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Author Topic: blacktail deer pre-rut  (Read 14215 times)

Offline fishnfur

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Re: blacktail deer pre-rut
« Reply #225 on: November 07, 2018, 11:04:52 PM »
Get in that wheelbarrow and cover yourself with a tarp!  Homemade blind!  Thank for posting Mr.G
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”  - Will Rogers

Offline npaull

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Re: blacktail deer pre-rut
« Reply #226 on: November 08, 2018, 07:40:48 PM »
Well I was running out of time to fill my tag so I closed the deal on this two point tonight. They are just starting to get rutty; he was with a few does and definitely is starting to rut. Beautiful deer, fun hunting em in this special season. Good luck to all who still have tags.

Offline blackveltbowhunter

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Re: blacktail deer pre-rut
« Reply #227 on: November 08, 2018, 08:03:07 PM »
Congratz!  :tup:

Offline fishnfur

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Re: blacktail deer pre-rut
« Reply #228 on: November 08, 2018, 11:40:13 PM »
Well done.  No more pressure!
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”  - Will Rogers

Offline fishnfur

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Re: blacktail deer pre-rut
« Reply #229 on: November 08, 2018, 11:47:55 PM »
I'm starting to wonder if drawing for a quality tag in a Blacktail unit is really an advantage, or whether it makes sense to pass on a nice buck during the general season, hoping for a masher during the Quality Tag Season.  It seems like every year, the best bucks are taken in the last few days of October, and then the the guys that drew Quality tags seem to have trouble finding any bucks during the time when we all seem to expect that it should be easy hunting. 

Anybody have thoughts on, or experience with this? 
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”  - Will Rogers

Offline npaull

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Re: blacktail deer pre-rut
« Reply #230 on: November 10, 2018, 01:27:22 PM »
I think if I had to do it again I’d take off from about Nov 5-14. Seems like in my unit they just didn’t start rutting until about the 9th this year.

Offline SkookumHntr

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Re: blacktail deer pre-rut
« Reply #231 on: November 10, 2018, 01:41:56 PM »
I'm starting to wonder if drawing for a quality tag in a Blacktail unit is really an advantage, or whether it makes sense to pass on a nice buck during the general season, hoping for a masher during the Quality Tag Season.  It seems like every year, the best bucks are taken in the last few days of October, and then the the guys that drew Quality tags seem to have trouble finding any bucks during the time when we all seem to expect that it should be easy hunting. 

Anybody have thoughts on, or experience with this?
my thought is you should delete this post! ;)
IBEW89 RMEF MDF CCA

Offline fishnfur

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Re: blacktail deer pre-rut
« Reply #232 on: November 10, 2018, 02:47:05 PM »
I'm starting to wonder if drawing for a quality tag in a Blacktail unit is really an advantage, or whether it makes sense to pass on a nice buck during the general season, hoping for a masher during the Quality Tag Season.  It seems like every year, the best bucks are taken in the last few days of October, and then the the guys that drew Quality tags seem to have trouble finding any bucks during the time when we all seem to expect that it should be easy hunting. 

Anybody have thoughts on, or experience with this?
my thought is you should delete this post! ;)

Blasphemous to question conventional wisdom?  :dunno:
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”  - Will Rogers

Offline npaull

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Re: blacktail deer pre-rut
« Reply #233 on: November 10, 2018, 02:52:14 PM »
Quote
I'm starting to wonder if drawing for a quality tag in a Blacktail unit is really an advantage, or whether it makes sense to pass on a nice buck during the general season, hoping for a masher during the Quality Tag Season.  It seems like every year, the best bucks are taken in the last few days of October, and then the the guys that drew Quality tags seem to have trouble finding any bucks during the time when we all seem to expect that it should be easy hunting. 

Anybody have thoughts on, or experience with this?

I think it's still an advantage to have the rut tag, but I wouldn't pass on a nice buck during the general. What's hard is that I think it's pretty tough to call peak rut on any given year beyond that it's likely to happen sometime in the first couple weeks of November. So if you're just looking to take a week or so off to hunt the tag (guilty this year) you might miss it.

Offline fishnfur

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Re: blacktail deer pre-rut
« Reply #234 on: November 10, 2018, 06:45:33 PM »
I've been thinking about this one for awhile.  I looked at the numbers for 2017 harvests for Blacktail in Districts 10 - 17 this afternoon.  These  numbers are only a snapshot of that season and probably not accurate for every season, though it is likely not too far off the actual averages.

There were roughly 400 special hunts tags sold for taking bucks.  This does not include antlerless tags but does include 120 tags for disabled hunters that were for the general season, not the Nov 1 - 14 period.  The cumulative totals are not broken out to allow identification of when the bucks were killed in the report for special hunts success.  I would suspect that many of the spike bucks were taken by disabled hunters but that remains an unknown.

District       total bucks           1 pt            2 pt          3pt             4pt           5+pt

10                10                     3                1              4               1              1

11                16                     5                8              1               2              0

12                10                     1                2              6               0              1

13                2                       0                1              0               1              0

14                15                     3                6              2               2              2

15                7                       2                2              3               0              0

16                3                       1                1              1               0              0

17                17                     1                7              7               2              0   


totals            80                     16             28            24              8              4


What I see in these numbers is that over 50% of the bucks taken with special tags were spikes or fork-horned.  The success rate for hunters having a special hunt tag appears to be 20%.

When compared to the general season, a twenty percent success rate for special hunts seems to be a lower percentage success than almost all of the individual GMUs report. 

So when I chew on all this information and let it digest awhile, I wonder again if it makes sense to keep putting my money down, year after year, to put my name into the hat for a chance for a "Quality" hunt every eight to ten years, when the success rate appears to be about 20%, and over half of those animals harvested are spikes or forks.  (?)

I think WDFW also considers it "Quality" because there's fewer hunters in the woods, but if you count the thousands of Modern Firearms elk hunters in the woods during the same period, that argument fails miserably. 

One could certainly argue that it is very worthwhile trying to draw a special hunt tag to hunt West Kickitat or one of the other units famous for big antlered BTs.  I wouldn't argue that point.  IMHO, in other average westside GMUs, the Quality Special Hunt tag seems to be a much less valuable tag.  Taking vacation days in late October and during the Late Buck season seems to be a better bet.

Npaull - I agree with your comments.  My understanding of the biology and reproduction of deer has led me to understand that the term "peak of the rut"  is in actuality, peak breeding.  This apparently does not equate to peak hunting.  Bucks appear to be more available to hunters during the seeking and chasing phases of the rut.  Once the majority of does become hot at the same time(or within just a few days of each other), in my mind, the bucks appear to move less and it may be that much of the breeding/rutting activity is occurring at night.  Once the majority of the girls have been bred or are no longer in estrus, the bucks start moving again looking for other available females.  This accounts for the good hunting just before and just after the peak of the rut and may explain why it often seems so slow in the woods during the peak breeding period. 

(Don't quote me on this, certainly some of it is incorrect).

You OK with this SkookumHntr?
« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 06:57:52 PM by fishnfur »
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”  - Will Rogers

Offline Thehowler

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Re: blacktail deer pre-rut
« Reply #235 on: November 10, 2018, 08:10:44 PM »
Great job, nice buck.

Offline pd

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Re: blacktail deer pre-rut
« Reply #236 on: November 10, 2018, 08:58:40 PM »

My understanding of the biology and reproduction of deer has led me to understand that the term "peak of the rut"  is in actuality, peak breeding.  This apparently does not equate to peak hunting.  Bucks appear to be more available to hunters during the seeking and chasing phases of the rut.  Once the majority of does become hot at the same time(or within just a few days of each other), in my mind, the bucks appear to move less and it may be that much of the breeding/rutting activity is occurring at night.  Once the majority of the girls have been bred or are no longer in estrus, the bucks start moving again looking for other available females.  This accounts for the good hunting just before and just after the peak of the rut and may explain why it often seems so slow in the woods during the peak breeding period. 


This makes a lot of sense to me; I had never thought about it this way.  I certainly do see a lot of "cruising bucks" in the late October time period, but not so much during the first 10 days of November.  Thanks for proffering this explanation; I, too, have no idea if it has any validity, but it makes just enough sense to become lore.
Si vis pacem, para bellum

Offline TriggerMike

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Re: blacktail deer pre-rut
« Reply #237 on: November 10, 2018, 09:29:20 PM »
I have a quality blacktail tag right now as well. Season opened on the 1st and ive hunted 8 of these first 10 days. Have seen 63 does and 7 bucks so far. It's been awesome seeing so many blacktail but I haven't found a shooter yet although have had a couple that I'm second guessing now. One was a huge bodied 2x3 chasing a doe big time on the evening of the 4th. I saw 5 bucks and 25 does last Saturday and Sunday (the 3rd and 4th). Took the 5th-7th off and saw 2 more smaller bucks and a bunch of does. Wasn't able to hunt the 8th and 9th but hunted today and saw no bucks and 5 does. Hopefully tomorrow brings more bucks cause my standards are quickly lowering haha. This dry weather really sucks but at least it's been cold.

Offline fishnfur

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Re: blacktail deer pre-rut
« Reply #238 on: November 11, 2018, 12:09:43 PM »
TriggerMike is shooting holes in my theories.  Sounds like he's in 'em regularly, though that report was primarily prior to the "peak of the rut". 

TriggerMike - please keep us updated on your hunts.  I'm wondering if it will pick up again in the next couple of days.

In my imagination, I'd always pictured the quality hunts as being an chance to kill a monster buck while he's stupid in love.  They'd be all over the place and just walking around dazed and confused (or somethin' like that).  At a glance, the numbers harvest of four and five point bucks taken during the quality hunts seems to be proportionate to that of the regular season.  It may be that those taken are better quality/more mature (like Kodiak 907's buck posted a couple days ago), but the stats don't report that information. 
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 12:17:45 PM by fishnfur »
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”  - Will Rogers

Offline blackveltbowhunter

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Re: blacktail deer pre-rut
« Reply #239 on: November 11, 2018, 04:23:25 PM »
Fishnfur I don't think your off base, the late tag is a CHANCE to kill a big buck with his guard down. BUT they don"t run all over the place and every ones definition of big buck is different. For me It was an opportunity to pass some bucks I would typically shoot, and see bucks I don't think I would otherwise.  My experience was awesome and I loved it. Did I take the biggest buck in the unit? I doubt it. But I got one that was my personal best and I was able to do it without compromising my goals set from the beginning of the hunt. 
 
  My hunting partner who is a BT killing machine drew one last year and hated the experience.

  For some units ( north 400 series) there is not a extended late season so these permits would be more desirable in some of those I would think.

  Here is my observations...... Scouting is still very much a big part of taking a particular class of BT buck. My hunt was in a very familiar unit, and I was able to summer scout and put alot of early mornings and evening time in around work schedule to locate bucks and history in the area helped in knowing fall patterns. ( The buck I took was killed less than half a mile from where I took my first buck). My hunting partners was a drive and he was not able to scout as much due to that limitation combined with being an unfamiliar unit. Take an eastside tag and those limitations are not as magnified in many units typically. As the terrain, and migratory nature can aid in locating during the hunt.

  The synopsis of my hunt was, scout hard during summer found 2 shooters for sure and several other very good mature bucks. October season trigger control was much easier and I was able to look over a couple bucks that I would have gladly taken on a general hunt.  Late October weather was indian summer and buck activity was slow. November 1st a switch flipped and saw 3 branched bucks including the first "big" one. A tall heavy frame 3x3 that was likely seen in summer, But unable to put eyegaurds on him ( a personal goal ) I made the tough decision to pass. The following 5 days were roller coaster with, reports of killed bucks that I had hopes for and several goose chase leads, but buck activity was good and saw a couple "nice" ones and a couple of those leads turned up some big buck sign. On the 6th of november or thereabouts I was able to seal the deal on "my" buck.

 My hunting partner hunted hard all season and located sign of a very good buck in late october. He hunted all season with very good weather and passed up a couple of nice bucks early, But never saw the mature bucks he was hoping for. Or sign of them to speak of. Whether The buck he saw sign of moved on, or was killed the last few days of October is hard to say but no more sign in the area he had originally located it in. Deer sightings were good enough, but fog, and small bucks seemed to be the order of the day.

My takeaway is that if you know the area well, have a good idea of caliber of buck to expect from that area, and have does patterned than anything can happen and the late tags give you the absolute best time to catch up with him. 

 

 

 

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