Overall Activity: Texas’ archery deer season opened on October 2 statewide. Properties with MLD (Managed Land Deer tags) can also start rifle hunting on the same date. Weather has been hot, 80s for highs most days, but I’ve been seeing bucks every time out. As expected, the first 30 minutes and the last 30 minutes of the day are best for deer movement because of hot weather. So far, I’ve sat four times, all in the afternoon. I’ve sat three times in a tripod stand looking for a specific 150-class 10-point in a river bottom. I’ve seen him twice, but both times he got nervous (probably smelled me) and slowly walked away well out of bow range. I’ve sat one time at a ground blind built out of native brush. That hunt was a success; details are in Daytime Movement section below.
Rub Making: I’ve seen three rubs so far. All three within bow range of two of my setups, the biggest on a mesquite tree about as big around as a baseball bat. I take a very cautious approach early in the season, so I don’t walk around the woods looking for sign much. Instead, I glass from a distance to pattern bucks or monitor trail cameras, then move in for a hunt when the wind is right. I suspect there’s probably lots more rubs out there, but since I’m not stomping around much, I’m not seeing them.
Scrape Making: Same to report on scrapes. Only seen one, about the size of a basketball, just a few steps from the big rub. Ground is pawed up every couple of days and an overhanging mesquite branch is shredded. Probably more out there, but I’m not stomping around much looking for them.
Chasing: I’ve seen zero chasing. In fact, I’ve only laid eyes on two does in the four times I’ve sat on stands! I’ve been seeing mostly bucks. The two does I saw walked around a 3 1⁄2-year-old 9-point that showed no interest in them whatsoever.
Daytime Movement: Surprisingly, I’ve been seeing some good bucks in shooting hours. They show up late, usually at sunset, but with enough time to make a good shot. I shot the 140-class 8-point on October 7th at 7:40 PM, legal quitting time was 7:52 that day. I drilled him with a 390-grain carbon arrow in the crease behind his right shoulder at 15 yards. Tooth wear indicates he was 5 1⁄2-years-old. Not five minutes later, another 140-class 8-point walked by my ground blind at less than 20 steps! Only one buck tag for that county, so I let him walk.
Estrous Signs: No sign of any does in heat yet.