On Aug. 12 I got a preview of what is to come this fall. I was photographing several deer in a food plot when two velvet-antlered mature bucks decided to get a jump on this fall’s rut. One of the bucks bristled its fur, pulled his ears back, and walked toward the other buck that was bedded at the edge of the plot. The bedded buck watched intently as the aggressor exhibited what is known as a threat walk, which can be clearly seen in the accompanying photo.
What occurred next was very interesting. The bedded buck jumped up and bounded into a patch of tall goldenrod, with the aggressive buck on its heels. Though I lost sight of them in the tall vegetation I was able to hear a loud snort-wheeze, followed by the sound of the bucks coming together. I could not see them in head to head combat – but I could see the 5-foot-high goldenrod being flattened as they pushed each other back and forth. The encounter was over in less than 30 seconds when one of the bucks bolted for the safety of a nearby creek bottom.
Is this behavior common? It all depends on how many mature bucks you have in your population. If they’re present this kind of action can occur. By mid-August northern buck’s antlers are in the process of hardening, and are strong enough to withstand minor skirmishes like the one that I witnessed.
Find out when those monster bucks will get aggressive this season in your deer hunting area!
Get daily lunar activity and rut predictions from the experts in this Deer & Deer Hunting Wall Calendar! Wayne Laroche & Charles Alsheimer’s time-tested forecasts on deer activity and rut behavior are invaluable tools for maximizing your time in the woods during peak periods.
Through breathtaking photos, the 2013 Whitetail Lunar Calendar presents an awe-inspiring year in whitetail country. In addition to beautiful glimpses into the whitetail’s annual journey – from the lean, cold days of winter to the plentiful days of summer and the adrenaline-pumping rut – this calendar includes deer activity information to help you plan your hunts. Features:
- Seeking, chasing and tending phases for North & South
- Major & Minor deer activity dates
- Moon-phase data for every day of 2013