The Rut is On

As I drove home from the ranch on Friday, a small buck crossed the road in front of me. Something was odd, so I stopped and got out of the truck to take a photo of the small buck.

To my surprise, instead of a buck, a doe was standing where I expected the buck.

Surprised, I moved a bit to look around a large oak tree. There stood the buck. The doe departed with the buck close behind. This was a good sign that the rut is on.

Generally the smaller bucks get things started, but as the days pass, the bigger bucks will enter the game. Hopefully before the season is over.

I’ll be out there this week giving it one more try.

Ranch Bucks 2012

For the first time I can recall, an entire deer season and post season has passed without sighting of a large buck. Typically we’ll see at least a couple of big bucks during the hunting season or at te very least during the post-season rut.

This was a slim year for bucks. Maybe it was due to limited forage related to low rainfall or maybe something else. We didn’t fire a shot this year as none of the bucks we saw justified shooting. We could have killed  forked horn bucks, but decided to pass. Here are a couple of photos of this year’s larger bucks.

This buck was following does in November.

This buck was following does in November.

The buck is a little hard to see, but if you click on the photo to enlarge it, you’ll see him in the center of the photo behind the yellow grass. He’s bigger than any we spotted during the hunting season.

Here’s a buck we saw frequently and he lives in the middle of the ranch. We passed on many opportunities to shoot him. We’re hoping he’ll live long enough to grow some better antlers.

Hopefully he can avoid the mountain lions for a couple more years.

Hopefully, this buck can avoid the mountain lions for a couple more years.

There are two bucks in the photo. The one behind is smaller than the centered buck. Maybe we’ll get better horn growth this year and these bucks will tempt us in 2013.