What deer activity are you seeing?
The cold snap that hit the Midwest last week encouraged deer to get up on their feet. Good conditions even remained for several days after the front pushed through.
Mature bucks have been moving during daylight, and rubbing and scraping activity is on the rise across the region. Luckily, another wave of cold weather is set to make its way through the Midwest over the coming days. This should produce another weekend of solid conditions for deer hunters.
Mike Stroff of Savage Outdoors TV reports good daytime movement in Illinois. He said that trend should continue with the cooler weather that's forecast for the weekend. Mike said he's seeing lots of buck on their feet, and that scrapes and rubs are turning up more and more.
Good daylight activity is also being seen in Iowa according to Cole Winther of Southwest Iowa Outfitters. Deer are still on feeding patterns with the primary food sources being greens, specifically wheat and brassicas. Cole said a lot of new rubs and scrapes have been showing up over the past week, and that with more cool weather on the way, he expects solid daytime movement to continue.
The Upper Midwest
In my home state of Michigan, the cold front is forecast to move in Friday night. High temperatures are supposed to bottom out by more than 20 degrees by Saturday afternoon. Weather resources are predicting high pressure for Saturday night and Sunday morning. This should encourage deer to move.
Over the past few days, I've seen a noticeable uptick in scraping activity, as well as new rubs popping up. Older age-class bucks have been fairly visible during daylight, especially where they haven't been pressured. Overall deer activity is still centered on feeding patterns. For now, the hottest food sources seem to be acorns and green fields, like alfalfa and wheat.
Bucks are starting to show signs of things to come with a good bit of light sparring between deer that were buddies just a couple weeks ago. Reports from across the upper Midwest reflect much of the same, with a similar forecast of favorable weather to come.
With the next wave of cold weather moving west to east, states like Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas will see temperatures drop earlier in the week. The front is forecast to sweep across the grain belt on Thursday, causing high temps in some areas to drop by nearly 40 degrees overnight. This surge of cold weather — along with high pressure — will provide ideal conditions on Friday and Saturday for the region. Focus on food sources like wheat and milo, as well as transition areas between bedding and feeding areas.
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