The impact of extreme cold and heavy snow on the rut?

Greta&Gus

5 year old buck +
Many of us across the northern states are dealing with a foot of snow and the first polar vortex of the season right during the peak of the rut. As we move to the back end of the rut over the next week, do you believe this weather will impact or change buck movements at all?

Has this created an early movement to late season food sources? Does this change your hunting tactics at all? Does is change the rut timing?

Normally I see deer as being a lot more skittish with snow on the ground, especially after rifle season has started. But I have also found that bucks will move later in the morning and earlier in the evening when it is cold. Does anyone else have similar experiences? If you can hold out in the cold your chances might improve (hopefully).
 

Greta&Gus

5 year old buck +
Based on what I have seen I was starting to think the rut is almost over. Do you believe it hasn't fully begun yet?
 
B

BJE80

Guest
I was just thinking about this topic and how it will affect my gun season. Deer don't spend time on our land once the real winter hits as we are far away from Ag. Will the 10" of snow push them there and out of our area where we will see nothing? I think it is plausible. They might get pushed away from Ag with the hunting pressure however. This will be a learning experience for sure.
 

huthut

5 year old buck +
I believe the rut was coming to and end. Likely the deep freeze will put an end to it. Tonight it was like late season bowhunting --- COLD, WINDY and the deer moved to food quickly. Was seeing lots of rutting activity a week ago and it has progressively worsened.
 
N

non-pro-archer

Guest
I've seen zero "rut activity" here. Does and fawns still hanging together, no does being dogged by bucks. Bucks coming through by themselves, not on trails that does have used within the 5-6 hours I've observed...etc. Not exactly sure what that means, but its been weird.
That's kinda what I have been seeing too, does with fawns and bucks on their own. Usually I have seen bucks chasing does by now but the girls have been by themselves so far. Any day now it should happen, maybe I'm just in the wrong spots
 

wiscwhip

5 year old buck +
22 degrees and 3" of snow on the ground? Maybe not the conditions you guys are referring to, but on my way in to work this morning I saw a giant 10pt(looked as big as anything I have ever shot) dogging a doe across the little city park across from my driveway. Nose right up her butt, and she wasn't stopping for nothing. Had to cross a backyard, a street, and another yard before reaching the safety of the wooded bluffside.
 

Greta&Gus

5 year old buck +
22 degrees and 3" of snow on the ground? Maybe not the conditions you guys are referring to, but on my way in to work this morning I saw a giant 10pt(looked as big as anything I have ever shot) dogging a doe across the little city park across from my driveway. Nose right up her butt, and she wasn't stopping for nothing. Had to cross a backyard, a street, and another yard before reaching the safety of the wooded bluffside.
Funny you say that, because I also had a buck chasing a doe across the road on my way to work this morning. I stopped and tried to get a picture on my phone. He was a nice 8 pointer. Maybe they are not quite done yet.
 

shawnv

5 year old buck +
I think most of the does are now bred but the bucks are back to looking for the last available ones. Breeding should be all over by gun season and with the amount of standing corn, a lot of bucks that would otherwise be shot will survive. If we can avoid and overly harsh winter, 2015 might be awesome.
 

bwoods11

5 year old buck +
I've seen zero "rut activity" here. Does and fawns still hanging together, no does being dogged by bucks. Bucks coming through by themselves, not on trails that does have used within the 5-6 hours I've observed...etc. Not exactly sure what that means, but its been weird.

Without sounding like Debbie Downer or a broken record. Minnesota is not geared to have a rut. I could go into detail for an hour on this. Believe me I know (does) do get bred. I actually saw a buck breed a doe this year. They just don't rut and chase as much here as they do in other states/regions because of the season/buck to doe ratios/pressure...etc.
 

Reagan

5 year old buck +
I know I live in Ohio and not in the great white north but people here have the same conversations you guys are having about the rut.

Has the rut peaked? Maybe. Have a lot of does been bred? I think so.

But in the last few years I have began to believe that the rut has starts and stops. Peaks and valleys. I think some does are bred in late October all the way through early December. Two years ago I watched a very mature buck tend a doe just after Thanksgiving. Last year I jumped that very same buck out of his bed on November 10th. He is an old deer that I have some history with. I think he has days where he is on a breeding mission and other days he lays low through the day. Even if the peak is passed, I will be in a stand tomorrow night and all weekend with the hope that I'm in the right place at the right time with the right hot doe leading him by me.

In my opinion the event that brings our rut to a screeching stop is gun season. It always opens the Monday after thanksgiving and hunting immediately changes when the orange army attacks. Yes I will see an occasional buck with a doe during gun season but it is rare. I've never hunted MN but tend to think that bwoods has a very good point. I don't see how you can have much rut activity with a gun season going on. Any active buck is likely to be killed because he is active.
 
B

bat man

Guest
I get good daylights of the high end bucks again November 25 - 27 isn
 

Greta&Gus

5 year old buck +
We always get late season pics of bucks but they seem to be more associated with food. I have found it harder to hunt bucks relating to food than the rut because they will move completely at night after gun opener. Some of the best bucks we have ever gotten pics of were in December but I have never gotten a buck after rifle season.

In regards to Reagan comments, I hope there is an upswing of rutting activity this weekend.
 

Ben.MN/WI

5 year old buck +
The 2.5 yr old I passed tonight was already on a "food pattern". He had zero interest in the does that were feeding in the beans, but he was sure interested in eating beans

That had to be tough passing up a nice 2.5 year old buck, I have a tough time passing up a buck that's at the upper end of what I think is out there. It could pay off if he makes it another year, but I haven't had much luck with that.

The bucks are still chasing does in SE MN and there was more daytime buck movement during the gun season than the week leading up to it. I've only been on our new 40 acre place for 2 seasons now, but I've had good luck with leaving a strip of soybeans standing, which really draws in the does. My dad shot a decent 8 pointer on my land Wednesday night that came in to check on the doe group that was feeding on a strip of soybeans I left standing. On other properties I've hunted it seems like the rut shut down on gun opener, but I think that was because deer drives are common there and it causes the deer to move more nocturnally than what I'm seeing now.
 

Ben.MN/WI

5 year old buck +
Yup...it was. I passed a different 2.5 with better mass (but shorter tines) on Saturday evening. I had this one tonight in the crosshairs a few times...but just couldn't pull the trigger. Next year...that may change. What kept me from passing them both is 3.5 year old ten point that I have on cam a number of times. He's far from "impressive"....but he's the best I've got on cam this year. If he gives me a shot the next 3 days, I'll take it. Otherwise...its tag soup again this year.

It will be interesting to see if the bucks that make it through the year on your place show back up the next year. Last winter I had about 10 different antlered bucks show up on and off during the winter and I can't definitively say if any of them showed back up this year. I'd guess 2/3 were 1.5 year olds that are always difficult to ID the next year, but I thought the 2.5's and the 3.5 buck would be relatively easy to ID. It probably depends on the area though, I know people who see the same buck year after year, but I've just never had much luck myself.

Have you had any daylight pictures of the 3.5 year old you're after?
 

Terrific_tom

5 year old buck +
Lots of rutting activity today in North Central Wisconsin. Bucks in food plot going from deer to deer checking them out. Bucks chasing does and bucks coming in to decoys.
 

ELH

A good 3 year old buck
Have about 3 inches of snow on the ground here in central Buffalo County with good buck activity this week. The cold weather has pushed the does to the food plots big time. Canola seems to be the best draw right now. Not seeing as many bucks per sit as a week ago, but sightings of mature bucks is definitely higher. Although the increase in sightings might be the fact that there are about 15 less hunters per sq. mile than a week ago.
 

Greta&Gus

5 year old buck +
It will be interesting to see if the bucks that make it through the year on your place show back up the next year. Last winter I had about 10 different antlered bucks show up on and off during the winter and I can't definitively say if any of them showed back up this year. I'd guess 2/3 were 1.5 year olds that are always difficult to ID the next year, but I thought the 2.5's and the 3.5 buck would be relatively easy to ID. It probably depends on the area though, I know people who see the same buck year after year, but I've just never had much luck myself.

Have you had any daylight pictures of the 3.5 year old you're after?
I have only seen a few bucks show up year after year on my cams, but we always get different 'older' bucks that come in. I have also found that the bucks that come back year after year are harder to kill so bringing in new bucks isn't the worst thing in the world. I think bucks travel a lot farther than people realize and will rotate their home ranges a lot more than people realize.
 
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