Why Deer Have Different Preferences and What It Means for Your Deer Hunting

Why Deer Have Different Preferences and What It Means for Your Deer Hunting

Posted 2018-09-26T09:37:00Z  by  Josh Honeycutt

Have You Ever Considered This?

Every buck is its own deer. (John Hafner photo)

Every deer has its own personality. That's good and that's bad. It's good because it means every deer is different — which means some are easier to hunt than others. Not all deer are the same. That's a positive thing. But it's bad because it also means that each deer has its own vulnerabilities, food preferences, bedding habits, etc. That means you have to adapt to hunt each deer and the same tactics won't work every time.

Throughout the years, I've noticed deer prefer certain foods over others. Some prefer beans over corn. Others prefer corn over beans. Some target acorns. While others prefer to hit soft mast that drops at the same time.

Bedding preferences are common as well. Some deer prefer to bed in big timber, while others are more apt to bed in early successional habitat such as grasses, briars and other low-level growth. Some deer will even bed in standing crop fields such as corn, soybeans, milo, etc.

Oftentimes, these differences mean every individual deer will require a different game plan in order to get close enough to put your tag on it. Because of this, for those targeting specific deer, scouting becomes crucial. Use scouting methods such as in-the-field scouting, scouting from afar and trail cameras to determine what certain whitetails' preferences are. It's all about establishing a pattern.

Once you have that information in-hand, you can begin to think about hunting a specific deer. Use the information you've collected to paint a picture. Figure out where the deer is bedding, feeding and drinking during daylight hours. Analyze wind directions. Consider thermals. Put all the pieces together and determine where you should make your stand.

Deer hunting is fun. But targeting specific deer can be even more fun — and challenging. And if there is a big buck you're after, this is the best way to learn about and hunt that deer.

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