Overall Activity Status: All reports say deer, bucks included, were moving like gangbusters last week. And why wouldn’t they? It was cold and calm most days. My trail cameras showed significant activity, particularly in the mornings, all week long.
This week has been a different story. It’s been warm and windy. A huge front is forecast to move through on Halloween, and I’m banking on pretty good movement once the weather settles in its wake.
Fighting: I referenced my buddy Sully rattling in that fine buck in this week’s previous post. Bucks are fighting right now, and they’re serious about it.
Rub making: I’ve been in the woods twice this week to move stands and check trail cameras, and I’ve found new rubs both times.
Scrape making: There has been a major uptick in scraping activity this week as well. Leaves are falling like crazy right now, but I found two big scrapes yesterday that were pawed clean.
Chasing: See that trail camera photo above? What’s that look like to you?
Daytime movement: Deer are moving right now. In fact, year-in and year-out, Halloween to November 10 is my favorite stretch of days to be in a treestand. This week’s warm-up and wind has, unfortunately, put a damper on the daytime movement, though. It seems much of the activity is occurring just before dark.
Estrous signs: My buddy Tim shot a doe this past weekend that was being chased around by a spike. He said after recovering her, there was no doubt she was in heat. I can’t relay his exact description, since Tim tends to err on the vulgar side of things when telling his stories, but suffice it to say that Tim has cracked open enough bottles of Tink’s in his day to know what he’s talking about.
X Factor: Scents. The seeking and chasing phase of the rut is a great time of the year to use doe-in-heat scent in a pump-spray bottle. I like to spray the heels of my boots several times en route to the stand, and then place a scent-soaked cotton ball (a wick works too) right in the shooting lane where I want a deer to stop. Once on stand, I send a mist or two of the scent drifting downwind once every half-hour or so. I’ve lost count of the deer–bucks and does alike–that I’ve pulled into bow range with this system, and these next two weeks are prime for trying it.