We all know it’s far from ideal to hunt pressured deer, but it’s a reality some of us must face. Whitetails that are frequently bumped and pushed quickly become nocturnal, and nocturnal deer can’t be hunted—unless, that is, you can find where they hide during the day. In this situation, set up on the downwind perimeter of their bedding area and try to intercept them as they return from feeding at daybreak.
The trick to finding where pressured deer bed down is to venture into places where no other hunters go—ever. If the overall hunting area is large enough, there are bound to be such hard-to-reach pockets, and that’s where the mature bucks will find sanctuary during the day.
Once you’ve discovered an active hideout with fresh buck sign, plan your stands carefully, creating minimal disturbance during set-up. The best stand locations include pinch points in the terrain or habitat transition zones near the edge of the bedding area. Now all you have to do is sneak in under the cloak of darkness to be in position at legal light, and intercept Mr. Big as he retreats to his deep-woods haunt. Case closed.