Overall Activity Status: Deer still seem in a lazy summer pattern. Food is the only thing on their minds. Most of my reports from friends revolve around information gleaned from trail camera pictures, rather than actual sightings. A few lucky ones have mature bucks hitting corn feeders every day in shooting light.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the above photo of a dandy typical 12-point on one of my trail cameras positioned along a creek. I recognized the buck instantly. Last year, he was a typical 11-point. His rack jumped about 20 scoreable inches since last season. Yes, the picture was taken in the dark, but at least now I know that buck survived last winter and he’s still in the area. I had one, and only one, picture of him on camera, this one! Will I ever see him in daylight? Who knows?
Rub Making: I saw three fresh rubs on good-sized mesquite trees this weekend along a fence line. They were in a small area about the length of a football field on the lip of a rough canyon. An area with mulies, no whitetails. I’ve seen several mulies fresh out of velvet in the last two days while most are still in full velvet. I expect rubs, both whitetails and mule deer, to pick up considerably in the next 1-2 weeks.
Scrape making: I have not seen a scrape yet and none of my contacts have reported any.
Chasing: None. (Though I did see a coyote chasing a flock of turkeys.)
Daytime Movement: Deer are moving mostly from sunset until slap dark and 30 minutes before sunrise and a bit after sunrise in the morning. It was 95 degrees at my house at the top of Texas yesterday, even hotter in the more southern counties, so it’s no surprise deer movement, especially in the evenings, is minimal in good shooting light. Given the choice of when to scout, I’d scout in the mornings. Low temperatures have been in the upper 40s and low 50s a few days in the Panhandle this past week.
Estrous Signs: None. Bucks and does treat each other as if they are not even of the same species right now.
“X” Factor: Texas’ archery deer season opens this weekend, September 29. Oklahoma’s archery deer season opens on Monday, October 1. Despite warm weather and limited daytime movement, if you have a good buck on a pattern, opening weekend is a great time to get him.