Rifle season has been open in Missouri for six days and we have been hunting hard. It appeared from hunts early during the week that most bucks were tending does and not moving much. Hence hunting thick cover was the best option. However, there are a few things that indicate deer movement will be picking up over the final days of rifle season.
Our observations lead us to believe that does are leaving bucks and pairing back up with their fawns. This means that the majority of does have now been tended by bucks, the bucks will be on the move looking for those last few does that have yet to become receptive.
The whitetail gestation period is 200 days long. This means all does that conceived during the first two weeks of November, the heaviest part of the rut, will have their fawns in middle to late May. Every year there are some newborn fawns that we see as late as the second week of June. Back dating 200 days from when we observed those mid-June fawns confirms that some does are bred through the last week of November. There’s still time to use rut hunting strategies. In fact, bucks will likely be moving more during the next week or two as fewer does will be receptive and there will be more competition for those does.
The last few does that become receptive will have several bucks after them so we suggest forming your hunting strategies this week around where the does will be. There is a large cold front pushing into the Midwest so they will be hitting the food sources in the evenings. The GrowingDeer.tv Team will be hunting a combination of cover in the mornings, and Eagle Seed Broadside food plots in the afternoons in hopes those last few receptive does pass through with a hit list buck not far behind.
Chasing Whitetails together,