Hunting Nocturnal Bucks
We have all gotten those pictures of big bucks on our hunting property but after shooting hours. It can be one of the most frustrating situations we can face. Lots of us try to hunt that deer and it is like hunting a ghost. I myself have done this. However hunting that big buck may be the worst option, at least at the site you are getting pictures of him.
Before you go and try to hunt a ghost do your homework. Just because the pictures of him on that camera site are at night does not mean the buck is nocturnal. Look at the pictures he is in and try to determine what direction he is coming from. Use google earth or some other aerial photo map to try and determine potential travel routes and bedding areas the buck could be using.
Once you have done your homework here hang more cameras up on those potential travel routes, near bedding areas and even around potential loafing or staging areas. The information you gain from this may tell you that the buck is indeed nocturnal or maybe he is moving in daylight somewhere. If you find he is using an area in daylight set up a stand and only hunt it when the wind direction is correct. Make that first sit count for it is usually the best sit.
However if you still find that he is not moving during shooting hours after doing this extra work Stay Out! Pressuring him and the other deer in the area will not help your cause in the long run. Not hunting him will be the best for you in the long run. Chances are neighbors will not shoot him either if he is only moving at night. Let him grow another year older and bigger. It seems as many bucks age they have a tendency to show themselves more during daylight hours. This seems to happen more as buck reach about 6.5 years old. By this time he will have met his antler potential as well.
If you feel you need to hunt him during the season wait for the opportune time. When rutting activity is peaking I would start hunting him then. Not necessarily hunting him but more so the does in his area and hope he decides to show his face in the daylight looking for a hot doe. The next best time to hunt him would be late season. The rut will be over but winter weather is setting in and they have to eat. He will need to recover from the rut and put more body fat reserves on for the upcoming winter. Wait for that cold front moving in, maybe with some snow and hunt near that food source before and after the front moves through.
Good luck and remember to
Hunt Safe, Hunt Hard and Hunt Safe!