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Author Topic: When do north cascade blacktails rut?  (Read 2939 times)

Offline Elkfun12

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When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« on: November 04, 2020, 05:35:49 PM »
My brother has a quality deer tag in North cascades. He is headed out in the morning. Was wondering if anyone can tell us when those high country bucks rut versus the low country deer?

Offline SeatoSummit88

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2020, 06:56:13 PM »
Now I have no personal experience, but I would have to imagine/from the videos I've watched on YouTube...Those alpine deer should follow the same rut cycle as the lower land ones do. (So about now...but every little piece of land differs per doe). The one thing I've heard is that those Mountain Bucks will move down out of the snow level to find does in heat...but as soon as they done mating, those big boys move into knee to waist high snow to stay away from people and to have a good vantage point below them. But once again, no personal experience myself hunting high alpine deer...just from reading and video hunts.  Good luck!
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Offline SeatoSummit88

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2020, 06:56:55 PM »
Now I have no personal experience, but I would have to imagine/from the videos I've watched on YouTube...Those alpine deer should follow the same rut cycle as the lower land ones do. (So about now...but every little piece of land differs per doe). The one thing I've heard is that those Mountain Bucks will move down out of the snow level to find does in heat...but as soon as they are done mating, those big boys move into knee to waist high snow to stay away from people and to have a good vantage point below them. But once again, no personal experience myself hunting high alpine deer...just from reading and video hunts.  Good luck!
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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2020, 07:00:28 PM »
It's all basically the same. Rut timing happens in basically the same 2 week period for all deer in WA, with localized small variances. Rut timing is not due to elevation, weather, or moon, but photo periods, and the amount of daylight during the day. When the right amount of daylight hits the rut starts. It happens the same time every year so that fawns are all born at roughly the same time during the spring, ensuring maximum survival.

They are rutting now, and will likely peak sometime in the next 10 days. I have always noticed more bucks on the move between the 10-15, but that is my personal experience.
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Offline lewy

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2020, 07:02:43 PM »
Island and lower elevation bt bucks are slightly ahead of the higher elevation bt bucks to start showing rut activity, if you are starting tomorrow we’re you mentioned you should be right in the sweet spot
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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2020, 07:37:21 PM »
Tomorrow! Literally,  it will likely be the best day of the year.

Offline skagitsteel

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2020, 08:18:42 PM »
Which unit does he have a tag for? I have quite a few years trail camera data to prove the higher elevation bucks certainly rut later. It’s about a week behind the foothills and a solid 2 weeks behind bucks hanging around close to puget sound. There are very few places the bucks actually stay up high to rut,  most of them head down by now looking for does regardless of weather. Most of my cams show truly rutting bucks and does in heat starting around the 7th, peaking the 10th-15th and still showing some chasing and rutty behavior until the 20th-25th of November. Fawns drop later as well.

Offline 3nails

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2020, 08:26:16 PM »
Which unit does he have a tag for? I have quite a few years trail camera data to prove the higher elevation bucks certainly rut later. It’s about a week behind the foothills and a solid 2 weeks behind bucks hanging around close to puget sound. There are very few places the bucks actually stay up high to rut,  most of them head down by now looking for does regardless of weather. Most of my cams show truly rutting bucks and does in heat starting around the 7th, peaking the 10th-15th and still showing some chasing and rutty behavior until the 20th-25th of November. Fawns drop later as well.
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Offline Elkfun12

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2020, 08:43:39 PM »
Hes has the tag for 426.

Offline highside74

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2020, 08:48:05 PM »
I figured Skagitsteel and 3nails would be the go to source when I saw this thread. Great info. Thanks

Offline fishnfur

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2020, 08:55:57 PM »
 :yeah:  You got it from the source.  Don't question it. 

Edit -  and when you think about it, the timing makes perfect sense.  Fawns born in the lowlands in late May/early June have a warm comfy climate in which to grow and put on weight/fat.  Those born at high elevation may suffer the effects cold/wet weather, which (due to poor fawn recruitment) reduces the populations of those deer that tend to breed earlier rather than later.  The subtle differences we see in situations like these are the way they are for a good reason.  Often, it is the result of many thousands of years of environmental effects or predator/prey relationships that ultimately directed the way a species worked around (managed to survive and prosper) a difficult local situation.   :twocents:
« Last Edit: November 04, 2020, 09:21:15 PM by fishnfur »
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Offline skagitsteel

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2020, 09:55:33 PM »
Hes has the tag for 426.

That can be a tough unit. It’s mostly steep timbered hillsides. Blacktail toward the western edge, crosses and mule deer on the eastern edge of Ross lake.

Offline Elkfun12

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2020, 06:35:44 AM »
So he's been busting his butt. Hes had 2 cameras with salt going since summer. First camera he hiked in 5 miles from hearts pass 3 time and only had 1 doe on camera. We had a camera on the west side of the lake last year and found a huge scrap line but never seen a mature buck during general season. But his main camera this year has had great action. He had 2 different 4x4 with eyegaurds and multiply smaller bucks with a bunch of does. Since about September all the bucks have left. He went and checked his camera 2 weeks ago and the batteries had died on October 10th with no bucks. Does are still hammering the salt though. He has a picture of 5 does in 1 picture so I looks promising.  This camera is 2 miles in and lower elevation and are hoping some of those big mountain bucks make there way down. And most of the deer he has on camera look like crosses. Black top on tail with black stripe up the center. But I'm no expert. Thanks for all the information from everybody. I'll keep everybody posted. He's up there right now

Offline fishnfur

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2020, 10:01:18 AM »
Hope he finds a masher!
“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 Pacific Ghost

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2020, 10:19:54 AM »
I've been thinking quite a bit lately about the later rut timing in the higher elevations as well. Now, don't laugh at me, but I have my own theory on why it might be just a fuzz later. If you are up thousands of feet higher, the earth curvature comes into play. In other words, the site line toward the horizon, where the daylight emanates. The sunlight hits the high areas just a tad longer, which might be enough to lengthen the photo period just enough to make those deer up higher generally lag just behind the lowland deer. So, it would not be because of elevation itself, but rather how that significant increase in elevation interacts with the amount of light.  :twocents: :dunno:
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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2020, 10:43:51 AM »
Could certainly be possible.
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Offline skagitsteel

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2020, 10:59:31 AM »
I've been thinking quite a bit lately about the later rut timing in the higher elevations as well. Now, don't laugh at me, but I have my own theory on why it might be just a fuzz later. If you are up thousands of feet higher, the earth curvature comes into play. In other words, the site line toward the horizon, where the daylight emanates. The sunlight hits the high areas just a tad longer, which might be enough to lengthen the photo period just enough to make those deer up higher generally lag just behind the lowland deer. So, it would not be because of elevation itself, but rather how that significant increase in elevation interacts with the amount of light.  :twocents: :dunno:

I think its just the deer's way of adapting, late fawn drop is much better for survival at higher elevations/ colder climates. Look at Montana deer, colder climate and they certainly rut later than WA deer.  Certainly there are exceptions to this but overall it's been my experience and has proven to be pretty consistent most years

Offline Pacific Ghost

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2020, 01:54:45 PM »
Deer are smart, but not sure they are quite that smart. Seems it would be easier to head for lower elevation to survive harsh conditions and find food for their fawns, rather than somehow deciding their breeding cycle to coincide with more ideal conditions later on. This brings me to an observation/question though. We have 9 hours and 48 minutes of daylight today where I live, and the peak rut for blacktail will happen in the coming days/weeks. There are only 8 hours and 38 minutes of light in Kodiak AK today. Does the Sitka deer rut generally occur at the same time as here, even though there is 70 minutes less light available there? If everything is truly only photo period based, the Sitka deer peak rut would already have happened, or they have a shorter photo period trigger to begin with.
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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2020, 05:42:50 PM »
My experience in the last 40  plus years of hunting is that lowland deer and elk rut earlier than higher elevation  deer and elk because that is what works the best for fawn and calf survival. NW Oregon elk are rutting in the August bow season but not until very late September and early October at Mt Adams. Grouse season in September you could see incredible stuff with elk rutting  at St Helens. Halloween day was magic for many years at not only my house on the outskirts of Kelso for blacktails. Also the lowland units west of Longview. Closer to St Helens and other higher elevation areas late buck seemed to be the time. Of course there are always exceptions because of females that do not get bred. I believe mother nature figured this out to ensure the best chance of survival !

Offline fishnfur

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2020, 08:18:54 PM »
Deer are smart, but not sure they are quite that smart. Seems it would be easier to head for lower elevation to survive harsh conditions and find food for their fawns, rather than somehow deciding their breeding cycle to coincide with more ideal conditions later on. This brings me to an observation/question though. We have 9 hours and 48 minutes of daylight today where I live, and the peak rut for blacktail will happen in the coming days/weeks. There are only 8 hours and 38 minutes of light in Kodiak AK today. Does the Sitka deer rut generally occur at the same time as here, even though there is 70 minutes less light available there? If everything is truly only photo period based, the Sitka deer peak rut would already have happened, or they have a shorter photo period trigger to begin with.
f

I like that question.  I have no answer to it, but it is a heck of a question in regards to the topic at hand.  I could Google it and read a bit, but I'm betting someone here knows the answer. 
   My instinctive guess would be that they have adapted to that environment so that a shorter photo period that initiates the onset of estrus, one which roughly coincides with the dates seen in lowland WA and BC, (even though the daylight hours are significantly less there at that time).   Having lived in Adak AK for a year (even though there are no S. BTs there)  I can tell you that the severity of the winter is not a heck of a lot different (or almost identical except for the wind) than that in the Puget Trough - I would expect that early June is still the peak of fawning for Sitka Blacktail, which would ensure the fawns have enough time to put on body weight and fat reserves to survive their first winter.  Assuming the fawn drop dates are the same, I expect that the peak of the rut is similar as well. 

Edit - I couldn't resist.  Google says:  The breeding season (or rut) peaks during late November. Breeding bucks spend little time foraging and by late November have used up much of their fat reserve. Does, however, generally enter December in prime condition.

Sounds like up to a couple weeks later. 
« Last Edit: November 05, 2020, 08:26:51 PM by fishnfur »
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Offline Pacific Ghost

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2020, 08:47:54 PM »
One thing I am not understanding is why a later fawn drop would be better for survival. The later they drop, the later they are born, the less hardie they are at the onset of their first winter when they are half a year old. Why is this better? If deer can truly "adapt" to more preferable conditions for survival, then why wouldn't the harsher winter area deer be dropping sooner, so the fawns would be stronger by their first winter? Not sure I'm following the logic.
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Offline fishnfur

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2020, 09:11:19 PM »
The opposite end of that spectrum is that if they are born early, wet cold weather in early May can kill a newborn fawn as easy or even faster than a cold/wet winter.  There is no right answer and deer work both ends of the spectrum (on either side of the peak fawning period) which tends to ensure that at least some of the year's fawns will survive.

Here's more on S. BTs - https://sitkablacktail.org/deer-biology
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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2020, 09:11:49 PM »
One thing I am not understanding is why a later fawn drop would be better for survival. The later they drop, the later they are born, the less hardie they are at the onset of their first winter when they are half a year old. Why is this better? If deer can truly "adapt" to more preferable conditions for survival, then why wouldn't the harsher winter area deer be dropping sooner, so the fawns would be stronger by their first winter? Not sure I'm following the logic.

Because spring comes on later at higher elevations. Cloudy and 55 at 500' can be rain and 35 at 4000'. They just need a little more time for conditions to be survivable at those elevations.
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Offline fishnfur

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2020, 09:15:01 PM »
Exactly.  According to Eric Holman, the WDFW Biologist that manages the BT deer studies, that cold rain kills a lot of fawns, even 9 months after they are born.
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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2020, 09:15:18 PM »
Good discussion.

Mom has to be high ( possibly highest) in nature's biology chart. If mama has a tough time making it to fair weather, the fawn has zero chance of survival and you likely lose two. Nobody wins if mom doesn't give birth healthy.

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2020, 09:42:31 PM »
I thought about the more severe weather at higher elevation affecting fawns in early spring, but that doesn't mean the does and fawns have to be up that high. They could be down lower where possible. Also, some does don't get bred until the second or third cycle, which makes it even worse for those younger fawns that are born on that side of the spectrum, closer to winter. I just don't buy the idea that the deer are analyzing what the best odds are each year of dropping early vs late, and adapting, and really having much to do with the logic of timing. I believe it all happens fairly randomly within a range that was set forth by a brilliant creator, but that is a whole separate conversation.
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Offline fishnfur

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #26 on: November 06, 2020, 12:01:35 AM »
Well you can't argue a lot with your last statement, though nobody is suggesting that the deer get to choose when they conceive, and to a certain extent, the exact date of estrus and conception may be very random (within some normal period of time) in a population, and it is well documented that unfavorable weather conditions can extend the breeding season outside the norms.  Right or wrong, I believe many individual animals likely follow a repeating pattern year after year, even if it does not exactly match the majority of the population.  So one doe may tend to have earlier estrus year after year and drop fawns a little earlier than the general population. 

As you state, sometimes it takes several cycles for the doe to get preggers.  The resulting late-born fawn does indeed have a lower chance of survival than fawns born earlier in the summer, and if weather conditions don't cooperate, that fawn stands a higher chance of dying before it is old enough to breed.  That little twist of fate, if it was caused by some genetic or biological problem of the mother, reduces the chance that the fawn can pass on it's potentially poor set of genes it got from it's mother/father and it is removed from the gene pool (if it dies due to the condition or timing of birth), thereby keeping the best genetically adapted deer breeding and producing healthy normal fawns.  As in humans, some couples are unable to conceive children (without surrogate or medical procedures).  That effectively removes their genes from the human gene pool (assuming they are faithful, etc.).   

Mother nature loves to experiment.  Environmental conditions change over the eons and with those changes comes changes in temperature, rainfall and fauna/flora, etc.  Some animals are no longer well suited to the changes in their range and tend to die out or perhaps develop migration patterns as conditions warrant.  Some of the changes may give one species an advantage over it's competition (for available resources) allowing that species to flourish (population expands) while the other populations suffer.  When a species (such as deer) expand  breeding and birthing periods, the animals born early or late may be in a better position to take advantage of the changed environment.  Not only does this ensure that some of the young animals will survive some radical environmental change, but those animals tend to be healthier and better breeding stock that animals born at a less opportune time.   

A great example of changes in timing of the rut show up in WT deer.  Most Northern WT stock rut sometime around Thanksgiving, but down south in some of the gulf states, WT rut runs into February and perhaps beyond.  This is not by chance.  Somehow those populations of deer have adapted to some condition that gives their offspring a breeding advantage over WTs rutting at more "normal" times, and over time, the period of the rut changed so that their offspring were better positioned to take advantage of that condition.

I'm not saying that's all entirely correct, but it's my best explanation of my understanding of the situation.   Somehow I got interested in population genetics a couple years ago and periodically delve into the goodies that the wildlife geneticists discuss.  Obviously, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and there are many, many factors that affect why, when, how populations of animals change over time, and I am ill equipped to discuss them at any length without including inaccuracies. 

Sorry we hijacked the thread.  Back to that buck that's soon to die in the N. Cascades...
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Offline Elkfun12

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #27 on: November 06, 2020, 06:42:34 AM »
He sent me this last night. Not the best picture. Said his camera on took 12 pictures. But bait is gone.

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #28 on: November 06, 2020, 07:04:33 AM »
Nocturnal as is the ones in my area so far.

Offline fishnfur

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #29 on: November 06, 2020, 08:10:44 AM »
Definitely a shooter.  I would imagine with this weather and at this time of the season, he's available at least some of the time during daylight hours, even if that is only when the doe he is tending is up and feeding.  Interested to see how his hunt turns out. 
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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut? Update pic.
« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2021, 08:23:28 AM »
Well just wanted to give a update. My brother never filled his tag. He was hunting high elevation and the pass got shut down before he could get back up there on the second week.he hunted low for awhile with now success. Definitely a hard hunt if your not used to hunting the crazy blacktails that live in the jungle. He did make it to his cameras yesterday and has 1 picture of a buck that I'm sure is 10 years old or more. This thing is a tank. Horrible picture but it's crowned on top he says it's 4 points on each side and he could probably put a tennis ball inside and it would stay. Both cameras died but the trail he found looks like a migration trail or very used high elevation trail. I'll post 2 pictures so you can see the difference in size of the buck. Thanks 

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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #31 on: April 18, 2021, 03:10:01 PM »
 Look at the head on him in the 2nd pic. That's certainly an old buck past his antler prime. A true trophy.
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Re: When do north cascade blacktails rut?
« Reply #32 on: April 18, 2021, 05:34:53 PM »
Old white face! Cool buck!

 


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Tribal fishing by Special T
[Today at 12:20:39 PM]


RCBS Uniflow Powder Measure by Jordan6everson
[Today at 12:10:19 PM]


2021 Bears by Platensek-po
[Today at 12:07:12 PM]


Best All Around Rifle for Versatile Use by Platensek-po
[Today at 12:00:43 PM]


Toyota Tacoma Questions by Tenkara
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Spring Bear Pelt Submission by downtownbrown0610
[Today at 11:42:36 AM]


FS 280 rem brass and primed cases by Harleysboss
[Today at 11:18:10 AM]


Best handheld long range radios? by thinkingman
[Today at 11:16:54 AM]


FS 30-338 brass by Harleysboss
[Today at 11:13:03 AM]


WTB 12 gauge 2-3/4 inch Bismuth shotgun shells by bobcat
[Today at 10:59:02 AM]


Zeiss Conquest HD 8X56 by theonlybfc
[Today at 10:04:12 AM]


Judge rules gun maker not liable for individual's criminal act by Oh Mah
[Today at 10:02:46 AM]


WTS - Viper HD 12x50 by cbond3318
[Today at 09:51:25 AM]


Wts/WTT Kimber K6s .357 by farfrompar28
[Today at 09:24:59 AM]


2021 sheds.... Post them here. by Colby Otto
[Today at 08:58:19 AM]