Attracting deer to your property can be easy.  Keeping them there can be far more difficult.  A prime example is a Souther Illinois outfitter who sent me pictures of three great bucks on his property.  One was clearly a Book deer and the others were close.  Unfortunately, neighbors harvested adjoining cornfields the day before the season opener and the freshly cut corn sucked all three bucks onto their property.  The outfitter was so devastated that he went out of business.

Calling All Bucks

For deer that live in agricultural areas, no doubt the corn harvesting machinery had barely left the field when deer headed in that direction.  Additionally, imagine the scent produced by dried field corn being shelled and filtered.  Once the sun set, the field became a magnet for deer that fed through the night and bedded nearby at dawn.

Few of us can afford owning a cornfield or the luxury to harvest it on a specific date, yet we can utilize the same types of attractants and mineral supplements like those offered by Big & J.  You want a food source that is extremely aromatic so that deer can smell it from a distance.  Additionally, it’s best in a cube form or integrated into the soil so that it isn’t consumed in a single night.

Attract Does… Kill Bucks

Most scent attractants target bucks, yet by using quality mineral and food attractants you can build the health of your herd and help keep roaming big bucks on your property.  When hunting before or in the rut, the best ruse of all is getting does near you stand.  Once you develop a pattern of feeding and visiting activity, you can be assured that every buck in the area will be “checking in.”

Unlike a food plot, you can “turn up the volume” at a specific time.  A few days prior to the season opener, you can refresh all of your Big&J sites to assure that deer will be hanging nearby and not across a fence line in harm’s way.

Take a Seasonal Approach

Deer need protein and providing a consistent source of energy throughout the year will assure that you deer are in good health.  Minerals will help build bigger antlers and also generate stronger, healthier does.  In turn, these super healthy mamas will deliver a pair of healthier fawns which will grow into healthier adults… and the cycle continues.

Providing minerals at the end of the hunting season and into early spring can give whitetail a nutritional boost that’s badly needed, especially for rut-worn mature bucks that nearly exhausted their energy lifeline.  If you plan a supplemental feeding or nutritional program, the extra drawing power of Big & J can lure more deer to your property where they will remain once they discover a consistent food source. 

Make Their Bed

Providing bedding cover puts the finishing touches to the containment process.  Clear-cutting has a negative connotation, yet if you clear a 5-10-acre plot in the center of your hunting area, you will create bedding cover for the next decade.  Additionally, you may be able to have a timber company cut the property for the value of the lumber.  Or, do a traditional timber sale and include the clear cut as part of the deal.

If you are dealing with small acreage, consider hinge cutting non-mast trees in late winter.  A hing cut tree will be severed enough at the trunk to fell the tree, yet not separate it from the root system.  As a result, the tree develops a complete leaf cover on the ground.  Cut a dozen or more in a particular area and you suddenly have a terrific bedding area.  Additionally, the newly opened overstory will generate plenty of sapling and plant growth that provide natural browse to further hold deer.

Strategic Placement

If you can create additional bedding areas, locate them as centrally in your hunting property as possible.  The best strategy is to establish a sanctuary with the agreement that you and your buddies will only hunt the perimeter.  In this way, you can harvest deer that you lure from other properties attracted by food supplements or hunting pressure.

If you hunting grounds adjoin private property or public tracts that do not allow hunting, you may want to set attractant sites near, but on on the property lines.  Once you lure that big buck into your danger zone, make sure you have enough distance to harvest it cleanly.  Once it’s preoccupied with the scent of Big & J, that won’t be difficult.

Big & J

Posted by Hunting on Monday, September 25, 2017