November, admittedly, is on the back hill slide. During my favorite month, cold weather came to a large part of the our continent. Hunting was nothing short of fantastic, based on all the photos I saw. Many of you have taken some truly large and impressive bucks.
Often we think cold weather brings on the whitetail or mule deer rut. Actually the breeding season occurs during the same basic time each year regardless of the temperature.
Deer have, at this point, their winter hair coat..so consider this. You put on all your winter clothes and you can’t take it off. The temperature turns cool to cold, and you’re pretty active. But then the temperature turns unseasonably warm, you can’t take off your winter clothes, are you still going to be as active as you were when it was cold and you were comfortable? Probably not during daylight hours, because of the warm temperature, but you’ll likely be more active at night when the temperatures cool. The same basically happens with deer.
“Don’t move…. He’s right behind the blood-red sumac, looking in our direction!” I hissed to the hunter who stood frozen in half-stride right behind me. By the way the buck was looking in our direction I was pretty sure he hadn’t made out exactly what we were. We were back in the shadows with a dark background behind us. Both my hunter and I were wearing red and green plaid shirts, and green pants. From what I had seen of hunting deer for several decades, I felt pretty sure the buck had not yet really seen us. Even though he was looking in our direction he was not intently staring at us. He wiggled his ears, then turned to look behind him. I let out a deep breath and then took two steps forward where we would be hidden behind the trunk of a giant oak tree. My hunter followed.
Was a time several years ago I frequently hunted whitetails in Alabama. And it seemed just about every time I did, it rained!
Now there are those who will tell you, primarily old experienced hunters from the Black Belt, who will tell you whitetails in Alabama do not move when it’s raining. Generally I’m a firm believer in listening to those with much experience in the area I’m currently hunting. But, as it was back then, like now, I’ve got deadlines. Back then it was as a field editor of DEER & DEER HUNTING and the Whitetail Columnist for NORTH AMERICAN HUNTER as well as other publications. I’d get to an area or state and had to hunt regardless of the weather, hot or cold, wet or dry because I was only going to be there for a very few days. So, regardless I had to try to make it happen. These days, as the host of my DSC’s TRAILING THE HUNTER’S MOON television show on the Sportsman Channel it’s really not all that different. Schedules for hunts are often set up at least a year in advance. And there’s no way to know what the weather will be like when the hunt actually happens