Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Deer Hunting => Topic started by: fishnfur on October 14, 2020, 11:09:07 AM

Title: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 14, 2020, 11:09:07 AM
It's a little early on to be seriously talking about rutting activity, but not so early that it doesn't bear discussing as things ramp up over the next 17 days of October. 

In the past, this annual thread has provided valuable information to Blacktail hunters across Western WA on what deer activity forum members are seeing while out in the woods or caught on trail camera.  Understanding that the rutting activity often progresses at different rates in the state, possibly in association with elevation and/or climatic differences between marine and inland environments, this thread often allows members to find out what activity other hunters in their respective areas are seeing as the season progresses.   The thread also provides an great opportunity for questions and discussions of hunting techniques or other related topics as they come up along the way.  Ultimately though, the rut generally progresses at the same rate in each region with only minor differences.  It is the rare case when deer rutting activity does not follow the normal timing of steps in their annual ritual. 

To kick things off, I of course have nothing important to report at this time.  The apple  trees in my back yard attract a few deer intermittently all summer long. The trees become deer magnets once October comes around.  I typically have at least two trail cameras working the yard since deer tend to come in from all directions and don't always enter the field of view of the other cam.  In a typical year, I expect to see the nightly doe/fawn/yearling parade really kick into gear in the first few days of the month.  As the month progresses, the frequency of the doe feeding visits to the apple trees increases to the point that by mid-month, they often come and go several times a night and occasionally, there are six or more deer from different family units in my yard at the same time. 

Typically, the bucks stop feeding under the trees in late August and disappear until sometime around the 13th - 15th of October, when they begin following the doe as they come in to feed.  Occasionally they come alone, apparently to scent check the area after the doe have left, presumably searching for the first doe in heat.  This scent checking behavior increases into late October.  As the month progresses, more bucks seem to rotate through the yard, some of them being bucks that have never been caught on cam previously.  By late in the month, the bucks are more aggressive in their approach and often chase the doe around the yard in the dark.

Anyways, I put out a second cam on the five days ago with the expectation that bucks would return to the yard in the next few days.  True to form, the first buck, a decent forkie followed in several doe around midnight in the early morning of the 13th.  He was not aggressive towards any of the doe.  He simply stood there for less than a minute, then disappeared.  All in all, it seems to be an absolutely normal year so far.  I expect that for the opener, the deer will be more interested in putting on fat for the winter than mating.  That will change soon enough. 

Good luck to all.  Hopefully we'll see a lot of bucks hit the dirt this weekend. 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: jjhunter on October 14, 2020, 11:18:41 AM
My two mature bucks disappeared in mid August.  I watched the larger buck strip his velvet around the 20th.

On Sunday night, the smaller of the two reappeared just before dark.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Spuddieselwwu on October 14, 2020, 11:30:13 AM
Thanks for starting this thread, @fishnfur.  Always one of my favorites.

I've had a few new bucks start showing up in the last 8 days.  I am going out to check cams today and I'd be shocked if I don't see a few more.   I did have a nice bear start making her (I believe it's a sow) presence known in the last week - hopefully the bucks don't get shy in that location.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Fatherof5 on October 14, 2020, 11:47:21 AM
On Saturday, I watched a small 2 point chase a doe. She wasn't ready obviously, but he had one thing on his mind. He ran her right in front on my truck.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: slowhand on October 14, 2020, 12:53:59 PM
Tag
Love this thread  :tup:
one of the years best every year
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: blackveltbowhunter on October 14, 2020, 08:37:45 PM
If I had a gun tag, I would have dropped everything to have yesterdays weather in 2 weeks. Heavy rain followed, by lots of wind, followed by a temp drop and clearing. Recipe for tons of deer on their feet. Based on sign,  and sightings in the areas I frequent,  younger bucks are keeping tabs on does, and the mature bucks have definitely moved into " monitoring locations".
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: actionshooter on October 14, 2020, 08:48:25 PM
I always pay close attention to this thread and don't even bother hunting blacktails until the last week... Thanks!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: TheStovePipeKid on October 14, 2020, 09:29:37 PM
I'll be headed into the woods for my first BT hunt ever on Saturday. It's any buck so I'll let rip on the first one to cross my path. Tagged in.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 14, 2020, 11:18:35 PM
Hope you're hunting close to home Stovepipe.  There's some killer bucks down there if you can find access to hunt.  Good luck!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: CP on October 15, 2020, 06:16:09 AM
Watching the Whidbey Island front yard herds yesterday; does on one side eating the flowers, bucks on the other eating the trees.  They didnít seem to have any interest in each other.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Twispriver on October 15, 2020, 10:42:25 AM
.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: trophyhunt on October 15, 2020, 12:14:24 PM
The last day of regular deer season this year will be interesting, I've never seen it run until Nov 1.  Wish the 1st was during the middle of the week though.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WSU on October 15, 2020, 12:35:04 PM
This thread drives me nuts every year.  People post pics and stories of rutting blacktails while I spend days in the woods with no sign of any activity (only to drive home and damn near run over the town bucks rutting all over). 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: SeatoSummit88 on October 15, 2020, 12:51:43 PM
Late buck, Nov 19-22, should be a solid time to still catch BT's rutting. Or to catch a doe who didn't get bred.  Never hunted that season, but this year will find out.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: TheStovePipeKid on October 15, 2020, 02:31:11 PM
Late buck, Nov 19-22, should be a solid time to still catch BT's rutting. Or to catch a doe who didn't get bred.  Never hunted that season, but this year will find out.

I put in for the late buck days off just in case I can't make it happen sooner. I've got an amazing wife so I'm hoping I'll have the time to give it a proper go.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 15, 2020, 03:11:57 PM
The last day of regular deer season this year will be interesting, I've never seen it run until Nov 1.  Wish the 1st was during the middle of the week though.

I was thinking the exact same thing.  The first of November might be incredible hunting, especially if there's a storm brewing.  I can imagine the bucks just committing suicide in front of hunters everywhere.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 15, 2020, 03:15:32 PM
This thread drives me nuts every year.  People post pics and stories of rutting blacktails while I spend days in the woods with no sign of any activity (only to drive home and damn near run over the town bucks rutting all over).


Hmm, sounds like you've found a better place to hunt.  :chuckle:
I've lived that nightmare over and over myself.  I came to the conclusion that the larger the deer population is in an area, the more likely they are to be noticed in rutting behavior.  Gotta find a better spot!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WSU on October 15, 2020, 03:27:51 PM
Ainít that the truth.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Whitenuckles on October 15, 2020, 04:02:35 PM
This thread drives me nuts every year.  People post pics and stories of rutting blacktails while I spend days in the woods with no sign of any activity (only to drive home and damn near run over the town bucks rutting all over).


Hmm, sounds like you've found a better place to hunt.  :chuckle:
I've lived that nightmare over and over myself.  I came to the conclusion that the larger the deer population is in an area, the more likely they are to be noticed in rutting behavior.  Gotta find a better spot!
You can have a great spot with tons of deer. But then a lion or 2 comes into the area and the deer are gone! Happens to me all the time here in 460. There are way way way to many lions in my neck of the woods.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: 85yota on October 16, 2020, 02:05:29 PM
Completely agree.. Had a good spot in that general area with a big group of does.. This spring found 4 (what I assume are cat kills.. Deer buried in brush etc) on 1 hillside all within 100 yards of eachother including 1 big doe that was drug downhill 50yards with blood and fur along the trail..theres at least 3 does still around but the spot isnt the same..such a bummer
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: 85yota on October 16, 2020, 02:11:50 PM
Pic of buried deer first.. On a side note found a fresh rub 7 days ago.. 2nd pic
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: JimmyHoffa on October 16, 2020, 02:42:21 PM
Not too early to be talking about the rut.  For the north end of the OP:
Today I have three bucks that just mysteriously showed up from out of nowhere.  A 3x3 with a medium sized body, a 2x2 with a big body and forks, and a 2x2 with one small fork and big body.  All three swollen up.  The two forkies are sitting on does separate from other deer.  The 3x3 is following a doe close, but she's still trying to eat and with a couple other does in an orchard.  Does were chasing off this years fawns a couple days ago.  Yesterday, no bucks and all the does were grouped together.  I was cutting brush and the does were there for scraps in their normal herd.  Today is lots of wind and some scattered/light rain.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 16, 2020, 04:06:51 PM
That's a crazy report, but it follows along with what I postulated previously about early estrus in BTs.  I believe the climate change may be having some impact on timing of the first estrus, which typically isn't a successful breeding event.  The second egg drop and fertile cycle average eight days later, and breeding during this time is often successful, which would produce conception in the third week of the month. 

Eight or nine years ago when there were a lot of members posting pics, we often saw photos of nice mature bucks suddenly out in broad daylight, crossing some human zone such as a ball field or construction site, right in the middle of October.  That really bizarre behavior for an animal that is known to rarely show itself in the light of day suggests that there must be a damn good reason for them taking a chance and exposing themselves so early in the season.  I can think of only one reason....   

Love to know if you see a buck mounting a doe prior to the last week of October.  Presumably, climate change and the resulting warmer weather in the Spring might alter the doe's change biological clocks over time so that conception is earlier, resulting in fawns being dropped earlier than the first week of June.  The extra few weeks of growing time allowed by a warm Spring (vs. a cold wet one) would greatly increase fawn survival during the next winter.  (Darwin's Natural Selection Theory at work)  I'm not saying that is what is happening, but that is the second report this fall (Mallard Masher earlier) talking about early rutting behavior. 

Back to real life - my cams have gone quiet again.  Just a few doe and fawns, nothing else moving.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: CP on October 16, 2020, 04:24:05 PM
I'm hoping that moon phase triggers some daytime buck movement tomorrow.  They can be rutty or not, just so they show.



 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Whitenuckles on October 16, 2020, 04:25:21 PM
Pulled my cards yesterday and looked at them this morning. All the small bucks (spikes,2s,and small 3s) are still hanging out with the does. Big boys are on their feet at midnight and 9-11am. Wish I had more to help. But it is what it is. No rut activities in Duvall area yet.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 16, 2020, 07:05:02 PM
Time of day when they get up to feed is important in my book.  They seem to all do it at the same time, at least all the deer in an area, though the time of day seems to morph as the days get shorter.

RE: Moon phase - It makes sense to me that during a new moon, the deer would be out in feeding zones earlier in the PM and stay longer in the AM.  I'm not sure if the stats prove this to be true or not.  I do know that QDMA articles on tracking deer movement showed that the first and last quarter moon were the times when the bucks moved the most.  I have no idea why.  That's WTs, but I assume they are all doing the same thing.

I'm just hoping to see something move tomorrow.  All my best spots are closed out and unhuntable.  The only new reprod units have trees just 2 - 3 years old.  I'm going to sit and glass a decent spot that would be great except it is too close to a main road.  Road hunter traffic may drive me out of there.  No worries - I'm just playing around till late Oct.  The opener is just a personal tradition.  I like to hear how many shots are being taken early on and wonder why I suck so bad.   :chuckle:

Good luck all!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Bigshooter on October 16, 2020, 07:45:25 PM
Saw 2 small 2pts sparring this evening.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: 85yota on October 16, 2020, 09:09:48 PM
The moon phase is interesting and from what I have seen does seem to effect things, although when its cloudy and raining and there is no moon visible the affect seems minimal..? The full moon towards the end of the season and if forecasters are right with clear sky's seems problematic unless of course the females are hot in that area... On a side note I did just see a 2 point slowly cross the road obviously looking.. It has begun.. Kinda
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Spuddieselwwu on October 16, 2020, 10:30:18 PM
 I was unloading some groceries and caught a doe run across the street and up onto my field, sure enough our neighborhood forky was full trot with his nose to the ground chasing her.  She fed and kept running him off.  He didnít look swollen.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Trigger05-11 on October 16, 2020, 11:10:29 PM
We have this guy about 400 yards behind our house near Ridgefield. He is still only nocturnal. Tonight about 9:30 we had a huge 3pt standing by our mailbox. Not rutting, but itís starting to go that direction.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: SeatoSummit88 on October 17, 2020, 08:40:55 AM
Trigger thats a nice buck! How many does do you have around your property?
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Trigger05-11 on October 17, 2020, 12:45:18 PM
We have many does. Itís not uncommon to walk to the mailbox and see 8-10. Hopefully he sticks around.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: SeatoSummit88 on October 17, 2020, 05:15:51 PM
Right on! If he's a horny guy, which we all are, im sure he will try to breed as much as possible. If the girls are there, he should be.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 17, 2020, 05:23:02 PM
We have this guy about 400 yards behind our house near Ridgefield. He is still only nocturnal. Tonight about 9:30 we had a huge 3pt standing by our mailbox. Not rutting, but itís starting to go that direction.

Hell of a buck!

Geeze, was it ever dark out this morning.  I was tripping over logs and falling into salal holes that were invisible an hour before first light.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 17, 2020, 09:07:06 PM
Where I was hunting today, almost all the shots occurred from 10:45 AM - 12:30 PM.  Slooow in the early morning.  Perhaps that is the effect of the new moon.   :dunno:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: jamesfromseattle on October 17, 2020, 09:59:15 PM
On Orcas Island right now.  The deer are a little nutty up here so probably not the best gauge of what's going on elsewhere, but a big (by Orcas standards) forkey was grunting and chasing does around last night.  They had no interest in him, but he looked pretty rutty to me.  Watched for about half an hour and kept seeing him cross back and forth in the yard with his nose to the ground.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Spuddieselwwu on October 17, 2020, 10:30:19 PM
Where I was hunting today, almost all the shots occurred from 10:45 AM - 12:30 PM.  Slooow in the early morning.  Perhaps that is the effect of the new moon.   :dunno:

Same here. Toutle/1900ln
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: cohocrazy on October 18, 2020, 05:04:44 AM
My son shot a 2 point yesterday morning. No sign of rut at all. No smell and he was still palling around with another buck. NE Snohomish county.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Axle on October 18, 2020, 06:36:47 AM
I saw a lot of fresh rubs opening day.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: dilleytech on October 18, 2020, 09:08:26 AM
I saw a lot of fresh rubs opening day.

Deer rub all fall starting with removing of velvet, no?

Most shots being middle of the day is mostly guys still hunting the timber jumping bucks I would assume.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: CP on October 18, 2020, 02:48:43 PM
Every deer that I saw this weekend was bedded down or was busted out of their bed.  A landowner that I spoke with told me that he has been chasing them out of his orchard 3 or 4 times a night but they all disappear before daybreak.   :(
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Fatherof5 on October 18, 2020, 04:57:39 PM
 :chuckle:  :chuckle:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 19, 2020, 08:56:08 AM
The hunter I've been mentoring over the summer went out Sunday morning and grunted up a nice buck from the logging road he was walking.  He got busted but learned a valuable lesson - gotta stay hidden if you're calling.  I tried rattling over the weekend with no results. 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WSU on October 19, 2020, 09:53:22 AM
I saw a 3 point today at 930 here in town.  He must have been interested in a doe because he just stood there when I pulled over to take his pic with my cell.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: cavemann on October 19, 2020, 09:59:05 AM
This thread drives me nuts every year.  People post pics and stories of rutting blacktails while I spend days in the woods with no sign of any activity (only to drive home and damn near run over the town bucks rutting all over).

Went out this weekend because its opening weekend..  LOL..  I typically hunt the last week harder and I won't be out until next weekend and all next week.  Surprised at the deer movement this early this year and mid day.  No bucks though..

But to your point, pulled down my road last night and huge 3 point standing on side of my road with a doe.  Never fails!!  And I live in a neighborhood lightly wooded.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: highside74 on October 19, 2020, 10:16:37 AM
It was a bad weekend for spikes in Vail. With the rain the does and young bucks were out in force. Saw 5 spikes in the back trucks late yesterday.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 20, 2020, 07:35:35 PM
I saw a 3 point today at 930 here in town.  He must have been interested in a doe because he just stood there when I pulled over to take his pic with my cell.

Pictures or it didn't happen!   :dunno: :chuckle:


Checked my cams under the apple trees.  I've never seen it so slow at this stage of the season.  Zero bucks since the 13th.  I'm wondering how many bucks got poached or hit by vehicles in town since last fall.  Hopefully, it doesn't indicate that the season for mature deer is off to a slower start than usual. 

Just for fun, and because it is so slow here, I uploaded a vid to Youtube from last October - a young buck that is clearly frustrated.  I didn't combine all the videos leading up to this moment, but clearly he is very unhappy.  I love how the buck's really lays into the vocalization, which subsequently made the doe run off.    Sadly, no microphone on this cam.  I wonder what kind of noise he made.  I keep imagining something like the T-rex in the movie Jurassic Park.   :chuckle:  (watching the full size version on Youtube gives a much better feeling for the exertion in his effort).



Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WapitiTalk1 on October 20, 2020, 07:44:41 PM
Durn fresh in one of my areas.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: 85yota on October 20, 2020, 08:03:39 PM
Have yet to see a fresh rub since about the week before season started (the rub was in a neighborhood thats basically unhuntable and im probably just missing them in my area).. Question about does with fawns.. Between Saturday and Sunday me and my partner saw about 10 does between hunting and driving and 1 small spike.. 7 had fawns with most being twins and looked extremely young, mainly in cuts I would presume do to the rain.. My question is what happens when they go into estrus with fawns? They seemed way to young to leave them.. So do they get bred with fawns.. If we find a doe in late Oct. That still has 2 fawns is she worth waiting on? In my local area the fawns have all been killed but my other spot all the does have fawns in toe.. What say you fish n fur?
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: JakeLand on October 20, 2020, 08:06:02 PM
How do you post videos
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: 85yota on October 20, 2020, 08:14:01 PM
By the way I will post some info about myself once i figure this sight out.. Been lurking for years and guys like jakeland skagit steel fish n fur radsave blr243 and the rest of Yall have been more informative than any other resource in the world when it comes to these crazy black tails.. Thanks in advance sorry to thread jack lol
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 21, 2020, 08:19:35 PM
Have yet to see a fresh rub since about the week before season started (the rub was in a neighborhood thats basically unhuntable and im probably just missing them in my area).. Question about does with fawns.. Between Saturday and Sunday me and my partner saw about 10 does between hunting and driving and 1 small spike.. 7 had fawns with most being twins and looked extremely young, mainly in cuts I would presume do to the rain.. My question is what happens when they go into estrus with fawns? They seemed way to young to leave them.. So do they get bred with fawns.. If we find a doe in late Oct. That still has 2 fawns is she worth waiting on? In my local area the fawns have all been killed but my other spot all the does have fawns in toe.. What say you fish n fur?

The doe chase the kids away when it is time to breed.  They don't quite know what to do without mom, so they just hang out in their normal spots, but they are crazy on edge and freak with any movement.  If you see that, mom is probably close by waiting for Mr. Right.  If you see a doe without fawns in late Oct, if she is in heat, her tail will stick straight out so that her scent can be exposed to the winds which will attract the bucks pretty quickly.  You my just see them standing still in a spot by themselves, waiting. Check the tail and look for fawns.  Decide what to do based on that information.  If she is hot and just waiting for a buck (as far as you can tell), the buck may actually be already there and you have failed to see it.  If not, then keep your eyes downwind to where her scent is carried.  That is where you'd expect a buck to come from, though not always.  Sit tight and keep your eyes on her.  Her ears will move around towards the sound of an incoming buck as he gets closer.  Find an opening in the expected lane of travel and kick off your safety.     :twocents:

eidt:  if you're OK killing a young buck, then watching a doe with kids close by may provide a shot opportunity around this time of the season for a young horny buck chasing around mom while the kids are there.  Doe will not breed with their kids there.  I think, in general, it is a waste of time to watch a doe with fawns still with her.  Checking back on her every day or two (of possible) might put you in a great spot once she's getting hot. 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WapitiTalk1 on October 21, 2020, 08:21:30 PM
 :tup:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: TheStovePipeKid on October 21, 2020, 08:23:48 PM
Got a small forkie in the same spot at pre dawn the last two nights. Poking around where a doe is also working through at night. Making plans.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 21, 2020, 08:25:43 PM
Have yet to see a fresh rub since about the week before season started (the rub was in a neighborhood thats basically unhuntable and im probably just missing them in my area).. Question about does with fawns.. Between Saturday and Sunday me and my partner saw about 10 does between hunting and driving and 1 small spike.. 7 had fawns with most being twins and looked extremely young, mainly in cuts I would presume do to the rain.. My question is what happens when they go into estrus with fawns? They seemed way to young to leave them.. So do they get bred with fawns.. If we find a doe in late Oct. That still has 2 fawns is she worth waiting on? In my local area the fawns have all been killed but my other spot all the does have fawns in toe.. What say you fish n fur?

It's still early for rubs down here.  Typically, I have not seen fresh rubs in SW WA before the last week of the month.  I know it is different in other areas, but not a heck of a lot different.  Wapititalk1's pic does look fresh and there's 10 days left in the month.  I guess you have to get to know what is normal in your area.  The rubbing will ramp up over the next couple weeks until most of the doe get hot in early Nov.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 21, 2020, 08:33:28 PM
How do you post videos

If you want to try yourself, you need a Google or Youtube account (user name/p-word).  When logged into youtube, click on the camera in the upper R. corner of the page.  Select upload a video.  A window opens that you can drag and drop your video file into and it will upload while you fill in information such as title, tags, private or public access, suitable for kids, and some others.  Pretty straight forward.  The suitable for kids tab requires a response.  Some of the stuff you can just ignore.  After a few minutes, it will show that your video is ready to publish and give you the address where the video will be posted.  All you need to do is click on the "Publish" option and you're done.  Copy and paste the address into a new browser page to make sure it works.  If all is good, just post it here in the text box.  No need to attach the file below.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WapitiTalk1 on October 21, 2020, 08:47:48 PM
Concur with your assessment fishnfur. The rub i posted was made within the past 3ish days (I was at this spot over the weekend and it wasnít there; took the pic last night). Most of the rut rubs I see occur more towards the end of OCT and farther into the rut on normal years up my way also.  Iíll be back up there at least once from FRI - SAT; maybe Iíll bump into him but doubtful till a bit later in the season when he gets a bit sillier. I have one of my portable one man blinds set up about 1/2 mile farther on up the hillside, just off the edge of a cut, with a 200 YD shot up into a ravine trail, pretty consistently baited with apples/pears.  Getting some consistent does feeding, a few scraggly forkys, and this pest  :rolleyes:



Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 21, 2020, 09:32:24 PM
Got a bear tag?  That bear looks huge!

Here's one of two videos from Jakeland.  I'm still working on the second.

Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 21, 2020, 09:46:31 PM
Part 2 from Jakeland (possibly part 1)

Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Turner89 on October 21, 2020, 10:00:27 PM
What a dink :dunno:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: The Gobble-stopper on October 21, 2020, 10:07:29 PM
I was up near Goldendale for the opener, got a nice 4x4. In two days I saw over 40 legal bucks.And probably another 50 spikes and 2points. Lots of rubs, and every buck from spikes to the big boys were doing some serious fighting. The one I got had a severe swollen neck, but the glands on his legs were not even smelly?? Waiting for pictures, my cam failed and my phone does not take pics. So a resident there is suppose to send me pics.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: ridgefire on October 21, 2020, 10:10:30 PM
I saw a buck locked on a doe this morning and then shot a buck tonight that was chasing does around. It's neck was all swollen and it reeked. I also found a few rubs that were from today or yesterday. This was in the Sultan/Startup area.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: grousetracker on October 22, 2020, 05:44:41 AM
ridgefire, you know the rules no pics or it didn't happen!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Fatherof5 on October 22, 2020, 09:49:54 AM
My son shot this island black tail yesterday. He responded to some light rattling, and he was STINKY! 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: brokentrail on October 22, 2020, 10:49:49 AM
My son shot this island black tail yesterday. He responded to some light rattling, and he was STINKY!

Tell your son fantastic shot and congrats!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WapitiTalk1 on October 22, 2020, 10:58:14 AM
Got a bear tag?  That bear looks huge!

Ya, he's a chunky monkey all right.  I do have a bear tag (I get the package deal every year).  Thing is, I haven't shot a bear in oh.... 35+ years (not since I lived back in the Big Sky State).  Dunno, I'm just not a fan of bear meat I guess but it's been years since I've tried it so heck, maybe  ;).  Spose I could pack a bigger stick in to that BT spot than my little .243 deer slayer in case I really had the urge to shoot the bar'. 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WSU on October 22, 2020, 11:03:40 AM
Or shoot it with  243.  I don't think the bear would know the difference.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: cavemann on October 22, 2020, 01:01:26 PM
so the weather looks like it is not going to cooperate next week..  Sun and overcast all week..  Only tried rattling a couple times, any tips on time of day to rattle.  Any basic do's and don'ts as for times of day?  The rest will be trial, error and learning.  Just wondering if there is general rule of thumb.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: npaull on October 22, 2020, 02:29:22 PM
Saw a forky chasing a doe aggressively in broad daylight in south Puget sound region today.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: TheStovePipeKid on October 22, 2020, 02:47:45 PM
Saw a forky chasing a doe aggressively in broad daylight in south Puget sound region today.

GPS coordinates or it didn't happen😈
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: BLDtraLR on October 22, 2020, 06:36:41 PM
Little guy chasing an unwilling doe  :chuckle: Didn't even have a care in the world except her walked up to top pin yardage on him  :archery_smiley:  Look at his neck looks like he's ready to pop  :yike:  Near Maple Valley
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: kukusya on October 22, 2020, 07:16:15 PM
Thats how my deer looks like, doesnít matter how far I go.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 22, 2020, 07:57:50 PM
 :yeah:  That's what I'm seeing too. I'm done with public land hunting for the near future.  Too much pressure in too little area... like on the opener.  A couple of guys come in behind me on a cut, a half hour before first light, see my rig, so turn around and go 300 yards down the road to hunt across a draw from me.  One of them pops off a shot after the first hour of light, and the two of them wade around in the cut looking for the buck for 45 minutes or so.  They give up on the buck and finally disappear leaving me with no place close to hunt that didn't already have hunters on them...    :bash:

Lots of good reports for this early in the season and a lot of good blackies hitting the dirt.  Tomorrow is a hunt day in the rain.  Looks like sun for the next week after that. 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: browney5er on October 22, 2020, 08:13:32 PM
Tomorrow is a hunt day in the snow.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Molon5labe on October 23, 2020, 06:52:25 AM
I was up near Goldendale for the opener, got a nice 4x4. In two days I saw over 40 legal bucks.And probably another 50 spikes and 2points. Lots of rubs, and every buck from spikes to the big boys were doing some serious fighting. The one I got had a severe swollen neck, but the glands on his legs were not even smelly?? Waiting for pictures, my cam failed and my phone does not take pics. So a resident there is suppose to send me pics.

They got blacktail in Goldendale?
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: 7mmfan on October 23, 2020, 08:43:40 AM
I was up near Goldendale for the opener, got a nice 4x4. In two days I saw over 40 legal bucks.And probably another 50 spikes and 2points. Lots of rubs, and every buck from spikes to the big boys were doing some serious fighting. The one I got had a severe swollen neck, but the glands on his legs were not even smelly?? Waiting for pictures, my cam failed and my phone does not take pics. So a resident there is suppose to send me pics.

They got blacktail in Goldendale?

They're classified as blacktail, and carry strong blacktail genetics. Lots of mule deer influence though.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: cavemann on October 23, 2020, 08:49:15 AM
You can tell by the smell...  Just ask an expert  :chuckle:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WapitiTalk1 on October 23, 2020, 05:09:52 PM
Getting out tomorrow? You should...... After this chunk of weather, small storm w/wind, rain (at least in my area) scheduled to end before dawn, the BT should be shaking and aí moving come morningís first light. Good luck you wild bohemians  ;)
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 23, 2020, 05:56:01 PM
I was up near Goldendale for the opener, got a nice 4x4. In two days I saw over 40 legal bucks.And probably another 50 spikes and 2points. Lots of rubs, and every buck from spikes to the big boys were doing some serious fighting. The one I got had a severe swollen neck, but the glands on his legs were not even smelly?? Waiting for pictures, my cam failed and my phone does not take pics. So a resident there is suppose to send me pics.

They got blacktail in Goldendale?

Good ones - but 3 point or better to harvest.  They might have a bit of Mule Deer in them, but a good buck down there can be spectacular.   
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 23, 2020, 06:39:19 PM
Didn't rain for anything today - heavy mist doesn't count.  Actually saw a good buck while still hunting my way down a hill today.  Sadly, he'd seen me moments before I glassed him, just as he was up out of his bed moving behind brush,  He gave me a great shot on his big ol' butt as he crept out of sight over a ridge without a sound.  Sneaky suckers! Never would have known he was there if I hadn't already been glassing where he was coming from.  I count it as a positive. Picked some mushrooms for my mother-in-law too!  Things are looking up! 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 23, 2020, 06:59:40 PM
Just kidding of course - never eat these shrooms.  Very poisonous! 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: 7mmfan on October 23, 2020, 07:40:53 PM
Getting out tomorrow? You should...... After this chunk of weather, small storm w/wind, rain (at least in my area) scheduled to end before dawn, the BT should be shaking and aí moving come morningís first light. Good luck you wild bohemians  ;)

I'll be out for sure. May listen to a little Queen on the way.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: 2MANY on October 23, 2020, 09:01:46 PM
Queen??????
Oh my.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: TheStovePipeKid on October 23, 2020, 09:26:44 PM
Hung a stand this evening and ready for the morning.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: 7mmfan on October 23, 2020, 09:49:52 PM
Queen??????
Oh my.

In reference to Wapititalks wild bohemian reference. More likely it will be a mix of Merle, Colter Wall, Tyler Childers, and probably something my wife snuck in.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: pd on October 23, 2020, 09:58:22 PM
Didn't rain for anything today - heavy mist doesn't count.  Actually saw a good buck while still hunting my way down a hill today.  Sadly, he'd seen me moments before I glassed him, just as he was up out of his bed moving behind brush,  He gave me a great shot on his big ol' butt as he crept out of sight over a ridge without a sound.  Sneaky suckers! Never would have known he was there if I hadn't already been glassing where he was coming from.  I count it as a positive. Picked some mushrooms for my mother-in-law too!  Things are looking up!

I like my MIL!

Youíve an extra day this year. Get Ďher done!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Wolfdog2314 on October 24, 2020, 11:51:24 AM
Small bucks are starting to cruise in SW WA!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: highside74 on October 24, 2020, 12:11:54 PM
Vail was slow today. We saw 1 doe. Lots of trucks saw nothing. Gate check had seen 8 dead bucks atb11:30 nothing bigger than small 2x
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Spuddieselwwu on October 24, 2020, 06:48:25 PM
Tons of new rubs overnight last night.  Only saw one buck today (spike) and little movement. 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: cem3434 on October 24, 2020, 09:02:54 PM
Vail was slow today. We saw 1 doe. Lots of trucks saw nothing. Gate check had seen 8 dead bucks atb11:30 nothing bigger than small 2x

We seen a herd of over 20 elk and tons of deer in there today. We didnt road hunt, but wanted to because my kids were driving us crazy in the woods. For bucks, I seen 2 spikes, a forkie and a nice 3x3 with eye guards that won today's battle. I'm going back after him tomorrow. My wife also seen a spike and a small 2 point as we both took a kid and went separate directions. Our son and her seen a pretty nice bull too that was all by himself in a deep dark hole. If we just wanted to fill tags, we both would have been done by 8 AM this morning.  :dunno:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Igottanewknee on October 24, 2020, 09:37:30 PM
Our last day in the Green River unit on Friday was pretty good. Saw about 10 deer and 3 were bucks. The bucks were just standing around keeping an eye on the doe with them. Paid no attention to us.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 25, 2020, 10:34:59 PM
Timber seemed overly quiet today.  No signs of any chasing going on that I could find. Saw/heard/killed nothing.  Lots of shots from 10 - 1130 in the hills around me, but some of that had to be bored hunters switching over to target practice. 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishngamereaper on October 26, 2020, 06:34:14 AM
Road kills are on the rise for mature bucks so they are definitely on the prowl.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 26, 2020, 08:29:41 PM
copy and paste from Sitka Blacktail on another thread.  Seemed appropriate here.  Berate me Siitka BT - I deserve it!

The rut is definitely starting here on the coast of Washington.  Was out at Ocean Shores Yesterday and saw two big fork horns tending a couple does and running off the other 6 bucks that were right there. Curiously there was another doe there that all the bucks were ignoring. Leading me to believe the rut is just getting going. Saw quite a few other does in the area that weren't getting any attention from the bucks.  The biggest of the bucks was guarding a hot doe and may have already bred her as when we showed up he was breathing very hard and had slobber hanging from his chin.  The doe he was tending had bedded between a house and a Rhodadenderon bush. He pushed his way in and was standing over her making sure nobody else got near. If I can get the photos off my phone I'll post one or two.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 26, 2020, 08:32:25 PM
Moved N to Mason this PM.  Ate a quick dinner and got out 30 minutes before last light.  One mature doe in the center of the cut with no fawns in tow.  Appeared that she might be waiting for a buck, but her body language wasn't quite right.  Seems slow here too.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: TheStovePipeKid on October 26, 2020, 08:47:12 PM
Had a doe and two fawns ten minutes before last light. Doe didn't appear it be in estrus. Also in Mason county.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: BLH69 on October 26, 2020, 08:48:14 PM
Same thing i ran into out there today. Watched one mature doe for 45 minutes. No luck. Doesn't seem to be going as hard as i would expect by now.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 27, 2020, 01:56:35 PM
Ran into the same doe this morning (I think it was her).  This time she had a forkie in tow.  She looked annoyed.  I let him walk, since I had a backpack sprayer on my back and my slug gun was 100 yards away in my rig.  He wasn't going anywhere fast but I figured I'd get a shot on a 3 point before the season was over, so I got some work done instead. I saw a young doe off standing by herself in the far corner of the cut earlier in the morning.  She was really agitated that I had noticed her and tore off to hide.  I'm thinking that this might be one of the Doe's fawns that she left alone while she went out on a date.  Not sure though.  That other doe with the buck on her tail was still not hot.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: h20hunter on October 27, 2020, 02:01:22 PM
Taking this Thursday and Friday off...hunting close to home.  No legal buck is safe if a shot is there!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WapitiTalk1 on October 27, 2020, 02:03:05 PM
Taking this Thursday and Friday off...hunting close to home.  No legal buck is safe if a shot is there!

Sound wisdom; beat the weekend rush  ;).  I may do the same.   
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Wolfdog2314 on October 27, 2020, 02:15:17 PM
Got my blacktail this morning. Good buck, hot on the trail of a doe. Swollen neck and stinky. Iíve always said the last week of general is better than late buck. In my opinion. SW WA.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WapitiTalk1 on October 27, 2020, 02:20:15 PM
Co-worker knocked a decent 3-point down this morning.  Said he was hot to trot...Ö

Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Viking360 on October 27, 2020, 02:31:41 PM
Got a thick 3x2 on cam in front of my stand. Iíll be trying to get him every day after work. He has been following a doe with 2 fawns. Damn clear nights and moon have been keeping them nocturnal.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: TheStovePipeKid on October 27, 2020, 07:18:51 PM
What kind of sound do bucks make when they are fighting in the woods? Is it distinct?
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: BLH69 on October 27, 2020, 07:36:54 PM
 7 does in 2 groups that didn't know i was there. watched them for about an hour and a half combined. No buck showed. Mason.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: hunthard on October 27, 2020, 08:15:11 PM
Sounds like the spot to be, a buck will show i promise you that.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: highside74 on October 27, 2020, 09:05:52 PM
The deer in where I am hunting at the moment are spending all day in the reprod.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WSU on October 27, 2020, 09:37:34 PM
My friend killed a 3 point yesterday after work. Glands were wet and stinky.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 27, 2020, 10:59:32 PM
What kind of sound do bucks make when they are fighting in the woods? Is it distinct?

Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: spin05 on October 27, 2020, 11:00:26 PM
Just had a 3 point buck walking down the middle of the road to my house today in middle of the day. There getting dumber as the days go by
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 28, 2020, 09:05:19 PM
Hunted both Kitsap and Mason today.   Saw one doe, each with a kid in tow in each spot.  No shots all day until 1:45 PM when it sounded like 2 or three hunters found a buck
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: TheStovePipeKid on October 28, 2020, 10:21:42 PM
No sighting or pictures since Monday. I'm seeing more hunters than game, plus predetors pushing the deer.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 29, 2020, 08:32:17 PM
I've heard three, maybe four shots in the last two days. Maybe fifteen or so for the entire season so far. Crazy slow. Hunted Kitsap and Mason yesterday.  Saw two doe total, each with fawns close.  Absolutely nothing in a five hour sit in an elevated blind.  Moved and didn't see another deer till I jumped one on an edge, when I lifted my binocs to glass.  I'm sure I had been busted prior to that, but the movement ended the encounter.

Good sized fresh rub where I got busted too.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishngamereaper on October 29, 2020, 08:35:39 PM
Residential deer are following pretty good right now. Seems the public land timber deer didn't get the message. Par for the course for Kitsap/ Mason. Full moon is not going to help.  Need some weather to move in.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WapitiTalk1 on October 29, 2020, 08:39:12 PM
Odd year in my area. Took a day off work and did a full day in the deer woods (in before daylight/out after dark). Saw a hand full of does/fawns, zero bucks. Oh theyíve been around, just not not around today.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 29, 2020, 09:45:38 PM
This weather is becoming the norm I'm afraid.  Warm weather near sixty degrees keeps them low and slow.  All the action happens at night.  The doe don't seem to be popping yet either.  It seems like it is just a waiting game now till mother nature forces the issue.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: IFunk on October 30, 2020, 10:23:25 PM
No doubt! I did 2.5 days this week in 3 different westside units(420, 663 and 667) and havenít even seen any deer since the 18th(2 does).  Iím beginning to doubt their existence.  Seen lots of sign but no bodies.  Still dreaming of my first Blacktail...
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: h20hunter on October 30, 2020, 11:01:06 PM
Only saw one deer out, got lucky he was young and dumb. I know of one member local to me that dropped a littke 2x2 today.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: grousetracker on October 31, 2020, 06:40:02 AM
saw 18 does in the rich peoples lawns on thursday no bucks, Galvin last night 7 does 1 2pt and the does wanted no part of him. moon phase is just terrible.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishngamereaper on October 31, 2020, 06:42:47 AM
On a good note weather and moon get better next week for my kids any deer tag...

See, there's a positive in everything. :chuckle:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: IFunk on October 31, 2020, 08:11:47 AM
Tonightís Blue Moon is also known as a Hunterís Moon. We wonít have another full moon on Halloween until 2039.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: dilleytech on October 31, 2020, 08:26:55 AM
I saw a toe head with his nose up a hot doe Wednesday evening 10/28.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: bornhunter on October 31, 2020, 08:30:26 AM
I popped a nice 4x4 last saturday. He had been rubbing on some alder and glands were getting stinky but no neck swelling yet.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WoolyRunner on October 31, 2020, 02:10:01 PM
Was out 29th, put about 75 miles in between checking areas. Seen 1 doe bedded in some reprod and then had 2 does run across the road well after dark on my way home. GMU 658/660
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: HunterofWA on October 31, 2020, 02:42:52 PM
75 miles!  :o I'm assuming you meant 7.5...
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WapitiTalk1 on October 31, 2020, 03:08:54 PM
Saw a handful of does yesterday afternoon/evening in one of my walk in/sit spots. Had two does pretty much pushed into a CC by an amorous buck. Ready, set..... nope, it was only 5:30 and he would not come out of the timberline while it was light. I had one fleeting open shot but he was only exposed for a few seconds. Sitting the same spot tonite. Hoping for a Halloween buck. 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: JakeLand on October 31, 2020, 03:22:26 PM
Saw a handful of does yesterday afternoon/evening in one of my walk in/sit spots. Had two does pretty much pushed into a CC by an amorous buck. Ready, set..... nope, it was only 5:30 and he would not come out of the timberline while it was light. I had one fleeting open shot but he was only exposed for a few seconds. Sitting the same spot tonite. Hoping for a Halloween buck.
getsum !!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: teanawayslayer on October 31, 2020, 03:51:54 PM
Saw a handful of does yesterday afternoon/evening in one of my walk in/sit spots. Had two does pretty much pushed into a CC by an amorous buck. Ready, set..... nope, it was only 5:30 and he would not come out of the timberline while it was light. I had one fleeting open shot but he was only exposed for a few seconds. Sitting the same spot tonite. Hoping for a Halloween buck.
hope you get him!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: blackveltbowhunter on October 31, 2020, 04:19:46 PM
I popped a nice 4x4 last saturday. He had been rubbing on some alder and glands were getting stinky but no neck swelling yet.

Is he in the 2020 thread?
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on October 31, 2020, 10:15:24 PM
What ever happened to the last four days of Oct. being the best of the season? I haven't seen a deer for 2 days.  No doe in mornings or last light the entire week,  No chasing,  Dead calm everywhere.  This is the weirdest season I've seen in awhile.  I heard five shots today between 4:00 and 5:30 PM.  Absolutely dead silent during the golden hour on Halloween night?  Never ever seen that before!  No one is big in to deer in Mason/Kitsap as far as I can hear.  59 degrees in afternoon and a full moon rising an hour after sunset -  seems to be a bad mix for BT hunting.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Platensek-po on October 31, 2020, 10:27:56 PM
What ever happened to the last four days of Oct. being the best of the season? I haven't seen a deer for 2 days.  No doe in mornings or last light the entire week,  No chasing,  Dead calm everywhere.  This is the weirdest season I've seen in awhile.  I heard five shots today between 4:00 and 5:30 PM.  Absolutely dead silent during the golden hour on Halloween night?  Never ever seen that before!  No one is big in to deer in Mason/Kitsap as far as I can hear.  59 degrees in afternoon and a full moon rising an hour after sunset -  seems to be a bad mix for BT hunting.

Never had to work this hard to find deer before. I think increased pressure and the weather/moon combo are keeping them almost 100% nocturnal. Itís almost spooky in the woods with how quiet it is.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: highside74 on October 31, 2020, 10:43:28 PM
Son had a opportunity at a decent deer yesterday but the buck left the does behind and topped the clearcut without offering a good shot. Couldn't believe he left the does.

Saw 3 does this morning and 3 tonight with zero bucks with them.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WapitiTalk1 on November 01, 2020, 08:58:56 AM
What ever happened to the last four days of Oct. being the best of the season? I haven't seen a deer for 2 days.  No doe in mornings or last light the entire week,  No chasing,  Dead calm everywhere.  This is the weirdest season I've seen in awhile.  I heard five shots today between 4:00 and 5:30 PM.  Absolutely dead silent during the golden hour on Halloween night?  Never ever seen that before!  No one is big in to deer in Mason/Kitsap as far as I can hear.  59 degrees in afternoon and a full moon rising an hour after sunset -  seems to be a bad mix for BT hunting.

Never had to work this hard to find deer before. I think increased pressure and the weather/moon combo are keeping them almost 100% nocturnal. Itís almost spooky in the woods with how quiet it is.

Yes, really off year in my couple of spots for this early modern also.  Iíll be back out during the late for a few days Iím sure. 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: highside74 on November 01, 2020, 09:47:48 AM
Just rattle in a good buck and smashed him at 250 down in a little cut. I haven't moved yet I'm shaking so bad.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WapitiTalk1 on November 01, 2020, 10:38:35 AM
Just rattle in a good buck and smashed him at 250 down in a little cut. I haven't moved yet I'm shaking so bad.

 :IBCOOL:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: BigGoonTuna on November 01, 2020, 10:47:19 AM
What ever happened to the last four days of Oct. being the best of the season? I haven't seen a deer for 2 days.  No doe in mornings or last light the entire week,  No chasing,  Dead calm everywhere.  This is the weirdest season I've seen in awhile.  I heard five shots today between 4:00 and 5:30 PM.  Absolutely dead silent during the golden hour on Halloween night?  Never ever seen that before!  No one is big in to deer in Mason/Kitsap as far as I can hear.  59 degrees in afternoon and a full moon rising an hour after sunset -  seems to be a bad mix for BT hunting.
Iíll echo that sentiment, hunting some new areas this year and finding tons of sign. I havenít seen a single deer though. Got to be the moon I think. Finally heard one moving in the brush this morning, but never came out to play. Frustrating to say the very least.

Oh well, thereís always late buck, and muzzleloader after that.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: zwickeyman on November 01, 2020, 11:05:38 AM
Had a real nice mature Buck trailing two Does in my yard this morning. He stopped and smelled her pea and lip curled. Wish I would have seen him up hunting yesterday
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: highside74 on November 01, 2020, 11:06:34 AM
Woohoo

 Kinda stinky not rutted up to bad and a bit swollen
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: h20hunter on November 01, 2020, 11:07:35 AM
Nice!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: blackveltbowhunter on November 01, 2020, 12:10:27 PM
Just rattle in a good buck and smashed him at 250 down in a little cut. I haven't moved yet I'm shaking so bad.

 :IBCOOL:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: blackveltbowhunter on November 01, 2020, 12:10:57 PM
Awesome buck!!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: opdinkslayer on November 01, 2020, 12:54:02 PM
Saw three separate 2 points tending at least one doe so itís in full swing. Pretty disappointed there werenít any bigger bucks around.🤷‍♂️
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WapitiTalk1 on November 01, 2020, 01:11:55 PM
Way to get er done highside!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: BA Mongor on November 01, 2020, 01:18:23 PM
I don't know about it being in Full Swing, at least it's most definitely not on the WA Coast. For Friday, Saturday and today up till 12:30pm today, (23) does, (1) small forky and (1) small spike.

I ran into no mature bucks running does at all. Usually you can count on running into a few the last 3-4 days of the season, but not this year. At least not in the areas around Skamokowa, Deep River, Chinook...ect. I've had a couple of shooter bucks under my apple trees and around the other farms, but it's been only at night.

Oh well, there goes my streak of getting a mature buck the last few days of the season. Late season here I come !!!!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: opdinkslayer on November 01, 2020, 01:40:39 PM
I think this weather & moon have a bit to do with the activities of the big boys.🤷‍♂️
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: TheStovePipeKid on November 01, 2020, 01:41:47 PM
I was out every evening of this week and only saw 1 doe with 2 fawns at the beginning of the week. Dead quiet the rest of the week. Had a lone doe on camera the 29th an hour after shooting light. No bucks on cam for over a week. We'll be prepping hard for late modern.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Sundance on November 01, 2020, 02:56:26 PM
The bucks have moved into lockdown phase. They are cornering does in the thickets and waiting for their estrus to start before breeding them. Theyíll continue to do this until they breed the doe then they will cruise and look for another receptive doe. Not seeing as much cruising during the daytime because they are cruising at night with a full moon. Covering ground in the thick brush is a good way to go, usually youíll hear them bump when you find them. Typically youíll find a buck thatís locked down a doe with some satellite bucks hanging out in the area.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: JimmyHoffa on November 01, 2020, 03:50:30 PM
This was the slowest I've seen.  I was even doing happy dances knowing that the season was going in to November this year.  Lost track of all the does and elk I saw, but couldn't find a single buck (not even a button nub fawn spike).  Heard little shooting over the past couple weeks.  I was on cuts before first light and would sit them again until dark, cruising timber or edges or whatever during the time in between.  The does either had their fawns, were with other does or just doing normal doe-not-in-heat stuff.  This was in 602.  Got my hopes all up after seeing some bucks running around in 624.  Moon was so bright the last few days you could walk roads and look in cuts with out a light.  Late season it is is guess.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: brokentrail on November 01, 2020, 05:00:39 PM
My youngest son killed a small 2x2 this morning in 654.  He's stinky but not rutted up.  He was cruising at about 8:20.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: SeatoSummit88 on November 01, 2020, 05:32:51 PM
Buddy has Snoqualmie tree farm permit.  Has only seen 2 spikes and a tiny fork since September. Went out Friday and saw 3 does, 2 together and 1 with fawn. Sat on them for 2 hours and no bucks. I think he's done with that CG Permit. I hope late buck brings out the mature deer. Ill be down in the SW part of the state
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: mbj on November 01, 2020, 05:46:11 PM
Buddy has Snoqualmie tree farm permit.  Has only seen 2 spikes and a tiny fork since September. Went out Friday and saw 3 does, 2 together and 1 with fawn. Sat on them for 2 hours and no bucks. I think he's done with that CG Permit. I hope late buck brings out the mature deer. Ill be down in the SW part of the state

have that permit as well and its been a rough season if your looking for anything but a spike. doesn't help that they sold a few hundred extra keys this year after it sold out so fast.... needless to say its been a circus this rifle season.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: HunterofWA on November 01, 2020, 06:48:38 PM
Been out 9 times this season and hardly seen any deer. Didn't hear any shots tonight either. Worst season yet for me but hopefully we get a good late buck hunt!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: actionshooter on November 01, 2020, 06:49:57 PM
Hunted hard Friday and Saturday.... only one spike to be seen and my daughter decided she was a trophy hunter all of the sudden and passed the little guy up.  :chuckle:

 Decided to pack for a Colorado elj trip today instead of more frustration and there was a big 3 in our orchard this morning, he gave me the slip while I was getting a rifle ready to shoot out the bathroom window   :dunno:  :chuckle:

I passed on a lot of season just to hunt the last 3 days... this is the worst I had ever seen hunting on the 31st for sure.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: bornhunter on November 01, 2020, 08:58:46 PM
I popped a nice 4x4 last saturday. He had been rubbing on some alder and glands were getting stinky but no neck swelling yet.

Is he in the 2020 thread?

If you mean photo no. I have pics on my phone and have tried several times to post em but I cant make it happen. I need to find a ten year old to help me out. :bash:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: highside74 on November 01, 2020, 09:16:44 PM
Screen shot it and post the screen shot or open the picture in your gallery and crop it. Post the cropped picture.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 01, 2020, 10:59:47 PM
The bucks have moved into lockdown phase. They are cornering does in the thickets and waiting for their estrus to start before breeding them. Theyíll continue to do this until they breed the doe then they will cruise and look for another receptive doe. Not seeing as much cruising during the daytime because they are cruising at night with a full moon. Covering ground in the thick brush is a good way to go, usually youíll hear them bump when you find them. Typically youíll find a buck thatís locked down a doe with some satellite bucks hanging out in the area.

It's a little late to be telling us how to hint the slowest season anyone can remember.   :chuckle:  In a lot of ways, I think you're right on, though the deer scientists say there is no such thing as a lockdown.  Having watched three single doe out standing in a cut, off and on all day, with no buck takers, there seems to be a lot of truth in your ideas.  Seems like they find the doe they think will hit estrus first and stick with her till they can dump her and move on.  Sounds like college!  :chuckle:

Thought I had a winning lottery ticket when a doe got up  45 minutes to last light and took a stance on the side of a hill in front of me at 120 yards.  She waited patiently, then after a decient wait, moved up and skylined herself till it was to dark to see.  Bucks didn't care at all. 

All in all, the number of shots I've heard seems to be doubling every day since Firiday, which is'nt saying a lot.  Perhaps 12 - 15 shots heard today. 

Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Skyvalhunter on November 02, 2020, 05:39:55 AM
Target shooters
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Molon5labe on November 02, 2020, 06:18:57 AM
The only bucks I saw all season were on the side of the highway in daylight in farmers fields
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Skyvalhunter on November 02, 2020, 06:22:51 AM
Were they decent sized?
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Sundance on November 02, 2020, 08:27:22 AM
The bucks have moved into lockdown phase. They are cornering does in the thickets and waiting for their estrus to start before breeding them. Theyíll continue to do this until they breed the doe then they will cruise and look for another receptive doe. Not seeing as much cruising during the daytime because they are cruising at night with a full moon. Covering ground in the thick brush is a good way to go, usually youíll hear them bump when you find them. Typically youíll find a buck thatís locked down a doe with some satellite bucks hanging out in the area.

It's a little late to be telling us how to hint the slowest season anyone can remember.   :chuckle:  In a lot of ways, I think you're right on, though the deer scientists say there is no such thing as a lockdown.  Having watched three single doe out standing in a cut, off and on all day, with no buck takers, there seems to be a lot of truth in your ideas.  Seems like they find the doe they think will hit estrus first and stick with her till they can dump her and move on.  Sounds like college!  :chuckle:

Thought I had a winning lottery ticket when a doe got up  45 minutes to last light and took a stance on the side of a hill in front of me at 120 yards.  She waited patiently, then after a decient wait, moved up and skylined herself till it was to dark to see.  Bucks didn't care at all. 

All in all, the number of shots I've heard seems to be doubling every day since Firiday, which is'nt saying a lot.  Perhaps 12 - 15 shots heard today.

Canít give out all the trade secrets on opening day!

It was a weird early season, I hit the brush hard for 5 days and didnít see any deer until the last day. I bumped them in a thicket and ended up watching these deer for 20 minutes before I had a shot. Hands down the most vocalizations Iíve ever heard in one instance. They were grunting, bleating and snort wheezing. Amazing experience that wrapped up pretty well.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: jowings22 on November 02, 2020, 08:31:06 AM
 :yike: :tup:

 Awesome buck!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WapitiTalk1 on November 02, 2020, 08:33:17 AM
Man oh man oh man Sundance, what a horse!!  A huge congrats on a true trophy Blacktail buck mister  :tup:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: bornhunter on November 02, 2020, 08:44:19 AM
Screen shot it and post the screen shot or open the picture in your gallery and crop it. Post the cropped picture.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: highside74 on November 02, 2020, 08:45:55 AM
Man great buck
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: bornhunter on November 02, 2020, 08:46:07 AM
Screen shot it and post the screen shot or open the picture in your gallery and crop it. Post the cropped picture.

Hey that worked! I owe you big time! Hell to be old and no kids around to help :chuckle:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 02, 2020, 08:46:16 AM
Killer buck Sundance!  I knew you'd find a great buck before the season was over. That is a very cool rack.  6 X 5 - eyeguards?

 Could you make any sense out of why the deer were being so vocal?  Was the buck pushing the does around or was there another buck there?
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 02, 2020, 08:49:33 AM
Another awesome buck shows up while I was typing.  Congrats bornhunter!  That buck is a toad too!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: BA Mongor on November 02, 2020, 08:53:58 AM
Great buck !!!!
Stud..
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Sundance on November 02, 2020, 09:02:09 AM
Killer buck Sundance!  I knew you'd find a great buck before the season was over. That is a very cool rack.  6 X 5 - eyeguards?

 Could you make any sense out of why the deer were being so vocal?  Was the buck pushing the does around or was there another buck there?

There is a split on the left G2 that may/may not count but I measured it at 1 1/8". If that's included it's a 6X7 (counting eyeguards and drop tine), gross in the low 150's. He had a doe locked down and there were two smaller bucks circling within 50 yards. A couple fawns were hanging around also, but the vocalizations were coming from the satellite bucks and the mature buck. They were about 20 yard apart and talking back and forth, honestly you wouldn't have been able to hear these deer from further then 75 yards away. I had the satellite bucks at 5 yards but they didn't make me, then the doe and the big buck moved to a window at 7 yards and I was able to sneak an arrow in him. Thank God for tall ferns and no wind.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: OutHouse on November 02, 2020, 09:02:53 AM
Cool thread and I know nothing about black tails so fun read. And nice bucks on the last page way to go!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: HunterofWA on November 02, 2020, 09:04:44 AM
That's an incredible buck, Sundance! Sounds like a fantastic experience.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: bornhunter on November 02, 2020, 09:08:17 AM
Man great buck

Thanks. I was waiting for an old black boar to show up to an orchard I was sitting on and this guy shows up.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: 7mmfan on November 02, 2020, 09:16:53 AM
The bucks have moved into lockdown phase. They are cornering does in the thickets and waiting for their estrus to start before breeding them. Theyíll continue to do this until they breed the doe then they will cruise and look for another receptive doe. Not seeing as much cruising during the daytime because they are cruising at night with a full moon. Covering ground in the thick brush is a good way to go, usually youíll hear them bump when you find them. Typically youíll find a buck thatís locked down a doe with some satellite bucks hanging out in the area.

It's a little late to be telling us how to hint the slowest season anyone can remember.   :chuckle:  In a lot of ways, I think you're right on, though the deer scientists say there is no such thing as a lockdown.  Having watched three single doe out standing in a cut, off and on all day, with no buck takers, there seems to be a lot of truth in your ideas.  Seems like they find the doe they think will hit estrus first and stick with her till they can dump her and move on.  Sounds like college!  :chuckle:

Thought I had a winning lottery ticket when a doe got up  45 minutes to last light and took a stance on the side of a hill in front of me at 120 yards.  She waited patiently, then after a decient wait, moved up and skylined herself till it was to dark to see.  Bucks didn't care at all. 

All in all, the number of shots I've heard seems to be doubling every day since Firiday, which is'nt saying a lot.  Perhaps 12 - 15 shots heard today.

Canít give out all the trade secrets on opening day!

It was a weird early season, I hit the brush hard for 5 days and didnít see any deer until the last day. I bumped them in a thicket and ended up watching these deer for 20 minutes before I had a shot. Hands down the most vocalizations Iíve ever heard in one instance. They were grunting, bleating and snort wheezing. Amazing experience that wrapped up pretty well.

Man, makes me want to go dive into an alder thicket and do the creep.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishngamereaper on November 02, 2020, 10:05:32 AM
 :tup:

Awesome bucks .
Not many of those big timber fern bottoms left anymore. If I find one I stick with it. Deer heaven.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Trigger05-11 on November 02, 2020, 10:17:44 AM
Sundance-

Some great Blacktails have been killed this year. A few have been posted on this site. Yours may be the best. Have you got a green scored yet? He is a tremendous buck!  Congratulations!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Sundance on November 02, 2020, 10:29:12 AM
Sundance-

Some great Blacktails have been killed this year. A few have been posted on this site. Yours may be the best. Have you got a green scored yet? He is a tremendous buck!  Congratulations!

I green scored him at 154 2/8" gross last night, so roughly a 150" gross buck.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Trigger05-11 on November 02, 2020, 10:37:45 AM
Sundance-

Thatís amazing. You will sit high in the book. Mine green scored at 138. Do you have any pics of his width? Frontal pics? Congratulations again.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: blackveltbowhunter on November 02, 2020, 10:40:32 AM
Couple of stud blacktail bucks!!! Congrats Sundance and Born hunter. WTG :tup:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 02, 2020, 04:11:03 PM
Killer buck Sundance!  I knew you'd find a great buck before the season was over. That is a very cool rack.  6 X 5 - eyeguards?

 Could you make any sense out of why the deer were being so vocal?  Was the buck pushing the does around or was there another buck there?

There is a split on the left G2 that may/may not count but I measured it at 1 1/8". If that's included it's a 6X7 (counting eyeguards and drop tine), gross in the low 150's. He had a doe locked down and there were two smaller bucks circling within 50 yards. A couple fawns were hanging around also, but the vocalizations were coming from the satellite bucks and the mature buck. They were about 20 yard apart and talking back and forth, honestly you wouldn't have been able to hear these deer from further then 75 yards away. I had the satellite bucks at 5 yards but they didn't make me, then the doe and the big buck moved to a window at 7 yards and I was able to sneak an arrow in him. Thank God for tall ferns and no wind.

Drop tine?!  What the.....   I had to go back and examine the monster a litttle closer.  Geeze, what a buck!  I love the photo too - I named it "Sundance contemplating (or perhaps overwhelmed by) the trophy buck!" 

I've only got one more question - What series of events or clues led Sundance to this particular thicket in the middle of a very large forest.  ( in other words - how the heck do you keep finding them (in three thousand words or less.)  :chuckle:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Wolfdog2314 on November 02, 2020, 08:34:27 PM
My October 27th on the left and my dads forky was in the 25th. Nice little window of good hunting we had. (https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20201103/63d2382a6cd1af79f416e49012f6f322.jpg)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Sundance on November 03, 2020, 04:58:50 AM
Killer buck Sundance!  I knew you'd find a great buck before the season was over. That is a very cool rack.  6 X 5 - eyeguards?

 Could you make any sense out of why the deer were being so vocal?  Was the buck pushing the does around or was there another buck there?

There is a split on the left G2 that may/may not count but I measured it at 1 1/8". If that's included it's a 6X7 (counting eyeguards and drop tine), gross in the low 150's. He had a doe locked down and there were two smaller bucks circling within 50 yards. A couple fawns were hanging around also, but the vocalizations were coming from the satellite bucks and the mature buck. They were about 20 yard apart and talking back and forth, honestly you wouldn't have been able to hear these deer from further then 75 yards away. I had the satellite bucks at 5 yards but they didn't make me, then the doe and the big buck moved to a window at 7 yards and I was able to sneak an arrow in him. Thank God for tall ferns and no wind.

Drop tine?!  What the.....   I had to go back and examine the monster a litttle closer.  Geeze, what a buck!  I love the photo too - I named it "Sundance contemplating (or perhaps overwhelmed by) the trophy buck!" 

I've only got one more question - What series of events or clues led Sundance to this particular thicket in the middle of a very large forest.  ( in other words - how the heck do you keep finding them (in three thousand words or less.)  :chuckle:

The answer is both simplistic and aggravating- perseverance. That was the 40th or 50th thicket/hole that I pushed through in 5 days. Some folks may know of my good friend and mentor Tom Ryle, he taught me how to hunt Roosevelt elk and how to target mature blacktail. Nothing gets that guy down in the woods and nobody grinds harder. He taught me to just keep pushing forward and always be ready. The way I look at it- if there isnít one at the spot in front of me I just go to the next spot and am thankful to continue my season. Also, scout scout scout. Where the does are is where the bucks will be, once you find a rut zone it will be used for many years as long as the habitat doesnít change.

That picture is the ďstay humbleĒ picture. Going from five days of zero bucks to finding that beast isnít all skill- reminds me to keep the faith.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Skyvalhunter on November 03, 2020, 05:42:26 AM
Nice buck, honestly cant say I ever heard of Tom Ryle though
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Molon5labe on November 03, 2020, 07:02:13 AM
Quote
The answer is both simplistic and aggravating- perseverance. That was the 40th or 50th thicket/hole that I pushed through in 5 days. Some folks may know of my good friend and mentor Tom Ryle, he taught me how to hunt Roosevelt elk and how to target mature blacktail. Nothing gets that guy down in the woods and nobody grinds harder. He taught me to just keep pushing forward and always be ready. The way I look at it- if there isnít one at the spot in front of me I just go to the next spot and am thankful to continue my season. Also, scout scout scout. Where the does are is where the bucks will be, once you find a rut zone it will be used for many years as long as the habitat doesnít change.

That picture is the ďstay humbleĒ picture. 5 day and zero bucks to that beast isnít all skill- helps me to keep the faith.

If you're up for sharing, Id love to know the in's and out's of what pushing through a thicket/hole means, as that is definitely not what I've been doing, but always up to add another tool to my toolbox.

Id welcome some Rosie hunting tips too  8)
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Sundance on November 03, 2020, 11:59:47 AM
Nice buck, honestly cant say I ever heard of Tom Ryle though

If you google his name it will pull up podcasts he's been on and articles he has written on trophy blacktail tactics. He does seminars at Cabelas and Sportco from time to time, local guy that is a wealth of knowledge.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 03, 2020, 01:53:02 PM
Good answer Sundance. I figured scouting played a major roll in where and how you hunt.  Question is though, who taught Tom Ryle all that information?  He's definitely an accomplished writer.  I've  read many of his articles/blogs. 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Pegasus on November 03, 2020, 03:38:02 PM
 :yike: Rut is going strong for blacktails. Today's backyard visitor. Check out that neck.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: highside74 on November 03, 2020, 04:03:05 PM
Holy beautiful buck
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: JakeLand on November 03, 2020, 05:05:25 PM
Ahhh Blacktails !!! I hate being tagged out now I get to pack a camera around
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: TheStovePipeKid on November 03, 2020, 06:19:37 PM
Ahhh Blacktails !!! I hate being tagged out now I get to pack a camera around

You have my sympathies.  :P
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 04, 2020, 08:57:45 PM
 :chuckle: :chuckle: :chuckle:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Spuddieselwwu on November 05, 2020, 08:48:33 AM
Any changes in tactics for hunting the late season vs. modern?  I have never had to hunt the late season- always have gotten it done during modern. 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Skyvalhunter on November 05, 2020, 09:00:53 AM
Typically where the does are the bucks will follow
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Buck Rub Jr on November 05, 2020, 11:14:17 AM
RUTTY
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WSU on November 05, 2020, 11:20:13 AM
I've seen bucks the last two days going to and from work.  I didn't see any during the season during all that nice weather.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Buck Rub Jr on November 05, 2020, 06:20:25 PM
Smaller two point was peeing all over himself. Would've paid A lot of money to be toting a rifle around in the woods today!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: JimmyHoffa on November 05, 2020, 06:30:38 PM
I saw a nice 3x3 yard buck running around today.  Nose out, lip curled and walking like he was on a leash.  In 624.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishngamereaper on November 05, 2020, 07:28:06 PM
Took the kid out this afternoon for his Mason any deer tag. didn't see a thing. Couple new rubs but nothing was moving.  Figured after all the wind and rain they would be up and around today... Nope ..
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 05, 2020, 07:51:26 PM
That stinks.  Hope you/he fill that tag.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishngamereaper on November 06, 2020, 06:20:55 AM
That stinks.  Hope you/he fill that tag.

Working on it.
Haven't seen a deer all season in our usual spots. See them all the time on our property, coming and going to spots, neighboring properties, in town..... :chuckle:

Oh blacktails. Love to hate ya.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: b0bbyg on November 06, 2020, 09:54:05 AM
Had a buck do a loop around the 1 acre or so the house and garden sit on which is fenced. Saw him come in from below looped around through the neighbors property and exit the same way he came in.  stopping and smelling the air often just looking for company.   564 unit

First rutty activity I have noticed this year, other than the spike who just lives in the neighbors yard I don't count him.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: highside74 on November 06, 2020, 10:02:19 AM
Brother had a big 4x4 tending a doe across the street from his work in the yelm area just a few minutes ago.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishngamereaper on November 07, 2020, 12:07:03 PM
Slow again today.
A few track's from last night. Crossed paths with a definite musty buck odor along some thick reprod but no way to hunt it. Did a couple rattling set's and nothing. Most of the doe tracks don't have buck track's following then..Weird year.

Kid is pretty disappointed.  Will keep at it.

Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 07, 2020, 08:44:54 PM
Good luck.  Things should start popping soon - perhaps tomorrow.  Just prior to the peak of the rut should be the best, which by my count often seems to happen around 12 Nov. =/-.  Hope you and your son find a great one.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WSU on November 07, 2020, 08:56:09 PM
My friend sent me a video of a nice buck chasing today in the middle of the afternoon.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: JimmyHoffa on November 07, 2020, 09:42:01 PM
Saw a big spike and a 2x2 running after does today.  In both cases the does would turn back around and chase them back off to about 30 yds.  Then they would inch their way back close to the doe until she'd push them away.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 07, 2020, 10:34:54 PM
Saw a big spike and a 2x2 running after does today.  In both cases the does would turn back around and chase them back off to about 30 yds.  Then they would inch their way back close to the doe until she'd push them away.

That's not very encouraging.   :(
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishngamereaper on November 08, 2020, 04:30:02 PM
I knew it was an off day when I got up and we had sustained winds of 30 and wind chills down to 28. Guess if I had the option I would of probably laid down all day to.
Didn't last to the evening but oh well.

Back at it tomorrow.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 08, 2020, 06:40:04 PM
The good news is that it can only get better.   "Endeavor to persevere" (from Outlaw Josey Wales)

I'm not sure what's happening down here.  I get a doe eating apples or a small buck coming through scent checking every day or so, but this season is way outside the norm, at least in Stella.  Normally, there'd be five, six, or more different animals per night at this time of the season up till the 12th or so.  It has been incredibly slow all season. 
      I keep getting this sinking feeling that some "neighbors" are poaching bucks and perhaps even killing off the doe population.  Every year I have at least one killer buck coming around for several weeks during the rut and they always disappear in the next season or two.  Hunting is not allowed in the city limits, but I'm just outside that and I'm thinking the back yard bucks are getting picked off even after the season is over.   :(   They can't all be roadkill.    On the other hand, I've had cams in four different GMUs this season and have no bucks that I would ever put on a hit list.  Just plain weird.....
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: swanderek on November 08, 2020, 07:31:07 PM
I think poachers get more game than hunters...
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Alan K on November 08, 2020, 07:36:36 PM
Who knows, but maybe you had a cat move in? I've seen individual areas crash pretty fast once they move in.   :dunno:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Thehowler on November 08, 2020, 08:26:31 PM
Who knows, but maybe you had a cat move in? I've seen individual areas crash pretty fast once they move in.   :dunno:

Had one move into one of my areas. Got a shot off at him and missed. Went to check for any blood and I could smell that stinky sucker. He smelt like a gut shot coyote. I stepped up on the road after I was done looking, and see him again crossing the road about 200 yards away. I hoofed it down the road hopping to spot him again, never saw him again but could smell him.
Large cat but looked thin.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 08, 2020, 09:03:42 PM
There's always a chance a cat is working the area.  It's happened before about 5 miles on the other side of town.   

You never know what's out there.  I'm pretty sure I heard a wolf in the pre-dawn hours out in 530/Ryderwood on the MF deer opener where there are not supposed to be any wolves.  Nothing else makes a noise even close to that moan on the Westside that I know of.  I had to hit the internet to find the match to the sounds I heard.  I went to the wolf reporting website for WDFW to investigate and sure enough, someone else reported a "sighting" about 5 miles from there in June of this year.  Go figure - WDFW spending our hunting dollars to bring in predators.........
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: TheStovePipeKid on November 08, 2020, 09:13:17 PM
I've got a bear and a cat working the area I'm hunting and it really is making for sporadic deer activity. There are quite a few homes near the area and the deer use them as a safety buffer when they can.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 09, 2020, 08:18:24 AM
Perhaps it was the cold weather, but the deer all suddenly decided to get up and move last night.  Six to eight or more different animals coming and going starting at 2030, then 2130, 2330, 0130 and 0500.  Only one 3X2 buck that was with a single doe, but he seemed to be content eating apples.  Hard to tell which ones were repeat visitors.

Edit - (5 hours later).   I checked a different cam and found that there had been a menagerie of small bucks with goofy sets or single spike antlers chasing a couple doe w/ fawns around early AM on 6 Nov.  There had been a 2X0 forkie in the yard a week ago, and he seems to have lost his last good horn, but he's still chasing the girls on that morning.  Perhaps loosing his bones it is a strategy to keep from getting poached.   :chuckle:  Only the 3X2 is anywhere near being a decent buck.  Seems like things should pick up in the next couple days - maybe the big boys will come out to play. 

Here's the forkie before (and I assume) after loosing his last proof of manhood. ( though when I compare them together, I'm not so sure they are the same buck)

Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishngamereaper on November 09, 2020, 06:31:35 PM
Well chalk up another day to no visual sightings..hit the evening hunt after kid finished his school work.
Nothing moving. We found are area with the huck brush worked over pretty good along some thick 10-12 year old reprod. Some light rattling eventually got us a couple snort wheezes but nothing would show itself...

Kid is about tapped out . Probably drag him out a couple more times but his motivation is all but gone.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WSU on November 09, 2020, 06:33:50 PM
His luck should change with the rain!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WapitiTalk1 on November 09, 2020, 06:43:31 PM
Well chalk up another day to no visual sightings..hit the evening hunt after kid finished his school work.
Nothing moving. We found are area with the huck brush worked over pretty good along some thick 10-12 year old reprod. Some light rattling eventually got us a couple snort wheezes but nothing would show itself...

Kid is about tapped out . Probably drag him out a couple more times but his motivation is all but gone.

Sure hope a snot nose, rutty buck makes himself available for the young hunter soon  :tup:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishngamereaper on November 09, 2020, 06:45:46 PM
His luck should change with the rain!

One would think so .
Problem is he's not at my level of insanity ( I'm part duck) so he's only good for a couple hours in the rain.

I think the rut is just starting in the area's we hunt which will probably lead to a slaughter fest late season. Just hope we are in on it.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 09, 2020, 08:08:22 PM
Maybe give him a break for 3 or 4 days?   Blacktail are often a tough hunt for kids.  No problem when you luck upon one on opening day, but grinding day after day without seeing jack even makes me question my motivation. 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishngamereaper on November 09, 2020, 08:20:32 PM
Thought he wanted today off until he told me at 230 he wanted to go...so I dropped everything and off we went.
I'm pretty sure he's skipping tomorrow. Should be back at it Wed with the no school holiday. It's easy for me to keep plugging along, I've been there done that with success and failure and know a deer could be right around the corner. He's felt nothing but the agony of defeat for 4 year's running, so he doesn't have the smell of success to keep him driving on. We ain't giving up yet..
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: highside74 on November 09, 2020, 08:22:52 PM
Maybe give him a break for 3 or 4 days?   Blacktail are often a tough hunt for kids.  No problem when you luck upon one on opening day, but grinding day after day without seeing jack even makes me question my motivation.

I agree. I hated hunting blacktail as a kid. I don't even hunt the 1st 4 to 5 days of the early modern ao I don't burn myself out by the end of Oct when it usually gets good.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WSU on November 09, 2020, 09:06:12 PM
Maybe give him a break for 3 or 4 days?   Blacktail are often a tough hunt for kids.  No problem when you luck upon one on opening day, but grinding day after day without seeing jack even makes me question my motivation.

I agree. I hated hunting blacktail as a kid. I don't even hunt the 1st 4 to 5 days of the early modern ao I don't burn myself out by the end of Oct when it usually gets good.

I donít hunt until the last handful of days. It is a grind for sure and hard to stay positive.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 09, 2020, 09:44:17 PM
 :yeah: 

I used to think the old guys were crazy passing up all those early days of the season.   :bash:    Now I get it.  :chuckle: 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Skyvalhunter on November 10, 2020, 05:21:28 AM
They were :chuckle:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Sundance on November 10, 2020, 07:17:15 AM
I hunted 3 hours opening weekend, one day the second weekend, then the last three days of the season. The first two days were checking cameras and sitting in stands over newer areas. The last three days I hit it hard. Iíd be curious to see the data from WDFW of percentage harvested the last week of season vs the first half. Iíd also be curious to see the data of average antler points taken the first half vs the second half of the season.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 10, 2020, 09:02:50 AM
I hunted 3 hours opening weekend, one day the second weekend, then the last three days of the season. The first two days were checking cameras and sitting in stands over newer areas. The last three days I hit it hard. Iíd be curious to see the data from WDFW of percentage harvested the last week of season vs the first half. Iíd also be curious to see the data of average antler points taken the first half vs the second half of the season.

I agree completely.  They don't break that data out, correct?  Seems like they miss out on a good opportunity during hunter reporting at the end of the season to improve their data collection.  A simple drop-down calendar question about the date a deer was harvested would over time, might yield a lot of good information about both Blacktail deer  and hunter tendencies. I'm never really sure if WDFW wants us to harvest a buck or just collect our dollars.  The longer a hunter goes without tagging out, the more money he/she puts into the economy chasing deer. 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: highside74 on November 10, 2020, 09:27:23 AM
My favorite part about the pre rut is the guys that don't come back at the end of October because..."There is no deer there" and they are burned out from seeing no bucks all season. My 12 year old learned this lesson on Nov 1st andb he was at home instead of with me when I rattled in that buck. I kept telling him all week he can't kill a buck during on the couch and even tried limiting his time in the woods to keep him from flaming out. He won't do that in the late season. Lol
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Sundance on November 10, 2020, 09:37:53 AM
My favorite part about the pre rut is the guys that don't come back at the end of October because..."There is no deer there" and they are burned out from seeing no bucks all season. My 12 year old learned this lesson on Nov 1st andb he was at home instead of with me when I rattled in that buck. I kept telling him all week he can't kill a buck during on the couch and even tried limiting his time in the woods to keep him from flaming out. He won't do that in the late season. Lol

I've noticed that the more successful blacktail hunters are some of the most tenacious people I've ever met. It's easy for some to get discouraged after 3-5 days of not seeing anything. Approaching it like you are playing a game of averages tends to yield results from my experiences. It also reminds me of duck hunting- one day there is zero wind and bluebird skies with zero birds moving. The next its cold, rainy, and blowing like crazy then you shoot a limit in 30 minutes.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WSU on November 10, 2020, 10:09:13 AM
My wife missed the biggest blacktail I've ever personally seen after we hunted after work and weekends every day for a week a half.  We saw sign, more rubs every day, etc.  Never saw more than a deer or two though.  Finally we ran into the buck standing in the road about 150 yards from the gate. 

It really was a law of averages deal.  We knew they were there, it was just a matter of running into them.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 10, 2020, 03:19:26 PM
A missed shot is no big deal if it happens early in the season.  It is always a lot harder to swallow when you've worked your tail off for days or weeks to get a deer in you sights.  At least your wife knows where to hunt nine days from now. 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: bornhunter on November 10, 2020, 03:21:30 PM
Bumped into a nice 2x3 at about 11:30 this morning. His head was down on the trail and he never even bothered to look at me. He just trotted by like a morman on a mission.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Platensek-po on November 10, 2020, 03:47:22 PM
Saw a 3x3 in Shelton yesterday tending a doe.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WSU on November 10, 2020, 04:24:16 PM
A missed shot is no big deal if it happens early in the season.  It is always a lot harder to swallow when you've worked your tail off for days or weeks to get a deer in you sights.  At least your wife knows where to hunt nine days from now.

This was years ago.  I was more agreeing that it can be a grind and then all of sudden they are standing at the gate on day 10.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 10, 2020, 06:31:43 PM
Now I don't feel bad for her.   :chuckle:  Probably should revisit that gate though....
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: JakeLand on November 10, 2020, 08:58:49 PM
I just love the chess match with big mature Blacktails ! There are certain areas I target every year and 9 outta 10 times itíll produce a quality buck itís just getting the timing and wind and weather all to cooperate and a hint of luck and the almighty persistence of doing it day in and day out sun up to pitch black for it to come together
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 10, 2020, 09:30:53 PM
That is exactly the sentiment (to a T) that I hear from every hunter who consistently scores big Blacktails.  I'm lousy at chess.  Personally, I'd just like a chance to play checkers with a big buck!   :chuckle:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Forestskunk72 on November 11, 2020, 05:27:31 PM
GMU 663 (Cap Peak) has been eerily quiet during the rut. I've got a quality deer permit in hand for the unit and have hunted hard and deep for 6 days now, 3 days last week, the weekend, and today, dawn till late afternoon. The days have run the gamut on weather. I've sat on the edges of cuts far behind gates at first light for hours, busted brush and dark timber, tried calling and rattling from time to time, and only seen a couple of does. For real. That's it. I've seen plenty of fresh scrapes too but yet to see a single buck. I wonder if the extra use the outdoors are seeing this year is contributing to the lack of deer I am seeing. Maybe they've gone extra deep or are staying mostly nocturnal. Dunno? I've been reading this forum and see others are having a weird year. It's not just you. I created my account to share that I've had a tough go of it too, even with a nice permit in hand. There is still time to punch my tag, and I hope to get out another day or two, but I sure thought I might be seeing some more action with a quality deer permit.   

FWIW, thanks everyone for sharing their stories, successful and not. I learn a lot here and hope to contribute more when I have more to contribute.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Sundance on November 11, 2020, 06:33:59 PM
GMU 663 (Cap Peak) has been eerily quiet during the rut. I've got a quality deer permit in hand for the unit and have hunted hard and deep for 6 days now, 3 days last week, the weekend, and today, dawn till late afternoon. The days have run the gamut on weather. I've sat on the edges of cuts far behind gates at first light for hours, busted brush and dark timber, tried calling and rattling from time to time, and only seen a couple of does. For real. That's it. I've seen plenty of fresh scrapes too but yet to see a single buck. I wonder if the extra use the outdoors are seeing this year is contributing to the lack of deer I am seeing. Maybe they've gone extra deep or are staying mostly nocturnal. Dunno? I've been reading this forum and see others are having a weird year. It's not just you. I created my account to share that I've had a tough go of it too, even with a nice permit in hand. There is still time to punch my tag, and I hope to get out another day or two, but I sure thought I might be seeing some more action with a quality deer permit.   

FWIW, thanks everyone for sharing their stories, successful and not. I learn a lot here and hope to contribute more when I have more to contribute.
I had a quality tag in 2013 and struggled at first to locate deer. My normal tree stands and timber push areas were turning up empty after a summer and early season of lots of trail cam pictures. Ended up locating two rut zones and killed my permit buck after five days of hunting. I saw 7 bucks that morning and several does in the area the size of a football field. Keep going, it will come together.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Pacific Ghost on November 11, 2020, 09:18:36 PM
I live in 663. There are a lot of deer, but it can be pretty tough, depending on what you are looking for. I would focus more toward the back half of that tag than the front. I spent a lot of time in there this summer and fall, and also during the season, and haven't seen a buck bigger than a 2 pt yet this year. 663, land of the spike and fork; kind of a joke at our house. Seen some nice ones over the years, but not for a while. Have seen three or four small bucks in the last week, so they are out there. Only one with a doe.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 11, 2020, 10:31:43 PM
Those are great responses.  Dead on.

The thing about the BT quality tag is that it often doesn't really provide a lot of quality action during those two weeks (at least that's what I get from reading the same complaints year after year).  It is an opportunity to take a big mature buck that would normally not be available to the average hunter (they're too good at staying hidden and eluding us), but you still have to figure out where he is.   Now is the exact peak of the rut, which is not when you see the most bucks, but when doe are bred in the highest numbers. More than likely, the bucks are with or not far from any doe that is hot, or will be hot in the next several days.  Younger bucks also hang around these groups hoping to get a little action on the sly.  If you're seeing doe that don't have fawns with them, then triple check the area to make sure no bucks are close by but are hidden from view.  If at all possible, hanging with those doe, finding out where the bed and sitting on them could eventually bring in a buck.  If you find a doe just standing out in a cut or in the woods looking like she's waiting for something, not doing anything other than just standing there for way too long, sit and wait with her.  This is the time of season to stay with the doe and wait for action or eventually move on to find more doe in hopes of finding a buck with them.  Check back on any doe you can relocate daily/  It is just a matter of time. 

I'm sure you know all the following, but it is worth repeating for other readers:  Doe families and extended families tend to all stay in the same general area where they were born (Grandma's, moms. sisters, daughters, nieces, etc.) and socialize together. (young bucks leave the area of their birth once sexually mature) The bucks living in the general area of those doe groups presumably don't have to travel far to get from one hot doe to the next during the peak of the rut. Once accepted by a doe, the buck will stay with a doe for something like 36 - 48  hours with each before moving on to another hot doe.  You would expect that this behavior would concentrate groups of animals and leave a lot of the woods unoccupied during the peak of the rut.    That is not to say that there is little chance of running into a cruising buck now, but I believe the odds should increase as the peak of the rut is a few more days in the rear view mirror.  I believe your best chance of finding bucks currently is finding doe bedding or feeding areas and working them, with the expectation that a buck will move with a doe as she gets up to feed (if she is hot).  If she is not in estrus currently, there should still be occasional bucks swinging through her neighborhood to scent check for any new hot doe.

Large patches or hillsides of Western Swordfern are perfect bedding areas for both bucks and doe in the area.    They can sit or lie down in them and be hidden well enough that you cannot see them without being very near them.  The upper sections of drainages and seeps tend to attract doe because the soils tend to be wetter and grow more Alder/Vine Maple and other edibles in these zones.  Some combination of glassing and still hunting in and around bedding and feeding areas makes a lot of sense.  The weather is getting much colder now so the deer will gravitate towards S. and SW facing slopes.  They are not nocturnal so much as just staying in small areas and not moving much.  Much of the rutting activity and travel does occur at night, but there should be bucks up and moving again in the in the near future. 

Here's an article: https://pnwbowhunting.com/blog/f/breaking-down-the-blacktail-rut

That's all I've got.  Good luck!

 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Skyvalhunter on November 12, 2020, 06:16:33 AM
Thank You
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Forestskunk72 on November 12, 2020, 06:51:24 AM
Great information.  Thanks to everyone.  There is still time to fill the quality tag and then the late season. Gonna work it hard. You all are a wealth of knowledge.  :tup:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Dysfunctional Vet on November 12, 2020, 07:05:09 AM
GMU 663 (Cap Peak) has been eerily quiet during the rut. I've got a quality deer permit in hand for the unit and have hunted hard and deep for 6 days now, 3 days last week, the weekend, and today, dawn till late afternoon. The days have run the gamut on weather. I've sat on the edges of cuts far behind gates at first light for hours, busted brush and dark timber, tried calling and rattling from time to time, and only seen a couple of does. For real. That's it. I've seen plenty of fresh scrapes too but yet to see a single buck. I wonder if the extra use the outdoors are seeing this year is contributing to the lack of deer I am seeing. Maybe they've gone extra deep or are staying mostly nocturnal. Dunno? I've been reading this forum and see others are having a weird year. It's not just you. I created my account to share that I've had a tough go of it too, even with a nice permit in hand. There is still time to punch my tag, and I hope to get out another day or two, but I sure thought I might be seeing some more action with a quality deer permit.   

FWIW, thanks everyone for sharing their stories, successful and not. I learn a lot here and hope to contribute more when I have more to contribute.
I saw some deer porn in Capitol forest on Sunday. A 2x3 mounted a doe and 3 spikes were harassing another doe. Watched them for over an hour until I got bored. They were all on a south facing slope at 9am.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: SeatoSummit88 on November 12, 2020, 07:32:48 AM
I want to play this scenario out, so I can get all of you BT Veterans to chime in and put your advice on it.... What do you do if the Doe's in the area are all done with their breeding window?  Are there still going to be lurker young bucks around trying to find one; So I might have a chance at catching one scent checking beds, trails, walking in around in general etc? Or will the Bucks know its over and be done acting rutty, if the girls in the area are done as well...And I'll have to go find their bedroom within the thick stuff/old timber?  I have no idea what to expect in the area I'm going to, this season. All I know is that there was a 2 point in there about 2 seasons ago, and I believe he has not been harvested. I don't have an idea where there are active beds/rubs and trails, but the hunting pressure will be extremely limited/ potentially none, as I'll be going in 3-5 miles behind the gate and dropping into the timber/creek bottoms after I glass some cuts... My thought was that if there were no active Doe's in the bottom of this one cut I'll be glassing, and nothing coming in (buck or doe) to calls/rattles...Then I'll just have to punch into the thick and go try to sneak in on their sleeping areas.

I'll have my ground blind set up above the landing road within the christmas trees, over looking the cut....with estrus scent around me on the landing road and strips tied to my sides/roof...

I do have a hang on stand that has not been set up yet, with some tree spike screws (which seem like a quieter option than hooking up a ladder)....I was thinking that the evening before I could go out and set this thing up in a "Hail Mary" tree/location....As the idea progressed in my head that if my walking/stalking/landing glassing didnt work, I could hop in this thing and just give it the good old fashioned wait...
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: 7mmfan on November 12, 2020, 08:43:55 AM
Bucks will stay active for some time cruising through checking does. Even if all those does are bred, bucks will continually cover ground looking for those that haven't. That happens through about the end of the month, with decreasing activity after about the 20th in my opinion. If there are does in that cut, I'd camp on them. If there is good sign in that cut, I'd camp on it. If you sit there a whole day and nothing shows, then I'd consider heading down into the creek bottom and checking out what's going on down there.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: SeatoSummit88 on November 12, 2020, 09:12:26 AM
Appreciate that 7MM.  This year I'll have a few different tools and will work on being a lot more patient. I have a tripod for my binos and a spotting scope with tripod, along with those, I have a phone mount for camera display, so I can attach to either glass. Im going to work on scanning the surrounding area a lot slower and in pieces. But my thought is the same, if I'm not seeing any movement or Does the first day or at least the first half of the day, I am going to jump down into the creek/timber and look for trails.  Will also be trying out: Fawn in Distress & Buck Grunt Calls, and some rattling.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 12, 2020, 10:07:06 AM
Timing was right on.  After two days of no deer at all on apples, yesterday afternoon and last night the forkie buck missing one side, another forkie that I've never seen before, a 3 x 2, and the 5 X 3 all made appearances.  I hadn't seen the five point since August - go figure!

The three point and forkie chased doe around off and on all night long.  All of them partook in the apples at some point. 

 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 12, 2020, 10:12:36 AM
I thought this was a pretty cool vid so.....here you go:

Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 12, 2020, 10:33:27 AM
Bucks will stay active for some time cruising through checking does. Even if all those does are bred, bucks will continually cover ground looking for those that haven't. That happens through about the end of the month, with decreasing activity after about the 20th in my opinion. If there are does in that cut, I'd camp on them. If there is good sign in that cut, I'd camp on it. If you sit there a whole day and nothing shows, then I'd consider heading down into the creek bottom and checking out what's going on down there.

Completely agree with that.  If you see doe in the cut, I'd just sit on them and watch as long as possible. A buck can show up at any time, even if they have all been bred. If there was a timbered edge with substantial timber above the cut you're on, I'd go up there to hunt if the cut was vacant.   

For the most part, deer head uphill after eating unless there is no higher ground.  The first hundred yards above the edge is where the doe settle in to bed.  Bucks scent checking the area during the daylight hours may be moving horizontally across the hill above them, allowing the thermals to carry doe scent up to them.  If one is smelling like she's close to estrus, a bucks will be with them shortly.  If there is no timber above the cut, I would suspect that they move laterally into the timber on the sides after feeding. 

I don't explore creek bottoms often though the doe certainly go down there to feed too.  If it is a splashy noisy creek, then they use it less.  Alder bottoms are famous for good BT hunting - but you stand out like a sore thumb if you're up walking around with no cover around you.  It is very very hard to stay quiet while under alder too  - twigs and branches on the ground, popping as you go guarantees you will probably not see deer. As Jakeland says - you've got to move slug-slow and feel for any twigs that might snap before you put your weight on that foot.  Hold that position long enough to slowly visualize everything around you (without moving quickly or too much) then take another careful step and repeat.  Your goal is that you look absolutely still to any animal observing you - think 50 to 100 yards per hour speed.   If they don't see you move (or smell you) they often will not know you're there.  I can't tell you how many times I've been busted lifting my binocs to glass - many!  I rarely glass close in when I still hunt now.  I just use them once I'm sure there's no deer close.  Anyways, still hunting well is hard work!   

Working edges of alder and staying in the darker timber hides you as you hunt and makes life a lot easier.  Calling from there might be productive too - but hide before you do it and expect that any approaching buck will likely come around to your downwind side to scent check you before you see him.  Positioning yourself where you can see well for 50 yards or so downwind before you rattle/grunt gives you an opportunity to catch him coming in before he catches you wind.

Lastly, if you see a doe with her tail sticking straight out while she is just standing, then she is likely hot.  They know how to use thermals and prevailing winds to carry their scent as far and wide as possible.  That increases the odds of finding a great source of genetic material vs. the local horny spike.   Doe tails do stick straight out as the bend their necks to feed, so you have to observe for a while to understand just what is going on.  If she is hot and there's a breeze working, there are enough bucks in the CF to put a buck with her in short order.

Have fun!  Good luck.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: SeatoSummit88 on November 12, 2020, 03:36:38 PM
Awesome video Fishnfur...And advice!  Appreciate everyones insights and opinions.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: JakeLand on November 12, 2020, 04:49:14 PM
Iíll tell you this a good friend shot a dick dragger of a 4x4 and he was on a cut all day and never saw them until they got up from there beds right in the middle of the cut the does stood up first then within 10 minutes he watched the buck stand up right from where the Does were
So donít rule out that a cut is empty too early
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 12, 2020, 05:37:53 PM
Like magic - they appear out of nowhere!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: JimmyHoffa on November 12, 2020, 05:52:20 PM
Like magic - they appear out of nowhere!
might think I'm crazy for this (have to be crazy to enjoy BT hunting), but there are times I can smell that I'm near them.  Talking about close, within 20 yds.  I'll look all around and just can't seem to find them.  I can back track to where I first sniffed and there won't be any smell.  Usually there is a something about the location, like it is a corner of the reprod across from a different corner of different aged reprod.  Noticed over the years that they seem to like a good diagonal trail through whatever age cut/reprod/timber that seems to cross at the human intersections.   :dunno:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 12, 2020, 06:16:42 PM
I'd love to see a diagram of that 'cause I'm having trouble visualizing it.  I'm dead serious.

My wife has a nose that is probably 10X more sensitive than mine.  I can't smell jack after a lifetime of chronic sinusitis and a couple broken noses.  Hunters talk about smelling them this time of the season.....   I've never experienced it.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: JakeLand on November 12, 2020, 06:27:25 PM
Sweet smell of Rutty buck !!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Pacific Ghost on November 12, 2020, 06:38:36 PM
Great information.  Thanks to everyone.  There is still time to fill the quality tag and then the late season. Gonna work it hard. You all are a wealth of knowledge.  :tup:
Keep us posted on how your permit hunt turns out. I am entrigued. The biggest bodied, and grayest colored deer I shot in 663 was several minutes before dark, the last day of late buck in 2012. Raining sideways, down in a hole. And yes, go figure, a 2 pt of course.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 12, 2020, 07:25:36 PM
Don't say that like it's a bad thing.  I think big/wide mature old forkies are the coolest deer around.  They are the epitome of a classic coastal BT.  I'd kill a mature wide forkie way before I'd kill a small four-point hanging with him.  But that just me  :rolleyes: 

That's a really good buck you took back in 2012, even though he's missing a bit of character.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: highside74 on November 12, 2020, 07:32:20 PM
Don't say that like it's a bad thing.  I think big/wide mature old forkies are the coolest deer around.  They are the epitome of a classic coastal BT.  I'd kill a mature wide forkie way before I'd kill a small four-point hanging with him.  But that just me  :rolleyes: 

That's a really good buck you took back in 2012, even though he's missing a bit of character.

I agree. My dream is an 18x18 forky. 18 wide 18 tall
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: Pacific Ghost on November 12, 2020, 07:42:21 PM
Ya, better than small 3 or 4, but not better than tall/wide/heavy 3 or 4.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 12, 2020, 08:11:55 PM
Agreed, but then again.....  Check out some of the monsters on this thread.  The old guy at the bottom of page 8 will put you on the floor!  Enjoy!

https://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,198136.210.html
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: highside74 on November 12, 2020, 08:33:50 PM
120" forked horn.  :yike: :yike: :yike: Come on that's just dirty. You just don't see perfect 2s like that. Don't get me wrong all big bucks are awesome.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: SeatoSummit88 on November 12, 2020, 08:53:35 PM
I'll be holding tight on that first cut I had in mind then! Maybe day 1/majority of day 1 will be glassing and glassing
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 12, 2020, 10:53:12 PM
Not a horrible idea, but never be afraid to go with your gut.  Sometimes that period between 1:00 and 3:00 PM gets me up working some close by timber, then I return to the cut for the last 90 minutes of light.

I haven't killed many bucks, but I've killed them in both the morning and at last light as they were coming out of nowhere to join a doe out in the cut that was waiting for Mr. right.  It's hard to second guess sitting on a cut, especially if you know there are deer actively using the area you're watching. Let us know how it turns out.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: TheStovePipeKid on November 12, 2020, 10:54:16 PM
Pulled some pics today. There is a pretty nice deep forkie that's moved in at my stand and showed up twice this week in the morning cruising through. That makes a spike and forkie in our spot. I'm hoping we can get it done o  both our tags for late rifle. We had a small forkie on cam just before modern general that I haven't seen since.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 13, 2020, 09:53:56 AM
No obvious rutting activity in the last 24 hours.  Windy rainy night may have impacted normal movements.  Lots of doe up feeding between the hours of 0800 and 0900 today. 

Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: SeatoSummit88 on November 13, 2020, 11:06:16 AM
Weather looks solid for Thursday-Sunday where I'll be hunting... Trying to figure out my staging on the cut though, as the wind looks like its going to screw me. Even though it's going to be blowing,raining and cold..All great BT hunting weather needs...My position at the end of the landing road I was hoping to walk down and set up shop for glassing, is not set up for a South or SW Wind...As it would be to my back.  On this landing, there is a bottom cut below me and about 380 yards across to the North, with a small gut of big trees at the bottom, is another hill side cut that I like to look onto, that has a landing road on top.  Typically I like this Southside hill as, I can easily catch movement below me easier than I can a few hundred yards away, plus the northside hill is larger to look onto and glass... This secondary landing road to the North of me is accessible by a branched landing cut off road about 1/4 mile back on the main logging road.  I'm probably answering my own question here...But I'd imagine if I stayed with my primary choice landing, I would just blow out any animals with my scent being dragged down and out.  I'd head East if I decided to jump down in the timber and go for a bush walk/new area exploration.. So maybe I chalk it up to less hillside glassing from the North landing road, and having to listen more and look straight down without binos a bit more to see if anything gets up or moves, so that I don't blow my chances with any deer caching my scent.  Almost was a perfect scenario.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishngamereaper on November 13, 2020, 06:35:01 PM
Convinced the kid today was our day... hammered out his school work and off we went.

I lied. :(

Lots of sign, found a rub line with trees every 20 yds hit..but nothing moving at all.

Until an hour after dark just before our driveway a local buck was chasing a doe . :bash:

Two days left ..and motivation is pretty low for the kid .

Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 13, 2020, 10:59:48 PM
Sucks that it's been so poor for your son - expectations for great hunting make it that much worse.  The good news is that even if he doesn't fill his tag by the weekend, he's still got late buck to hit it again, and you don't have to drive south to hunt. 

Both Sat. and Sun. have pretty good BT weather, though I like the higher winds predicted for tomorrow afternoon.  Sometimes that gets them really jumpy and moving out into cuts or standing up in a clearing in the woods trying to look for predators (since the wind is defeating their hearing). 

Good luck!

 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 14, 2020, 12:07:55 AM
Couple of YouTube vids: 

One a buck slowly grunting at and then false charging something in the woods - Start at 1:10 into the vid.


The second, an interesting discussion of post-peak of the rut hunting on a mountain up in Canada.  I'm thinking that it is very likely that his idea of finding "the pocket" applies everywhere BT live, and why it seems BT vacate many spots leaving the woods  seemingly empty during peak of the rut and beyond.  Not always, but during those times when the woods seem completely devoid of deer.

Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: SeatoSummit88 on November 14, 2020, 06:20:27 PM
Steve Ishdahl is an amazing BT hunter...although the bucks he targets are alpine deer, I believe the same concepts can be applied...I downloaded his app and subscribed to his YouTube channel.. he has killed the biggest BTs I've ever seen in my life.  Theres another SE AK hunter that kills Sitka BTs and I follow his channel religiously too. One guy uses calls and one guys goes into their home and brings out his inner ninja/stalker.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: JimmyHoffa on November 14, 2020, 06:26:32 PM
I did see a few bucks today, following and watching does closely-even in these high winds.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 14, 2020, 08:16:42 PM
There's a positive report!

I was watching my annual Master's Golf Tournament marathon and eyeing the weather outside going downhill quickly around noon.  I was having trouble keeping my mind on golf, so hell with it.  I threw on my raingear, grabbed my binocs and grunt/bleat call, drove out to my property in 506.  Perfect BT hunting weather - windy and raining - the best I've seen all season.  Glassed and called my way through all my best spots and didn't see jack in 2.5 hours.  Had a crazy drive home in monsoonal weather, blowing 25 to 30 with pissing rain all the way up the Lower Columbia. 

It was way better than sitting on the couch all afternoon!   :)
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WapitiTalk1 on November 14, 2020, 08:21:28 PM
Gonna gear up and hike into my closer BT spot in the morn. Swap cam card (been two weeks), see if my little blind hasnít blown away, glass a bit, check sign. Will give a report tomorr nite.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: highside74 on November 14, 2020, 08:57:36 PM
Buddy sat in his ground blind this evening waiting for elk and saw 3 bucks and some does in 2.5 hours. One buck was 10 yards from the blind.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishngamereaper on November 14, 2020, 09:04:59 PM
Nothing moving for us at all today.  Did see a nice buck on the drive home, private property of course. Was really disappointed the woods where super crowded. Seemed like the last day of summer, people hiking, biking, tons of target shooting...kind of frustrating. Most of our plan b and plan c spot's had people at the gates.

Probably pushed a little to hard not sure the kid wants to go tomorrow. Will see what his mood is in the am.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 14, 2020, 11:07:09 PM
Covid's got everybody stir crazy.  Tons of target practice going on today where I was, all in the pouring rain.  I wonder how bad the weather has to get to keep the Subaru Foresters at home?   :chuckle:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WoolyRunner on November 15, 2020, 05:11:59 AM
Saw a nice 2 pt. & 2 other spikes out and about yesterday in gmu 660. 2pt neck was all swollen.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: bigbore40 on November 15, 2020, 08:06:53 AM
The big boys are out to play . Looks like the 9th was an active day .  3 different cameras with 3 mature bucks
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: SeatoSummit88 on November 15, 2020, 08:52:27 AM
WoolyRunner, do you have the Weyco North&South permit? If so, how busy has it been since they combined both regions? We used to hunt the East side of the Hwy for Elk and West side for Deer...The only deer we were able to see were way far out Smith Rd.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: bornhunter on November 15, 2020, 09:14:47 AM
Will the rut last into late buck this year?
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: hunthard on November 15, 2020, 09:28:00 AM
YES, the best four days of hunting are coming.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: bornhunter on November 15, 2020, 09:39:49 AM
YES, the best four days of hunting are coming.

 :tup:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WoolyRunner on November 15, 2020, 11:36:23 AM
WoolyRunner, do you have the Weyco North&South permit? If so, how busy has it been since they combined both regions? We used to hunt the East side of the Hwy for Elk and West side for Deer...The only deer we were able to see were way far out Smith Rd.

Yes I do. Honestly i dont think its been too bad. Ive seen worse whdn it was wide open. Everyone seems to be respectful.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WoolyRunner on November 15, 2020, 11:37:45 AM
Also saw 2 smoking fresh rubs on cedars. Like made within the last 24-48 hrs. Then on the way out he crossed the road infront of me this morning. Big heavy 2pt. Gmu 658.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: SeatoSummit88 on November 15, 2020, 12:46:59 PM
Thats good to hear. Man the b line and couple other east hwy gates were always jammed with rid..Have you gotten your Elk this year? If not, you hunting late season? 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: fishngamereaper on November 15, 2020, 01:50:01 PM
That's a wrap for us..
Didn't cut a single fresh track today. After that heavy rain I was counting on the mid morning movement to be promising..nada... nothing moving at all. And warm, it was 50 by noon.
9 days hunted on the kids tag, not a single deer seen while legally hunting. I'll be out for late buck, I doubt he's going to be in the mood for it. He wants to get back to normal life, girls, truck's, skateboarding and basketball.

Next year we are going East and probably to Idaho.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: 7mmfan on November 16, 2020, 09:07:22 AM
I have to say, I've known several guys that have had quality BT permits in the last 5 or so years, and most of them remark that it absolutely not a slam dunk, and that they often have to hunt harder than they do during the last week of the general season. I think when blacktail get into full rut mode, and they lockdown on does, it's extremely difficult to find them. They need to be moving, and the most movement happens pre rut, and post rut.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 16, 2020, 10:39:11 AM
100% agree.  That's the main reason I stopped applying for that tag, which often takes 10+ years just to get selected for an opportunity to hunt during the (sometimes) most difficult days of the season.  I'd rather not!  :chuckle:

Post peak-of-the-rut deer are pretty lazy now.  Getting a small buck scent checking every other day, always at night.  Doe feeding at 11:00 AM and last light.  I'm interested to see if we get another burst of activity around the 19/20th like we did last year, which isn't typical.   All in all, the back yard cam show has been the slowest (that I can remember) in ten years of monitoring rut activities.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: Pacific Ghost on November 16, 2020, 11:29:56 AM
I think it could be pretty good in my area later this week. The biggest buck on the cam came through the 9th & 12th. Not following does either time. Saw one in person on the 14th that was the biggest I've seen in a long, long time. Also without a doe. Hoping to show you a close up of him a week from today, after I help him with his posture.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: TheStovePipeKid on November 16, 2020, 01:37:29 PM
I think it could be pretty good in my area later this week. The biggest buck on the cam came through the 9th & 12th. Not following does either time. Saw one in person on the 14th that was the biggest I've seen in a long, long time. Also without a doe. Hoping to show you a close up of him a week from today, after I help him with his posture.

We had our biggest show up on the 8th and the 12th on my cams. Also without a doe. I too am hoping to provide him with some corrective assistance.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: Sundance on November 16, 2020, 01:50:04 PM
Pulled a stand and two cameras on Sunday, a few good pictures of cruising bucks this last week. This rub was 10 yards from my stand... wasn't there on October 31st when I was sitting there.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: WapitiTalk1 on November 16, 2020, 01:59:03 PM
Nice "shredding"  :tup:

Oh, I mentioned I was gonna gear up and hike in to one of my near BT spots yesterday morning (switch a card, dump some apples, see if my ground blind had blown away, check sign, etc), after a two week absence from the spot and provide an update to you cats.   

Well...Ö. the blind was intact although a bit cock-eyed from some pretty serious wind; re-did it a bit.  Quite a bit of traffic by/through the snack site/trails, some obvious buck tracks along with does.  Was darn anxious to check the cam card from the two weeks except, well..... the cam was upside down  >:(.  It appears my local black bear (who had plagued this site all darn year) had decided it would be a hoot to flip my camera upside down on 2 NOV.  He's just full of jokes, that guy...Ö. I'll be on the spot this coming weekend at least one day to see who comes around.   
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
Post by: WoolyRunner on November 16, 2020, 02:28:37 PM
Thats good to hear. Man the b line and couple other east hwy gates were always jammed with rid..Have you gotten your Elk this year? If not, you hunting late season?

I personally have not. My dad did on the 13th in 658.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: Trigger05-11 on November 16, 2020, 03:18:15 PM
This pic is horrible, but I got this guy on cam on Saturday. 8:16 in the morning and out cruising.  SW Washington
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 18, 2020, 10:25:40 AM

I caught a great vid of a house cat pestering a buck from the ground.  He then jumped up in a tree next to him and looked ready to pounce on his back.  I screwed up and deleted the file before copying it.  :bash:  Otherwise, things remain pretty relaxed.  Last buck chasing was several days ago.  Bucks and Doe seem to be concentrating on eating again, mostly at night. Even the 5 point made a second showing, apparently just to grab some grits.

Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: Forestskunk72 on November 18, 2020, 10:14:24 PM
Final report for my quality deer for 663. I had posted a week ago that I hadn't seen any activity after several days of hunting hard. I got back at it and the action picked up considerably. Started seeing more does, one nice looking buck trying to breed a doe, and a small forky. Didn't get any shots off, but at least I saw animals. Saw lots of deer over the last weekend but no rutting activity.  Sunday night sat on a doe for 2 hours and no buck came for her. I was out until the last minute of light in very snotty weather today and it wasn't meant to be. Its now time for the late hunt, so still time to get it done, albeit with more company.

Every day when that alarm went off early and the rain was hitting the roof and the bed was warm, my wife said why do you keep going out when you aren't seeing anything.  Easy answer. Because that day could always be the day. But it most certainly won't ever be if I hit snooze. Cliche, I know. but so very true.Tough not to fill the quality permit but I learned a lot more about the country and it was time in the woods. Happy hunting to you all. Best of luck late season.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: SeatoSummit88 on November 19, 2020, 05:47:37 AM
Skunk, if I had a dollar every time my wife said that, I'd be a rich man...So annoying. But you are correct, just gotta keep going, cause you never know.

Sitting here at the gate since 415. Bike and trailer loaded, ready to go! Crossing my fingers that no one else shows up. Rain hasn't showed up yet...Wind is coming outta the SW @ 10...39 degrees...man, I hope I can put one down today!!! Best of luck to everybody.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: 7mmfan on November 19, 2020, 08:48:43 AM
Keep at it boys, your wives will learn  :chuckle:  I'm lucky that my wife is my highschool sweetheart and she has never known anything other than me leaving the house at ridiculous hours into horrendous weather for a fleeting chance at success. Hell, I'm a catch and release winter steelhead fisherman, that should explain a lot about my mental condition.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: Skyvalhunter on November 19, 2020, 09:26:12 AM
Ohh wait until she finds out there is guys who are whipped and stay home. You could be on your way out  :chuckle:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 19, 2020, 06:01:40 PM
Keep at it boys, your wives will learn  :chuckle:  I'm lucky that my wife is my highschool sweetheart and she has never known anything other than me leaving the house at ridiculous hours into horrendous weather for a fleeting chance at success. Hell, I'm a catch and release winter steelhead fisherman, that should explain a lot about my mental condition.

Love it!  Reel 'em in and let 'em go. I'm all over that, unless the wife is complaining that I never catch anything.  (though I have no problem killing a weak fighting hatchery fish.  Keep them out of the gene pool). 

Nothin' moved today.  Where'd the deer go?
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: Pacific Ghost on November 19, 2020, 06:34:59 PM
Thanks for the report 72. That is a tough tag. I saw 7 today, but no bone. Back at it tomorrow.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 19, 2020, 10:41:12 PM
Anybody hear much shooting today?  Not I.  Nor one.  Weird year. Seemed like it wasn't hunting season out there.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: Thehowler on November 20, 2020, 03:48:24 AM
Plenty of folks slowly driving the roads. Not too much shooting in Pierce county, heard a few shots early on.
Had a 2 point run across the road in front of me, driving out in the dark yesterday.
Yes, very strange year. They just do not move much.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: blackveltbowhunter on November 20, 2020, 06:38:23 AM
Overall BT numbers being down has to play a role I would think. But I also think weather is a huge factor in the BT game. I saw more activity in general and increased spike in mature buck activity very early in general season. I think that early first round estrus may have been much more successful than a typical year. I know alot of guys who knocked down or saw big bucks saw them  earlier in October than usual.  Pre the 25th.

I agree everyone should skip the BT rut tags.  :tup: :chuckle:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 22, 2020, 07:00:12 PM
I don't know about BT numbers being down  - I haven't seen stats on that.  I can't remember any unusually bad weather events last winter/spring that would have severely impacted deer numbers.  Other than that though, I can't argue with your ideas.  Certainly, a warm fall keeps them bedded and inactive well into the pre-rut.  I've pretty much come to the conclusion (I'm probably late to the party) that the very best days of the season are the last week of October.  Late buck is a crapshoot, even with leaves being off the trees. 

I'm having trouble coming to grips with the fact that in something like 36 hours in my elevated blind, I saw only one doe with a fawn for a total of about a half a second.  This spot has consistently had game showing regularly throughout every season since before I put the blind up.  I'm wondering if the reprod and brush layer has finally gotten to the point that I can no longer see deer even when they are up and moving, which is a distinct possibility, but considering how difficult the year was everywhere, I'm not sure at all if that was really the problem.   :dunno:
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: Skyvalhunter on November 22, 2020, 07:07:39 PM
Nov 15 to 20th time frame
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: IFunk on November 24, 2020, 11:26:54 AM
I pulled a cam a couple weeks ago only to come home and find that a nice 3 or 4 point(camera was too high to tell) showed up.  When I went to re-deploy, I found several of these which weren't there before, so they are less than 2 weeks old.  I assumed it was a buck, but my co-worker thinks it might be a cat.  I did see one picture of a cat after a 2 month soak. Thoughts?  Buck or cat?
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: fishngamereaper on November 24, 2020, 11:37:27 AM
The last 5 days of. October was go time in my area based on cam pics.

Although one would think the deer numbers are down based on observationa and success, I even did, until I checked cams. I place my cams in area's people don't go and in one area roughly a square mile in size Ive determined there are 15 different bucks moving through.

I think an increase in pressure this year locked them down in the thick. With covid I saw more people out recreating than normal during the late summer months. I think deer quickly adapted to the activity. Survival is achieved through seclusion.

Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: Justdecent on November 24, 2020, 05:23:54 PM
I agree that I canít recall any harsh winters or weather events that would negatively impact Washingtonís deer (particularly blacktail) numbers. However, they will only get worse and worse with each year that bears and cats are allowed to go unchecked. Cant hunt with dogs, canít hunt over bait. What are we left with? Luck? I donít think people realize the magnitude of the situation we have on our hands here.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: Birdguy on November 24, 2020, 06:15:59 PM
I pulled a cam a couple weeks ago only to come home and find that a nice 3 or 4 point(camera was too high to tell) showed up.  When I went to re-deploy, I found several of these which weren't there before, so they are less than 2 weeks old.  I assumed it was a buck, but my co-worker thinks it might be a cat.  I did see one picture of a cat after a 2 month soak. Thoughts?  Buck or cat?

Based on the missing bark and apparent height of rub I would say deer. May well be looking at it wrong but that is how I see it. Look around you will likely find more of them too.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 24, 2020, 07:05:58 PM
IFunk - they look like classic deer rubs to me.  If you look closely (while on site), you can find hairs of the animal that created the rub. Buck rubs typically occur 1 - 4 feet above ground level.   I'm not totally familiar with cat marks, but I believe they leave long vertical cuts in bark created by each individual claw.  The heights vary depending on the type of cat.  Google can provide more information. 
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: SeatoSummit88 on November 24, 2020, 08:35:35 PM
I've got a great picture of a rub with hair on it that I found Late Season...I can't seem to resize it in my phone, so it won't post. It's a big rub like yours!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: 7mmfan on November 25, 2020, 10:48:57 AM
I've got a great picture of a rub with hair on it that I found Late Season...I can't seem to resize it in my phone, so it won't post. It's a big rub like yours!

Screenshot it and post the screenshot.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: IFunk on November 25, 2020, 07:48:52 PM
I think I found the culprit!  Big rub, tiny horns...
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: 257wbymagkiller on November 25, 2020, 08:21:23 PM
Had a nice 2 point walk in and straight to me and under me and gone. He was on a mission!
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: SeatoSummit88 on November 25, 2020, 10:11:39 PM
Here we go! Thanks.

Last picture of the BT Hair on the bone is my rattling pair***
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 26, 2020, 09:40:54 AM
I think I found the culprit!  Big rub, tiny horns...

I think the rub was created by a forkie or better.  A little button buck/small spikes seem to like little whippy one inch wide woody stems, but I guess only the deer know for sure. 

Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 26, 2020, 09:59:02 AM
Here we go! Thanks.

Last picture of the BT Hair on the bone is my rattling pair***

Definitely buck hair in the middle.  The long black on in the last photo would be elk if you had them in Bothel, which doesn't seem to fit.

We all knew it was a weird year, the way the general season was really slow getting going.  Things seemed to get back to normal at the end of October, but then the first 2.5 weeks of November, the bucks were non-existent, though a few nice ones hit the dirt in late buck.   The last buck I had on cam was the 19th, which is a full week later than normal and at a point that during a normal year, the bucks would have been gone for good. 
    I almost pulled in my cams yesterday, but I was feeling lazy.   I grabbed a SD card this morning just for something to do and find that two different bucks were in the yard chasing last night - the one sided spike and the three point.  They showed and chased several times during the night, even though the apples have been gone for a couple days now.  We talk about second estrus in late November but this is the first I've ever recorded it. 
   I heard from my neighbor that the guy across the street from us arrowed a five point in his back yard last week, and that another five point had been shot/arrowed (?) and found dead and unrecovered under a cedar in his front yard.   I guess that explains where the nice bucks disappear to every year.

Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 26, 2020, 11:58:58 AM
I found this capture from the 14th of November on a different cam - a 4 X 3 that I've never seen before.  These are the ones that I find really interesting.  When you start capturing bucks you've never seen before, it signifies something has changed for those bucks.  I'm guessing that it may be that all his local doe are bred or in between cycles, so he's cruising outside his normal territory to find new action.  That of course has no impact on how we hunt them though.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 26, 2020, 12:02:05 PM
Last word - this is the moment you suddenly come to the realization that you have too many cams in your back yard :   :chuckle:



I'm hittin' the woods tomorrow.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: TheStovePipeKid on November 26, 2020, 12:59:20 PM
Last word - this is the moment you suddenly come to the realization that you have too many cams in your back yard :   :chuckle:



I'm hittin' the woods tomorrow.

Why aren't you poking deer in your back yard too?
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 26, 2020, 03:10:23 PM
I've never seen a buck with my own eyes in my backyard in 13 years here.  They are there in the daylight only for about 3 minutes per year as far as I can tell - talk about long sits between sightings! :chuckle: 

I've got neighbors very close on all sides, and those deer can run a long way after getting arrowed.  I think most neighbors would question my sanity for hunting in my back yard, and perhaps not give permission to retrieve or blood track an animal.  Mostly though, they are more fun for me to watch and study their habits than they are to eat, at least for the local herd.
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: SeatoSummit88 on November 26, 2020, 09:30:56 PM
Fishinfur, so the hair in the middle picture on the tree is all the same on the bottom. I wiped the rub and then put the hair on my rattling set for the picture.  Would both bucks and bulls rub the same tree??
Title: Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
Post by: fishnfur on November 27, 2020, 10:20:42 PM
Yes they will, though the buck rub is typically around a foot lower than the elk rub.  Deer hair is short and gray.  Elk hair from rubbing is typically somewhere around three inches and black.