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Author Topic: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread  (Read 23767 times)

Offline fishnfur

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2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut and post rut thread
« 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. 
« Last Edit: November 16, 2020, 10:26:01 AM 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 jjhunter

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Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
« Reply #1 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.

Offline Spuddieselwwu

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Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
« Reply #2 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.

Online Fatherof5

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Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
« Reply #3 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.

Offline slowhand

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Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2020, 12:53:59 PM »
Tag
Love this thread  :tup:
one of the years best every year
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In That order

Online blackveltbowhunter

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Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
« Reply #5 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".

Offline actionshooter

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Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
« Reply #6 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!
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Offline TheStovePipeKid

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Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
« Reply #7 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.
I laugh in the face of Danger. Ha ha ha Danger Face!

Offline fishnfur

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Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
« Reply #8 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!
“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 CP

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Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
« Reply #9 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 didn’t seem to have any interest in each other.

Offline Twispriver

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Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2020, 10:42:25 AM »
.

Offline trophyhunt

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Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
« Reply #11 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.
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Offline WSU

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Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
« Reply #12 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). 

Offline SeatoSummit88

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Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
« Reply #13 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.
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Re: 2020 Blacktail rut/pre-rut thread
« Reply #14 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.
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