• Dear User,

    We had issues in getting your old password work with the new version of the software, henceforth kindly Reset Your Password here

    You won't be able to login with your old password

    If you do not receive the Password reset request within a few minutes, please check your Junk / Spam E-mail folder just in case the email got delivered there instead of your inbox. If so, select Not Junk, which will allow future messages to get through.

    If you still need assistance, email [email protected]

    We appreciate your patience and understanding on this matter.

2021- the BIZARRE Year!!!!

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
My year in a nutshell is like this…..
1) summer cameras were Slow. Tons of bucks infrequent or not showing that I thought we’re out there somewhere. Some showed, some haven’t yet. Slow summer!!!!!
2) season itself - slower rut. I’ve seen ruts like this in past. Very slow. No matter where hunted, what part of state or what type of spot. Overall just a slower & difficult rut to hunt.
3) since rut- way more bucks vanished that I know didn’t get shot (or most didn’t get shot as I know all neighbors on all farms I hunt). Vanished, MIA, no explanation. Did know of 3 that died fighting. Probably more out there. Some- I have no clue where they at. I will bet some show when it’s cold & they start concentrating on food. But a lot missing!!!!!!

That’s what I’m seeing and a lot of other guys with same story. Any of this sound familiar to u all? I have some ideas on explanations but I’ll leave that out so everyone chime in as I know there’s more things than folks have thought up for reasons. Why you all think this is?
 

bkcrrtnps

Well-Known Member
Despite what anyone says…the Rut isn’t always on the same dates every year and we can see a more traditional rut from time to time but the new norm is a “trickle” rut. I think deer have changed for many reasons…ie conditioned to hunter involvement such as plots, stress, etc. Buck to doe ratio is also a major factor…way more older bucks are surviving because they are 140” deer that guys don’t want to shoot and it imbalances the age structure..I have a novel to rewrite but no time right now


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

203ntyp

Well-Known Member
Any of this sound familiar to u all?
Very familiar this year and I'm 900 miles away! I've seen similar rut seasons as well, not sure why it happens but that's the world of the whitetail.

the new norm is a “trickle” rut.
I know that happens as well but don't know what the frequency is or what triggers it. One thing for sure they have to eat and the late season should produce opportunities.
 

IowaBowHunter1983

Super Moderator
Staff member
I'm actually leaning this direction, or at least in the direction of disease. I think some bucks are laying dead in the woods, or have been knocked out of commission with some infectious crud, so they're laying low. It's possible.
No one has a clue how Covid affects deer. None. Zilch. All we DO KNOW is that a very high percentage of them have it or had it. AND we also know, (at least for me and everyone I talk to) is that this has been the slowest/strangest year they can remember. Coincidence? Perhaps. But if there is another explanation, I haven't heard it.

Speculation.... but it's plausible.
 

hesseu

Active Member
This is really interesting...again, I'm 300-400 miles south in Missouri, and myself as well as a lot of guys I know who take good / mature deer are all saying the same thing. Camera's were average to below average. Rutting was blah. Then, rifle season comes in Missouri and tons of 2.5 year old bucks get blasted. When we were at the largest processor on opening morning of rifle season dropping a deer off, 70% of deer were 2.5 year old bucks, 28% does, and I saw possibly 1 3 and 1 4 year old buck.

From my observation down here...weather has not cooperated this year for us like the past 2 years. I bet we've only had 7-8 days in the past 6-7 weeks that I would deem "good" days with the weather. Pressure has been nothing special. Yes, from my anectodical experience I get hyped with pressure is 30.2 or above :) And, the days the weather has been "good" always seem to be a Tuesday or Wednesday. So, when most people...including me, are at work. Past 2 years it was warmer days earlier in the week, and once thursday / friday hit pressure was rising and cold air moving in.

I'm trying to stay positive hoping those 3.5-5.5 yr old bucks did in fact make it through, and maybe next year we'll see more "bigger" deer just because of the lack of mature deer harvest.
 

Buckhunter92

Active Member
This is the first year I've ran cameras on multiple farms in the same section. This is pretty big ag field area so they travel alot. I had daylight pictures of target bucks than ever before and I somehow managed to always zig when I should of zagged. But I will say the 10 days of October and November were when all the activity in daylight was. Moon phase,weather, area all could be determining factors to this.

There was and article posted somewhere that said with the hunters moon so early the activity would be different than we normally see. I'd say they were about spot on with their predictions.
 

Hair&Scales

Member
My opinion if it matters lol. . .one of the most unseasonably warm years during the rut I have seen, side note we were probably due for this as the past few years we have had amazing cold fronts in Oct. I saw more big deer on their feet the second to last weekend in Oct. this year than I did the first week of November. Second reason a dark moon on Nov. 4 I believe totally messed up the deer as far as daylight movement. I was hunting areas with a lot of rutting sign rubs, scrapes, but only seeing younger deer. On drive home after hunts at night I would see numerous giants out searching for does or behind does. As far as deer disappearing on camera from summer to fall I had my fair share as well, more than normal I would say. My best guess is doe numbers are down in general and maybe they need to move areas to find more does without getting beat up by another buck to do so but that's a bad guess so I want to hear thoughts on that.
 

sep0667

Land of the Whitetail
I hunted the least I have ever hunted before this year. Shot my buck one hour into my first sit of the year on 10/30. He came in about 10-15 minutes after i softly rattled. My rattling may have not had anything to do with. But, i think it may have, he came in and made a scrape 15 yards from me. I'm thinking i had snuck in close to where he was bedded and he heard me rattle and as the sun was starting to set he decided to get up and go check it out and made a scrape to mark his turf. But who knows.

Next time i went out was a different property with my dad. I just sat in a stand near him. This property is usually really good for seeing rutting activity. Common to see chasing and can nearly always rattle something in. That hunt was 11/16. Saw 3-4 bucks. Couple of them were pushing a doe. Then I hunted urban the rest of that week and saw bucks cruising and one doe that was obviously in heat as she was being chased all over by 3 bucks, it was crazy.

So, not a ton of hunting for me, but i saw rut activity nearly everytime i went out.
 

Hawk32

Active Member
I would agree with most of what has been said as far as an off or weird year. Cameras were slow all year with not much of any real quality deer. I chalked it up to a down year for age structure in the area. Hunted harder than I have ever been able to because of my work schedule. Mostly late because of football and harvest but the week of thanksgiving I was able to hunt 9 days straight. I've never had a chance to put together more then 3 or 4 consecutive days ever. Majority of my sits this year were 0 to maybe 3 or 4 deer. Only a few sits where I felt I was really covered up in deer. Seems like the last 2 years there has been a major dead period the first 2 weeks of nov. I did pass on 3 or 4 150ish bucks that I felt were in the 4.5 yr old range so it wasn't all that bad. I guess overall I just thought it was a really slow year with a lot of watching squirrels and playing solitaire.
 

Hardwood11

It is going to be a good fall!
We had some EHD, and a few bucks were shot nearby. It seems slow, like numbers are down.

But my cameras still show quite a few deer. We saw maybe 10-20 deer a day during gun season. Last year it was more like 25-50 deer per day, depending on how cold it was.

I don’t know? Not finding many dead either ? So who knows.
 

jflournoy

New Member
New Iowa resident and this was my first year to deer hunt in Iowa, though I've been hunting various states in the Midwest for 25 years.

Definitely a weird year. Hunting southern Iowa, part permission on my neighbor's farm, and part on public land. Pictures from late Summer of some really nice bucks in multiple areas, both public and private. Spent 150+ hours in a tree in November, including about a dozen dark to dark sits, never saw anything bigger than low 140's. Passed two 4 yo bucks and several 3 yo bucks because I knew there were much bigger bucks around. Most deer I saw on any day was 12, with most days being 3 or less, and at least 3-4 sits I was skunked. The place I'm hunting with permission is 500+ acres, with most of it being tillable, not much woods, and I'm chalking up part of the slow season to learning a new place, as some of my cameras did record a couple shooter bucks during daylight in areas on the farm where I wasn't hunting at that time because I didn't think there was enough cover in the area. Mostly had my cameras there just to see what was moving through at night. The best activity I saw in one of those areas of good bucks wasn't until about November 10th. Was hoping to get some pics of a real stomper "rut wanderer" come cruising through during the night at least, but never did. From the stand, I saw some minimal rut activity the first week of November (mostly young bucks), and then some serious rut activity for a day or two at the beginning of the 3rd week of November. Story was the same on both public and private. The activity I finally saw the 3rd week of November was activity I had expected to see the 1st week of November.

My cameras showed some decent movement of good bucks in the last 10 days of October, but all at night. They also showed the most daylight activity of good bucks, by far, on November 4th, of any single day. At multiple spots. That was also the day I passed up a 4 yo buck in the low 140's, but there was activity all over the farm that day that my cameras saw, but I didn't. The 3rd and the 5th also had some daylight activity, but not as much as the 4th.

After the 4th, there was a flurry of daylight activity for a few days from the 10th - 14th. Then another little flurry from the 19th through the 22nd. After the 22nd, I did still get some daylight activity on the cameras, but only every couple days, and only in deep woods funnels from cruising bucks.

I sat some awesome funnels on both public and private and was really amazed, given the bucks I knew were in the area, that I didn't see some of them on all those dark to dark sits I did.

I took one of my daughters out for 1st shotgun on the same private place, where no one else but us was hunting during 1st shotgun. We mostly sat in a blind on the edge of a cut bean field that had been getting good daylight activity on my cameras the week before in the evening for at least some does. My daughter and I went out 5 times, 1 morning and 4 evenings, and saw 2 does on one of those evening outings. Got skunked the other 4 times. Saw them with 5 minutes of legal left and she couldn't get a shot off. Didn't hear many shots in the neighborhood in 1st shotgun, either. Very weird.

I will also say that I had a couple cameras on a place in eastern Iowa, 3 1/2 hrs. away from home, for all of November, and the camera activity showed bigger bucks moving in daylight in roughly the same periods as what my cams in southern Iowa were showing.

I'm sure hoping for some cold and snow in late season and hoping some of those bigger bucks show their faces again.
 
Last edited:

JNRBRONC

Moderator
Global warming. :eek:

Saw a fair amount of decent deer on the cameras, seems I zigged, they zagged. I made a note that November 12 was a good day for big boy daylight trailcam pics. Anybody else note that?
 

203ntyp

Well-Known Member
Covid. Not really joking.
Quite possible? I know deer have tested positive in several states and one providence in Canada. Some states had a 40% positive test out of several hundred captive and wild deer.

Might be the reason my two target buck disappeared in mid-September. No pics or sightings in almost 3 months which is unusual since there is little pressure near me. Last year they were all over in a square mile area around me with regular pics all late summer and fall through February.

My son has heard deer coughing and hacking on a couple sits while hunting, something's going on.
 

Nightvision

New Member
It was weird in middle Georgia also. Have friends that hunted in Kansas that saw the same thing. Some other buddies own a fair amount in SE Nebraska and they only saw a few mature bucks while they were bow hunting. Very peculiar year no matter where you were hunting.
 

Tmayer13

PMA Member
Yup noticed all the same stuff everyone else is saying. I am only hunting one particular deer so my feelings can be a bit one sided. Nov 12th was definitely my best "rut" day with 18 different buck sightings and bucks chasing or with does all day long(my target walked by at 30 yards, could not get a shot).
One thing I have noticed this year is just the severe lack of deer feeding during the daylight hours. I have GREAT food on one farm and most days even now they just havent seemed interested in eating. Every time I sit I keep thinking that today is the day they will all just start putting the feed bag on and it hasnt happened or I think that I need to change my food up, but in all reality I have every type of food in front of me and still nothing.

Also during the rut deer were extremely unresponsive to calling. If i was just calling at mature deer and they didnt respond I can understand that, but for 2.5 and 3.5 yr old bucks not to come blazing to antler crashing I felt was very odd.

Another note, I hunted this past weekend all day sits over good food. I saw one group of shotgun pushers about a mile or 2 away. Heard VERY little shooting in the neighborhood and saw ZERO deer running, nothing moved in(which is why i chose to sit all day in the first place). I even noticed that the amount of deer posted on the Facebook machine was WAY down compared to years past....

If a deer catches covid and loses its sense of taste does it make them not hungry? ODD year for sure
 

Hawk32

Active Member
My son has heard deer coughing and hacking on a couple sits while hunting, something's going on.

I actually had the same thing 2 or 3 different times. I think it was 3 bucks and 1 doe if I remember right. Probably not that uncommon though.
 

Bassattackr

Active Member
My son has heard deer coughing and hacking on a couple sits while hunting, something's going on.

I actually had the same thing 2 or 3 different times. I think it was 3 bucks and 1 doe if I remember right. Probably not that uncommon though.

Ha deer cough all the time, nothing new..

For us "here" (Central MO) - Super slow summer in terms of buck activity for us. All showed up in fall as usual though. We are a doe factory / fall buck importer property typically. But saw a lot less summer activity than usual. Could be due to increase of doe / fawn numbers...

Rut was odd. Myself and two neighbors that hunt close to 300 acres didn't see a single buck cruising in the entire rut between us. Bucks with does, trailing & chasing does, etc.. But no cruising.

Our numbers are increasing, especially does and fawns so our buck to doe ratios are getting more poor.. Number of bucks on camera inventory is consistent with last two years however. That is what we currently contribute the lack of rut movement / cruising to - increase in doe numbers..

Firearms came and went as usual. My target 4 year old shot by neighbor (buddy, happy for him), a nice 3 year old we were getting daylight photos shot by another neighbor a ways off during rut (bummer, he regretted afterward...). But not as many 2 year olds shot, which spells great news for future.. Had a big 10 show up in rut, trying to see if he's sticking around as I have best food in area for late season. Time will tell..
 

bkcrrtnps

Well-Known Member
Yup noticed all the same stuff everyone else is saying. I am only hunting one particular deer so my feelings can be a bit one sided. Nov 12th was definitely my best "rut" day with 18 different buck sightings and bucks chasing or with does all day long(my target walked by at 30 yards, could not get a shot).
One thing I have noticed this year is just the severe lack of deer feeding during the daylight hours. I have GREAT food on one farm and most days even now they just havent seemed interested in eating. Every time I sit I keep thinking that today is the day they will all just start putting the feed bag on and it hasnt happened or I think that I need to change my food up, but in all reality I have every type of food in front of me and still nothing.

Also during the rut deer were extremely unresponsive to calling. If i was just calling at mature deer and they didnt respond I can understand that, but for 2.5 and 3.5 yr old bucks not to come blazing to antler crashing I felt was very odd.

Another note, I hunted this past weekend all day sits over good food. I saw one group of shotgun pushers about a mile or 2 away. Heard VERY little shooting in the neighborhood and saw ZERO deer running, nothing moved in(which is why i chose to sit all day in the first place). I even noticed that the amount of deer posted on the Facebook machine was WAY down compared to years past....

If a deer catches covid and loses its sense of taste does it make them not hungry? ODD year for sure

I think deer have become de-sensitized to calling to some degree because they hear it so much now…like the boy who cried wolf


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Top Bottom