Overall Activity Status: It’s hot. With daytime high temperatures in the 90s across the region, the majority of pictures on my trail cameras are taken after dark, when temperatures start to drop.
Fighting: None to report.
Rub Making: I have not seen or heard anyone else report fresh rubs. On my place in the Texas Panhandle, both whitetails and mule deer are still in full velvet. I expect whitetails to start stripping any day, and mule deer sometime after that. On my ranch, it’s not uncommon to see mule deer in full velvet as late as the first week of October.
Scrape Making: No scrapes yet. When the time comes, seeing a scrape will take some work in those areas in areas that have tall grass due to heavy late summer rains.
Chasing: No bucks chasing does yet. Bucks are mostly in summer bachelor groups.
Daytime Movement: Given the heat, as expected the best time to lay eyes on a buck right now is the first 30 minutes in the morning and the 30 minutes after sunset. Of those two prime times, evenings seem to be better. I’ve seen a few quality whitetail bucks visiting corn feeders on the edge of darkness, both mornings and evenings. The photo above was taken in early morning this week.
Estrous Signs: The rut is a long ways off. Does and fawns are close together right now, and usually separate from the bucks.
X Factor: Archery-only deer season in Texas opens on September 28. Bowhunters should have their blinds and tree stands in place with shooting lanes trimmed, ready for opening day. Given the heat and drought, guarding water would be a good tactic for opening weekend.