Seeing and bagging a trophy buck is at the top of every deer hunter’s list. But a close second would have to be observing a buck fight or watching a buck breed a doe. The latter is what Steve Harrison checked off his list on Thanksgiving week.
Harrison hunts in Twiggs County, Georgia, which is southeast of Macon in the middle of the Peach State. “I was in a tower stand overlooking a large food plot,” Harrison said. He knew that the rut was on and he was anticipating some good activity. It started in the afternoon.
“At 3:15, a doe came out and started to feed,” he recalls. “She kept looking back, and five minutes later the buck came out.” The eight-pointer was focused on the hot doe.
The buck was not a “shooter” for Harrison, so he sat back and watched the show. “I always carry a camera, a Sony HDS 9. I really enjoy filming the wildlife and making a movie of what I see. I knew he was breeding her, because never let her get more than 50 yards away. After 15 minutes they went back into the pines.”
Harrison thought the show was over, and was delighted to see the couple return. “Two hours later they came back out, this time only 20 yards from the stand. They fed for five minutes and then he began some slow chasing, and that’s when I got that video,” he said.
The doe was obviously in estrus and the buck was ready. Clear evidence of estrus is when the doe stands and allows the buck to copulate. As the video shows, the buck commenced to breed the doe.
Harrison commented that he saw two more bucks that afternoon after the couple left his view. “I don’t shoot many deer anymore, I’m waiting for a big one,” he said. “In a way, capturing the animals on film is about as good as killing them. And it’s fun to watch the movie and relive the hunt in the off season.”
Bucks are still rutting in Georgia, as well as in South Carolina, Arkansas, and portions of Louisiana.