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.
Rub Making: The only fresh rubs reported were in my own area of northwest Pennsylvania where I found a couple while hunting this previous Saturday. It may have been two different deer, since one was on a tree about 3 inches in diameter while the other was on a sapling about an inch in diameter. Tracks by these rubs were different sizes.
Scrape Making: No fresh scrapes have been reported.
Chasing: Marty Harrington, owner of Marty’s Sports in Bennington, Vermont, reported a couple cases of bucks chasing does. One of his customers “shot a tremendous buck this afternoon (Monday) that was still chasing does.”
Another customer also got a buck that was chasing does, he said.
Dave Bushey, reporting from S&S Taxidermy Archery in Springville, New York, at the western end of the state, also reported that bucks were seen chasing does over the weekend.
Daytime Movement: Other than those two areas where bucks were observed chasing does, daytime deer activity has been light. Does have been seen feeding in fields during the daytime.
My hunting partner, Bill Anderson, and I determined on Saturday that the only way we were going to see deer was to move ourselves. Bill jumped an 8-point from its bed, but thick brush blocked a shot.
Estrous Signs: Since bucks have been seen chasing does, does are still coming into heat. But this has been reported in only two areas.
X Factor: The secondary rut peak is getting started. The timing of this will vary similarly to the way the primary rut peaks varied. Keep the faith with estrous scents while hunting now. Be sure to carry a grunt tube and a bleat call.
If you see a doe looking behind her, possibly with her tail cocked sideways, that’s a very good indication that a buck is around. Should you be hunting either bucks or does, you might want to let such doe pass in case a buck is following.