This is an excertp from The Complete Whitetail Addict's Manual, availbale in the Trinity Mountain Outdoor Products catalog at

The Dispersal Phase


Since bucks usually start making new rubs and scrapes in the areas they use in the fall, the best way to locate them is to look for fresh rubs and scrapes. When you find fresh rubs and scrapes, in areas where they may not have previously occurred that year, you can setup where you can watch that area, to see which bucks are there. Once you find the buck you want you can backtrack its rub route to locate its core area, where you can setup to take the buck.

I often hear hunters say that (during the hunting season) they can’t find the big bucks they saw while they were scouting from late August to mid-September. That’s because the bucks probably weren’t in the same area. Once the bucks (that you may have seen in bachelor groups in late summer/early fall) shed their velvet, they start to become more aggressive, and eventually they won’t put up with each other. While some of the bucks may stay in the same area, m any of them move to new core areas, where they don’t come in contact with other bucks. Some of the bucks may move out of their summer home range to go to their fall home range, which may be as little as a half mile to as far as several miles away. This breakup (dispersal), and fall home range shift, usually occurs within two to three weeks of when the older bucks begin to shed velvet. In the upper Midwest it generally occurs sometime between the first and last week of September. By mid-October the bucks have usually moved to their fall home ranges. If you plan on hunting after October 15 you have to start scouting all over again, because the bucks you saw and hunted from late August to mid-October may have moved to their fall home ranges.


In Minnesota, this is or has occured. If you are not seeing bucks where you've been seeing them, start scouting in other areas, looking for thso fresh rubs and scrapes.


Please be safe out there, and since I cannot hunt this year, let me know how you do, and save some venison for me. If you send a photo of your deer to I'll post it on my website.

God bless,



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