails walk at angles that cross the wind. When deer walk they make trails. They do not make trails when they run, or when they trot. A trotting deer is slowing down from a gallop. All deer trails start where a deer galloped to a stop or trotted to a walk. Trails are places where deer walk. They are safe there or they would not walk there. Deer gallop to get away from something that disturbed them, threatened their life by attacking them, or could put their life at risk. At times deer gallop to play, but monster bucks do not do that.

If you hunt where there are lots of trails you are going into the house of the deer and hunting them there. In my opinion, hunting a deer in its house and expecting to see a monster buck (the smartest deer in the household) are two things that do not mix. Dominant bucks do not bed inside doe bedding areas on a regular basis, although they are allowed to do so if they wish. Other bucks cannot bed with does unless they are a mated pair. Those two deer can bed within a few yards (5-15 yards) of each other, and it is common to see them doing so during the rut.

If you want a monster buck you should never go into the core bedding area of does to sit and wait for him to come along. You will find out the hard way that monster bucks are a lot smarter than you, and me put together.

Monster bucks live secluded lives and most of them bed downwind or crosswind of doe bedding areas. To find them you must scout, or hunt, where they bed. Buck trails and doe trails are different trails. Dominant bucks have their own trails. All deer trails are used by deer when the wind blows across the trail.

Hunting on a trail that goes NW and SE when the wind is from the NW or SE will result in you seeing zero deer using that trail. Deer are very smart, not all deer, only the ones that live to be 3 or older.

When you hunt deer you should choose to set your stand upwind of a deer trail that moves between bedding and some other destination point. Deer move from bedding to food, to water and back to bedding. Bucks and does also go to the breeding zones, when the rut is on. Those are different topics.

You will see the biggest bucks if you hunt upwind and crosswind of doe bedding areas about 120 to 250 yards away from the nearest doe beds. That is the place where intruder bucks (2-1/2 and older bucks from other herds) enter and leave the territory of the king. It is wise to stay upwind of deer, no matter what you were taught before you read my words. Hunting downwind of bedded deer allows them to watch you come and go from your stand. They are not as dumb as many people think.

Use a powder bottle and find out where the wind is blowing at all times, walk crosswind and deer will think you are one of them. Doing so will enhance the experiences you will have with big bucks and mature does in the future.