It’s that time of the year deer hunters look forward to as the pre-rut phase of the breeding season is upon us. Archery season is in full swing and there’s no better time to be in the woods than the weeks to come. As October nears its end and Halloween approaches, the bucks start shifting their focus to finding the first hot does to come into estrus.
The shortening of the days triggers the does to come into heat and ready to breed. The bigger bucks will start making more daytime appearances on their mad search for a date. I’ve been noticing more and more fresh scrapes and rubs in the woods with each passing day.
The smaller bucks have been feeling frisky pestering the does and sparring around but the females don’t seem too impressed. It has been another strange year in the weather department with summer like temperatures that went straight to winter over the past week.
Yesterday morning there was a heavy frost and the thermometer read 27 degrees in the vehicle on the way to school.
The trees are confused as well as there is hardly any fall colors in the landscape when normally the leaves would be at full peak by now. It’s definitely feeling more like fall and hunting season than the first half of October did. The air has that cool crisp fall feel to it with a touch of brisk winter winds thrown in the mix. The leaves were late to change last year as well so maybe this is the start of a new trend.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s amazing how trail cameras have changed the way we deer hunt nowadays. We now have a tool that we simply place on a tree and instantly have 24 hour surveillance on whatever walks by. With the pull of a SD card you can see what wildlife is using the area that you’re considering on hunting.
It’s definitely made it easier to scout than back in the good ole days. It seems that everyone wants the easy way out nowadays which I’m guilty of as well. I don’t necessarily know if it’s a good or bad thing as I have the “hard work pays off” attitude. The advancement in technology is sometimes mind boggling to me.
I grew up in a time before cell phones hit the market and remember the first computers that came out. School work was much different back then. A research paper actually required research like going to the library and using the card catalog system to find what you were looking for and then you had to read through it all. Now all you have to do is search google and wa-la there it is. Anything you want is right at your fingertips and only a few clicks or taps away. My how times have changed!
Deer scouting required actually walking through the woods looking for sign and well used deer paths. The size of the tree rubbed provided some hint of the size of the buck using the area. The only way you knew exactly how big, and what bucks, were in the area you were hunting was to actually see them with your own two eyes or hear how big they were from your hunting buddy. We all have that one buddy that can turn a small 8 point into a trophy 12 point in a heartbeat so you could only take that info with a grain of salt. I guess the same could be said about what’s on the internet in today’s world.
I still make it a point to pay attention to what’s going on in the woods but the trail camera has made it a lot easier to know what bucks are around. There are a couple of mature bucks hanging around here and the time has come to go after them with the rut approaching. The night time pictures are starting to be replaced with daytime photos and November is always the best time to be out there regardless of what the trail camera shows.
We live in an ever changing fast paced world and it can be hard sometimes keeping up, especially for an old school fellow like me. One thing I know for certain is that Halloween is near and November is almost here. It’s that time of the year deer hunters live for so get out there and enjoy our beautiful hills and hollows.