What deer activity are you seeing?
South Texas has been on fire the last few weeks, but things are changing as we head into the new year.
Steven Tisdale is a serious bowhunter near Lubbock. He said deer have settled into post-rut mode. Does are regrouping and mature bucks are hitting feeders with more regularity. Many older age-class bucks are showing signs of the post-rut with limping, broken antlers and scars. His area has a good crop of up-and-coming bucks for next season, though. That's good news for future hunts.
Ronnie Parsons, a diehard bowhunter in the San Angelo area, said the first rut is over and they're anticipating secondary action within the next week or so. Some bucks are still tending does, but not many. Mature bucks are appearing on feeders again.
The Element Podcast's K.C. Smith hunts in East Texas, and he said the hunting there has been tough. He's experiencing minimal rutting activity and little daylight buck movement. Food is now the key to success throughout this part of the state.
Mike Stroff, host of Savage Outdoors TV, host of Grigsby on Realtree 365, and owner of SOE Hunts (Uvalde) and Western Ranch Outfitters (Sonora), said there's still solid rut activity around the Uvalde area in South Texas, but the action is slowly winding down. Mature bucks are hitting feeders as they recharge after the primary rut.
Oklahoma is well into the post-rut, and bucks are transitioning back to food sources. Out West, look to milo, late-cut corn and alfalfa for success. Where legal, feeders are a big draw right now.
Colorado's Eastern Plains are seeing classic post-rut activity, with does regrouping and bucks reestablishing bachelor groups. Food is where the action is, including milo, late-cut corn and especially winter wheat fields. Don't be afraid to try spot-and-stalk ploys on these vast open areas, especially on windy days that cover your approach.
New Mexico's late archery season opens January 1. Prepare by scouting before the season opener. Wherever you see mature bucks now is where they will likely be on opening day.
Finally, the late rifle seasons are still open in many Arizona Coues whitetail units. Some bowhunters are already in the field working on 2019 licenses (2020 tags are required January 1). Hunters should be seeing solid pre-rut activity at lower altitudes and all-out rutting at higher elevations. Patient glassing will put you in the action this weekend.
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