Brantley: Cut to the Chase Phase

Nov. 1--Overall Activity Status: In three sits this weekend, I watched some of the best seeking and early chase-phase buck activity I've ever seen. Numerous small bucks cruised through within easy bow range on scent trails I created near my stand. Just before dark yesterday, Halloween evening, I saw my first good chase of the year, and nearly got a shot at a great buck (more on him in another post).

Fighting: Fights should be frequent and fierce by this point, as territories are established and numerous bucks are traveling long distances in search of early estrus does.

Rub making: Holding steady--new rubs are still appearing frequently.

Scrape making: Scrapes are still being freshened, but scraping activity may have tapered over the past day or two as a few does are beginning to come into estrus.
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Chasing:** Serious chasing is just beginning.
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Daytime movement:** My trail cameras revealed a spike in daytime buck movement toward the end of last week. Long hours in the stand over the weekend confirmed it--I saw a shooter at 9:20 a.m. yesterday, and another one just before dark. Numerous smaller bucks were on their feet at all hours of the day this weekend in western Kentucky.

Estrous signs: As mentioned, I saw my first good chase of the year yesterday afternoon, and the doe seemed to be nearly as interested in the buck as he was in her. She trotted by my stand at 15 yards and waited for him in the edge of a green field. Unfortunately, he caught my scent at the base of my tree (too thick to shoot), and spun back into the thicket. She paced in the field for a while, obviously watching for him, before turning around and walking back into the thicket on the same trail she used to enter the field.

X Factor: Every sit this weekend produced a show. Saturday afternoon, I watched two separate young bucks follow a doe-in-heat scent trail I'd created downwind of my stand as if they were drunk (see video). I'll never get tired of seeing such things in the deer woods. This week could be the best one of the year to be in the stand in the northern latitudes of the Mid-South region.