Skip to main content Skip to main content

Quick Tip: Bypass Whitetail ‘Dead Zones'

Deer move less, avoid certain areas, as hunting season progresses.

Quick Tip: Bypass Whitetail ‘Dead Zones'

Infographic by Ryan Kirby

Pressured whitetails shift their behavior by reducing daytime movement and spending more time in core areas.

When this happens, identify and avoid "dead zone" areas deer tend to avoid as the season progresses.

In essence, deer move less when hunters are in the woods.

How adept are deer at recognizing the threat posed by hunters? Research conducted by leading whitetail experts Dr. Andrew Little, Dr. Stephen Webb, Dr. Steve Demarais and Kenneth Gee and published in Quality Whitetails suggests that white-tailed deer are exceptionally keen on identifying even a single hunter in their home range.

It’s clear deer often shift their behavior as soon as hunting season starts.

Deer are creatures of habit, and they’re extremely territorial. This means that the deer on your camera in August is probably still within its established home range. However, the deer is utilizing less and less of that area, especially during the daylight hours.

These include open areas, such as pastures, where they feel vulnerable, as well as areas heavily trafficked by humans — paved roads, logging paths and tractor trails.

Locate core bedding areas protected from hunters; then, determine potential stand sites.

Always keep in mind wind direction. Have multiple stand options, so you don't overhunt an area, and minimize travel within the hunting area as much as possible.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Subscribe Now and Get a Full Year

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now