Deer are on the move in the Southwest
Snow is falling across much of the mountain west and that is a good sign for the rut. I have been hunting in a historically good unit in Colorado for the past few days and I’m just starting to see signs. The mature bucks are just starting to show up but they aren’t sticking around with the does yet. I watched a mature buck lip curling and moving through some does but he didn’t smell anything good and moved on. The next day, I was driving on a two-track road about a mile from where I had previously watched that buck and he walked right in front of me. He walked over to a tree and proceeded to beat it up for a minute then went on his way.
There is a series of valleys that I am hunting where you can see a lot of country from various points on the property. The bucks are in travel mode heading to the rutting grounds. The does are piling into these staging areas where they will spend the next month or so before ultimately moving on to the winter grounds. This is the same story I have heard from a few outfitters around Colorado. The rut is starting, but it’s not quite here yet. Another week should get things in gear. I expect the bucks to be primed up around mid-November. Travel corridors are going to be your friend for a few weeks as the bucks move from summer feed grounds to their rutting areas. I’m spending a lot of time behind my glass and keeping tabs on the does. It’s only a matter of time until the right one appears in a herd of does.
This will be the name of the game for most of the mountain regions of the Southwest. The southern parts of Nevada and Utah are generally later than the mountain regions. The reports I have received from the desert areas of those two states point to not much action yet.
Whitetails in the Texas Hill Country are on right now. Bucks are with does or cruising, checking for does in estrus. Rattling has been working well for some friends of mine and they are finding bucks bedded with does mid-day. This full moon has the active times changing each day, but the deer are active. It may just be a waiting game to get one where you need him in the daylight. Hopefully the cooler temps this week will keep them on their feet longer and give you the opportunity you need. I expect north Texas to get going pretty soon. Scrapes and rubs are showing up so it’s only a matter of time until the bucks start cruising.