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Posts Tagged ‘Bucks’


Fawn birth (Late spring/early summer)
Most fawns are born by the last week in May — into the first week or two of June. There are always early-birds and late bloomers. The key here is the abundance of forage for does to consume and produce milk and ultimately — a healthy fawn.

Fawn nursing (Summer)
Fawns begin nursing immediately and continue to nurse throughout the warmer months. Most fawns are completely weened by September. Every now and then you may notice a fawn during the fall trying to nurse, but adult does normally aren’t very receptive and the fawns are able to digest forage by September.

Antler growth (Begins in early summer)
You can start seeing the beginnings of the racks by mid June. By the end of July it’s much easier to see what the buck will likely be (main frame 8-pointer, 10-pointer, etc.) by late August the rack is basically fully grown.

Shedding Velvet (Early fall)
Most velvet sheds in early September. In all the years I’ve hunted, photographed and filmed whitetails, it seems the antler shedding may begin as early as the last week of August, but the bulk occurs the first week of September. By mid September (normally opening day of bow season) the majority of bucks have shed their velvet. Every now and then you may see a buck with velvet but consider it fairly uncommon.

Losing spots/coat change
(Early Fall)
Most fawns shed their spots the first couple weeks into September. Adult deer are also transitioning from their orange-colored summer coats into their thicker, darker fall coats. The transition can occur anywhere from late August into early September. However by mid September most coat changes are complete.

Bachelor group dispersal
(Late summer/very early fall)
Deer begin to get more independent in August. Most buck groups disband by the last week of August to first week of September.

Deer Rubs (Fall)
Aside from velvet shedding rubs, the first rut-related rubs of the season begin to pop up around the 15th of October and increase into the end of the month. Rubs are continually made, visited and refreshed throughout November, with varying degree of activity due to rut phases and conditions.

Deer Scrapes (Fall)
Typically linked in occurrence to rubs, these markers begin to pop up the last couple weeks in October and can increase in frequency into November. In the areas that I hunt in Northern Minnesota, I almost always find the season’s first rubs before I find scrapes.

Main Deer Rut Phases (Late fall)
These can vary every year depending on different factors such as deer density, buck to doe ratio, weather, moon phase timing and hunting pressure but overall the days and occurrences are normally very close from season to season.

Seeking Phase
(Late October – early November)
Chasing Phase
(Early November – mid November)

Breeding Phase
(Mid November – late November)
can even last into December, sometimes with a large deer heard and abundance of food, a second, less aggressive rut takes place. Often young does are bred during this time.

It’s also important to note here that when an adult doe reaches estrous, it lasts for around 36 hours while the entire breeding phase of the rut can last for many days given the fact that more than one doe enters estrous.

Key back in on food sources
(Late November/into winter)
Can depend on region and weather. Normally deer focus heavily on food sources after the rut into winter and really hit the food hard after the first major drop in temperatures and/or first major snowfall. In northern Minnesota most deer begin to consistently focusing on food sources by the first two weeks of December. This behavior continues throughout winter, as food becomes the main drive. When it comes to late season hunting the way to a buck is through his stomach!

Shed antlers (January/February)
Can depend on climate and availability of food. Sometimes bucks lose their antlers as early as late December and I’ve even watched deer keep their headgear into late March. This is not common however and the majority of antlers are shed mid to late January into February.

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To say this season has been odd — would be an understatement! The early season’s weather made hunting conditions, in many areas, less than ideal. This left a lot of folks banking on the rut, which ultimately fell pretty flat for many hopeful hunters. The 2010 deer season has been a head-scratcher. Even so, we have been fortunate this year.

We’ve had steady deer activity despite very unusual patterns all season.

At Chasin’ Tails, we are fortunate to have harvest a number of deer. Both Justin and our dad scored impressive bucks and only until recently…I was rewarded a nice doe. Each season has its ups and downs. All we can do is put in our time to win. Lose or draw, it’s important to enjoy the pursuit. (more…)

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From Chasin’ Tail to First Blood, Jacob McIntosh gets on the trail of a wounded doe.

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Chasin’ Tail team competes with thick ice and snow for big bucks.

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“Things do turn around!”

The phone rings…It’s Matt Kohout of Minneapolis, “Say, I was watching a doe when off to my right, I see this buck 20 yards away! It spooked and ran away. I hope he comes back!”

Congratulation Matt for being in the right place — at the right time!

FML Outdoors picture of the Day

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If you’re a deer hunter, you know there is no better time of the year to be in the woods than during the rut! It’s that magical time of the year that fills deer hunters’ dreams, that vacation time is scheduled around and when family and good friends join together in shacks, cabins and family farms to share in the camaraderie, tradition and excitement that is deer hunting! There are a number of factors that determine the rut and can influence its three main phases. Year after year however, one aspect remains the same — it is the most action packed, explosive time to be in the woods! Not to mention the days encompassing the rut can be a hunter’s best chance at connecting with a big, weary but wise whitetail! (more…)

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I’ve been chasing this particular buck for a number of years now, and I’ve never quite been able to close the deal with him. Had a number of close calls. (notice my stand about 20 yards behind the deer!) This pic was taken when the buck was 3-1/2. He’ll be 5-1/2 years old this year, so I’m sure he’ll be as big and cagey as ever! We have a number of bucks around that definitely carry the same genes….trail cams are so much fun!


Camera Crazy

If you’re a deer hunter, you’d have to be living under a rock not to have noticed the trail camera craze of recent years! Because of their unparalleled scouting benefits trail cams have made any self-respecting whitetail addict’s gear bag incomplete without them.

Scouting cameras have evolved from simple trail counters to 35mm cameras, and into today’s efficient and advanced digital trail cameras with a multitude of features.

The simple fact is that trail cameras have truly revolutionized the way we hunt and scout. Because of them, we can keep a keen eye on the prize 24-hours a day, 365 days a year!  If you haven’t yet taken advantage of both the fun and the benefits of trail cameras, you’re missing out!

Where do I begin?

There is no question that because of increased popularity, an ever-increasing amount of companies within the hunting industry are throwing their hats in the ring.  There are so many manufacturers and different features it’s easy to experience camera confusion and making a choice can be overwhelming.  There is a wide range of varying features and as you can expect, prices.

As I outline a handful of popular models, my advice is to consider what’s important to you and keep in mind the aspects of different features in relation to your specific application. (more…)

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