Overall Activity Status: On January 10, hunting on an MLDP (Managed Lands Deer Permit) ranch in north Texas with an extended season, I went out one last time looking for a plump doe for the freezer. I glassed a riparian strip the last hour of the day and saw four bucks, but not a single doe. The bucks I saw were congregated around a corn feeder.
Fighting: Robert Sanders, Temple Ranch manager in south Texas reported this: “This is the time of year when I find some ancient bucks dead near ponds that just couldn’t make it through the stress of another breeding season. The other day I found two bucks locked up. It was a gruesome scene and wasn’t a good one for pictures. The coyotes had eaten them alive.”
Rub Making: Old sign at this point in the season.
Scrape Making: None reported.
Chasing: Sanders reported this from south Texas. “I saw a breeding party this week, with five bucks following a yearling doe. It was funny, you could see the fear in her eyes!”
Daytime Movement: More information from Sanders in the brush country: “As for deer movement, I would say the warmer weather combined with the rut being almost over has started to put them back into a late-evening or after-dark time for feeding and moving patterns. There are still plenty of deer moving during the day for the most part, but they just don’t have that big ‘push’ that makes them get up and move like they did a month ago. Everybody is skinny, broken tines, etc.”
Estrous Sign: Just the one story of the chase on the yearling doe in south Texas. In the rest of the region, the rut is long over.
X Factor: In Oklahoma, the late bow season lasts until January 15. In Texas, consult the TP&W Outdoor Annual on late season hunting based on counties. In north Texas (106 counties), there is a late season for does and spikes, and a youth hunt until January 19. And in south Texas (30 counties), the late antlerless and spike season extends until February 2.