Tip for Exiting Food Plot Stands: Bump Deer With a Truck

It’s impossible to exit some food plot stands without alerting feeding deer. The trick is to do it in a way that doesn’t educate them.

Tip for Exiting Food Plot Stands: Bump Deer With a Truck

Food plots are fantastic tools to lure whitetails into shooting range, but at times hunters face a dilemma: How do you exit a stand placed near a food plot without spooking and educating the feeding deer? One trick my buddies and I have used repeatedly through the years is bumping deer after dark with a truck.

Think about it: Whitetails throughout most of their range see vehicles regularly — day and night — so they don’t associate the presence of a truck with danger. When they hear or see a truck approaching a food plot, they have time to walk or bound away before it gets too close.

The method used by my buddies and me is planned in advance. We have a few treestands and box blinds set up on food plot edges, and there’s no way to exit these stands after dark without spooking deer. Even if the field doesn’t have deer on it at the close of legal hunting hours, the chance is very high that whitetails will be in the neighborhood.

The hunter sitting near the food plot has to be patient because he must wait for his buddy to exit the woods, walk to the truck and then drive to his location. The driver shouldn’t try to sneak in to the food plot with headlights off because that isn’t common; it will spook deer rather than gently bump them. It’s also not recommended to roll down the truck windows and crank the radio or honk the horn; again, this isn’t common. Instead, have the driver proceed slowly but surely, with headlights on.

Depending on food plot size, deer might run only to the field edges and stand there, staring at the truck. If that’s the case, the driver can turn the truck around in the food plot, which should encourage deer to step back into the woods.

After the field is clear, the hunter can exit his stand and quickly hike to the truck. Save the “Did you see any bucks?” conversation for after the truck doors are closed. The truck should leave the food plot the same way it entered, slowly but surely, with headlights on. As your trail cams will verify, whitetails will step back onto the food plot shortly after the truck departs.

On many evening sits overlooking a food plot, you’ll need to exit without educating deer. Thankfully, the “truck trick” works well, especially on younger whitetails. (Photo courtesy of Mossy Oak BioLogic Facebook.)
On many evening sits overlooking a food plot, you’ll need to exit without educating deer. Thankfully, the “truck trick” works well, especially on younger whitetails. (Photo courtesy of Mossy Oak BioLogic Facebook.)

How many times can you get away with this “truck trick” before whitetails begin avoiding the field until after dark? Good question, and one without a definite answer. In my experience, young deer (male and female) will tolerate this intrusion over and over without changing their arrival time to the plot. Mature deer (male and female) will tolerate it a time or two, or a few times a deer season, without changing their arrival time, but it’s best not to use the trick on consecutive evenings.

This fall, have a plan for exiting food plot stands with help of a buddy in a truck.

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