Rifle Opener Rut Activity - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Rifle Opener Rut Activity

Just wanted to see what people experiences are for rut activity on or around the rifle opener? I haven't seen much, but the last few days of the season I have seen quite a bit of chasing. My last two bucks were killed from the same stand on the last day coming in after a doe.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 02:37 PM
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I've noticed spotty rutting activity. If you look at biologist reports on conception there are quite a few does bred during the season. You can get into all the speculation on rut timing you want but it's pretty difficult to argue the scientific data. After that bell curve when the vast majority of does are bred over 10 days centered around Nov 15ish every single year independent of weather, moon, or whatever other voodoo speculation you have, there is a second bump that occurs around first week in December. My understanding is that second spike is caused by fawns coming into heat. From personal experience however the bucks don't seem as rutty. They don't roam far and wide looking for poontang as much as they get it in opportunistically if the chance arises. I've seen bucks bumping does around during rifle but nothing like the first three weeks of November. I've heard of some crazy chases but I've also heard of those in early October and all the way into February, there are outliers to all the statistics and they can breed anytime once they shed their velvet.

Personally I think all the crazy rut activity we get to bowhunt in November is mostly the buildup to the breeding. I think rut is a misconstrued term because really, bucks "rut" as soon as they shed their velvet. The whole process of establishing their dominance then beginning the search for hot does is the rut. The rut is the process of breeding, if you will, and that process begins far before the first doe comes into heat. Logically you can understand how that buildup is much more frenzied than the activity just on the other side of peak breeding. The actual breeding period is mostly going on this week, the week after our season typically goes out. Then it crescendos and the bucks are just too spent to invest much energy into finding the stragglers, but if they run into one they certainly know what to do her.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 02:41 PM
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I've seen bucks fighting and chasing the first week of buck. And several of our bucks have fresh bark in their burs.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 02:47 PM
tdd
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I'll see fresh rubs right through the end of flintlock season (end of January here in 5C).

I shot a buck chasing does and grunting at them on the rifle opener in 2014. That was the ONLY time I've seen that happen, though.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 03:12 PM
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Lots. I've probably seen more deer chasing in rifle season than I have in archery. Seems like where I am (5A) that we really don't see much rut activity at all until the last week of archery. Even then, it's just starting. After the season lots of rubs and scrapes pop up. I only saw deer chasing the last 2 days of archery this year.

The first buck I got with a gun was chasing a doe, and my dad has gotten numerous bucks chasing over the years with a gun.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-21-2016, 10:24 AM
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In my area the rut seems to be on going through out the first morning of rifle, then they wise up head for the thick stuff sit tight til after dark. at least thats what my camera shows.. pretty much what Steel Shot says
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-21-2016, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the posts. I'm after a particular buck and I know where his home territory is. I'm hoping that with the tail end of the rut here, he sticks close to that area. He's not pressured there, as it's cut off and private. He's been hanging out in this same corner of the property for the last 5 years and has always managed to evade us. I had him at 75 yards during the 2014 archery season, but he wouldn't come a step closer. He now has a 7-8 inch droptine. I'll be hoping for the right wind and a double rainbow on opening day.

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USAF AD 2006-Til they make me leave.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-21-2016, 12:24 PM
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I killed a 5.5 yr old buck a while back who never, even during the rut, was seen more than a half mile from the sticker pile I killed him in during the last week of rifle season.

Hope you get him!
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-21-2016, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks tdd. I haven't put a big one on the ground since 2009. I'm hoping to change that. Although I don't get upset about taking smaller bucks, it's always nice to wrap your hands around a big set of antlers.

"The good that men do live on long after they're gone"
USAF AD 2006-Til they make me leave.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-22-2016, 01:35 PM
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I hunt gun season the same as I hunt the rut. I hunt a funnel where deer like to travel and have seen bucks chasing does during gun season. I use my bow and you have the chance of a buck searching for a doe as well as bucks getting pressured through your funnel by gun hunters. I am usually in a spot where I can only see 30 yards or so and using my bow works just fine.

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