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Northeast

Reporter: Mike Bleech

States covered: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont

Bleech was born and raised on the edge of the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. After a tour of duty with the Army in Vietnam, he returned and still lives there today. Bleech spends much of his time year-round in the whitetails woods surrounding his home.

Northeast

Photo Galleries

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Real-Time Updates From The Northeast
  • December 12, 2013

    Cold Temps Could Mean a Good Secondary Rut

    6

    By Mike Bleech

    How interesting and mysterious are the ways of the rut. The differences between the 2012 rut and the 2013 rut make me wonder if there is ever an average, or typical year. Neither rut was what we might term typical, and the two years were very much unalike.

    This year, one characteristic that stood out when looking at our Northeast Region as a whole, was the low numbers of rubs and scrapes. This was not the case everywhere, but it did seem to be the case in most places, according to my contacts. Some visitors here also commented on the low number of rubs and scrapes.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 11, 2013

    Keep Those Estrous Scents and Grunt Tubes Handy

    1

    By Mike Bleech

    Overall Activity Status: Deer activity is considerably less than it was a couple weeks ago. However, in some places it increased over the weekend.

    Fighting: No fighting has been reported.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 6, 2013

    Deer Movement Ramps Down, But Not Out

    3

    By Mike Bleech

    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.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 4, 2013

    In Pockets of the Northeast, an Inconsistent Rut

    2

    By Mike Bleech

    Among the numerous contacts who generously provide me with input for my rut reports is Ray Weasner, whom I met on a deer hunt in West Virginia. Weasner is the owner of Weasner Archery Pro Shop, Bloomville, Ohio, and I am still using the bow and accessories he set up for me during that hunt.

    Last evening we had a lengthy telephone conversation about—what else?—the whitetail rut. I was particularly interested in what he had to say since he brought up the subject of an unusual rut this fall.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 2, 2013

    Waiting for the Second Rut Peak

    0

    By Mike Bleech

    Things are settling into more of a typical rut now that the peak has passed, at least in most of the region. Bucks are still enthused about breeding, of course, and will service any does that come into heat. All the while hunters should have good results using estrous-based scent products.

    Our most recent responses from readers indicate that the rut peak passed in Massachusetts, and most buck activity there now is at night. I like the comment about deer feeding to recover from the rut. I often wonder how much bucks eat during the rut. Even though the bucks still are on the lookout for hot does, it seems reasonable that they have more time to eat now. And then there is the almost-always reliable notion that bucks will be hanging around does, and most does are feeding.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 26, 2013

    Rut is Ebbing, But Bucks Are Still Moving Well

    4

    By Mike Bleech

    Overall Activity Status: The level of activity going on now depends a lot on where you are. In general, there is less activity than a week, or two ago, but still deer are active.

    Fighting: No fighting has been reported.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 22, 2013

    It’s a Good Time to be a Deer Hunter in the Northeast

    5

    By Mike Bleech

    We know that the rut does not peak everywhere within the region at the same time, but it appears that good things are happening just about everywhere.
     
    To the south, Westley Marks, owner of Marks Sporting Goods in Cumberland, Maryland, said that the deer are starting some serious rut activity. Smaller bucks have been observed chasing does. Big bucks are starting to be seen during daylight hours. He is anticipating the rut will peak this coming weekend. [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 19, 2013

    In Parts of the Northeast, a Drawn-Out Rut Peak

    6

    By Mike Bleech

    You may have noticed that reports this fall have sometimes been conflicting and confusing. Welcome to deer hunting 2013.

    Overall Activity Status: Deer activity is high in most of our Northeast Region. A big increase in highway mortality is clear evidence of this. However, in some areas at least, few of the bigger bucks have been among the road kills.

    Fighting: There have been some reports of bucks fighting still.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 15, 2013

    Sign is Scarce in Some Areas, but Deer Are Moving

    2

    By Mike Bleech

    Things are happening now in a big way. But it some places, at least, we are not yet into the peak of the rut, though the definition of peak differs. Looking toward the northern end of our Northeast Region, Ken Eldridge, speaking from Martel’s Bait and Sport in Laconia, N.H., said he does not think the rut peak is yet near. Some hunters have seen bucks chasing does, and some have reported bucks fighting. However, deer sign is scarce. It looks like bucks are just starting to make scrapes. Eldridge did point out that bucks are not plentiful in his north woods area.
      [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 13, 2013

    Bucks Are on the Move Throughout Most of the Northeast

    7

    By Mike Bleech

    Overall Activity Status: Reports from around the Northeast region paint a slightly conflicting picture about overall activity. Deer activity has picked up generally since the thermometer dropped, but then reports come in about deer activity waning. Discount those drop-offs in activity; they're just brief swings.

    Fighting: Bucks have been seen fighting in the southern Adirondack region, according to Frank's Gun and Tackle Shop near Gloversville, New York. You can bet some fighting is going on all over the region. The amount of it probably depends to some degree on the buck to doe ratio, or buck density.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 8, 2013

    Estrous Scent, Calling Are Drawing Bucks

    By Mike Bleech

    In his stand early, Chad Foster had just settled in when he heard footsteps from behind. Two bucks were approaching. They caught his scent, however, and they ran off, snorting as they went. Half an hour later, two more bucks approached from the same direction. It appeared that the bucks were smelling the doe-in-estrous scent he used. But again the bucks did not like something, and they snorted as they ran off. All of this was due to the swirling winds of November in Crawford County, Pa.
     
    After a half-hour Foster bleated three times with a bleat can, then blew a couple of tending grunts. After a minute one of the bucks that had just run off came back. [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 6, 2013

    The Rut Could Explode Any Day

    By Mike Bleech

    Overall Activity Status: Cooler weather and increased rutting activity has deer moving a lot now. Mostly it has been at night, though. The bigger bucks are increasingly visible, but almost exclusively at night on the trail cameras.

    Fighting: Maybe bucks of fairly equal stature will fight over a hot doe. But to a large extent the bucks have dominance sorted out by now. Fights will probably be brief struggles.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 1, 2013

    Doe Deke Fools a Pennsylvania Buck

    5

    By Mike Bleech

    Trying a hunting tactic for the first time and having success with it is one of those experiences that can not fully be communicated to anyone who is not a hunter. The look on the face of Mike Stimmell, my deer scouting partner, when he popped out of his pickup in my driveway, gave me a pretty good clue about the tale he was about to tell me.

    Stimmell recently found what he figured was a good deal on an inflatable doe decoy. I saw it in its uninflated form soon after he bought it. It looked pretty good, considering how easily portable it is. But whether it would attract a buck was another matter.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 30, 2013

    Bucks Are Becoming More Active During Daylight Hours

    8

    By Mike Bleech

    Overall Activity Status: Deer exhibited a small but distinct change in behavior over the past few days. On one particular trail camera, two bucks, including the heavy 8-point shown here (my guess is that it is a 2-1/2 year-old), showed during daylight hours. Does also have been more active during daylight hours. This probably has not been related to a full moon.

    Robert Rogan has finally gotten photos of a big buck in Connecticut. It made an appearance at 3:30 a.m.

    Northeastsportsman commented from northern Vermont after my previous rut report that he has seen an increase in deer movement.

    [ Read Full Post ]

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