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Author Topic: 2020 Whitetail Watch- pre-rut/rut activity  (Read 12004 times)

Offline elkboy

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2020 Whitetail Watch- pre-rut/rut activity
« on: October 29, 2020, 06:18:52 PM »
Hey fellow whitetail addicts- 

Please correct me if there is already a 2020 whitetail activity thread. Here are my observations from this year (I will add on as I see more).  My location is Whitman County (GMUs 139/142), for reference, and I will be heading to Idaho periodically (8, 8A, 11A). 

September 20-25- afternoon-evening- small to medium bucks play-sparring with increasing vigor.  Bigger bucks still out feeding here and there, but not interested in sparring. 
September 26-Oct 4 (muzzleloader season)- whitetails actively feeding in late afternoon/early evening.
October 27- evening- I observed two small bucks (1x1, 2x2) grunting and chasing does, who evaded their efforts.  Bigger bucks seemed to be keeping out of sight, likely due to the early fall hunting seasons putting them on alert.

Good luck to all of you still pursuing whitetail this year! 
 


Offline Mossy

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Re: 2020 Whitetail Watch- pre-rut/rut activity
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2020, 06:55:09 PM »
Hey fellow whitetail addicts- 

Please correct me if there is already a 2020 whitetail activity thread. Here are my observations from this year (I will add on as I see more).  My location is Whitman County (GMUs 139/142), for reference, and I will be heading to Idaho periodically (8, 8A, 11A). 

September 20-25- afternoon-evening- small to medium bucks play-sparring with increasing vigor.  Bigger bucks still out feeding here and there, but not interested in sparring. 
September 26-Oct 4 (muzzleloader season)- whitetails actively feeding in late afternoon/early evening.
October 27- evening- I observed two small bucks (1x1, 2x2) grunting and chasing does, who evaded their efforts.  Bigger bucks seemed to be keeping out of sight, likely due to the early fall hunting seasons putting them on alert.

Good luck to all of you still pursuing whitetail this year!

As youíre aware, Iíll chime in later on in the season. Good post!

Offline kramman

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Re: 2020 Whitetail Watch- pre-rut/rut activity
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2020, 07:23:00 PM »
Thanks id appreciate updates from idaho as I am eagerly waiting to hunt there the week before Thanksgiving.

Offline elkboy

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Re: 2020 Whitetail Watch- pre-rut/rut activity
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2020, 09:08:14 AM »
Lots of deer activity, but no big bucks.  I sat a tree stand over on the Idaho side from 3:00 PM to dark, in a small stand of western redcedar and Engelmann spruce set in a draw between stands of Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine.  Between 4:30 and dark I had seven whitetails come through- three mature does and four younger deer (including a spike with nubs beneath the hair).  They fed for a long time in the understory vegetation (sedges, blackcap raspberry) before moving on to the farm field to the west.  I had hoped a big buck might also use this area as a "staging area" in this way, but no such luck.  Still, fun to spend time watching deer.

Still kind of a typical summer behavior pattern, but the big bucks are holding back in the shadows.  I did see tracks of a large buck, but likely indicated nighttime activity.  No scrapes observed yet.  I am hoping that things might begin to pick up next weekend (Nov 7-8). 

Cheers all. 

Offline buckfvr

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Re: 2020 Whitetail Watch- pre-rut/rut activity
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2020, 09:22:17 AM »
Last night saw first evidence of the coming rut as a 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 yr old 10pt Im familiar with was shadowing a doe.  He matched her movements from about 20 yards.  I actually saw 3 of the 4 target ( 2 8's, a 10, and an 11 pt) shooter bucks for my wife last night after not seeing any of them the last 10 days, except on cam at night.  Still waiting to see what "travelers" show up.

Offline vandeman17

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Re: 2020 Whitetail Watch- pre-rut/rut activity
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2020, 10:48:36 AM »
Was up setting stands and hanging cameras yesterday. Came across one new scrape that I smelled before I saw it. Itís between our two stands so hopefully we see him next weekend
" I have hunted almost every day of my life, the rest have been wasted"

Offline elkboy

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Re: 2020 Whitetail Watch- pre-rut/rut activity
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2020, 01:25:01 PM »
Thanks for the input, gentlemen!  My hopes are high for next weekend! 

Saw a fellow local hunter in the coffee shop this morning, and he said the larger whitetails on his farm are still under cover, but that he is pretty excited for late archery. 

Cheers. 

Offline Bango skank

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Re: 2020 Whitetail Watch- pre-rut/rut activity
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2020, 01:59:34 PM »
Seems to me the big boys dont get excited until mid month.  Action usually starts around the 14th or 15th imo
« Last Edit: November 01, 2020, 02:28:53 PM by Bango skank »

Offline elkboy

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Re: 2020 Whitetail Watch- pre-rut/rut activity
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2020, 07:38:53 AM »
Seems to me the big boys dont get excited until mid month.  Action usually starts around the 14th or 15th imo

Bango, you could always post a photo of your WT buck from last year to motivate the rest of us...  :chuckle:

Offline vandeman17

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Re: 2020 Whitetail Watch- pre-rut/rut activity
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2020, 08:27:59 AM »
Seems to me the big boys dont get excited until mid month.  Action usually starts around the 14th or 15th imo

I agree with this. My experience is pre-rut goes down around the 8-15 of november then things start to ramp up
" I have hunted almost every day of my life, the rest have been wasted"

Offline elkboy

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Re: 2020 Whitetail Watch- pre-rut/rut activity
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2020, 06:55:41 PM »
Scrapes being established and chasing starting up, at least locally here (SE WA, adjacent Idaho). 

Cheers to you all. 

Offline huntnnw

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Re: 2020 Whitetail Watch- pre-rut/rut activity
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2020, 06:57:50 PM »
Out my door as we speak in 127 I have 2 3yr olds harassing does

Offline vandeman17

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Re: 2020 Whitetail Watch- pre-rut/rut activity
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2020, 07:16:02 PM »
Out my door as we speak in 127 I have 2 3yr olds harassing does

We are headed out tomorrow night. Can give report in 117 in a few days
" I have hunted almost every day of my life, the rest have been wasted"

Offline antlerjunky2020

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Re: 2020 Whitetail Watch- pre-rut/rut activity
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2020, 08:33:07 PM »
Idaho unit 8: Smaller bucks have started giving attention to does. Rub and scrape activity has picked up this week. Although the mature bucks i've seen have been bedded before sunrise with minimal movement in the evening. The bigger deer didn't really start to chase until around the 17th last year.

Any update for units 121/124 WA?

Offline Buckhunter24

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Re: 2020 Whitetail Watch- pre-rut/rut activity
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2020, 08:40:54 PM »
On Tuesday just outside of Mica I came across 4 or 5 scrapes down an old skid trail. No fresh rubs or deer sighted though.

Today I was up near Ione, in an area I have been seeing lots of deer including a couple good bucks. I didn't see a single doe, or any rutting signs in the woods. I was up near 4000' and all day in just a long sleeve t shirt, warm weather.

 


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