A November to Never Remember

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in | Posted on Monday, December 06, 2010

I never thought we would say that we are glad November is over and December is here, but we sure are this year. During the past five weeks, we have experienced some of the worst "rut" hunting and movement that we have ever seen. There are many theories out there, but Bo and I have noticed three primary "irregularities" this year.

The first was the extremely early crop harvest and massive acorn crop. The corn harvest started in early to mid September and was for the most part complete by the end of October. The soybean harvest fell right in line with the corn as well. The acorn crop was one of the best in recent memory. However even with the mast crop slowing down and the fresh harvested fields, we still did not see much chasing in the open fields and one would believe that open fields only allow you to see more activity and movement. Most of the fields that we were hunting were not tilled under either and had relatively significant spillage. But with the large expanses of available grain spillage and the remaining mast crop, did this spread the herd out a little more and cause the does to be a little less congregated?

The second variable this year was the rutting moon occured in late November. Two full moons occurred during the prime time this year......one around the 25th of October and another around the 22nd of November. Many people are saying that this years rut was simply a drawn out, extended version. We had does coming into estrus from the first couple days of November through this past week. We noticed very little crusing and very little mid day activity. We did have one good morning where we had a hot doe being pursued by two shooters (which never came into range unfortunately). But it seemed that if you had a hot doe in the area, you'd see mature bucks, but if you did not have a hot doe in the area, you would see very little movement.

The last oddity that we've noticed this year is the large number of fawns still still tagging along with their moms. We are getting dozens of pictures of does with single fawns and twins right by her side. Many of these fawns are still extremely undersized for this time of year. Last year we had a very strong second rut, did that produce more fawns to be born later in the spring, hence causing there to be less does coming into estrus during early to mid November?

Many questions have come up during the last five weeks of hunting, but cold weather is finally here. As we've come to the last month of the 2010 season, we have many unfilled buck tags that need to be attached to some bone. We will be targetting food plots and cut corn and bean fields as the temps continue to drop.

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