Buck Sign Increasing, Deer Unpredictable As Ever

Overall Activity Status: Things are changing in the Mid-South deer woods. Although some hints of summer patterns remain, the velvet is gone and bachelor groups are breaking up fast. Harry Pozniak, guide and owner of River Valley Farms in Cadiz, Kentucky, is one of my best contacts for deer activity in this area. This guy spends a lot of time in the woods and puts a lot of hunters on good deer. But his clients had a tough early season. He says that bachelor groups have now dissolved for the most part. Most of the bucks he's seeing on trail camera are either traveling alone or with one other deer.

Fighting: Pozniak reported seeing quite a bit of sparring last week. But nothing serious yet.

Rub making: Increasing by the day. I walked a rub line Friday morning that was easy to follow for 200 yards.

Scrape making: Nothing yet.

Chasing: Nothing yet.

Daytime movement: Last week the deer movement was so slow that I stayed at my desk to catch up on deadlines rather than sit in a stand. But if a buck is anything, it's unpredictable. And my good work ethic cost me a good deer. I've had my eye on the 8-pointer in the photo since opening day of archery season, and it seems he's been one step ahead of me the whole time.

With a big rain in the forecast for Friday afternoon, Michelle and I decided to slip in Thursday and adjust a ladder stand. We pulled a trail camera card while we were there, one that had only been out a couple days. Upon reviewing the photos, there was my buck, eating from my bait set pretty as you please at 2:30 in the afternoon. I'm out of town this week, but you can bet Michelle will be trying to get a shot at this deer when the wind allows.

Estrous signs: None yet

X Factor: As mentioned in a previous post, the acorn crop seems spotty. But a spotty crop is the best one of all to a bowhunter. Pozniak said, "I'm seeing a lot of red oak clusters in the treetops, but white oaks, as you mentioned, are isolated. But when they start falling, if you can find them, you should be set up perfectly to kill a deer."