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Watching Velvet Bucks by Grant Woods

I enjoy watching deer year round! It’s often relatively easy to locate deer during the summer because they often are on a daily pattern of food, cover, food, cover.

Deer will seek the best quality forage within their range that they don’t associate with danger. It’s easy to forget the last part of that sentence (don’t associate with danger). Knowing what types of foods deer prefer during each time of year helps locate where deer will be feeding. Deer crave protein during the summer so they often feed on ag crops such as soybeans.

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Deer living in areas with little or no row crops will seek young or early succession plant species. This type forage will be wherever there’s lots of sun reaching the ground such as where a timber stand has been thinned, a utility right of way that’s been recently mowed, etc. In addition, deer prefer broad-leafed plants to most grasses. Given this, I’d rather watch a weedy field than a well maintained grass pasture.

Food plots can be an excellent location to observe deer during the summer. One of my interns, Kyle Karcher, recently shot this video at one of our food plots. When watching deer in plots, be sure you approach, watch, and leave without alerting the deer. You don’t want the deer to learn to associate your hunting plots with danger.

Growing and Watching Deer together,


Dr. Grant Woods
Dr. Grant Woods
Raised in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, Dr. Grant Woods has consulted on wildlife research and management from Canada to New Zealand. A hunter since childhood, he not only knows how to grow big deer, but how to effectively hunt them as well. His work serves to improve deer herd quality and educate hunters about advanced management techniques.