The 2018 season has been a mixed bag in terms of mature buck movement. They pop in by surprise and then promptly disappear. 

However, that does not mean we are lean on deer harvests, in fact it’s quite the opposite. So, starting now, I’m gonna catch you up on this year’s better than usual success in the deer woods. First, I’m gonna write up two of the the most recent hunts; the ones by Collin Cottrell as well as my own bowhunt during the end of the week, last week … 2 1/2 days ago.

During this year’s Spring and Summer there were fewer bucks with the antler potential that I’ve seen in recent years during daylight hours. I fed the deer the super high Protein & Mineral Pellets called Double Down and the trail camera I put there showed several impressive bucks that stayed nocturnal. So there was more going on than my personal deer photography efforts showed.

Weather wise, we had weeks without rain and it was very dry. My small food plot struggled to sustain growth in it. Something else that’s different is there are more does in the mix this year than usual. Lots of fawns too.

In September the bucks began testing each other out and sparred with the other bucks. Every buck wants to be noticed by the other bucks as well as all the does.

Also in September, the bucks antlers shed their velvet and their hard antlers were exposed. 

Much needed rains came in late October and the river 500 yards downhill flooded to a mile wide. However, now, we’re gonna jump past all that happened in October and the first part of November. A week ago both the bucks and does shifted gears into what I call “The Rut before the Rut.”

It’s the period when a few of the does feel their rutting phase boiling up inside them. And they instinctively uraninite vigorously on their hocks and on the ground, which will attract bucks. And as their mating pressure mounts they begin moving around to areas where they can check for bucks. And visa versa.

November 15 and 16 were nuts where I bowhunt deer. On the 15th I watched 2 buck/doe hook ups. And the morning of the 16th I saw 4 bucks & does join up and go off together.

In the afternoon I saw some deer movement in the trees to the east. Just after 3:00pm a doe appeared on the hillside to the south east and surveyed the area for several minutes. Then it walked in my direction and passed by me on the right side of my ground blind. It’s hocks were coal black and it had a certain tension in it’s demenuer.


5 yards to my right the doe was back. A button buck was even closer. The doe glanced behind her as she turned to her left. And BINGO, a buck bounced in.

I wanted this buck’s picture and snatched my Sony and framed him up and took one picture (The one below.)

The buck cut the doe off and she passed close and right in front of me. I had to hurry!