Across most of the whitetails range firearms seasons have begun. Here in Missouri we are right in the middle of gun season. We have been hunting hard and pulling cameras cards but have not seen a lot of chasing activity. With these observations from the Summit Stands and Reconyx cameras we tend to classify this time of the rut as the lockdown phase. This simply means buck movement has slowed down as they are tending does until they are bred. Does are receptive for a 24 – 48 hour period. Any given buck may be locked down for that amount of time before he goes in search of another doe. With most does being receptive it may not take long to find the next doe that may lock a buck down for another extended period of time.
This may seem as a dim outlook for hunters who are afield this week. However, this doesn’t last long. As we enter into the later part of November bucks tend to get back on their feet, moving heavily in search of the remaining receptive does. Sometimes this post-rut activity can be very intense as bucks are desperate to find does. As the rut progresses there are less and less receptive does, making it potentially difficult to find them. To help the search for receptive does, scraping activity increases drastically during this period!
To take advantage of this shift in behavior, we will soon be focusing our efforts on hunting scrapes and travel corridors again, a similar strategy to our pre-rut tactics. The deer behavior and movement is similar, so we will hunt similarly. Our Reconyx cameras are still on scrapes, so as soon as they begin to light up we will be close by! In addition to hunting these scrapes we will be keeping an eye on our Eagle Seed Broadside plots. Temperatures are forecasted to drop so does will be in search of quality food increasing the chances of drawing a mature buck into the plots!
Chasing whitetails together,