Rubs Appearing, but Activity is Slow

Overall Activity Status: As mentioned in this week's previous post, there were several days of excellent activity following the big cold front that blew through late last week. That activity seemed to nose-dive shortly afterward, however. Danny Hinton, owner of Hinton Archery and part-time guide for Snipe Creek Outfitters, says that most area hunters have been reporting the same thing.

"I sat over a beanfield yesterday evening where my buddy saw 15 deer Saturday morning. I didn't see that first one," Hinton says. "The hunters at Snipe Creek killed several deer, and virtually all of them had shed their summer coats. That, combined with the weather warming back up and a bright moon have most of the deer moving at night right now."

Fighting: Nothing to report yet, although some bachelor groups are breaking up, and light sparing could happen at any time.

Rub making: I'm finding quite a few rubs now. They're not everywhere, but they're showing up often as not in the obvious pinch points and other high-traffic areas.

Scrape making: Nothing yet.

Chasing: Nothing yet.

Daytime movement: As mentioned, it's been slow. After killing a doe myself Sunday afternoon, I've taken the week off to catch up on work and butcher meat. My wife, Michelle, has hunted a couple times, though, and hasn't seen a deer this week.

Estrous signs: None yet

X Factor: Although the summer's heavy rains have created an abundance of browse and led to me making big predictions about a good acorn crop, I haven't really seen that yet. A few trees are dropping but for the most part, the crop seems spotty. I've seen several Internet threads where hunters have commented on a complete lack of acorns in their areas.

That can be a good thing for hunting this time of year, though. Abundant acorns scatter deer here and yonder inside the timber, making them much more difficult to pattern. Isolated trees can produce outstanding hunting. And if there are no acorns at all, food plots, crops and other available food sources become all the more attractive as the green browse of summer begins to fade. It's a bit too early to draw sure conclusions on the mast crop, but this time of year, when deer and their food sources are changing fast, it certainly warrants an "X-Factor" mention.