View Full Version : I thought that the rut was over. It's apparently not.

February 26, 2012, 08:37 PM
Though deer season is over, I'm still in the woods looking for coyotes and the evil pigs. I see plenty of deer most every evening but the boys and girls haven't seemed to be very interested in the opposite sex - until this evening. I've got does to my distant left and a buck to my distant right, and one nice 8 point buck going north just to my left. About 20 minutes later, here comes a doe going south to my right, and she's in a hurry. Not running, but it's a fast nervous walk. In a few minutes, Here comes a big 10 point (that I last saw the day BEFORE the season) tracking her with his nose. Behind him by 2 minutes is a 6 point, also following the same doe track. It was almost dark by then, so I carefully and quietly crept out of the box blind and was halfway down the stairs (no ladder for me, bucko) when two more bucks to my immediate left snorted and stared and finally trotted off. The doe that was being pursued must have been the last 'good looking single girl' in the local area. I don't know why I thought the rut was over. I just assumed that it was. I was wrong, at least in my part of east central Texas. That 10 point was a nice buck, I'm very happy that nobody shot him, and he was young. I'm ready for next season.

Art Eatman
February 26, 2012, 09:38 PM
I was driving up to Alpine on April 15th, 1984, past the Que Decie ranch south of town and saw two mule deer bucks with their racks still there. Stopped, took a picture. I was pretty much flabbergasted at them still having antlers that late in the year.

February 26, 2012, 09:47 PM
I'm finding shed antlers here in northcentral MO. Last rutting activity I saw was midJanuary.

February 27, 2012, 09:40 AM
We have some buck whitetails here still with antlers. Kinda strange. In the past I have shot bucks the last day of season (usually around Jan. 1) and had there horn break away from the base when I tried to move them by grabbing the horn. Also had scoped large deer at that time that you could see they were male but had already shed their horns. Those could not be shot in Texas as bucks because after shedding their horns they are "antlerless deer". A couple of weeks ago I stopped to help someone who hit a buck with a car. His rack was still firmly attached and he was a big eight point. Just goes to show that rut and horn shedding can vary greatly from year to year.

February 27, 2012, 01:30 PM
Soon after deer season was over I quit seeing any bucks at all. Does were everywhere. I wondered if the bucks had dropped their antlers, but glassing the deer told me that they were all girls. So where did the bucks go? Darned if I know, other than maybe they just stood in the ponds and soaked their overused reproductive gear for a couple of weeks. Then about a month or 6 weeks after the season was over, I had a nice buck under the yard feeder. And now, last evening, there were the 5 bucks I saw and the definite signs of rutting. Very odd.

As for when the bucks drop their antlers, I have a cousin back in Louisiana that has his woods wired with game cameras all over the place. He's been doing this for many years and has photos that probably number over 50,000. He had 3000 pictures of a big buck I shot a couple of years ago. Anyway, his digital records show many long-term bucks (starting as 4 points, then being 6 points and more, as years pass) with antlers; just one remaining antler; and no antlers at all. All of this has dates and times, and he tells me that certain bucks seem to lose their antlers are just about the same day each year. And he showed me proof of that. And further, he even had photo evidence of a few deer that showed almost exactly the time of day that they lost the first antler and then the second antler (20 minutes later, in one case). That's a little bit overboard for me, but it was interesting to see the data.

February 28, 2012, 04:21 PM
with the very generous permit season here, in some areas, of NJ I've shot many deer in early- mid Feb. Do see antlers that late and I often find what I think are fresh rubs. Does that make any sense? - wildlife biologists?

Hunter Customs
February 29, 2012, 08:20 AM
Here in the North West corner of Missouri I'm still seeing bucks with full antlers, however I've not seen any rutting activity.
I have not found any sheds yet, but I should be before long.
Best Regards
Bob Hunter

February 29, 2012, 09:09 AM
Last week I was out in the woods and found a fresh scrape with deer tracks in it. It was beside of a small hemlock tree that had just been horned. I thought what the heck; some buck still has some horns...:eek:

February 29, 2012, 02:00 PM
We didn't notice any rut activity during our deer season, looking hard in places that normally show signs of the rut. We believed at the time, and I still believe it, that the drought pushed the rut back two months. Then the deer season closes and some of us go out to the lease to do end-of-season maintenance and find plenty of rut activity happening at the end of January.

We had gotten rain in January. It looks like the rut is late this year and the fawns will be late hitting the ground.

February 29, 2012, 10:37 PM
Haven't seen an antlered deer in pa in weeks, I once heard that as long as their is a doe to be bred bucks will keep their antlers, after the last doe goes out of season is when the bucks will lose their head gear

Hunter Customs
March 11, 2012, 11:02 AM
Yesterday, March 10th, I was out on my horse and I saw three fresh ground scrapes with fresh Deer tracks in them.
Then a little ways from the scrapes up jumps two Does and a Buck, the Buck was still in full antlers.
I don't recall ever seeing fresh ground scrapes that appeared to be active this late in the year.
We have had some strange weather with a warm mild winter, maybe that's causing the late rut activity.
Best Regards
Bob Hunter

March 11, 2012, 11:18 AM
Last week I saw a buck and doe together near my house. He was a young buck and had a small set of horns.

March 11, 2012, 12:21 PM
I know bucks will keep rutting as long as there are does coming in cycle.

Last year, seems we had many a late born fawns. A bit more then normal. Maybe these 'late season' does are late coming into estrus this year. If this is the case, the does being bred this late in the season would mean a lot of late born fawns this coming year also.

I did see just last week two very nice bucks together still having their racks. I've searched and have not found a shed yet but have also seen a couple active scrapes here on the farm.

Seems I remember some years back finding late season active scrapes as well.

Deja vu
March 11, 2012, 06:43 PM
last year we had a lot of late fawns born here as well, it seems the rut is still on here in North east Idaho.

March 11, 2012, 07:12 PM
No deer has horns, ever.

March 11, 2012, 07:17 PM
Squirrels rutting here about 10 days ago.

March 11, 2012, 09:30 PM
Those skunks are really getting after it now that it's springtime. As for whether or not the deer are still chasing each other around with reproductive intent, I don't know. The deer and the hogs seem to have disappeared again.

March 12, 2012, 03:30 AM

See your from Ohio as well.

Are you still seeing bucks with their racks in your area also?

Usually by this time of year, at least one side of the rack is gone and usually both sides. The bucks I've seen lately haven't yet lost either side.:confused:

March 12, 2012, 11:48 AM
Haven't seen a buck for a couple months.