Fresh Rubs mean the Rut is coming soon! ~postoak~
One of my very favorite movies is a Clint Eastwood saga titled “The Outlaw Josey Wales”. (From 1976!) The line “pert as a ruttn buck!” is a brave lie told to Josey by his young side kick who has been mortally wounded by them “no good yankee red legs”. A term they used to describe the Kansas militia men who had a red stripe down their pants legs and were know for their hatred of the rebels, especially a Missouri rebel like Josey and the young man who died moments after making this memorable movie line.
I often think of that sentence when I am getting ready for a trip to the deer woods. It is one that enlivens and gives me a little added excitement when I consider how special it is to watch a rutting buck as he chases a doe around trying his best to persuade her he is the “man for the job”. He has an actual expression of pleasure on his face and his actions are foolish, with often total disregard for safety or common “deer sense”.
The doe, depending on her mood and stage of pre-rut or rut she is in, can exhibit anything from no reaction to the buck, to being kicking, pawing fighting mad or on the other end of the scale, acting coy, shy, or downright ready for action! Just being out in the woods to witness the wonders of the deer rutting season and how it changes, ebbs and flows across the state from north to south and even somewhat east to west, makes for exciting times in the Great Alabama Outdoors!
I hunt deer mainly on family lands in West Alabama across a couple of counties. The rut starts routinely in the north end of our hunting area during Christmas week and peaks the week of the new year with some activity through out January. Where I hunt on the south end of property in Greene county, the rut kicks in the last week of December and runs strong in January but, there is a shut down week where the deer seem to disappear before the activity resumes. Moon phase and temps also affect the rut activity since deer are more active in colder weather days with dark nights and less activity is noted on the full moon cycles, especially if it coincides with warmer weather.
A buddy I hunt with in Macon county tells me the best rut there is the last week of January and he has scouted deer in February and March who are still rutting wide open! Yet, there are areas in Barbour and Henry where the rut happens like north Alabama in December and January. There are a number of hunting services that offer rut maps in Alabama, so google one for your area and see how accurate it is compared to your hunting observations!
Rut season is time to get in the woods season and enjoy the excitement of seeing that “pert buck” on the prowl for a doe!
My grandaughter and me with a nice buck from last deer season. Youth weekend starts Saturday! Take a kid hunting! ~postoak~
In just a few days the gun deer season kicks off for the youth in our great state! The ALDCNR has designated this coming weekend as Youth deer hunting weekend across the state on all privately held properties and in accordance with the normal rules of the season. Here is more on the official notice http://www.outdooralabama.com/hunting/youth-hunts/AllYouthHunts.cfm
This is an excellent opportunity to take a kid hunting and focus on the instructional aspects of deer hunting for the upcoming generation of hunters. I urge you to please take your child or youth out hunting so they can learn to appreciate the outdoors and share in your hunting adventures! I will be taking my granddaughter to shoot a doe over in west Alabama and she has already became a a great success as a hunter, taking a nice buck (7 pointer and 8 pointer) each of the last two seasons, both at over 200 yards! I believe I now have a hunting buddy for life and am so proud of her!
The youth weekend can provide a great time for comradery with other club members who also will be taking advantage of the event and you just might get to do some good scouting for the opening of the gun season for deer next weekend!
Another “youth- only” series of hunts is available at the Fred Stimpson WMA in Clarke County and could make a great weekend hunting trip for you and your child to enjoy hunting in the hardwood swamps near the Tombigbee River. Information for applying is located here- http://www.outdooralabama.com/hunting/youth-hunts/youthdeer/ The Stimpson WMA is one of the premier WMA units in Alabama and you can create a great deer hunting memory at this special place.
Are you ready to hunt? Or if you are like me you have procrastinated to the last minute to make sure your camo is properly washed in a good scent wash detergent and properly stored in a scent prove bag to keep it fresh for that opening day. Is all your gear checked for safety and being in good working condition? are your optics cleaned and ready to use? Is your rifle sighted in? Can you actually “hit” with it through the use of practice rounds? I see folks who have a good quality rifle and scope and they just “check the sights” with a 3 shot group. This is great but, if you do not practice some on making several standing free hand shots, practing sitting and from an elevated stand like you hunt in then you are doing yourself an injustice! Buy a box of quality ammo, the same kind you plan to shoot at the actual deer and shoot a box of them in various positions and at different angles and aiming speeds to become well aquainted with your gun!
I have been guilty of not doing that and it has caused me to miss some deer or not attempt shots on some deer that I never got a second chance on! Several years ago I hunted with a friend who was a member of a very exclusive, another word for expensive, club over in Dallas County. Just before dark a great buck came out on the green field and was chasing a doe. I was hesitant due to a lack of practice and when I finally decided to take the shot, I was not able to connect on him. He was taken from that same field later that year and he scored over 160! When I saw the photo, I knew in an instant it was the buck I had seen but I could not find in the scope. That is a sad memory!
Be sure to practice, practice, prepare and plan to succeed. Like most things in life, it will make a difference in your level of success in most things, not just deer hunting!!
Until next week…