As this deer activity on our Stealth Cam and Inside Archery’s Rut Meter shows, the bulk of our deer breeding activity is behind us. This week we set the meter at 50 percent, most of the younger does are just starting estrus, and a few of the big mature does that did not get bread the first go around. The doe fawns won’t generally come into estrus until they reach approximately 70 lbs. and reach the physical maturity to come into estrus, depending upon location, it may occur her first year or may wait until she is 1 ½. This late rut activity is what some hunters refer to as the “second rut”, but actually it is simply the rut continuing at a less intense pace. The buck’s testosterone fire might subside but it is never fully extinguished. Does that mean a chase won’t break out, no, a chase can break out at any time, but the interval between chases is getting longer and longer.
This week’s Rut activity can best be described as a spoty, the constant tension between the sexes has calmed but the bucks reserve the right to start chasing again as soon as the sweet smell of estrus reaches their nose. The bucks are doing more staring and feeding than chasing, and the does are beginning to relax, the common denominator of both sexes is the “need to feed”, the bucks to rebuild their rut worn bodies and the does and fawns making ready for the long winter ahead.