Whitetail Video: Nocturnal Bucks — Fact or Fiction?

Wildlife professors and researchers from the Mississippi State University Deer Lab reveal study results about whether some whitetail bucks are nocturnal.

Whitetail Video: Nocturnal Bucks — Fact or Fiction?

You've heard fellow hunters claim — and maybe you’ve said it yourself — that such and such buck is nocturnal. Do some mature whitetail bucks, especially those on heavily hunted public land, bed during daylight hours and travel only under the cover of darkness?

In a word — no. 

In the YouTube video below from The Hunting Public, Aaron and Zach sit down to pick the brains of wildlife professors and researchers from the Mississippi State University Deer Lab. FYI: The MSU Deer Lab is recognized as the premier deer research unit in the United States, addressing management issues of regional and national importance. The MSU Deer Lab team helps solve problems facing natural resource agencies, managers and private landowners by conducting science-based research to better understand deer ecology.

The video is 18 minutes in length, but if you’re a diehard deer hunter like me, it will seem half as long. It is packed with interesting information about mature buck movement patterns based on scientific telemetry studies. And the experts from MSU Deer Lab do an outstanding job explaining why whitetails travel, feed and bed the way that they do based on their physiological needs.

Aaron sums it up perfectly at the 13:33 mark when he exclaims, “That’s fascinating,” after Dr. Bronson Strickland explains why deer differ so much from cattle in their daily feeding and bedding patterns.

What I take away after watching this video is that every mature whitetail buck is killable during legal hunting time. No buck — not a single one — is bedded from a half-hour before sunrise until a half-hour after sunset (i.e. strictly nocturnal). The trick is finding an ambush location within a particular buck’s comfort zone (i.e. very close to his bedding area, or perhaps in it) without alerting or busting him.

Listen and learn; good stuff!


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