Overall activity status: Mostly reports of few deer sightings and even fewer big bucks. That’s surprising, considering a cold front has been hanging over the region and you would think the deer would move.

Fighting: Several reports of bucks sparring. Not much to this right now, just gentle twisting of the tines and no real pushing and shoving, yet.

Rub making: More and more rubs are showing up all the time. High traffic areas like around corn feeders or field edges are good places to find them. Mesquites continue to be the rub tree of choice across much of the region. Cedars are another popular rub tree.

Scrape making: A friend in Oklahoma reported that two scrapes showed up this past week, both right under his ladder stand in a grove of trees. One is in front of his trail camera and he’s had pictures of several different bucks working the scrape, day and night.

Chasing: No reports of chasing yet.

Daytime movement: Most friends reported very little activity this past weekend. The exception was my Oklahoma buddy. He had five quality bucks walk just outside bow range of his tree stand on a cold morning; plenty of shooting light for a shot, just too far away. Another evening he saw 16 does at sunset.

Estrous signs: None yet

“X” factor: Just when you think you start to know something about deer, you have a weekend like I just had. It was cold, lows in the 30s here in the Panhandle, and deer should have been moving. I hunted four hours from a ground blind near a feeder on Saturday night. I did not see a single deer. Sunday night, I spent three hours in a tree stand. Skunked again. Several friends reported very slow sits as well. But like casting a line in the water over and over to catch a fish, the more hours on stand the better the odds of taking a nice buck. A simple formula that works, but takes lots of patience to practice and usually requires a few very slow days along the way.