Overall Activity Status: In a state as large as Texas, it should come as no surprise that reports could vary so much. Most hunters report limited deer sightings on opening weekend of gun season, confined to sunrise and sunset. Ronnie Parsons reports no chasing in the Hill Country. Friends in the Panhandle report no chasing. South Texas, ditto. But one report of great action in north Texas indicates the rut is happening there.
Fighting: None reported.
Rub Making: seeing the same old sign, old rubs from back in September and October.
Scrape Making: On the afternoon of November 2, I watched a 130-class 10-point make a scrape near a corn feeder. He spent 80 percent of his time working the overhanging mesquite branch with his eyes and nose. He only spent 20 percent of his efforts on pawing the ground.
Chasing: Several reports from MT7 Ranch manager, Ty Bartoskewitz, of mature bucks chasing does in north Texas near Breckenridge this weekend. He tells of two chases across wheat fields and another one in the brush. That’s the first real evidence I’ve heard of older bucks interested in does anywhere.
Daytime Movement: Reports are still as they have been. The first 30 minutes and the last 30 minutes of the day are the best times to see deer moving. Daytime high temps are still above 70 in many locations, probably slowing afternoon action.
Estrous Signs: That chasing near Breckenridge is the only report of real rut action.
X Factor: Grown-ups can get too caught up in the whole how-old-is-he and how-big-is-he mentality of modern trophy hunting. Kids just want to hunt. My friend Rusty Sims has taken his 10-year-old son, Logan, hunting several times this season. On the afternoon of November 3, a small buck walked right under their tree stand. Rusty talked Logan out of it, hoping a bigger buck might come along. Forty-five minutes later, when the young buck was about to leave the area, Logan said, “That one looks good to me!” Rusty gave the green light. Logan, shown above with his buck, made the shot with his .243. I told Rusty in a text message, “Well Done! Let that kid shoot. Don’t get so caught up in size, the kids don’t care.” This was Rusty’s reply: “You’re right. Logan doesn’t really seem to care how big they are so I guess I shouldn’t either. The important thing is I am taking him hunting and we’re having a good time.”