December Rut Tracker Volume One

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A week we announced the rut is beginning to slow down and we set the rut meter at 75%, this week it’s staying put. And for good reason, no, every deer in the woods is not going crazy with rut fever but there is still plenty of rut activity happening across whitetail country. Does are being bred, and bucks are still acting “rutty”.

As we mentioned in our last report, it’s a matter of math, study after study indicates that some does come into estrus a month or so later than others, that’s what we are seeing now, the yearling does that are just experiencing their first estrus and then there are the assorted “stragglers” that have yet to conceive (probably do to poor health or physical factors).

Reports of rutting bucks are still coming in on a regular basis but “rut over” reports are beginning to show up more often than we can say.

Reports of rutting bucks are still coming in on a regular basis but “rut over” reports are beginning to show up more often than we can say. Last weekend we hunted our NY hunting property and saw a little bit of everything, plenty of fawns and does feeding together with the occasional buck thrown in for good measure. Our younger aged bucks definitely seemed to have lost interest in the does but the older aged (3+ yr. old) bucks were definitely interested in giving the girls a second look. If they got just a faint whiff of “ode de la estrus” they would have been on it in a second, as it turned out there was no estrus in the air this particular weekend.

Right now the best place to spend your hunting time is on food sources, especially foods that we often call “hot”. High carbohydrate foods that produce body heat (fat) are where the action is at right now. If you have any standing corn, that is a great bet right now as are oak flats that produced a bumper crop of acorns and sugar rich green fields (forage oats, turnips, and cold tolerant clover

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Craig Dougherty has been a staple of the hunting industry for over 35 years. He has held senior executive and board level positions with multiple archery and firearms companies, and industry organizations. He was Chairman of the Board of the Quality Deer Management Association and was instrumental in the formation of the National Deer Alliance. He has and his son Neil have published books on deer management and hunting, and have written hundreds of articles and appeared on hunting TV and at countless sportsman’s events. The pair founded NorthCountry Whitetails a deer hunting and property management company, where they manage over 300,000 acres of deer hunting property for clients across the nation. visit: www.NorthCountryWhitetails.com

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