Nov. 20: Most certainly there had been some increase in buck activity late this past week, with reports coming from northeast Ohio, central New York and New England. It has not been a great flurry, though. Still, I urge hunters to spend all day in their stands from now through Wednesday. Do not come out of the stands for lunch. If I am wrong, you spend some time in your deer stand. If you wish to chew me out for that go ahead. I have been wrong before and I will be wrong again. Anyone who claims to know what deer will do every day either also walks on water, or walks on bovine dung.
Hey fletch66, here are some suggestions intended for you more than for anyone else. Have you been seeing any deer at all? Any decent bucks?
If not you might want to move your stand if you are hunting from a stand. Have you been paying attention to the wind? Be sure your stand is downwind from wherever you anticipate deer will approach. Sorry if I am to preachy, but I want you to score, and I’m trying to cover as many bases as I can in a short space.
Look for a funnel area, and be imaginative when looking for funnels. Yes, quite often big bucks will follow hot does across open fields. But if they are just searching, more likely they will follow thick cover. A funnel may be the only area where a deer can travel without easily being seen. A brushy ditch can be great. Do not try to find areas where you get a long view to place a stand, look for areas where it is so thick that deer can not be seen for more than a few yards. If you must cut a shooting lane, do minimal cutting. Do not spend to much time scouting, and when you do, wash your boots, wear Latex gloves, and touch as little brush as humanly possible. Look for big tracks that are not pointed at the front end.
Your southern Maryland area could have a later rut, which may mean the hunting Monday be fabulous, and for a few days on either side of it.
Hunters in southern Ohio should be thinking along these same lines. Elsewhere in our Northeast Region this coming rut may be good, too, but perhaps not as good as in the southern edges of this region.