Rut Tracker 12-3-2018 (Rut Meter 45%)
The headline on this weeks Rut Tracking Report reads “The Rut Winds Down”. Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and that includes the intense deer activity that accompanies the rut.
Posted by Hunting on Monday, December 3, 2018
A few weeks ago, The Hunting Page announced “Rut On”. The headline on this weeks Rut Tracking Report reads “The Rut Winds Down”. Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and that includes the intense deer activity that accompanies the rut.
As this deer activity chart shows, the bulk of our deer breeding activity is behind us, most of the younger does are just starting estrus, and a few of the mature does may yet to conceive. The doe fawns won’t generally come into estrus until they reach approximately 70 lbs. and reach the physical maturity to come into estrus, depending upon location, it may occur her first year or may wait until she is 1 ½. This late rut activity is what some hunters refer to as the “second rut”, but actually it is simply the rut continuing at a less intense pace. The buck’s testosterone fire might subside but it is never fully extinguished. Does that mean a chase won’t break out, no, a chase can break out at any time, but the interval between chases is getting longer and longer.
This week’s deer activity can best be described as a “truce”, the constant tension between the sexes has calmed but the bucks reserve the right to start chasing again as soon as the sweet smell of estrus reaches their nose. The bucks are doing more staring and feeding than chasing, and the does are beginning to relax, the common denominator of both sexes is the “need to feed”, the bucks to rebuild their rut worn bodies and the does and fawns making ready for the long winter ahead.
This is the time of year when the deer smart land manager/hunters are reaping the benefits of their summer stewardship of both the land, and of the deer. Crops left standing are attracting deer by the droves and food plots are where the action is. Foods high in heat generating carbohydrates are late season favorites. Acorns, standing corn and soybeans, left over fruits and leafy greens are what the whitetails crave, traditional browse foods like leaves, twigs, and dying and dead forbs are used to fill in the food gaps.
Savvy hunters are hunting food sources, but hunting with care, most of the whitetail world has been hunted, and hunted again, and again, by now, somewhere between 3-5 million whitetails have already been taken, by the end of the season we most likely top 5 million deer. Mature bucks are still roaming out there, but roaming with care. These old bucks didn’t get old by being careless, the time for careless behavior has come and gone.