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Huskie

Rut activity in the Northwoods?

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Anyone been seeing the signs of rutting activity in the Northwoods as of late? I know there are many theories on the timing, but was wondering with the later opener and unusually warmer fall, how things will play out Can't wait for the season to start.

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Up here in NW MN there are a lot of scrapes showing up...the bucks we're seeing have swollen necks and I've seen 5 chasing does...I saw two bucks chasing a doe this morning...they crossed the highway in front of me and headed out across some CRP...I like to use the moon phase as an indicator...we'll have the "rutting moon" on Friday...prime chase period is on now through about the 12th and the peak "breeding" window will run from the 13th through the the 20th or so....Fun Stuff...Can't wait!

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Full moon is 11/6 according to the calendar.

They're moving, drilled a buck with my truck last night, or more accurately he drilled me. Did the whole sideswipe thing down the driver's side.

Fortunately this buck was 4-5 months old & weighed about 65 lbs dressed out. I was driving my old truck. The only dents he hit were already there... My buddy went & got a possession tag from the Sheriff's Dept & we hung him in his garage.

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Some experts go with the moon phase to trigger the rut or breeding to begin, others believe that northern deer have a short window when fawns need to be born to ensure survival at birth and their first winter which means photo period drives northern rutting activity more than moon phase. I have always believed in photo period or length of day to the rut. What does everyone else believe?

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In my experience the northwoods rut is strait up photoperiod, the fawn window plays a significant roll in survival and those genes get passed along. There is more leeway in central MN and even more in southern MN so things are a little more spread out. Up north history has taught me that the older bucks don't really start moving until a week into Nov so anytime around 7th or 8th to the 15th or 16th are the best days to be in the woods, after that they are locked down and it can be hit or miss with very little movement. Within that week the 10th to 12th have been very good to us in past years.

That and aliens, they can totally drive the rut.

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In my experience the northwoods rut is strait up photoperiod, the fawn window plays a significant roll in survival and those genes get passed along. There is more leeway in central MN and even more in southern MN so things are a little more spread out. Up north history has taught me that the older bucks don't really start moving until a week into Nov so anytime around 7th or 8th to the 15th or 16th are the best days to be in the woods, after that they are locked down and it can be hit or miss with very little movement. Within that week the 10th to 12th have been very good to us in past years.

That and aliens, they can totally drive the rut.

X2

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The only thing I am sure of that causes the rut is does coming into estrus. Last year, I would have thought that the deer would have been rutting hard the 1st two weeks of November, when in reality, it didn't start picking until the 3rd week in November in my area. I saw more big bucks on their feet the week after gun season than ever before. That was totally different than years past. This year the rut seems more normal. There is a lot more activity right now than I saw all last fall during the 1st three weeks of November.

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It should be noting that our gun season can shut down the rut in a big big way, once the guns shut down and most of the does are bread there does appear to be a flurry of late Nov movement when the bucks are searching for anything that hasn't been bread yet.

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Moon phase and timing of the full moon can effect photoperiodism though no? Full moon is additional light is it not? But the DNR still swears by the bulk of the fawns being bred November 10-15. I say it varies a little either way but not by weeks

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I agree that the photoperiod is the most significant factor that drives reproduction...it is the amount of light that triggers birds to reproduce as it also triggers does to come into heat for the first time...IMO the best times to get a crack at a big buck is during the "chase" period of the rut, when bucks begin their search for does in heat...this usually goes on for about a week or so before they actually find any receptive does...and then when the majority of does do come into heat, the bucks don't usually have to travel too far to find them and most of the "breeding"/rut activity begins to take place at night...especially if the deer feel pressured by hunting activity...the next best time is when the rut is done, the bucks are wore down and they're hitting the food sources to try and build up for winter...

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Every area can be different. I've been in the woods a lot lately, and have been monitoring trail cams in a number of areas, and my impression is that we are right where we are every year at this time... That is, people are so excited for "the rut" to get here, that they will hang on every word of every report about buck sightings. The bottom line is that in any given section of land, there could be rutting activity at any moment this time of year (and "rutting activity" is a whole animal in itself, and really is a several month long process). Give it another 7-10 days, and we'll be in the thick of things.

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Moon phase and timing of the full moon can effect photoperiodism though no? Full moon is additional light is it not? But the DNR still swears by the bulk of the fawns being bred November 10-15. I say it varies a little either way but not by weeks

It's very possible but this was a northwoods post, up there the dates are pretty locked in. In central MN I have seen more does come into heat early, I'm sure there are even more in the bottom 1/3rd of the state. Like mentioned it can be very area specific, a lot of what we see can depend on our area doe population and the timing of rifle season.

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That is, people are so excited for "the rut" to get here, that they will hang on every word of every report about buck sightings. The bottom line is that in any given section of land, there could be rutting activity at any moment this time of year (and "rutting activity" is a whole animal in itself, and really is a several month long process). Give it another 7-10 days, and we'll be in the thick of things.

Good point!!!!

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This pic is a buck scrape but he dug holes and completely smashed this shrub to almost nothing. At first glance I thought it looked like the start of a prairie dog community (no dogs in the area). Anyone see a scrape like this before? what is he doing with the hole digging? full-1309-50651-019.jpg

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Up here it always seems peak activity is around the 10th give or take a couple days. I definitely believe in photoperiod, based on the timing being so close every season. Moon has'nt been much of a factor so far. Cloudy every night and dark going to and leaving my stand. Rubs and scrapes are showing up much more the last few days up here, but deer numbers are down. Really gonna have to work for it up north this season.

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I was out Monday looking for a decent tree to use my climber on and the Bucks were dogging does pretty hard. I had one buck come within 20 yards in open land and he didn't even notice me. That was one of 3 I witnessed in about a 30 minute time period (between about 9:30 and 10am). This was not Northwoods, but about 40 minutes east of Minneapolis, the rut is on now.

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I bow hunt the Duluth area. Last weekend a doe was pushed out of our food plot by a buck. He was all over her, grunting and chasing. Last night I hunted a different area. No sighting of deer, but a lonely boy working a field near my area. Grunted 25 to 30 times then laid down in the field for a rest. Definetly less deer in the woods, but the bucks are certainly cranking it up.

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