This week across most of whitetail country was relatively quiet; the calm before the storm, so to speak. Ninety percent of the field reports we received confirmed this. Deer sightings were down as the need to feed (at least among bucks) subsided. Does and fawns were still on the feed but were shifting food sources, and hunting pressure has taken its toll on sightings. More than one of our reporters referenced the infamous "October lull" while wondering where all the deer are.
On Stand Observations
That said, most of our whitetail watchers noticed an uptick in buck activity and a definite change in buck behaviors, especially toward the end of the week. Younger bucks are moving about and starting all the usual pre–rut activities. They are making scrapes, lip curling, licking branches, and anything else their testosterone overload tells them to do. They are also doing a lot of posturing and pushing each other around (especially young bucks).