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.
“He worked into about 20 yards broadside when I shot and took both lungs out with a chisel tip two-blade Rage broadhead,” says Foster, shown above with his buck. “The tracking job was easy because he only went 50 yards after I hit him.”
So there is no doubt now that estrous tactics can be used. Foster’s successful hunt may not prove that does are being bred, but we know they are, and bucks are acting very anxiously.
During out most recent scouting loop through the Allegheny National Forest, we spotted three deer, a decent 8-point buck and a couple of does, in a cut cornfield. (There is considerable private land inside the national forest boundary.) Though we had stopped no more than 40 yards from those deer, and shined a spotlight on them, they, the buck paid no attention to us. He was interested in one of the does. A few seconds after we’d stopped, it took a few steps toward the doe, but the female bounded away just a short distance. Next, the buck ran at the doe. She would have nothing to do with him.
The bucks are very anxious.
Robert Rogan, commenting on his trail cameras in Connecticut, said, “The does are getting chased, but the camera is missing the bucks doing the chasing. I have pics of them running through the area, but the camera won’t cycle fast enough to see what is running them.”
Rogan also reported a 10-point buck following a doe while he was hunting in eastern New York. He is also seeing more big bucks lately.
Christopher Smith, from northcentral New York, reports seeing nice bucks. He watched a 4-point chasing does.
Hunters also have reported seeing bucks chasing does, and one hunter watched a doe being bred in Vermont, reports Marty’s Sports, Inc., at Bennington.