Now is the time to be keeping tabs on doe groups in the Southwest Region
Things are starting to heat up in a few spots. In terms of the Southwest region, Texas is the most interesting to me right now, specifically the Hill Country. The famed Texas Hill Country has always surprised me with what I consider an early rut for white-tailed deer. While the deer in Boerne are starting to chase, only 100 miles south in Tilden, the deer are still two months from the rut. One hundred miles north, the deer follow a pattern much closer to the Mid-South and Midwest.
A few days ago I was visiting with Blake Barnett. Blake is the host of Trailing the Hunters Moon TV and is based in the Hill Country of Texas. He mentioned that bucks are cruising pretty good in the lower Hill Country region. Saying he saw, “A few bucks pushing does and saw my first buck bedded with a doe this week.” He went on to mention that right now would be a great time to rattle in that region.
In north-central Texas where my personal lease is, we are starting to see some rubs and scrapes, but seem to be about two weeks away from the good stuff. I expect it to start getting good around the rifle opener on November 4. All reports from south Texas have the bucks still in bachelor groups and, in general, not much action.
In the mountain regions of the Southwest, the weather is starting to turn from fall to winter. In Craig, Colorado, where I’m located, we are seeing the last warm days pass by with single digit lows and barely above freezing highs forecast for next week. I’m seeing lots of deer movement with the rut staging areas starting to fill up with does. This is a good sign for rifle hunters in Colorado and the mountain regions of Utah and Nevada. I always seem to kill some of the best bucks pre rut as they are traveling from their summer grounds to the rutting grounds. Colorado’s second rifle season starts this coming weekend, October 28. I will be spending most of my time watching known travel corridors as well as keeping tabs on the does as these bucks will come into the does to check for any estrus signs — then back off if they don’t have any receptive does. They won’t go far, though, once they arrive. You may catch them traveling from group to group until the does fire up.
For most of the Southwest region we are still a few weeks out on good rut activity. But at least it’s starting, and that excites me.
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