Late-Season Bowhunters Will Find that Rut Isn't Over
Blog Post by Jeff Holmes. Uploaded on December 06, 2012
Overall activity status: Most rifle opportunities out West have closed or are drawing to a close for the season, and in the case of Wyoming, deer hunting just drew to a close altogether, just as the rut peaked.
Mike Reinhart of Wind River Whitetails near Riverton, Wyoming, has been a key source for Western rut info this year, and he reports that bucks were still going at it in Wyoming as deer seasons drew to a close on December 1. They ended a highly successful 2012 season on November 30 with this crooked-antlered buck, culled from Rinehart's growing whitetail herd by Justin Sheehan of Riverton.
Like other western sources, Reinhart has noticed later-than-usual rutting this year, due in part in Wyoming, he says, to a late-season heat wave that pushed temperatures toward 70 degrees. Deer activity, especially rutting, has been heavily subject to weather this fall. Dominantly warm weather delayed, and is prolonging, the rut across much of the West. It hasn’t been that warm in eastern Washington and northern Idaho, but it has been unseasonably pleasant most of the fall, one reason the rut is still going strong, especially in the Northwest.
Troy Pottenger, a St. Maries, Idaho native who now lives in Kootenai County, is a highly successful public lands whitetail hunter in the Inland Northwest. Pottenger earned his way onto the Nextbuk Outdoors Pro Staff by consistently killing big whitetails in heavily forested public land settings.
He’s been hitting it hard here toward the end of the season, passing on many bucks, being “awfully picky,” as he puts it. Pottenger patterns big bucks all year and hunts the convergence zones between big buck bedding areas and travel zones to food and does. He offers this excellent report from high in the trees of North Idaho and Eastern Washington.
More at Field & Stream . . .