*Diego was an incredible buck to get to know for a few years and eventually harvest as a 5 year old. Of course he traveled to the neighbor's lands as well, but have you ever considered how you can use your neighbor's influences to your advantage, for specific bucks, on your own land?
Think you can't hunt bucks that spend nearly all their time on your neighbor's lands? Think again! Not only can you hunt bucks on your neighbor's land -without trespassing- you can actually harvest those bucks pretty consistently, and here is how!
How To Hunt Mature Bucks From The Neighbors
Of course, the daytime hours are when you actually hunt a mature buck. However, that fact is often overlooked when setting expectations for a particular mature buck. While mature bucks can have a home range of several square miles, I have experienced that during the majority of the hunting season, their actual daytime preferred habitat consists of a few acres or less. Those daytime acres are all that matter folks and when those acres fall on your neighbor's land you can use this all important tip: Hunt bucks on your neighbor's land by waiting to hunt until after your neighbors have been on the land a day or more, during the peak of the rut or on opening day of gun season. By recognizing bucks through midnight, random trail cam photos and videos that largely reside on your neighbor's land, your focus should fall squarely on hunting those bucks after they have been pushed off of your neighbor's land, by your neighbors. I have several preferred times I enjoy hunting bucks that largely reside on my neighbor's land:
1. The Monday following a neighbor's weekend hunt
2. During the peak rut
3. On opening day of gun season
4. During late season food source movements
The key for hunting bucks from your neighbor's land is to get to know the local buck herd, where each buck lives during the daytime hours (it really doesn't matter where he travels at night) and why those bucks live within those neighbor's lands. Whether it's quality cover, lack of hunting pressure, food, less deer-lower socially stress or a little of each, there are reasons a mature buck chooses to live where he lives, during the daytime hours. By getting to know the "why" of mature buck bedding location preference, you can then target a specific buck when that key feature(s) is taken away. A mature buck's bedding area is the most intimate of all whitetail habitat features, but that does not mean that it has to be located on your land. In fact, on many small parcels that isn't even an option. By getting to know why a mature buck is living on your neighbor's land in the first place, you can then successfully target and hunt that buck when that key feature is taken away.
I've often experienced that when hunting small parcels or public land -of which I have nearly exclusively since 1986- that the level of whitetail success that you will find lies in your ability to scout and observe people, as much or more than deer. Whether guys are hitting the wood heavily on public land or the land next door, people push deer. I have found mature bucks to by far be the most reactive to hunting pressure and it isn't even close. It seems obvious that how to hunt a buck and find consistent success would be to focus on the neighbor's movements, but have you narrowed down those efforts to a specific buck, at the exact time your neighbor is potentially relocating him your way? If not, try it, because it is the #1 way to hunt deer that live on your neighbor's land, legally.