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Did Last Year’s Surviving Wallhanger Make It To This Year?

Many of you are probably doing the same things I’vee been doing while scouting for deer now. One of those things was mentioned in a message from Robert Rogan, who lives in Connecticut. He also has been scouting in a couple of southeastern New York counties, looking for deer that made it through the season, especially big bucks you knew were there last year. Depending on where you hunt, it can be difficult to keep track of the bucks that were killed from your hunting area. Remember that “killed” does not always involve hunters. It includes motor vehicles and coyotes. Many hunters seem to be under the impression that big, old bucks are safe from coyotes, but that’s not so. Next to fawns they are most vulnerable. The rut, which can last about four months, takes an awful lot out of the bucks, and predation can occur when it’s over.

Hard as we try, probably we never learn about every buck that inhabits the areas we hunt. But the more we know the better. Sometimes just knowing that big bucks are there is enough to give us confidence, which keeps us hunting hard.

Look for tracks in the mud if you do not find any rut sign. This can confirm that big deer are in the area, and it provides good clues for trail camera locations.

While hunting sheds this spring. Rogan learned that one buck in particular made it through the last season. As you can see in the photo here, he found both sides of the rack of a very nice buck.

Rogan has a trail cam on one trail that is between bedding and feeding areas. So far he has photographed only does. He figures the bucks will show up once they get more interested in the females.

All of the bucks he has photographed in Dutchess County, New York, were still in velvet. No rubs there or in his Westchester County area.

I contacted Jamie Wareham at S&S Taxidermy Archery Pro Shop in Springville, New York, near the western end of the state, to see if the situation there was any different. Jamie said he has seen deer moving from 11:00 a.m. to noon. Bucks were separated from does, but they followed only about a minute behind. All of the bucks in that area are still in velvet.

If you followed this rut blog through last year, you may recall one particular major scrape I photographed through the entire period. Deer had been actively using it when I fount it in mid-August. This year I set a trail cam there August 31, and it has been used, though not so much as in 2012, judging from appearances.

I keep a string of trail cameras through three northwest and northcentral Pennsylvania counties, which keeps me in touch with the “Big Woods” region and the flatter farm country along the Ohio border. Soon that string will stretch from southwest New York, through northwest Pennsylvania, and into northeast Ohio, which will provide good intel on deer movement. Bucks are moving very little now, while their antlers are soft, but very soon we should start to see rubs and antlers without velvet. No doubt some have already shed.

Comments (6)

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from themadflyfisher wrote 32 weeks 6 hours ago

I live in north central PA.
The last 3 days I have seen my first 2 daylight bucks. One in a field while driving to work and the other on the edge of a corn field on my way to check my camera. Both still in velvet. The buck I saw in the field was with a doe and her 2 fawns, He was a decent 8 point. The other was on the other side of the corn from where a couple does were eating and he was a smaller 7 or 8 point.

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from themadflyfisher wrote 32 weeks 4 hours ago

Bleech,
If I remember right, you hunt the northern Allegheny forest right? This year I plan on archery hunting in the Ludlow/Sheffield area and was wondering on any tips you could give for the area. I won't be able to do much scouting up there and am relying on a friends knowledge of the area.

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from drewbeman wrote 31 weeks 6 days ago

Good rule of thumb is after labor day they start to shed velvet. Here in South Eastern Ohio we should start seeing more and more polished racks every day now. I was out in the woods yesterday squirrel hunting/scouting a new piece of property and didnt see any rubs on the property yet, it was the first time I had every been on this property.

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from John Bardunias wrote 31 weeks 6 days ago

seen a video from orange co. ny.nice 9 out of velvet. trail cam caught him rubbing a tree.

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from LostLure wrote 31 weeks 4 days ago

I finally got my cast of last week and a walking boot put on, so I could actually get out and do more scouting other than checking my cam on food plots. I had my 12 month old son with me so again I couldn't venture to far, but here in South Carolina we already found a well used scrape. Got my camera overlooking it as we speak. Archery opens next Sunday.

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from Northeastsportsman wrote 31 weeks 3 days ago

As of 9/4 the bucks in my area of Northeastern Vermont still haven't shed their velvet. If they haven't started yet they should be starting in less than a week. I got a pic of a 200 LBS plus 8 point this summer that I hope to see on cam with a polished rack!

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from themadflyfisher wrote 32 weeks 6 hours ago

I live in north central PA.
The last 3 days I have seen my first 2 daylight bucks. One in a field while driving to work and the other on the edge of a corn field on my way to check my camera. Both still in velvet. The buck I saw in the field was with a doe and her 2 fawns, He was a decent 8 point. The other was on the other side of the corn from where a couple does were eating and he was a smaller 7 or 8 point.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 32 weeks 4 hours ago

Bleech,
If I remember right, you hunt the northern Allegheny forest right? This year I plan on archery hunting in the Ludlow/Sheffield area and was wondering on any tips you could give for the area. I won't be able to do much scouting up there and am relying on a friends knowledge of the area.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from drewbeman wrote 31 weeks 6 days ago

Good rule of thumb is after labor day they start to shed velvet. Here in South Eastern Ohio we should start seeing more and more polished racks every day now. I was out in the woods yesterday squirrel hunting/scouting a new piece of property and didnt see any rubs on the property yet, it was the first time I had every been on this property.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from John Bardunias wrote 31 weeks 6 days ago

seen a video from orange co. ny.nice 9 out of velvet. trail cam caught him rubbing a tree.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from LostLure wrote 31 weeks 4 days ago

I finally got my cast of last week and a walking boot put on, so I could actually get out and do more scouting other than checking my cam on food plots. I had my 12 month old son with me so again I couldn't venture to far, but here in South Carolina we already found a well used scrape. Got my camera overlooking it as we speak. Archery opens next Sunday.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Northeastsportsman wrote 31 weeks 3 days ago

As of 9/4 the bucks in my area of Northeastern Vermont still haven't shed their velvet. If they haven't started yet they should be starting in less than a week. I got a pic of a 200 LBS plus 8 point this summer that I hope to see on cam with a polished rack!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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