What Rut Activity Are You Seeing?
The Coues whitetail rut is well under way in most southeastern Coues whitetail areas of Arizona. What this means for Coues hunters operating under the archery-only season open right now is stand hunters guarding major sign-board scrapes or obvious topographical features such as saddles will likely see increased action in the coming days, while spot-and-stalk hunters will see aggressive chasing and all-day movement important to their cause. This action should improve for another week before rutting activities begin to slowly ebb during the latter part of the month.
Again, for bowhunters living up north in snowy environments of the country, Arizona January archery-only seasons include over-the-counter tags, with nearly endless public lands available to the public. If you're looking for a roaring good time in pleasant Southwest weather, head down to Arizona for a Coues or desert mule deer bowhunt.
New Mexico late-archery tags must be drawn, with deadlines around the end of March last year. Stay on top of that situation, as it isn't unusual for deadline dates to change season to season. For those who've drawn tags for the 2019 season, conditions are ideal for success, as rut action typically improves here as the season progresses. If you're still bowhunting, don't miss these last few days, as bucks often become progressively less wary with this rut peak that usually arrives with season's end.
Some hunts are still in effect in the southern regions of Texas. The reports I receive from the Uvalde area of the northern edge of South Texas proper indicate the rut has definitely wound down. Bucks drawn down from the rut are returning to feeders to recharge and have become fairly predictable.
In the most southerly portions of South Texas, around Lerado for instance, the secondary rut has sparked some intense rutting activity, with bucks fighting hard and aggressively pursuing yearling does coming into their first estrous cycle. While these bucks won't spend a lot of time at feeders, they will nonetheless stop to nibble corn for a couple minutes as they are drawn down after earlier rutting. This gives you the shot opportunity you've been waiting for, but you must stay on your toes and take the first reasonable shot opportunity offered, as these bucks are likely to resume travels after only a few bites.
Southeastern Texas, along coastal areas between Louisiana and Corpus Christie, for instance, are likely seeing more intense rutting action, which should continue through the remainder of the season. This might also include some trickle-rut activity into more northerly areas of East Texas.
With the exception of some youth and doe/spike special seasons, the northern region of Texas has wrapped things up for the season, with excellent prospects for the 2019 opener in early October.
Photo Credit: Philip Rodgers
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