Hunting The Rut: The Lockdown PhaseNovember 13th, 2015 by Matt Dye
Adam and I are rolling back to The Proving Grounds from our trip to Kansas. We hunted hard for six days with lots of deer activity seen throughout the week. If you have been out in the woods, you may be experiencing much of the same. Unfortunately, we are returning without a mature buck in the truck despite hunting on some great ground in early to mid-November.
Most of the deer activity we saw was does slipping through the timber in an attempt to hide from pesky bucks or young bucks cruising with their noses on the ground. This action was quite intense and kept us on our toes. However, this action was also draining! At this time of the year bucks are starting to become locked down with does. Does are receptive for a 24 to 48 hour period. During this time bucks will stay close to the receptive doe and not leave her until she is bred, making this a potentially tough time to hunt since bucks aren’t up and moving as much as the chase phase.
In an instant, the mature buck can bred his doe that has kept him locked down and move on in search of another. When this occurs it can make putting in lots of time in a Summit Stand pay off in a big way. However, when the weather is unseasonably warm like this past week in Kansas and bucks are locked down with does, the hunting suddenly becomes much tougher. Does do not move as much because of the weather and the mature buck movement will decrease as well.
Despite the lockdown phase of the rut and warmer temperatures, the morning and late afternoon action, when temperatures were the lowest, kept us entertained. If you are finding yourself putting in lots of time in the stand recently, hang in there! Action from a hit list buck can come your way in an instant. Remember that does are seeking refuge from bucks, so key in to the areas with thick cover. Does will be bedding in the escape cover and in a matter of time, so will the bucks!
Chasing whitetails together,