We all want to kill mature bucks. Whether or not we’ve harvested a nice 12 point before, or have yet to see one, the thought is always there every single season of a “dream” harvest. However, in order to harvest a mature buck, or even see one, it is crucial that proper scouting is done.

First of all, they are called mature bucks for a reason. The average deer’s lifespan is only a short 2-3 years, therefore, they have made it this long for a reason. They know the land, they know the tactics, and they are good at staying put. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still harvest one. All you have to do is know where to scout, and understand their patterns.

Here are 3 types of land that should not be overlooked or forgotten about when scouting for whitetail, or more specifically, mature bucks.


The first point of interest when scouting for smart, old bucks should be within hilly terrain, or more specifically, ridges.  The reason being is that thermals begin to increase when the sun starts heating the valley floor, and this causes the wind that is blowing over the ridge to create a tunnel that helps whitetail with their sense of smell. Bucks tend to bed part of the way down the ridge because this is where that tunnel is created.  Therefore, do not be surprised if you catch an old buck cruising towards a doe at the top of your ridge, as their sense of smell is incredible and they are already very wise. You might have to endure a little bit more wind, but it sure it worth it.

Oaks and Swamps

Your next point of interest should be oaks, and swamps. Not only do swampy areas provide hunters with incredible activity, but they also usually have not as much human traffic (BONUS). Swamp terrain usually has oaks surrounding the area, then several oaks within the actual swamp, making it a very nice area for bucks to bed, and for you to plot your stand. Take some time to scout your land, either private or public, and locate any swampy areas that have oaks mixed in.  Not only is it providing the deer with a food source, but also a safe, so they think, area to bed.

And finally, more specifically, you must scout and locate…

Secluded Swamps

The third area that should be on your radar is areas that are secluded by water.  Bucks love water, as it keeps out coyotes, wolves, and more times than not, humans.  It is a safe haven for mature bucks who no longer what to be out in the over pressured land. Mature bucks thrive in areas that are wet, thick, and unbothered by most of their predators.

All in all, there are countless of areas that mature bucks bed. Each and every time of terrain is easily accessible to you, it just depends on if you are willing to take the time to scout, observe, and log all of the knowledge you are gaining during the off-season. And we have found these 3 areas to be major hotspots when it comes to locating mature whitetail. Therefore, spend some time locating these areas, or finding your own hotspots, we promise you will be happen once the season rolls around.

Good luck hunters, and be safe.