Overall Activity Status: Most reports from bowhunters sitting blinds near corn feeders tell of fewer than normal sightings. I sat near a feeder on the morning of October 20, and had four bucks come to the feeder in shooting light, so I can‘t complain. Due to excessive heat across the region, 80-plus degrees in many areas, morning hunts represent better odds of seeing a nice buck in daylight. In the evening, oppressive heat means most older bucks are waiting until dark to move.
Fighting: Bowhunter Eric Boley watched two bucks fight for 20 minutes on his lease in Central Texas. No broken tines, but one of the buck’s necks was already swollen up like it was late November. Boley later shot a fine 135-class Pope & Young buck near a corn feeder.
Rub Making: Walking a Panhandle river bottom, I found a dozen rubs. Each one on either a mesquite tree or cedar. All of them looked to be a couple weeks old.
Scrape Making: Walking that same Panhandle river bottom, I found three fresh scrapes, all in a 100-yard distance along the same trail that paralleled the river. All in a stand of soap berry trees, also called china berry trees by some people. The pawing on the ground under each over-hanging limb was the size of a basketball and fresh.
Chasing: None to report.
Daytime Movement: My friend, Ronnie Parsons, tagged this fine buck last week, his second of the season. Hunting from a ground blind near a corn feeder, Parsons took the 18-yard shot at 7:40 in the morning. The buck was an old one that had been on the hit list for 3 years. The two previous years he did not have brow tines. This year, he had one short one on the left side. The buck field-dressed 141 pounds. The rack gross-scored 132 inches and netted 126. He looks better than that in photos. The impressive buck is Parsons' 36th P&Y deer from Texas, his second from this season and he still has one buck tag in his wallet!
Estrous Signs: None reported yet.
“X” Factor: Parsons reports that few bucks are hitting the corn feeders right now on his west-central Texas lease. One example was a buck he watched stroll by the feeder, eat corn for one minute, then wander 100 yards away from the feeder and browse on brush for 30 minutes. Rains a few weeks ago produced good growth and many bucks are still keyed in on the explosive native plants following the drought-busting rains in west-central Texas. In the Panhandle, crops like wheat, corn and milo are pulling deer away from corn feeders. Maybe that’s why folks report seeing few if any bucks around corn feeders now?