The Tending Phase

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DropTyne
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The Tending Phase

Unread postby DropTyne » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:27 pm

I have been a member of this forum for some time, and we have covered alot of early season tactics, rut tactics (ie: seek/chase phase), and even quite a bit on late season hunting. One thing that I feel we have not shared with one another is what type of tactics can be used and what type of behaviors are seen in regards to mature bucks when they are tending a doe.

First and foremost I will openly admit that I know very little about it, and I have a few questions:

How long does a buck tend a doe for? How many does do they tend in a season? Do they tend the doe in doe bedding areas, back at the bucks bedding area, elsewhere? If you think they are locked down how do you hunt them? Hunting with a gun, hunting with a bow? My questions are strickly pertaining in MATURE buck behavior, not the little tikes.........

Any input, experiences, knowledge would add to my overall knowledge and it would be appreciated............


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kenn1320
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Re: The Tending Phase

Unread postby kenn1320 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:00 pm

The little I have seen big bucks with does, it has always been some remote spot you wouldn't expect to find deer, let a lone a big buck. I have also seen them run a doe out into the middle of a field and hold up. Basically the buck is trying to isolate her from other bucks if possible. In some cases you can spot/stalk, or get ahead of them and wait in ambush. I spotted a pair in a fence row and hid just off to the side where it tee'd into another fence row. Everything went as planned till my upper limb hit a grape vine I was hiding behind. Sent my 30yd easy shot about 6" over his back. Im referring to open country, no clue about big woods, hill country, or marshes.
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headgear
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Re: The Tending Phase

Unread postby headgear » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:15 pm

I have had some luck getting on mature bucks just before the lock down phase by hunting in the doe bedding areas, the thicker the better. If I hunted down wind of the bedding area most of the time I wouldn't see anything but by getting inside the bedding area myself and others I hunt with have had some luck scoring on some nice buck, and many other sightings of bucks that got away. I should state that this is in the bigwoods so thing might be different in your area.

I feel the best areas to hunt at this time would be the doe bedding areas but also I think there might be some remote locations that the older bucks and does know about to get away from everyone and get down to business.
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JRM6868
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Re: The Tending Phase

Unread postby JRM6868 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:00 pm

Here's my observations I have had.
The does push there little ones off and the bucks and does enter into the chase phase when she is close. Usually the doe will be starting to smell when this happens which is about a day before she is actually in. I've witnessed a mature buck come in at this time and run off the other bucks that were chasing her. He tried they were persistent in aggravating him trying to
get to her. This was in the
afternoon one day. The next day I was in stand
and saw the same buck and doe in the thickest stuff around and he bred her about 4 times until he eventually moved on. What happened overnite I do not know. The thicket they were in I believe was a neutral zone to the buck and doe bedding. I wouldn't
of even known they were in there if I
wasn't in stand elevated. I've seen the bucks tend a doe out in the middle of a field also. I believe that was more for security for the buck to actually see competition coming or give him a head start to get the doe to safe place. I don't think they breed in the doe bedding because of her
offspring and other does being there because they bed in groups per se. I think it's all neutral safe zone out of the way. How
many does a buck breeds/tends has more to do with the competition in the area and doe population. If I was going to hunt the lockdown
I would find an out of the way thicket that really isn't used much by the deer and humans as a daily routine.

Just my observations.

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JRM6868
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Re: The Tending Phase

Unread postby JRM6868 » Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:54 am

One other thing as I think about this is... I also have seen a buck breed a doe out in the middle of a cut corn field.
I guess the setup should focus on the safety of the situation for the buck and the doe for predation and competition.
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Re: The Tending Phase

Unread postby Bucky » Sat Jul 30, 2011 3:05 am

When breeding they like to be isolated in my experiences- open fields, CRP, sides of open ridges, a nob on higher ground out in the marsh, thick nasty stuff that would be almost impossible to hunt.

I have seen some killer multiple buck chases as well - where the mature buck is trying to fend off as many as 6 immature bucks - mouth gaping open, looking completely exhausted - sounds like a freight train coming at you in the woods/marsh
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Re: The Tending Phase

Unread postby dan » Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:54 am

Most of my sightings of actual mature bucks during the breeding season has been in buck bedding areas... It seems to me that some does seek out the mature bucks rather than the other way around... As the bucks get older they seem to participate in the chasing and cruising less and less.
Every now and then you see them in a field or open area, but for the most part if they all chased and bred does out in the open we would all see big bucks breed almost every year... I know lots of great hunters who spen a lot of time in the woods that have never seen a buck breed a doe. That should tell us that most of the time it is done in areas where people / hunters rarely go. What little of it we do see, is usually in buck bedding areas, thick spots that could be buck bedding areas, or doe bedding areas...
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Arrowbender
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Re: The Tending Phase

Unread postby Arrowbender » Sun Jul 31, 2011 12:50 pm

I think that plenty of does get bred during the chase phase. These are the ones that we get to witness out in the open. It's basically rape. The doe is chased until she has to stand or die of exhaustion.
I think the chase is natures way to "spread the aroma" of the rut to alert the "fittest" suitors to breed.
I also think that before most of the does are in estrous the bucks that get to breed them will hang with them or lock down with them from 12 to 24 hours, breeding them multiple times. I also think that they try to do this in obscure places so as to limit there exposure to other horny bucks
Not so much once there is a bunch of does in heat at the same time. Then I think it's Wham Bam ...... and off to another.

Dan's point of does going to the mature bucks bedroom is also valid. I just don't think they always make it before the rape; or the old man ain't home and the chasing continues.

Just my opinion on past encounters.
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Re: The Tending Phase

Unread postby BigHunt » Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:15 pm

dan wrote:Most of my sightings of actual mature bucks during the breeding season has been in buck bedding areas... It seems to me that some does seek out the mature bucks rather than the other way around... As the bucks get older they seem to participate in the chasing and cruising less and less.
Every now and then you see them in a field or open area, but for the most part if they all chased and bred does out in the open we would all see big bucks breed almost every year... I know lots of great hunters who spen a lot of time in the woods that have never seen a buck breed a doe. That should tell us that most of the time it is done in areas where people / hunters rarely go. What little of it we do see, is usually in buck bedding areas, thick spots that could be buck bedding areas, or doe bedding areas...

there a spot on my hill country proporty that only gets sits during gun hunting , the fall of 08 i seen my first buck breeding in day light hunting hours. its a known bedding for bucks, that year i never steped foot in there during bow season. on opening mouring i sat all day about 2 in the afternoon i caught movment off one of the points and seen a small buck chaseing a doe and then before my eyes he mounted her 56yrds from me :shock: he did his thing then moved on :roll: :lol: , i was shocked what i saw, im lokkig forward to huntignthat this year aging 8-)
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Re: The Tending Phase

Unread postby dan » Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:30 am

I have on a few different occasions observed does during the breeding phase come to a scrape within a mature bucks staging area and work the scrape like a buck and then walk a short distance and bed down apparently waiting for the buck to return.
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Re: The Tending Phase

Unread postby BigHunt » Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:31 am

dan wrote:I have on a few different occasions observed does during the breeding phase come to a scrape within a mature bucks staging area and work the scrape like a buck and then walk a short distance and bed down apparently waiting for the buck to return.

wow thats great stuff dan 8-)
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headgear
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Re: The Tending Phase

Unread postby headgear » Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:40 am

I am pretty sure I saw 3 mature does trailing a buck last year on Nov 8th. They went past my dad who was hunting very near to the bucks bedding area and then came by me. They were moving fast with their noses to the ground, I thought for sure one of them would have been a buck. I cut a large set of fresh tracks going into my stand that morning and sure enough they were following him. They freaked out a little when they cut my trail and held up for about 20 minutes trying to figure out where I was, then on the move again after the buck.

I think this is maybe not common but does happen more then one would think up the bigwoods areas I hunt. The deer population was pretty low last year so I think it could happen more frequently with low deer numbers and very few mature bucks in the area.


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