I can’t tell you the number of bucks I’ve seen chasing does at first and last light and without a doubt the majority have been in the 1 ½- to 2 ½-year range. But the mature bucks I have seen this time of year were active between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It was a couple years ago my youngest son, Anthony, was determined to stay in the woods all day. He was rewarded with a giant 11-pointer dressing out at 220 pounds. He tipped that buck over at 1:15 in the afternoon.
During the month of November and during the rut we call it “Mid Day Magic.” But really there is nothing magical about it. The bottom line is we create our own magic this special time of year and that happens by staying in the woods all day. We take advantage of this through endurance and persistence.
Let’s face it, we’ve heard it for years, but how many of us actually adhere to it? I include myself. Hunger, boredom, work schedules, school and other facts of life keep many of us from staying in our stands more than a couple hours in the morning or evening.
It becomes a little easier starting this weekend with the beginning of the regular deer hunting firearms season. It’s the time vacations are planned around, not mentioning several holidays thrown in. We can also mix it up a bit by combining stand hunting with still hunting.
As I mentioned earlier, smaller bucks chase does like crazy at dawn and dusk. They seem awkward and unaware of what the big show is all about. They run does in and out of the timber like an adolescent teenager jacked up on energy drinks. But the big bucks have played the game before. They know the routine, so they wait for the does to bed and then make the rounds to scent check the bedding areas.