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#515033 - 12/03/07 02:47 PM Rutting Behavior
Oak
Spike


Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 38
Loc: Lawrence Cty

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As most of you have noted, we've had a very strange year when it comes to predicting the rut. I've read several articles here and from other sources reguarding the moon phase and other factors that influence rutting activity

Question: I know that when it comes to breeding, a buck generally doesn't care when, how, or what is occurring ... they "generally" have one thing on their mind ... breeding \:\)

However, do you all think that due the loss of natural browse (winter months) and more importantly, the mast crop failures will cause does not to come into heat? Especially when they know that they will have to carry a fawn throught the winter months.

This would almost explain why bucks seem to be cruising more (at least from what I've experienced) and chasing less. Especially over the last several days.

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#515088 - 12/03/07 04:09 PM Re: Rutting Behavior [Re: Oak]
deerchaser007
10 Point


Registered: 12/17/02
Posts: 4276
Loc: Bradyville, TN USA

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What RUT?? A normal rut occurs within a short window,.. usually a week. You have pre rut and post rut. How many times have you seen true rut? I mean a buck in TRUE rut?? I've seen bucks chasing does around and seen bucks cruising for does, seen bucks fight and spar,.. but this is all pre rut activity. True rut is unmistakable. A buck will stink to high heaven, never stop grunting, and never take his eyes off 1 specific doe. He follows her in toe til she is ready. Thats true rut. AND,.. i've never seen it 1 time since i've hunted. My brother has,.. and i know others who have,. but that is the true rut.

For the most part,.. i don't think the majority of TN ever see's true rut due to skewed ratio's. And other factors of course. When is the last time you ever seen does drop at the same time. In true rut,.. most does will drop their fawns within that 200 day window of when they were breed. Does in TN drop from may to september. You can say 2nd rut,.. but the window should still not be a 4 month gap of when they drop their fawns.

I think the rut last from november til febuary for the most part in this state. Does not cycling like in a normal herd,.. but does coming in all the time throughout them months. With this said,.. i think this puts much more stress on the bucks. In turn,.. causing many bucks to die in the winter months. I think this is a huge factor to why some qdm hunters are passing bucks year after year , but not seeing the bucks mature. With TN's harvest reports thru TWRA there is no reason why we don't have a ton of older age class bucks walking around. BUT,. hunters are not killing them nor seeing them to reflect in older age class harvest. AND,.. its my opinion,.. they are dying of stress from a long rut cycle.

SO,.. to answer your question,.. i'm seeing the same i see every year. I hear people report all the time that the rut is on, i seen a buck chasing a doe. BUT,.. this occurs from november til febuary. Were if they seen true rut,.. they would have seen every buck at the same time in toe of a doe. In true rut,.. you could sit in a stand and observe several bucks in toe of different does any givin day of that window. It just don't happen in TN from my observations.

Like i said,.. its my opinion. I have no data to back this up. Just years of thinking about it, years of observation, and studying up on what true rut is suppose to be in a normal herd.
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Guard your tongue in youth,.. and in age you may mature a thought that will be of service to your people!!
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#515120 - 12/03/07 04:42 PM Re: Rutting Behavior [Re: deerchaser007]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65979
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: deerchaser007
What RUT?? A normal rut occurs within a short window,.. usually a week. You have pre rut and post rut. How many times have you seen true rut? I mean a buck in TRUE rut??


Ever year since I began practicing QDM, with the exception of this year.

It has been noted in scientific literature that 1) unhealthy or physically stressed does will enter estrus later than normal; and 2) acorn failures in acorn-driven deer herds (herds that rely heavily on fall acorn production) can reduce doe health enough to produce a late and strung-out rut (trickle rut).

The problem is, I've seen many total acorn failures in the past and none of them influenced rut timing like we are seeing this year. I think the bizarre rut (or lack of one) that we're seeing this year is a rare anomaly produced by the combination of late spring freeze, record-breaking drought, record-breaking heat, severe EHD outbreak, and acorn failure that have all occurred in the same year. As I've suggested previously, this may be a once in a 50 to 100-year event.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#515147 - 12/03/07 05:04 PM Re: Rutting Behavior [Re: BSK]
deerchaser007
10 Point


Registered: 12/17/02
Posts: 4276
Loc: Bradyville, TN USA

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
 Originally Posted By: deerchaser007
What RUT?? A normal rut occurs within a short window,.. usually a week. You have pre rut and post rut. How many times have you seen true rut? I mean a buck in TRUE rut??


Ever year since I began practicing QDM, with the exception of this year.




Yep,.. i'm jealous...........
_________________________
QDMA member...Cannon co.
Guard your tongue in youth,.. and in age you may mature a thought that will be of service to your people!!
(Minquass)

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#515197 - 12/03/07 06:12 PM Re: Rutting Behavior [Re: ]
kholmes
4 Point


Registered: 06/05/07
Posts: 280
Loc: Nashville

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Yep this year SUCKS. A couple of rubs a couple of scrapes. I have pretty much given up on seeing a good buck. Maybe the does will keep cooperating and showing up so I can kill a few of them now that our season is about to open up.
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#515587 - 12/03/07 10:39 PM Re: Rutting Behavior [Re: BSK]
Anonymous TnDeer Old Timer
Unregistered



i may be crazy, but i still get the feeling we are on schedule around here. now seeing good bucks cruising alone again, after several days dissappearing completely or an occassional sighting with a doe(lockdown). this followed a few reported estrous chases and some cruising. the odd thing around here is less scraping than normal, but almost no rubbing until the last few days. also, the deer seemed to be showing up in completely different areas in many cases, abandoning normal hangouts, possibly food driven. pre-lockdown daytime sightings were way off as well, but i just think it was going on at night for some reason. the only thing i have no feedback on is reports of actual doe breeding. i know it's rare to see, but i haven't heard of any at all. i haven't seen it mentioned here either. another reason i think this is a lot of big deer were killed around here last week, which is normal for the end of november when the big boys turn the first round of does loose. just my gut feeling.
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#515594 - 12/03/07 10:55 PM Re: Rutting Behavior [Re: BSK]
Oak
Spike


Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 38
Loc: Lawrence Cty

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I agree BSK ...

This year, after observing several of the same does over and over, they have yet to show any appearance of coming into heat. Especially if you rely on tarsal glands. I'm just now noticing a "browning" of the tarsal glands on does around our lease in Humphreys.

I just have a gut feeling that if a doe has to carry a young one around for a few months and then feed it through the summer, that her biological sense will kick in and she may or may not come into heat.

On a side note, I wonder how many of us would have made it through 60s and 70s when it was hard to see a deer in TN (I know, I know, some of you did .. \:\) We may just have a few years ahead of us where we don't see or harvest as many.

Oh, I never thought I'd say this, but I miss the squirrels too... they are going to have a rough winter.

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#515678 - 12/04/07 07:14 AM Re: Rutting Behavior [Re: Oak]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65979
Loc: Nashville, TN

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It will be interesting to see if hunters see a more active second rut. One possibility is that the does were too stressed to reach full estrus the first time around hence come into estrus on their second cycle.

At least we can hope...
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#515750 - 12/04/07 08:06 AM Re: Rutting Behavior [Re: BSK]
Winchester
Non-Typical


Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 27865
Loc: TN

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Bad mast years such as this one, almost always have a weaker rut!
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#515812 - 12/04/07 09:09 AM Re: Rutting Behavior [Re: Winchester]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65979
Loc: Nashville, TN

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Weaker yes Winchester, but no rut at all? I've never seen anything like this year.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#516080 - 12/04/07 02:39 PM Re: Rutting Behavior [Re: BSK]
Winchester
Non-Typical


Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 27865
Loc: TN

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
Weaker yes Winchester, but no rut at all? I've never seen anything like this year.

Its definitely been different, but observations have been more of a, on one day off the next. For example, I hunted 14 out of 16 days thru the middle of November in KY and TN. I would see rutting activity, Pestering/chasing one day, then absolutely nothing for 2-3 days, then another chase. Finally on the day after thanksgiving things broke loose with a clssic rut behavior, but only for 4 days then off again. Its been different for sure, much less buck sign being made as a whole also.

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#516148 - 12/04/07 03:16 PM Re: Rutting Behavior [Re: Winchester]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65979
Loc: Nashville, TN

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Sounds right Winchester. I think the "unhealthy does producing a later than normal and strung-out trickle rut" is the best suggestion for what is happening.

We may see a trickle rut that goes on through December.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#518334 - 12/06/07 03:52 AM Re: Rutting Behavior [Re: BSK]
pety221
10 Point


Registered: 02/18/06
Posts: 4570
Loc: whitwell

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i have made a few scrapes here an there on our club if u go bk the next morning there will be tracks in it but there is no other scrapes to be found on this place . no rubs in places that are usually covered in them seems like our bucks just up an left the few does we see now an then.
we didn't have no acorns and what trees we had are being logged under the side of the mountain maybe all this put together is what is killing us in the buck sighting catagory .
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#521111 - 12/07/07 11:44 PM Re: Rutting Behavior [Re: Winchester]
BoonerBucks
8 Point


Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 1103
Loc: Blount co, Tn

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 Originally Posted By: Winchester
 Originally Posted By: BSK
Weaker yes Winchester, but no rut at all? I've never seen anything like this year.

Its definitely been different, but observations have been more of a, on one day off the next. For example, I hunted 14 out of 16 days thru the middle of November in KY and TN. I would see rutting activity, Pestering/chasing one day, then absolutely nothing for 2-3 days, then another chase. Finally on the day after thanksgiving things broke loose with a clssic rut behavior, but only for 4 days then off again. Its been different for sure, much less buck sign being made as a whole also.


What I've observed also winchester..
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#521209 - 12/08/07 07:26 AM Re: Rutting Behavior [Re: BoonerBucks]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65979
Loc: Nashville, TN

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The buck "sign-making" (rubs and scrapes) has been phenomenally low.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#521845 - 12/08/07 10:12 PM Re: Rutting Behavior [Re: BSK]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 19448
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
The buck "sign-making" (rubs and scrapes) has been phenomenally low.

But that has also been the case in areas I've hunted that seemed less effected by the drought, had a good acorn mast crop, and had much agricultural crops for the deer to eat this fall.

Where I've been hunting in Fulton County, KY (right north of Lake County, TN), there was a huge oak mast crop and lots of crop forage --- yet the deer sign and behavior was almost identical to what I've experienced this year in Stewart County (where there was mast failure). And the Fulton County deer gorged themselves all summer on soybeans, only to then have lots of acorns (even lots of soft mast) begin falling in September --- unlike the Stewart Co. deer. Of even more interest, the Stewart County deer we've killed have appeared very healthy and very fat.

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#522084 - 12/09/07 08:33 AM Re: Rutting Behavior [Re: Wes Parrish]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65979
Loc: Nashville, TN

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I would base absolutely nothing by what we see/experience this year. These year is an anomally. Strangest year I've ever seen, and the strange patterns are only partially due to acorn crops.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#534210 - 12/19/07 04:48 PM Re: Rutting Behavior [Re: BSK]
marathonhunter
Spike


Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 75
Loc: Collierville, TN

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Ten days since the last post, and wondering what anyone is seeing now?

On 12/16, I saw a big buck chasing two deer hard and fast. So fast that they were in and out of sight before I could get my gun up.

Within 10 minutes of that, a doe walked into the field, and a four point that had just crossed the field came back in and chased her down the field.

I'm definitely leaning towards the weather fluctuations as producing this on-again off-again phenomenon.
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"Your finisher's medal will forever protect the integrity of your journey,..." JS

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#534225 - 12/19/07 05:04 PM Re: Rutting Behavior [Re: marathonhunter]
AlabamaSwamper
12 Point


Registered: 06/03/04
Posts: 5127
Loc: Southern Wayne CO and NW Alaba...

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Friend has been watching a huge buck pestering does at a TVA reservation in NW Alabama the last three mornings. My club in Wayne CO, TN saw four rack bucks in 6 hunts last weekend. All out cruising and one came to the rattling horns.

Of course, the weather is changing again. I may sit all day watching two large plots tomorrow. Pressure has been extremely low there for a month and rubs are popping up all over that field edge. Big bucks have been known to cross those fields this time of year from one thicket to another. Probably depends on rain tomorrow. I have a big clearcut that has been hunted three times all year that I want to hunt if the rain holds off.
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#536791 - 12/21/07 07:14 PM Re: Rutting Behavior [Re: BSK]
Tenbears
6 Point


Registered: 12/08/03
Posts: 746
Loc: MUSIC CITY (BNA)

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 Originally Posted By: deerchaser007
What RUT?? A normal rut occurs within a short window,.. usually a week. You have pre rut and post rut. How many times have you seen true rut? I mean a buck in TRUE rut??


Now, that I reflect back for myself, I have onlywitness this twice in my short 13 years of whitetail hunting. I actually though it would be like this all the time. I had never witness nor smelled something as strong in my life.

Iwnet back and told the oldtimer that started me what i had observed . His only reply " my boy that's the RUT".


This was 1997 and 2004, every since then it has been nothing but a seek and chase and maybe the post Rut.

Neverless I'll never forget the smell that permiated the cedar thicket I hunted.
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