Quick Tip: Bypass Whitetail ‘Dead Zones'

Quick Tip: Bypass Whitetail ‘Dead Zones'

Infographic by Ryan Kirby

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

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.


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