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Deer Movement Ramps Down, But Not Out

Overall Activity Status: Deer activity has generally slowed considerably. In Erie County and Crawford County, Pennsylvania, Adam Brozewicz at Edinboro Outdoors said that he has been seeing plenty of does moving, but the bigger bucks have disappeared.

Fighting: No fighting has been reported. However, a nice 6-point buck I have seen several times on trail cameras, pictured here, now has one of its long tines broken off, which suggest that it has been in a serious fight.

Rub Making: No fresh rubs have been reported.

Scrape Making: The only fresh scrapes reported were by Westley Marks, owner of Marks Sporting Goods, near Cumberland, Maryland. These he saw in his back yard.

Chasing: Somewhat surprisingly, there have been no reports of bucks chasing does.

Daytime Movement: Daytime deer movement has declined over our region. However, it has not stopped completely. Westley Marks reported some in his Maryland area, as did Adam Brozewicz in the northwest corner of Pennsylvania. He has seen does coming to food plots late in the day, as well as some during midday. Westley Marks has seen some daytime doe activity in Maryland.

Estrous Signs: It appears as though actual breeding has almost ceased. But you can anticipate a secondary rut within the next few weeks, depending on your area.

X Factor: In many states, firearms hunting seasons putting numerous hunters in the woods probably have had a big effect on deer activity. Several contacts, such as John Havlick at Frank's Gun & Tackle near Gloversville, New York, said the big bucks have disappeared. This has been the case in my own area of northwest Pennsylvania. Here I have not even been catching big bucks moving at night on trail cameras.

If you are hunting when the secondary rut occurs in your area, then you may have some decent buck hunting still to come. Even if you do not notice this second rut, bucks should be receptive to does in heat, so keep using estrous scents.

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from John19 wrote 19 weeks 19 min ago

This has been a weird year. I've never seen so few rubs. I can literally count the number of rubs I've seen on one hand - and this is after hunting 14 times in Pennsylvania and twice in West Virginia. But I did see a fresh rub this past Wednesday morning in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. It was a very recent rub that couldn't have been more than 24 hours old at the absolute most.

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from steve182 wrote 18 weeks 5 days ago

The Saturday before Rifle in PA there were deer moving everywhere in the afternoon. Of course once the season started that wasn't the case. There still were deer feeding late in the afternoon and into daylight in the morning the first Monday and Tuesday.

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from Northeastsportsman wrote 18 weeks 5 days ago

Deer movement has been pretty slow here in VT. I decided to hunt this weekend in west central VT because it was the opening weekend of muzzleloader season and I had a doe permit for that area. Not many hunters in the normally busy pulloffs, even on Saturday morning. I shot a 120lbs doe this morning as my dad was doing a push to me. With not many people in the woods it is unlikely that you will see a lot of deer here in VT. I'm tagged out until next year's deer season next October, but good luck to all those who are still hunting.

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from John19 wrote 19 weeks 19 min ago

This has been a weird year. I've never seen so few rubs. I can literally count the number of rubs I've seen on one hand - and this is after hunting 14 times in Pennsylvania and twice in West Virginia. But I did see a fresh rub this past Wednesday morning in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. It was a very recent rub that couldn't have been more than 24 hours old at the absolute most.

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from steve182 wrote 18 weeks 5 days ago

The Saturday before Rifle in PA there were deer moving everywhere in the afternoon. Of course once the season started that wasn't the case. There still were deer feeding late in the afternoon and into daylight in the morning the first Monday and Tuesday.

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from Northeastsportsman wrote 18 weeks 5 days ago

Deer movement has been pretty slow here in VT. I decided to hunt this weekend in west central VT because it was the opening weekend of muzzleloader season and I had a doe permit for that area. Not many hunters in the normally busy pulloffs, even on Saturday morning. I shot a 120lbs doe this morning as my dad was doing a push to me. With not many people in the woods it is unlikely that you will see a lot of deer here in VT. I'm tagged out until next year's deer season next October, but good luck to all those who are still hunting.

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