What to Look for During Summer Whitetail Scouting

What to Look for During Summer Whitetail Scouting
Adam's giant moving during daylight within the hour of the "Red Moon", a fatal mistake for any mature whitetail and they don't happen very often!

We've all seen them. The boys of summer, bachelor groups of whitetail bucks basking in the summer heat and gorging on the lush greens of July and August.

Although the season may be months away, summer may be the best time to observe and study the giant you choose to chase this fall; especially because they're more carefree at this time of the year.

7_summer_scouting

Big deer don't get that way being stupid or careless. Studying these giants in the heat and humidity of the dog days can give you the clues you need to have a leg up on your quarry and your competition this fall.


Scouting is a staple for any successful big buck hunter, and summertime is no exception. Those that get it done on big bucks year in and year out keep a close eye on the soybean and alfalfa fields in his hunting area this summer.


Summer scouting and the "right moon" led to Adam Crumrin connecting on this 224-inch beast from Illinois, shot within the hour of the Red Moon.


Even in the offseason, a mature buck still does not like to be seen. Just pull off the side of the road and stick a spotting scope out of the window to see how long he will stick around before hightailing it for cover.

Most big bucks will be located in isolated fields not visible from the roads, where they feel safe and undisturbed. Some hardcore whitetail hunters take their summer scouting a step further after locating these "safe" fields and set up observation stands to watch the buck they are after.

Same Ohio giant moving in July, within the hour of the "Red Moon" time from the Moonguide.


A mature whitetail will enter and exit these fields in the same manner and normally the same locations during summer as he would during hunting season. This is a key to understanding where you need to be come October or November to get within bow range of your target animal.

Nothing can replace witnessing firsthand, a true giant on the hoof and gathering valuable data on your bucks travel habits. If your lucky, you may even pick up on a clue to his daily routine or a mistake he makes playing the wind that you can capitalize on.

Many whitetail hunters will keep a log or journal on big buck sightings and wind directions. This information can be a tremendous resource once the season rolls around.


Adam Crumrin picked the best night of the month on his Moonguide to try and catch a glimpse of this World Class whitetail, and this picture speaks for itself!

A cagey old buck can be difficult to see even during the summer; so don't expect him to show up every night. It never ceases to amaze how sneaky these big deer can be, and how difficult it can be to catch a glimpse of them even when you know they are there.

So is there a way to predict what nights a big buck will show himself? Are some nights better than others? Is there a way to keep from spending countless evenings sweating and swatting at mosquitos, waiting for Mr. Big to show?

There are nights where it seems that deer come out of the woodwork. If you ever get the chance to watch a soybean field in the evening after a good rain when the sun pokes through just before dark — there will be deer everywhere!

I think this can be attributed to the moisture on the otherwise dry vegetation. It's a lot like eating a salad with no dressing, until a good rain! These rainy evenings are some of the best for catching a big buck on the move before dark.

Adam's giant moving during daylight within the hour of the Red Moon, a fatal mistake for any mature whitetail and they don't happen very often!

Another good bet for catching a mature whitetail on his feet during daylight this summer, keep an eye on the moon. Many successful big buck hunters swear by the moon and its effects on deer movement.

Every month there are only a handful of days when the moon peaks at primetime, and these are by far your best chances to get a glimpse of the big boys out feeding.

Adam Hays has paid close attention to the moon and its effects on mature deer movement for nearly 2 decades, with a 197-inch giant killed on a Red Day from the MoonGuide.

If you only have a handful of days this summer to scout and you want to make sure you stack the deck in your favor for deer movement, make sure to line up your scouting trips with the best moon times for your best opportunity.

Recommended for You

Improve the nutritional benefits that your land offers local deer. Land Management

No Matter the Season, Deer Orchard Work Brings Big Benefits to Whitetails

Lynn Burkhead - June 27, 2019

Improve the nutritional benefits that your land offers local deer.

We break down the truth on these cellular-enabled scouters. Scouting

Will Wireless Trail Cameras Make You a Better Hunter?

Tony J. Peterson

We break down the truth on these cellular-enabled scouters.

In blackpowder hunting, details always matter. Don't learn the hard way. Guns

Choose the Right Load for Your Muzzleloader

Gordon Whittington - March 05, 2019

In blackpowder hunting, details always matter. Don't learn the hard way.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

North American Whitetail - South of the Border

North American Whitetail - South of the Border

Dr. James Kroll and Pat Hogan head south of the border in pursuit of whitetails in old Mexico.

Deer Dog: Puppy Pitfalls

Deer Dog: Puppy Pitfalls

On this edition of "Deer Dog," Jeremy Moore explores the pitfalls of puppy training.

Stan Potts

Stan Potts' Debut NAW Hunt

North American Whitetail revisits Stan Potts' very first hunt for the TV Show.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

In terms of coloration, which whitetails are the rarest of all? Most hunters would claim that Deer Behavior & Facts

Rarest Whitetails Of All?

Gordon Whittington - September 22, 2010

In terms of coloration, which whitetails are the rarest of all? Most hunters would claim that

After weeks of speculation, the official 60-day entry score for Luke Brewster's epic Illinois non-typical bow-killed whitetail was announced today in the OSG booth at the 2019 ATA Show in Louisville. According to North American Whitetail editor Gordon Whittington and associate editor Haynes Shelton, the Brewster buck is the largest buck ever taken by a hunter anywhere in North America! Trophy Bucks

BREAKING NEWS: Brewster's 320-5/8-Inch Non-Typical Buck Pending World Record Announced

Lynn Burkhead - January 10, 2019

After weeks of speculation, the official 60-day entry score for Luke Brewster's epic Illinois...

Good location is just part of the equation. Scouting

The Best Summer Trail Camera Strategy

Tony J. Peterson

Good location is just part of the equation.

See More Stories

More Scouting

For many white-tailed deer hunters, July and August are the months to get serious about gathering Scouting

Summer Deer Scouting Strategies with Attractants and Trail Cameras

Lynn Burkhead - July 17, 2018

For many white-tailed deer hunters, July and August are the months to get serious about...

Maybe this will be the year I shoot a buck on opening day of the archery season. I've been saying Scouting

5 Proven Strategies for Late-Summer Scouting

Bernie Barringer - July 29, 2016

Maybe this will be the year I shoot a buck on opening day of the archery season. I've been...

My heart sank, as the young doe the triple-beamed monster was following tried cutting left, when I Scouting

Spring Scouting For November Bucks

Steve Bartylla

My heart sank, as the young doe the triple-beamed monster was following tried cutting left,...

See More Scouting

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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