After the previous post I set up a couple hundred yards further north and deeper into the woods than I was before. I saw deer activity but it was in the distance instead of around where I was set up.
But I still fit another piece into my puzzle of the travel rout of Y2K between where I've been seeing him and where he beds down. My more distant vantage point gave me a good perspective on the travel routes of does, Y2K, as well as other bucks.
They move along parallel to the north south fence line a little to the west of where I live. Here is a picture that I took from my blind that shows the situation. The buck in the pic is traveling slowly, parallel to that fence.
After the deer cleared the area I folded up my blind and moved closer to the fence and about 150 yards further north.
The next morning I was once again back on my plan. These deer in the picture were browsing along and even though they seem to be going to the left they are actually traveling and browsing to the right.
The fence here is old and in disrepair. Frankly, that is just all right with me. Irregular spacing between a fence's wires can create spots that are large enough for does to pop through.
So at this time, this area along the fence is part of where does and bucks walk and browse.
After the deer left I moved the blind another 150 yards further up the fence to the north.
Bingo !!! Now we're talking.
No browsing is going on here. Now the bucks are moving differently, not casually, not browsing, not fast, but with a purpose.
The buck in the picture below is walking straight toward the fence. I noticed that he has lost his velvet.
The buck jumped the fence easily and disappeared into the thick woods on the opposite side. Before long I noticed another buck, about 40 yards further down the fence, walking toward it. This buck was still in velvet and showed me something about ny fence that I didn't know. The fence has two broken barbed wire strands here. The buck ducked down and through the hole in the fence.
Soon a 3rd buck showed up and he paused when he got to the fence.
Then he turned right and continued along the fence for 60 yards and he jumped the fence there.
After that I kept my eye on that spot too and noticed Y2K in the woods on this side of the fence.
There is a thickly wooded ridge about 100 yards from where I was and Y2K stopped at the top of it. I saw the sun glinting on his rack as he took a few steps into the thick woods. He stood for about half minute and then laid down.
I waited over an hour before leaving. And this time I did not take the blind down. Actually, I didn't leave it because I want to hunt it when the season starts in a few days. I didn't want to make any disturbance and let Y2K know I'm this close to his safe place. I absolutely won't hunt here and run the risk that he could pick up on me coming in and out or while I was hunting.
Here is what we know.
We found a route that both does and bucks are using right now (3 weeks from the start of the rut). I guess it's like a snack place where deer drop in before turning in for the day.
Furthermore, we located an area where a number of bucks come to to cross the fence into a extremely thick, bedding area. Also a couple of the bucks I saw I did not recognize as ones I've seen before, so that's a nice plus for this buck spot.
And I found where Y2K bedded down. Likely, it's not the only place he beds but this spot shows a lot about him. It's on the edge with good cover for him to hide in. It's at the top of the ridge and and he can see around him and downhill. The prevailing wind comes from the south, which covers anything coming along the fence from the south.
Y2K has his act together.