Nine Bar Ranch Blog

Deer Behavior in Fall: Overcoming the October Hunting Lull

Deer behavior in fall

Deer behavior in fall is fascinating, and understanding it is key to hunting success throughout the month of November.

November 1 – 7

In this first week of November, bucks ramp up the rubbing and scraping of their antlers as they begin to search for does. Does are not yet receptive this week, making the bucks even more restless.

As you hunt, focus on areas where bucks have scraped up the trees. Set up your blinds near bedding areas, feeding zones, funnels, and pinch-points. If you have a tree stand, now is the time to use it.

November 7-13

This week, the first does are entering estrus. This makes it a tough time to be a deer hunter, because bucks lock down within a 100-yard zone with their doe. You may get very lucky and find that sliver of land, but if not, keep moving and wait for lockdown to end.

Once a buck leaves the doe, they’ll begin searching for another. This is the perfect time to snag them, because they’ll return to their goofy rutting behaviors. This week is definitely hit or miss, but if you’re patient and persistent, you’ll likely succeed.

November 14-20

Normally, lockdown has ended by this week. You should be able to return to the plan we laid out for the first week of November, albeit with an emphasis on stealth. This week, deer will be on high alert, prepared to dash away at the slightest hint of something amiss.

Optimize your hunt by setting up your stand downwind of trail intersections, ridges, and near bushes, brush piles, and low tree branches.

November 21-30

By the end of November, you’re probably bone-weary, yet sad to see the end of this year’s rut. Before you settle in for a long late-fall nap, there’s a bit more time for you to work on filling your deer tag.

Bucks have bred the does, so they will resume their goofy chase behavior we saw at the end of October and during the first week of November. They’ll loop back to inspect scrapes, so you may have success setting up near scraped trees again.

Counterintuitively, a large percentage of bucks are bagged during this last week. We tend to think we’ll have the best luck during the first or second week, but somehow big bucks are often snagged this week. Younger bucks are often exhausted by this week, but mature, large bucks are still trucking—perfect for your hunting goals!

During the very last few days of the month, you may not see any more deer. Keep an eye on indicators of deer behavior, and adjust your plan according to the activity in your area.

Despite the challenges of hunting through rutting season, you are capable of accomplishing your goals. Stay focused, use your knowledge and your intuition, and remember that even a “failed” hunt adds to your experience and understanding of deer behavior in your neck of the woods.


Why Hunting in TX is the Perfect Pandemic Activity

As the pandemic continues across the country, Americans are increasingly turning to hunting as a means of escaping the chaos. Hunting and fishing permits are rising to unprecedented levels, and millions of new firearm background checks have been completed since the first lockdown. So, what exactly is the draw? Let’s talk about why hunting in TX is the perfect pandemic activity for individuals, couples, families, and friend groups.

1. Hunter Safety Courses are now Online

Due to the limitations of social distancing, nearly every state is now offering hunter safety courses online. If you’re looking for a new hobby that you can learn from anywhere, hunting is ideal.

2. Hunting Gives Us a Break from Masks and Social Distancing

Though there’s nothing quite like a solo hunt, hunting is the ideal pandemic social activity. Who isn’t tired of masking up and standing back when we leave our homes?

Hunting offers a safe return to the outdoors. While hunting, we can ditch our masks and spend time with just our friends, family, and loved ones.

3. Hunting Provides Us with Alternative Food Sources

Food scarcity was a frightening fact of the pandemic for millions of Americans. In addition to unemployment and the financial peril that comes with it, our meat supply was threatened at several points during the last 18 months.

Whether you simply want to save money, or ensure that your family and loved ones have food security through food supply shakeups, hunting is the answer! Once you can safely hunt your own game, you’ll eat like royalty for pennies on the dollar.

We suggest venison stews, braised birds and venison shoulder, roasted duck and turkey, tender wild boar, and succulent pheasants, all of which are great ways to introduce game to anyone who has never before experienced anything but grocery store meat.

4. Hunting Connects the Youth of 2021 with Their Historic Roots

If you are feeling like your children are lost in their smartphones, you’re not alone. As much as we all love the internet, it’s also important for families to spend time together without the distraction of social media.

Hunting connects families with each other, of course, but it also gives children and teens an ideal way to connect with their history. We are all descended from ancestors who hunted, and it’s always empowering for young people to realize they are just as capable of surviving out in the real world.

There’s a sense of self-sufficiency and independence that comes with successful hunting, which is exactly what Nine Bar Ranch offers everyone who comes to hunt with us. To learn more about our pandemic-safe hunting packages, click here or contact us today.

We are excited to welcome new hunters! We invite you to come and learn more about the hobby, discover how hunting is essential for conservation efforts around the world, and head home with a bounty of your own game to enjoy.