As Saturday was the start of the archery deer season for both antlered and antlerless deer, we customarily provide a weekly rut report even though the rut is still a few weeks away. The report comes compliments of Bob’s Wildlife Taxidermy in Orefield since his long list of customers and hunting friends continually feed him field reports in a “deer camp” type atmosphere.
For this the first week of the rut reports, Danenhower says that with all the rain we’ve had over the summer months, farm crops are flourishing. And because of that, the deer have been hammering soybeans.
As he see’s it, the crops and foliage are about two weeks ahead of schedule. Corn crops too are good and some farmers are already harvesting their fields, especially in upper Berks County farmlands around Maxatawny, Topton, Lyons and Dryville.
According to Danenhower, he has been receiving loads of emails from friends showing photos of the huge bucks they’re seeing on their trail cameras. “They are the best I’ve seen in years,” Danenhower admits.
As for natural food crops, Danenhower said oak trees are showing average yields and white oaks, a deer delicacy, appear to be dropping early (is that a sign of an upcoming harsh winter?). Chestnuts too look big and plump.
Since bowhunters customarily use deer attracting and cover scents, Danenhower says he uses mostly straight buck urine on his boots to cover his scent trail to and from his stand as most bucks are in bachelor groups at the start of archery season.
“In the past, I’ve had bucks follow buck urine like it was doe-in-heat scent. Bucks will follow and seek out other bucks this time of year,” Danenhower opines. [Danenhower receives and sells fresh and inexpensive “Urine-Luck” deer urine weekly, and will have fresh doe-in-heat urine, as the rut gets closer]
His field reports also indicate seeing lots of rubs and a few haphazard scrapes. But nothing too serious at this point.
And with rain forecasted for a few days this week, the taxidermist says he has seen and shot many bucks during rainy periods. But he cautions that bowhunters should descent their raingear as water running off the garments will leave mega oil slicks of scent while walking through the woods.
Of utmost importance, he advises to keep your nose to the wind. “Thermals generally rise in the morning taking your scent up and fall in the evening taking your scent down. If you have a really good stand and the wind is not right, stay out and leave if for another day, or hunt another spot. Hunt the good spots when conditions are right,” he opines.
As archery is all about being up close and personal, all indications indicate the season should be a good one. As for when the rut will kick in and will the “hunters moon” keep it on track, only Mother Nature knows.
FALL TROUT STOCKINGS
As part of the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission’s fall trout stocking program, the following streams and lakes were stocked.
Berks County: Tulpehocken Creek (Oct. 1)
Bucks County: East Branch Perkiomen Creek (Oct. 1)
Lehigh County: Little Lehigh Creek (Oct. 1)
Northampton County: Minsi Lake (Oct, 2)
Schuylkill County: Tuscarora Lake (Oct. 2)
When checking the Little Lehigh on Wednesday, there was only one angler at the covered bridge along 24th Street. And water levels were low at the time but should rise temporarily after Monday’s storm.
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