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Three of us had out 12+- trails cams from time to time from July till last week. We had thousands of pictures and hundreds were deer. The cams were relocated every 2-3 weeks. First over mineral blocks when legal, later some at scrapes, mock scrapes others simply on trails to food plots and/or bedding areas.

Two of the largest racks on trail cams were only captured one time each. Which means they did not travel the same areas during the 2-3week spans. At least they did not pose for the cams. Their pictures were both in the middle of the night.

One of my archery hunting buddies took the very symmetric 12 point on 11/2 and I took the high rack 10 point 11/8. Both were taken 3/4 to a mile from their photo locations. Neither were chasing does at the time. The 10 point was rubbing everything in sight on the first(sighting (20 minutes) and busting brush and rubbing on last occasion I saw him.

Core area???? Not sure what we learned here???? But we had a lot of fun.....
 

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The more I put trailcams out, the more I realize I don't know. Same deal, had a big 11 pt on my tc only once and late at night. was hunting him and a big 8 that I had more pictures of and shot a big 9pt with an 18+ spread that I never saw or had pictures of on oct27th. Had tc's out from july 5th to now. The 11pt was a 9pt last yr and had a lot of pictures of him, this yr 2pic's total in over 3 months.
 

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I'll take a crack at some rational explaninations;

1. Late summer trail pics are typically useless if patterning big bucks for fall hunting. Not that your efforts were not good deer generally will change patterns by the time November rolls around for one reason or another.
2.It does not surprise me that you shot 2 great bucks in the 1st and 2nd weeks of November and they were shot not running does. It could just be a coincidence. Not every big buck shot this time of year is running a doe in heat.
3. It is not unusual for bucks of this caliber to have a home range greater than 1 square mile. The reason they got this big is because they are not in the same place very often. It is not uncommon to hear people say " We've never seen this buck before" during a whole season of hunting.

Your hard work while it did not directly yield you these 2 good bucks it shows your dedication to the sport and that is what got you guys some great bucks this year.

Nice job and keep up the good work,
 

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Patterns and core areas change from summer to fall sometimes multiple times. In my experience most of the bucks dont totally fall off the grid from summer to fall but some do. I could write a whole huge post here of examples of bucks we have watched all summer in one spot and then all the sudden start showing up 1/2 to 1 mile away in October or November. Not to mention their home range doubles in size during the rut. There are alot of interesting studies out there you can search for too.
 

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I understand they move over the fall; however, one would think if you catch them in one photo you would catch them in a second one if the cams are there 2-3 weeks at at time. I believe more each year the older bucks walk around at random and don't develop a routine as younger bucks. Some younger bucks I have on photo's 10-15 times or more.
 

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Born2Hunt said:
I understand they move over the fall; however, one would think if you catch them in one photo you would catch them in a second one if the cams are there 2-3 weeks at at time. I believe more each year the older bucks walk around at random and don't develop a routine as younger bucks. Some younger bucks I have on photo's 10-15 times or more.
alot of thier movements will depend on how readily a food source is...if there is alota food they wonder if its a localized food source you can get more pics of the bigger bucks...from my expierences anyways..
 

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This makes me think of the old adage: The best time to kill a big buck is the first time you hunt a stand. They know when they are too close...somehow they figure it out. They don't get big by walking near places that we sit, that's for sure.
 

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I've had very similar results. 1 or 2 pics of older 4.5+ aged deer. They're more worried about their own hide than getting their picture taken;) I have been getting a couple pics each year from an old 12pt. But only during peak rut over a certain scrape. In the middle of the night:( He spends all of his time in thick cover during the day. I was able to harvest a mature 8pt a couple years ago by piecing a handful of pics together and figuring out his preferred travel route. The key pics were taken after gun season when pressure settled down, he wasn't rutting and just going about his normal routine. I use the summer pics, up to about mid-September just for surveying. Seeing whats around. Once the bachelor groups split up,(though this year they seemed to hang together much longer) you'll know what's hanging around your hunting area. The rut will always bring some unfamiliar bucks into you hunting area.
 
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