NorthCountry Whitetails Deer Report #8 11-19-12
The biological rut has been with us for a couple of weeks now and things are playing out according to plan. The weather has been good across most of whitetail country and our e-mail is loaded with NCW friends and family success stories. Congrats to all and thanks for sharing. One thing for sure —good property, and good property management leads to great hunting.
This past week and weekend we witnessed dozens of “biological rut” related behaviors including all of the following: a marked decrease in mature does visiting food plots, numerous fawns hanging out together or alone, young bucks working food plots hard and alternating their behavior from feeding to “chasing” (testosterone driven). Older aged bucks showing up occasionally on social gathering areas intent on finding receptive does, a number of serious “estrus driven” chases, and are serious indeed.
Cameras are showing a good deal of “tending” behavior by older aged bucks. They are also showing plenty of open mouthed and blurred film chases. Unquestionably there is plenty of breeding going on as you read this. There is also plenty of hunting going on which is important to note.
Most states either have opened gun season or are very close to doing so. This will increase pressure on the deer in your area tremendously and result in some pretty unproductive sits. Here in NY gun season opened last weekend and predictably, there were plenty of shots heard the morning of the opener. By mid-day all was quiet and short of a few evening shots, things quieted down relatively quickly. Day two of the weekend opener was much much quieter.
We observed plenty of young and middle aged bucks on food sources with fawns and does but the old boys had gotten scarce. We also observed what appeared to be the re-assembly of doe fawn family groups. We killed a few does for freezer fare and to give Radar some work but we are already going back to stealth mode to bring back to life a few of the areas on our property which have already “shut down” due to excessive human pressure and to “unlock” those older aged bucks who have been driven “underground” by the intense activity in our area all weekend.
By the end of this week, roughly 80% of mature does in the areas we monitor will be bred. Plenty of breeding will be occurring over the next few days including thanksgiving weekend. It’s time to be out there putting in your time!
As mentioned last week, these are the worst of times and these are the best of times. If you are in an area where hunting pressure is peaking (or has peaked) you may experience some pretty quiet sits. On the other hand this is a great time to be out there as the best bucks in the area are busy breeding does and are out and about. Hunt hard and hunt long and the less impact you make on your property the better.
Now that our opener is over, we will be resting our property and letting it fill up with the deer of the neighborhood. The camps surrounding us are still active and we hear ATVs every morning and evening. Soon (if not already) the deer using their woods will relocate in parts unknown and if we hunt smart and low impact we will have more deer on us than we had all year. Yes, we will hunt, yes we will kill some more deer but we will pick our spots carefully and always with an eye toward low impact hunting. We advise the same.
Don’t be afraid to sit all day. Hunt anywhere you are likely to find does. Don’t be afraid to relocate a few times each day to find a hot spot holding a “hot” doe who will be drawing a crowd. Grunts and rattling can be effective with love crazed bucks so you might give it a try.
One more thing—this is the time of year when all your property work clearly pays off. We can’t tell you how much joy we get out of your success. We had a cabin full of friends Saturday night laughing as Neil received text after text from happy property owner customers and friends. This stuff really does work and we love making it happened for you and yours. If any of your friends want to join the world of great deer hunting we’re here to help with turn-key properties for sale and/or consulting services.