The month of November has nearly come and gone and, for the most part, it looks like the whitetail deer hunting in Texas has been good to date. A good number of hunters have reported harvesting their best bucks ever, which is likely the result of above-average habitat conditions throughout much of the year combined with good deer management practices. But it’s not been all high-fives and big buck photos for every hunter. The first couple weeks of November were quite toasty (nothing new around here) and that kept deer movement at a minimum.
The warm weather left many hunters wondering where all of the bucks they captured on game cameras had gone. Morning hunts showed better deer movement over evening hunts, but even then deer sightings were slim for the most part. This was especially in areas that were still brimming with acorns. Fortunately, the weather improved. Mid-month delivered a real cold front across Texas that really got whitetail moving. As I traveled across the central part of the state one morning I observed no less than a dozen bucks walking behind, running after or frantically looking for does. Cold, crisp air tends to do that.
Deer Movement & Rutting Activity
These observations took place over 200 miles of paved road, but it was a sure sign that the whitetail breeding season was definitely underway in the central part of the state. Some phase of the rut is still occurring across much of the state, except maybe the coastal plains and East Texas where things have wrapped up for the most part. But hey, you never know. Can’t kill anything but time sitting at home, unless you can legally shoot out a window or off your porch.
Late Season Deer Hunting
With the rut preparing to wind down in the near future (except South Texas), expect bucks to return to a feeding pattern. They will be run-down from breeding and looking to replenish important body mass with winter just around the corner. Post-rut bucks will be looking for additional and stable food sources, which includes feeders, cool season food plots and winter crops. Some of the bucks that seemingly disappeared from your area may suddenly reappear at your feeder. Keep scouting with game cameras. Once a buck sets up shop on your offerings, slip in for the finally.
Lastly, make sure to play the weather to your advantage whenever possible. Many hunters are limited to deer hunting on weekends or when they can get time off. This may not always be the best time to see deer, for mild temps will hamper deer activity. For those hunters that are fortunate enough to live in close proximity to their hunting grounds, make sure to hunt the days following the upcoming cold fronts. Both bucks and does are still packing it on for winter. The lower the mercury drops, the more deer activity will increase. Your deer hunting activity should increase, too.