Rare Video: 5x4 Iowa Whitetail Attacks Bowhunter’s Dead 4x4 Buck

The rut can cause whitetail bucks to act in unpredictable ways, as this bowhunter learns on a mid-November afternoon.

Rare Video: 5x4 Iowa Whitetail Attacks Bowhunter’s Dead 4x4 Buck

Whitetail behavior and movement patterns change dramatically throughout a lengthy archery season, but there’s no doubt that the breeding period showcases some of the most unpredictable action. Case in point: In the YouTube video below from the Public Land Giants channel, you’ll see a bowhunter in northern Iowa as he pursues whitetails on public ground. I’ve set the 35-minute video to start at the 24-minute mark; of course, you can watch it from the beginning if you desire.

At 10:30 a.m. the bowhunter watches a mature 5x4 buck chase a doe, then they disappear. Five hours later the 5x4 returns, again chasing a doe. The pair eventually bed 60 yards from the hunter’s treestand. Only 5 minutes later, a thick-antlered 4x4 jumps a barbed-wire fence and enters the woods from the field edge (private land), and the bedded 5x4 and doe don’t move. After killing the 4x4 within sight of the treestand, the bowhunter turns his attention to the 5x4, which is now stalking the dead 4x4. This is where I set the video to begin.

Watch as the 5x4 attacks the dead 4x4. The live buck is so focused on the dead one that it either can’t hear the hunter trying to scare it off, or simply doesn’t care. Watch closely and you’ll see sticks and logs tossed toward the buck; it doesn’t react. The bowhunter finally gets the buck’s attention and it runs off — sort of.

I had a similar scenario play out in Alabama several years ago on a gun hunt. I dropped a mature 4x4 in its tracks on a large clover plot, and minutes later a bigger 4x4 arrived. It spent the next 90 minutes slowly pacing back and forth within 15 yards of my dead deer.

There’s a reason bowhunters experience great success using buck decoys during the whitetail rut. This video proves that a rutting buck can be lured into shooting range when it spots a rival. (Click here to read Bob Robb’s informative article “Whitetail Deer Decoying Tips for Dummies.”)

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