What deer activity are you seeing?
Things are long over in Colorado. The New Mexico and Oklahoma archery seasons ended yesterday. Unfortunately, the festivities are slowing down in Arizona and Texas, too.
For the next couple weeks, Arizona bowhunters can still chase Coues whitetails and desert mulies in the southern regions of the state. Darren Choate, managing partner of Western Whitetails Magazine, says Coues in particular are still rutting fairly strong. He's seeing bucks with does and expects a second spike in rutting activity as older fawns and missed does enter estrous. However, desert mule deer are beginning to wind things down.
Tactically speaking, wet weather persists, and guarding water is still a losing proposition. Rattling and grunting are likewise producing diminishing returns.
South Texas whitetail hunters have a few more days to get it done. That said, ranches participating in the MLDP program have until January 28.
Mike Stroff, reporting from the Uvalde area in South Texas, says he's still seeing a few bucks dog does. These are likely fawns just reaching the weight threshold required to breed for the first time. He's also seeing a handful of bucks tending scrapes, though the smart play is on food sources right now.
Josh Kinser, marketing director for Performance Plus Outdoors (Big & J), hunts farther south. He says rutting activities are still fairly decent. Deer in the Laredo region are entering into solid secondary rutting activity. He says bucks are seeking aggressively and moving throughout the day. Kinser prefers hunting during this late phase of the rut. Deer are both breeding and hitting food sources more reliably. Some hunters are still having luck with rattling, but bucks are pretty bruised and broken up. It might be best to stick with more conservative tactics at this point.
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