5 Mature Buck Personalities We Hate

By author of Brow Tines and Backstrap

Doe Pee and Corn Piles Won't Kill These Ones

Every deer is unique. They have different facial characteristics, body size and antler structure. Most importantly, they have different personalities. That’s what makes every deer hunt different. Some bucks have personalities that make them easier to kill. Some are harder. Below are five of the latter.

 

The Celibate Buck

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1 | The Celibate Buck

The buck that doesn’t chase tail (there are bucks that don’t breed) poses a problem for most hunters. The vast majority of deer hunters rely on the rut to fill their buck tag. I do it. It’s a smart play, unless you’re hunting a deer that doesn’t partake in the festivities.

The only way to get to this buck is through his belly. Hold fast to the early season mentality and focus on food sources. This buck likely beds in the thickest cover available that is away from other deer. Keep that in mind when you're scouting and choosing setups.

How to recognize: He’s timid around other deer. Use video mode on trail cameras to see how he behaves.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

The Night Prowler

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2 | The Night Prowler

Most bucks refrain from daylight movement throughout most of the year. Some bucks refuse to emerge during daylight at all. I refer to these as the night prowlers.

There’s only one option with this deer: Hug him. Get as close to his bed as you dare, and wait for him to slip up. Don’t hunt afternoons. You’ll bust him. Hunt mornings instead. Climb into the stand two to three hours before the first hint of daylight, and wait for him. Hunt until after lunch. You may not see him initially, but he’ll get up and stretch a few times throughout the morning.

How to recognize: You’ve never seen this deer in person. He never steps foot in the open during daylight. All trail camera photos are at night.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

The Loner Buck

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3 | The Loner Buck

This buck may not seem to pose a challenge at first. But don’t underestimate this deer. I’ve learned something about this type deer during my hunting career: Habits are meticulous. This buck chooses bedding areas carefully. He always plays the wind. It’s virtually impossible to touch this deer because his bedding area is either impenetrable or set up for him to detect danger.

Target this deer the same way you would the night prowler: Slip in early in the morning and get in tight. The alternative is waiting until the rut. He’s not really a dominant buck, but he will breed if given the opportunity. Odds aren’t as likely as with more confrontational bucks, though.

How to recognize: You never see him interact with other bucks. He doesn’t appear in trail camera photos with other deer. He’s always alone when you see him in the open — even during the early season.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

The Unpredictable Deer

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4 | The Unpredictable Deer

This type of deer is rare. I’ve only knowingly seen a few bucks act this way all of the time. Some deer are just very unpredictable.

This buck is on one camera today, another tomorrow. He occasionally shows up during weird daylight times. It’s not enough to go on and plan a hunt, though. He shows up on camera at night. But it’s never at the same times then, either.

The only way to attack this personality type is to hunt. Set up where you think you should to kill this deer. Follow your gut. He moves in daylight. He just never does the same thing twice. Time and dumb luck is what it will take to get this one.

How to recognize: Most bucks have at least a hint of a pattern. There’s at least a little regularity in movements. You never see a pattern with this buck.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

The Sensitive Buck

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5 | The Sensitive Buck

This buck won’t die at the hands of aggressive hunters. Decoys are a no-go for this buck. He isn’t aggressive. Buck grunts and rattling won’t lure this deer in, either. It’s best not to call, but if you do, use a doe bleat.

The best way to kill this deer is by being patient. He’ll still behave like most bucks. He’s just soft and shy. Use conventional tactics that aren’t aggressive. He’ll eventually slip up.

How to recognize: This buck rarely appears in trail camera photos with other bucks. When he does, he exhibits subdominant traits. Look for him to “nose up” to other bucks, have loose posture, keep his head down, etc.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Editor's note: This was originally published September 29, 2015.

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