by Larry Weishuhn, "Mr. Whitetail"
I spent most of this past week in Saskatchewan, Canada experiencing record high temperatures looking for whitetails. Tough…. seems to be the best term to describe the endeavor. I was after one particular deer in an area where there was a very low deer density. To see how I coped with temperatures higher than those I left in southern Texas, underbrush so thick I could only see about 10 to 12 feet in most instances with the exceptions of some prairie areas, you’ll have to watch the 2010 Winchester World of Whitetail with Larry Weishuhn shows (produced by Orion Multimedia) which appear on Versus.
In my travels this past week I did have the opportunity to visit with whitetail hunters from throughout North America. Optimism is high as we start the fall and with good reason. Range conditions relative to whitetails have been exremely good throughout much of North America during the “antler growing season”. The result will be big antlers.
I’ve heard of a 230 plus non-typical taken in southern Saskatachewan with a bow. And while I was in Canada, upon my return I received an email from Oak Creek Whitetails in Missouri that one of their hunters took a new world record estate typical, taken with a handgun. The deer reportedly scored 250 SCI! I’ll be hunting on this same property for a Winchester of Whitetail World show later this fall. And you might have seen the hunt we did there last year on the current crop of shows on Versus, if so you’ll understand why I’m going back.
No doubt it’s going to be a great antler year in most parts of North America. Throughout most of North America bucks by now have pretty well shed their velvet and the early pre-rut has started.
Charlie Walter from northern Kentucky sent me photo of great whitetail he took with his bow and with it mentioned the bachelor herds in his area are starting to split up and that he is starting to see some scrapes and a lot of rubs. Obviously the early pre-rut is starting in that part of the country. I got a report this morning (September 24) from George Winslow with Bullseye Outfitting that bucks are doing much the same on properties he hunts in both central Illinois and also over in Ohio.
Over in central Kansas Stan Christiansen said he’s starting to see more and more bucks coming into the soybean fields and that the bucks while still coming into the fields sometimes in small bachelor herds seem to be demanding more and more space. He also said he’s seeing active scrapes and rubs. He has also seen some minor sparring matches.
Bang Collins who outfits and hunts the lowlands of South Carolina where the hunting season has been going on for a while says it seems to him “things” are a little ahead of their normal schedule. Bucks are free of velvet, bachelor herds have broken up or are breaking up. “We’re seeing a lot of rubs and scrapes. In the past we’ve even seen a few bucks chasing does by the last days of September and early October, but it’s only the bucks that are interested and not the does.”
Back in central Missouri, Marc Shoenfield reports he’s seeing a lot of does in the urban areas but not many bucks at this point. He expects this to change as the pre-rut gets underway. Down in Texas and northern Mexico the area has finally gotten some rain, but it came to late for antler development and to help with fawn survival rates. But in visiting with Trey Moore with the Los Cazadores Deer Contest he reports “Ranchers in the area have seen some extremely big bucks, even though as a whole antler development may be down a bit, particularly in younger bucks. Our Managed Land Permit season is about to start. Once it does we’ll have a much better idea. Bucks here have shed their velvet, and I’ve talked to several property owners who tell me their seeing bachelor herds and a few newly opened scrapes and a fair amount of rubs, as the bucks start strengthening their neck muscles.”
I had an interesting email from Bill Clark in southern Florida. He provided me with information just released by Florida wildlife biologists in regards to whitetail breeding dates. In Florida’s Zone A in the southern part of the state the breeding dates for whitetails run from July 21 thru September 15. In Zone B in central Florida the whitetail breeding dates are November 5 thru February 6. In Zone C also in central Florida the breeding dates run form September 11 thru November 23. While in Zone D, the Panhandle area the breeding dates run from January 1 thru February 22nd. Those extended dates might well make Florida the state that has the longest whitetail rut!
I have to admit the “Versus Weekly Whitetail Rut Report” has been a learning experience for me, as well as I hope it has been for you.
My personal website is finally up and running. (www.LarryWeishuhnTV.com)
If you get a chance I hope you’ll stop by for a visit.
I’m headed to the range in a few minutes to make certain my T/C Encore .460 S&W Magnum (I’ll be using it as a .454 Casull, shooting Winchester’s new 260 grain Dual Bond ammo) and my .30-06 pistols in preparation for my first Texas whitetail hunt of the year on the 4C Ranch near Pearsall. If you’ve not checked the zero on your firearms lately, may I suggest you do so now.Thanks again,