Overall activity status: The rut seems to be winding down in the northern half of the region. Ronnie Parsons reports he saw multiple bucks around corn feeders in the Hill Country this weekend. They were still interested in does and posturing to each other, but were not acting as rutty as they had been weeks earlier.
Fighting: No reports of fighting.
Rub making: I found the rub in the accompanying photo near a windmill. No surprise that given the drought conditions you would find deer sign close to water.
Scrape making: I checked a couple of scrapes from earlier in the season. Leaves were over the dirt; there has been no activity in a while.
Chasing: No actual reports of chasing, but a few trail camera pictures shared by friends show bucks with lips curled, neck stretched out and obviously interested and sniffing does near feeders.
Daytime movement: We finally got some cold weather at the top of Texas. This morning it was 9 degrees at my house with a skiff of snow! Just one week ago the high temperature was 77. Deer are active and seeking food. Ambushes set near crops or corn feeders are good bets in the cold.
Estrous sign: No reports of does in heat.
X Factor: On a lease I hunt in the eastern Texas Panhandle, a fine 140-class buck we call “The Wide Eight” finally reappeared after missing for two months. Unbelievably, nothing is broken on his rack, even the short kicker off his G-2. The buck was on trail cameras almost daily near a corn feeder in August and September. He disappeared the entire months of October and November. We figured he’d been shot on neighbors’ land. He’s since been on a trail camera at a nearby corn feeder, about half a mile from the one he hit back in the summer, a few times since December 1. He appears mostly in the dark, but has shown a couple of times in daylight in the morning. With the rut winding down, I think he will be more visible at that corn feeder, trying to recoup calories lost in the rut.