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Author Topic: Blacktail Rut Thread - Post updates here  (Read 16060 times)

Offline Pacific Ghost

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Re: Blacktail Rut Thread - Post updates here
« Reply #30 on: October 19, 2021, 03:05:17 PM »
Great article Sundance.  Lots of good information.  Estrus cycles in Blacktails average roughly 23 +/- days (rather than 28)according to all the literature I've read. Some doe studies found estrus cycles as short as 19 days. 



Haven't seen this guy before, and now he shows up on a property adjacent to ours. Hanging out with at least a half dozen other deer, and acting kind of like an idiot.  :dunno: Of course the residential area deer are quite a bit different than the typical timber land animals. At least in my experience.



I could be totally wrong, but I always assumed that residential deer would be on the exact same schedule as the deer in the deep woods (in that same area).  We are just better able to observe the behaviour when it happens in a our more open environment.    :dunno:

Yes, I would assume so too, but I was mostly referring to how the neighborhood deer are less shy and more easily observed. However, for several years now we seem to be seeing big deer during daylight in the pre-rut phase, doing rutting deer things. Are they finding the "only" early breeder in the area? I have no idea.
Everyone lives off the land.  Some of us simply have more fun doing it.

Offline fishnfur

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Re: Blacktail Rut Thread - Post updates here
« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2021, 10:08:28 PM »
Great article Sundance.  Lots of good information.  Estrus cycles in Blacktails average roughly 23 +/- days (rather than 28)according to all the literature I've read. Some doe studies found estrus cycles as short as 19 days. 



Haven't seen this guy before, and now he shows up on a property adjacent to ours. Hanging out with at least a half dozen other deer, and acting kind of like an idiot.  :dunno: Of course the residential area deer are quite a bit different than the typical timber land animals. At least in my experience.



I could be totally wrong, but I always assumed that residential deer would be on the exact same schedule as the deer in the deep woods (in that same area).  We are just better able to observe the behaviour when it happens in a our more open environment.    :dunno:

Yes, I would assume so too, but I was mostly referring to how the neighborhood deer are less shy and more easily observed. However, for several years now we seem to be seeing big deer during daylight in the pre-rut phase, doing rutting deer things. Are they finding the "only" early breeder in the area? I have no idea.

Maybe not finding her, but perhaps just getting a scent of her.  I bet a single hot doe peeing her scent here and there could get an army of bucks out looking for her or any other thing that will stand still for a quicky.
“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 85yota

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Re: Blacktail Rut Thread - Post updates here
« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2021, 10:28:16 PM »
My " theory" is that life is easier for residential deer with less predators, milder winters and plenty of food in peoples yards. This allows does to breed earlier as they will drop fawns earlier but because of there "easy" life this doesnt result in high mortality rate.. Woods deer have so much more to deal with and no houses to hide behind avoiding predators they breed and drop later which helps avoid snow as well.. In reality its more likely we see them more just based on there proximity to houses and roads and mainly because they have way less fear of humans. Doing tree work I find a lot of rubs in peoples yards earlier than i seem to see in the woods.. ( funny convo when there ornamentals die) ..

Offline fishnfur

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Re: Blacktail Rut Thread - Post updates here
« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2021, 12:09:51 AM »
I can't totally disagree with you on any of your points, though studies by the State of WA back in the 40's and 50's showed that domestic dogs take out a significant portion of the herd - something like 10 - 11 %.  As such, residential areas are not so predator free as we imagien, plus the constant flow of traffic kills another huge portion of the local deer population.  The road below my house that runs into town is like the Killing Fields come late October.  Brutal carnage.  Bucks take the larger portion of the strikes, but by late season, there's significant numbers of all deer hopping around on three legs, and many of the younger bucks just disappear. Also, as I found out last year, even though hunting is not allowed in the city limits, many of the bucks are taken by stick and string by homeowners that live adjacent to deer bedding areas.   That's here, not  Bellevue or Issaquah.  This is a blue collar town and almost eveyone hunts in some way or another.  Point being, there's plenty of predation of the residential herd too.

Mother nature likes to experiment with breeding patterns in order to take advantage of environmental conditions.  Salmon and Steelhead are well known to stray from their natal streams and return to other streams to spawn.   This pattern of behavior helps keep the genetic pool of a single stream from growing stagnant and assists in re-populating streams that have diminished native spawners returning.  It makes perfect sense.

In deer, the general theory is that massive numbers of deer mating in a narrow period of time in the fall produces a flood of offspring in the Spring that predators cannot hope to completely devour, thus ensuring good escapement of fawns despite heavy predation.  I believe that with warming weather patterns worldwide, deer will attempt (biologically speaking) to take advantage of Spring weather being slightly warmer that it was decades ago.  Some will develop earlier estrus cycles that allow them to both breed and birth earlier than in times past so that fawns can take advantage of the longer period of browse availability that comes with warmer Springs and Falls.  Even a lttle bit of extra time that a fawn has to grow and establish a protective layer of fat makes a huge difference in their ability to survive winters when conditions often kill fawns born later in Spring and early Summer.  If that pattern of earlier breeding/birthing is effective, then offspring of those animals will have a survival advantage compared to animals born later in Spring/early Summer . They (and their progeny) will likely survive winters better and continue that pattern of earlier than normal breeding in subsequent generations. Examination of the Whitetail rut timing variation shows a wide range of of "peak of the rut"  periods, the South East US being much later than the majority of other locations.  The likely reason for this variation - climate differences that over millenia, resulated in a southern deer rut much later than Northern populations.   Could there be another explanation?  Probably, but environmental climate differences seem to be the most likely cause for the delta. 

These ideas, of course, may be totally wrong, but I still adhear to the general ideas just 'cause the seem to make sense in my mind. .  .

“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 Skyvalhunter

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Re: Blacktail Rut Thread - Post updates here
« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2021, 05:45:59 AM »
Everyone is entitled to their opinion and it varies from area to area

Offline fishnfur

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Re: Blacktail Rut Thread - Post updates here
« Reply #35 on: October 23, 2021, 09:03:02 PM »
I have opinions about politics and religion  Unless someone knows a deer that can talk, all we can do is guess what they're doing.  It is likely that there is a huge range of behaviors all happening at the same time so basing an opinon on what one or two deer are doing is presumptuous at best.

Back to the OP's topic......  What's going on in the pre-rut.  Things are very slow in Mason where I'm hunting.  Doe are not feeding at mid-day and don't come out till the last 20 minutes or so before last light.  It might be the moon phase.  Looked just one day past full moon last night. No rush to get out and eat when there is some light all night long. 

Heard 7 or 8 shots today that were likely at deer.  Four prrior to noon, and four in the last three hours of the day.  Still very slow, but better than last year.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2021, 09:16:14 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 Platensek-po

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Re: Blacktail Rut Thread - Post updates here
« Reply #36 on: October 23, 2021, 09:25:03 PM »
I have opinions about politics and religion  Unless someone knows a deer that can talk, all we can do is guess what they're doing.  It is likely that there is a huge range of behaviors all happening at the same time so basing an opinon on what one or two deer are doing is presumptuous at best.

Back to the OP's topic......  What's going on in the pre-rut.  Things are very slow in Mason where I'm hunting.  Doe are not feeding at mid-day and don't come out till the last 20 minutes or so before last light.  It might be the moon phase.  Looked just one day past full moon last night. No rush to get out and eat when there is some light all night long. 

Heard 7 or 8 shots today that were likely at deer.  Four prrior to noon, and four in the last three hours of the day.  Still very slow, but better than last year.

Also in Mason and I can confirm this. Saw 2 very young does feeding around noon today but I think the mature does have kicked them to the curb. It’s been fairly slow but should start picking up next week especially if the weather holds. Definitely better than last year! Next weekend should be good
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Offline NewHunter24

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Re: Blacktail Rut Thread - Post updates here
« Reply #37 on: October 24, 2021, 12:00:20 PM »
In mason also, first year hunting so I thought I was doing something wrong not seeing a single deer. Pretty excited to go out again closer to the end of the month

Offline Twispriver

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Re: Blacktail Rut Thread - Post updates here
« Reply #38 on: October 24, 2021, 01:44:44 PM »
He looks rutty to me

Offline MeatMissile

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Re: Blacktail Rut Thread - Post updates here
« Reply #39 on: October 24, 2021, 03:20:53 PM »
I have opinions about politics and religion  Unless someone knows a deer that can talk, all we can do is guess what they're doing.  It is likely that there is a huge range of behaviors all happening at the same time so basing an opinon on what one or two deer are doing is presumptuous at best.

Back to the OP's topic......  What's going on in the pre-rut.  Things are very slow in Mason where I'm hunting.  Doe are not feeding at mid-day and don't come out till the last 20 minutes or so before last light.  It might be the moon phase.  Looked just one day past full moon last night. No rush to get out and eat when there is some light all night long. 

Heard 7 or 8 shots today that were likely at deer.  Four prrior to noon, and four in the last three hours of the day.  Still very slow, but better than last year.

Also in Mason and I can confirm this. Saw 2 very young does feeding around noon today but I think the mature does have kicked them to the curb. It’s been fairly slow but should start picking up next week especially if the weather holds. Definitely better than last year! Next weekend should be good

Saw a lot of young does in groups today.  Big does were all solitary.  Seen a lot of deer today.

Offline brokentrail

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Re: Blacktail Rut Thread - Post updates here
« Reply #40 on: October 24, 2021, 04:05:10 PM »
I filled a doe tag this morning on a lone doe in 654.  She was by herself and feeding about 8:15.  I have yet to see my first rub this year.

Offline spoonman

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Re: Blacktail Rut Thread - Post updates here
« Reply #41 on: October 24, 2021, 04:22:48 PM »
The rut is starting to happen. I have a doe tag for 666 but have yet to see one in the day light. Last night my two trail cams were going off non stop with two different bucks chasing a doe. Necks are swollen, noses up, chasing the ladies.

Offline fishnfur

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Re: Blacktail Rut Thread - Post updates here
« Reply #42 on: October 24, 2021, 04:43:55 PM »
I have opinions about politics and religion  Unless someone knows a deer that can talk, all we can do is guess what they're doing.  It is likely that there is a huge range of behaviors all happening at the same time so basing an opinon on what one or two deer are doing is presumptuous at best.

Back to the OP's topic......  What's going on in the pre-rut.  Things are very slow in Mason where I'm hunting.  Doe are not feeding at mid-day and don't come out till the last 20 minutes or so before last light.  It might be the moon phase.  Looked just one day past full moon last night. No rush to get out and eat when there is some light all night long. 

Heard 7 or 8 shots today that were likely at deer.  Four prrior to noon, and four in the last three hours of the day.  Still very slow, but better than last year.

Also in Mason and I can confirm this. Saw 2 very young does feeding around noon today but I think the mature does have kicked them to the curb. It’s been fairly slow but should start picking up next week especially if the weather holds. Definitely better than last year! Next weekend should be good

Saw a lot of young does in groups today.  Big does were all solitary.  Seen a lot of deer today.

More Mason Co. - Snuck in on a fawn or yearling yesterday - no mamma around.  I pushed a little to hard and it blasted from cover and took off in a direction that I couldn't even see what is was.  Saw a couple mature doe last night - one single, one with fawn.

Sat in the cut in the pouring rain this morning, reveling in the splendor and misery of hunting Blacktails.  Third day in this spot where there's ususally a parade of doe groups - no sightings in the the three mornings, hough Friday I got winded at close range in the darkish first few minutes of first light.  Scared the crap out of that deer.  I never saw it at all and I had just finished glassing everything in range. 

Bailed out of my dead zone spot today after an hour of glassing and started slowly working my way across property.  I either got winded, got seen, or just by coincidence, I caught sight of a big bodied deer running (not stotting) it's last steps into a one acre island of forest in the middle of the cut.  Only saw it for maybe a half second, no idea what the sex was. Hurrried my butt down to the far side of that grove of trees to intercept it but it seemed to be gone.  I realized I was upwind of where I was hoping it would come out, so I backed out and assumed I'd missed it.  Frustrated, I decided to work on an ongoing forestry project that I've been trying to get finished up.  Head back to the truck, grab a bunch of gear and head back to where I first saw that animal. Walking down the forest road that bisects the property, hands full of gear, rifle on my shoulder, I suddenly see a big fatty of a buck, appearing very dark and haunting, standing dead in the middle of the road, 130ish yards down the road where I had just been ten minutes earlier (and where I hunted the last three evenings with no sightings).  He's looking directly at me, I drop everything in my hands, making a ridiculous amount of noise, but he is gone before I get anywhere close to getting the rifle off my shoulder. Hustled back down the road (again) hoping for a chance at him, but he was gone  for good this time.  I feel pretty certain this buck has spent a lot of time on the property.  I hope to see him again next weekend if he's still alive.

Found a mature doe an 90 minutes later up and browsing around.  No kids to be seen but she did not appear to be hot at all, just very relaxed, tail down, just feeding.  I followed her for about 15 minutes but eventually decided to bail at 10:00 am and go home and see the wife and kids.  All in all, by the shots I was hearing between 7:00 and 9:00 am, there were a lot of deer moving in the rain this morning.  Seven, maybe 8 different rifle shots from areas on all sides of me as I hunted - equal the number of shots I'd heard in the previous two and a half days.   
« Last Edit: October 24, 2021, 05:54:04 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 Molon5labe

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Re: Blacktail Rut Thread - Post updates here
« Reply #43 on: October 24, 2021, 06:01:53 PM »
Hunted Friday evening in arlington. Sun up to sun down in granite falls Saturday, and sun up to 4pm in Arlington today. Not a single deer spotted. I think I'm cursed.

Offline fishnfur

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Re: Blacktail Rut Thread - Post updates here
« Reply #44 on: October 24, 2021, 06:28:39 PM »
Don't give up.  It's hard sometimes but staying positive and focused will keep you in the game.  Rut activities at elevation often seem to run a bit behind the lowlands.  It will happen.
“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

 


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