by John Phillips
In many areas deer won't come to crop fields or green plots until dusk or after dark. Or you may see deer leaving these agricultural areas just at daylight. So putting up a tree stand on the edge of a field may not pay buck dividends. You might need to pinpoint the trails the deer use to come and go and plan an ambush.
Follow a well-worn trail for a quarter- to a half-mile back into the woods off a field, and locate spots where other trails join the main trail. Look for secondary food sources in this section. Deer will move before dark down a main trail and stop to nibble on acorns or shrubs before they go out to an agricultural field at dark. If you hunt in the woods near the field, you might spot a good buck in shooting light. You'll find this tactic especially productive when hunting green fields that have intense hunting pressure.
The reverse tactic will pay buck dividends for the morning hunter. Take a stand a half-mile or so away from a field where you assume does and bucks fed the previous night. As the sun begins to come up, expect the bucks to come down the trail that leads from the food source to their bedding area. Generally the farther you set up away from the food source the better your odds of seeing a buck at first light.