This Morning Was A Big One In My Deer Woods. Pivotal! A game Changer! Starting Today The Deer Are Going In A Different Direction.

Robert Hoague

Robert Hoague

Friday morning, October 21, it’s 44 degrees, a welcome change from the 80’s of late. In the moonlight I watch as a lone doe walks into my small food plot and hangs out there, regularly looking all around. I wait to know if another doe joins her. None does. I’m liking that.

Daylight shows up and suddenly a buck is standing in the trees along the gulch 80 yards away. After he watches the lone doe a few seconds he heads straight to her. She ignores him as he comes within a yard of her and then he turns east and stops at the closest scrape and grabs some low hanging limbs in his mouth and roughly yanks them around. He spends 5 seconds peeing in and pawing at the scrape, and moves on.

Minutes later a second doe approaches the doe and pops up on her hind legs and pummels her head and neck. A big mistake. She gets pummelled back double and given a solid whipping and she hurries to the far edge of the food plot. They both wait but finally leave.

Ten minutes later another solo doe stops and waits. Suddenly she takes off in a big hurry. Instantly, I look the opposite way and see a buck coming in fast, a young 8-pointer. On the move, his nose dips toward the ground when he gets where the doe had been; but he doesn’t slow down, he stays on her trail and both of them disappear through the trees to the north.

I am all smiles.

This morning, on October 21, I was lucky enough to witness a  pivotal change in the focus of the local deer. Normal deer life is over, for both bucks and does. Rut-life just took the first leap out of the stops.

Wait! Let’s briefly back up to September when bucks lost their velvet. At that point they want all the bucks to know who they are and be impressed. So they find where other bucks are and hang out there. Many join a buddy group. September is all about being conspicuous to other bucks … and of course to the does. In October the bucks have hard antlers and their testicales have dropped. The buddy groups break up and their focus is more on does. In fact, from the second a buck’s velvet loosens and peels off he is prepared to breed — and he’s aching for an opportunity.

So the bucks are left waiting, and anxious, this is not a thinking thing it is strictly instinctive.

On the other hand, the does are still in their doe families and doing normal doe stuff. Bucks make them nervous now because they sense their anxoiousness. They might snort at a buck, or run away, or kick at one if he gets close enough.

It’s sort of an ‘in-limbo’ stage.

It's October and the buck I call 'War Paint' approaches a doe, he's all about macho attitude.

That is, until a does’ first faint rutting urges instinctively makes her change her actions. The doe separates from its doe family. These does intuitively urinate on their hocks and build up their scent presence.


It’s October and a mature doe stands alone at the edge of a field. Her hocks are turning blackish and she is instinctively making a scent story for the bucks.

Bucks pick up on that scent presence and investigate, and depending on each does reaction he may chase after her … or not.

So that is where we are right now on October 2st. Two does, and I guarantee there are more, sense the change their bodies are making and they are on the wire, because they are now attracting bucks! Their biological clock is ticking and it only goes one direction, to their rut, there is no turning back.

Pivot on …

To All The 2016 Scouting and Bowhunts For Deer.