New bucks are on the move, mature ones too, but no chasing or breeding yet
The bucks have been on the move the last week in the northern part of the region, with new contenders showing up daily. The rut is closing in and could get hot within the next week or two. While out scouting a few days ago, Cameron and Luke Scott, guides for Double H Outfitters in northwest Colorado, described it as a high school dance: 40 does all grouped together in one part of the field, while six bucks fed 300 yards away in a different part of the field. They commented on the influx of not only bucks, but mature bucks showing up near the doe groups in the last week. Although not chasing or trying to breed yet, they are certainly staging up for the big dance to begin. I am personally guiding in this same area, and until the rut gets into full swing, our tactics for hunting these deer will be to focus on travel corridors as well as keep tabs on the does to see what shows up each day.
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I spoke yesterday with my good friend and owner of The Draw, Jordan Christensen. Based in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Jordan makes his living keeping a pulse on the current state of big game and the tags needed to hunt anywhere a draw tag is required. This is what he had to say about Arizona and New Mexico:
Northern AZ: Young bucks are starting to cruise a little and the does are starting to stage up in normal rutting areas. Overall, no real rut activity to speak of but it won't be long.
Southern AZ: No rut activity at all. Likely won't see much for at least two more months for either Coues deer or mule deer.
New Mexico: We are anticipating some action to pick up in mid to late November in northern New Mexico for whitetail and mule deer, but we are still a couple months out for any rut activity in the southern half of the state for mule deer or Coues deer.
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