Somewhere in this Northeast Region, probably somewhere not far from you, a buck is hot on the heels of a doe. We are into the time frame when does in most, if not all, of this region might start coming into heat. In Stockton, Ohio, which is at the edge of the center section of the Wayne National Forest, Randy Bebout, owner of Bebout Archery, said he has gotten word of at least a couple of bucks chasing does. He also has reports of bucks sparring. Yet, like most of my contacts, he made a point of adding that temperatures had been high, and were just starting to change. That, he said, should get the bucks moving more.
"We're still really hot," said Marty Harrington at Marty's Sports in Bennington, Vermont earlier this week. No one has reported seeing any big bucks. There are rubs in his area, but not a lot of scrapes.
While checking my trail cameras several days ago, I took one down that was set over a scrape I have been watching for a couple of years, disappointed that it appeared that there had been no activity at the scrape. Not until I got home and downloaded the photos did I learn that it is an active scrape, as the photo here indicates. Falling leaves are hiding any animal sign on the forest floor regardless of how much this buck pawed at the scrape.
John Havlick at Frank's Gun & Tackle, near Gloversville, New York, said that hunters have reported seeing some big bucks there, at the southern end of the Adirondacks. He has just recently started hearing about rubs and scrapes. No one has seen a buck chasing a doe yet.
Andy Buschak, at Edinboro Outdoors in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, hunts both northwest Pennsylvania and Northeast Ohio. He has been seeing some rubs and scrapes, though not many. He also reported bucks sparring, and at least one buck in pursuit of a doe, although that did not appear to be very serious. This is all excellent big buck country, but he has not heard of anyone seeing many big bucks. An area buck contest has just a few entries. Very likely this also has been due to unseasonably warm days.
Judging from the weather reports I have read, cooler temperatures will have come to most of the Northeast Region by the time you read this. Deer should be moving more than they were just a few days ago. With each passing day, the likelihood of does coming into heat increases. Yes, it is time to be excited. Anxious bucks should be orbiting around does now.