The Deer are Moving!
I received several emails this week from hunters that swear the bucks are going into rut already. Without having to explain all of the details, I mentioned to them that some of this behavior is typical this time of year and some is not. After hunting very hard this past weekend, I didn’t notice anything unusual…until today.
Friday morning opened very well with great weather and some normal activity. After doing my duty and killing a west central IL. doe, I pushed forward in my quest to find one of the big bucks I have patterned this year. No such luck for me but nevertheless, the hunt was an enjoyable one. Back in central IL. on Sunday and today, I had more deer in front of me than I did ALL of last year combined! What a change from last year and even the last decade. With the corn out and the deer moving back into the timber, it was evident this year will be paramount to any other I’ve hunted in this area, as far as quantity goes. With many does, fork horns and fawns to choose from, I decided to let them all live. I would rather take another doe, where it’s needed in west central IL, than here in central IL. where I haven’t seen them thrive before. One odd thing happened today though. I watched a mature doe come out of the timber at 3:00 P.M. to feed, which is a bit early this time of year. Right behind her was a mature 3.5 year old 8 pointer with his nose to her rear-end. She allowed him to follower her with no signs of distress. Another buck showed up from another direction and he dropped his ears and marched forward with authority. The other buck held his ground and there was a stand-off for about 5 solid minutes. The original buck decided it wasn’t worth his energy, so he casually walked back to the doe and began sniffing. Eventually, they all walked off quietly into the woods.
I haven’t seen his type of activity this early. I would expect bachelor groups to spar and to remain grouped but I haven’t even seen bachelor groups in the 100+ miles I hunt from farm-to-farm!. Unless someone here tells me differently, I believe they’re already busted up! This could break my early harvest plan to pieces if I don’t positively identify what’s happening and act accordingly. I’m going to hunt closer to the bedding areas and the sanctuaries this week and test the waters. I’m also going to hit the staging areas in the evenings to see if they’re still in preseason mode. If not, I’ll go directly to plan B. Don’t ask me what plan B is, I haven’t planned it out yet!
I’m curious to see what you are seeing! Are you seeing anything else different this year? Is it about the same? Let me know your thoughts!Permalink
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