Now that we have established the food plots, the hard part is keeping the mature bucks. This is where Buck Sanctuaries come in handy. If you are like most people, chances are you don’t know much about this concept. As deer mature, they become more aware of hunting pressure and will probably move on to a less pressured area.
There are two different types of buck sanctuaries. The first type is the kind that you don’t even realize you have. Hunters often have places on their land that they don’t like to go to because its inconvenient, inaccessible by vehicle or simply because we don’t think the deer will be there. Wildlife tend to catch on to our patterns and can adjust theirs accordingly. Once they realize where hunters won’t go, that’s where they go. We unintentionally create a sanctuary for them.
Another type of buck sanctuary is the one that wildlife manager’s intentionally create. According to an article I read called “Ten Ways To Improve Your Land for Deer”, the sanctuary needs to be near the interior of the property. Mine lies between the two food plots, Deer Pond and Bell Place on approximately 60 acres.
In my opinion, there really isn’t a perfect size for a buck sanctuary. The key is seclusion and thickness. A small area of thick secluded cover would be a better option than a large area with limited cover.
We do our very best to only go in there when we absolutely have to. Occasionally we will go in and mow the trails, but the rest of the time, the sanctuary is an overgrown thicket. We haven’t put any feeders in there or planted anything, it is strictly natural vegetation.
We have a fence around the perimeter to keep the cows out and to create a border so that nobody goes into the thicket. The perimeter of the buck sanctuary is fenced off, but the top part is lowered in certain areas for easy crossing.
Once you have the area created for the buck sanctuary, I highly recommend staying out of it as much as possible. The success of the sanctuary will be in the lack of human presence more so than how big or where it is.
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