The five phases of activities of whitetail bucks related to breeding are about to begin — beginning about September 1st and ending shortly after January 1st. Breeding of does will be limited to three two-week periods during these months and will have little affect on day-to-day locations of mature unalarmed does and their young. Whenever you hunt whitetails during the coming fall and winter period, however, breeding-related activities will be influencing the timing and locations of unalarmed antlered bucks every day you hunt. Triggered by specific ratios of darkness to light, the onsets of each of these activities (one also influenced by air temperature) are very predictable and each phase has characteristic deer signs that aid in determining when it is in progress, contributing to greater buck hunting success for hunters who recognize these activities and their identifying deer signs.
Aside from weather, moon phases, availability of water and specific foods which also contribute to predictability of whitetails, though not always in ways that favor hunters, nothing makes whitetails less predictable and less vulnerable to hunting more than hunting by humans. The one response of whitetails being hunted by humans that is most ruinous to whitetail predictability and subsequent hunting is alarm great enough to make whitetails raise and fan their white tails and bound away with all possible speed. Whitetails that do this are not only likely in the process of abandoning your hunting area and becoming nocturnal for extended periods of time, but they are warning other deer along the way via sight, hearing and scent emitted by their tarsal glands to do the same. Over the long run, therefore, your success as a whitetail hunter or buck hunter is determined by how often you make whitetails raise their tails and bound away, which can happen much more often than you realize.
One important key to becoming regularly successful at hunting whitetails, especially elusive mature bucks, therefore, is to learn how to hunt in a manner that does not cause whitetails to raise their tails and bound away. Yes, there are such hunting methods: certain forms of stand hunting. The trouble with any form of stand hunting is, today’s mature, stand-smart whitetails living within a half-mile, especially older bucks, generally find and identify stand hunters at stand sites, typically without stand hunters realizing it, within the first 1–30 hours they are used and thereafter avoid them. To eliminate this handicap, the stand hunter must become extra difficult by various means for nearby whitetails to possitively identify while hiking to and from stand sites and while hunting at stand sites. The hunter must also switch to a different, yet unused stand site 100 yards or more away once or twice daily. There ‘s more, but once a proper stand hunting method is mastered, the hunter can finally become regularly successful at taking any class of whitetail, including older bucks, seldom seen, if at all, by other hunters during hunting seasons.