Two weeks ago I ended my blog by saying, “Buckle up your safety harness because things are about to get exciting.” Well, the rut in the North has gone viral. The accompanying photo is a prime example of what is going on in the deer woods across the whitetail’s northern range. Simply put, the chase is on and breeding is cranking up.
Right now a myriad of rutting behaviors are going on. In any given area of the North you can expect to see bucks cruising, scraping, rubbing, chasing does, breeding does or locked down with an estrus doe. There is no telling what you will encounter on your next trip to your favorite stand.
When I took this photo I actually felt sorry for the doe. I also felt fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. I was walking along a fencerow when I heard deer running in a creek bottom, about 50 yards from me. Before I knew it the doe bolted out of goldenrod cover and ran parallel to me along the field’s edge, with two mature bucks in tow. I was so focused on getting the photo that I really didn’t have time to think about what was taking place. In a matter of seconds the threesome covered the length of the 100-yard field before disappearing into a stand of timber. How far the bucks chased the doe after entering the woods is anyone’s guess. When chases like this take place it’s not uncommon for the doe or one of the bucks to get gored.
In my mind the chasing behavior that takes place when the rut goes hot-to-trot is one of the most spectacular aspects of the rut, and you never know what you might see when in the woods at any time of the day.
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