Charles Alsheimer Photo Shows Rubbing in Winter

Alsheimer: Buck Rubs Continue in Winter

I was recently sent an email that described some of the deer behavior the writer was seeing now that his northern deer season is over. In it he was wondering why he was now seeing a number of fresh rubs in his hunting area. For starters whitetail rutting behavior does not end when peak...

January Food Plots

Alsheimer: Bucks Trying to Gain Weight in January

By early January northern whitetails have two things on their mind, eating and surviving. In order to maintain core body temperature they must find adequate food. It is not uncommon for bucks to lose over 20% of their pre-rut body weight from the stresses of the rut. Therefore it is critical for them to...

Bucks Still Fight in December, January

Alsheimer: Bucks Still Fight in January

A mature whitetail buck’s drive for dominance never ends. There is no question that a buck’s aggressiveness peaks in November in the North. However, when the rut ends fighting does not. It has been my experience that during December and early January just as many injuries and broken antlers occur as in November. A...

Bucks will still rub late season, though not nearly at their rut-time levels. (Photo copyright Charles J. Alsheimer)

Alsheimer: Bucks Still Rub After Breeding is Done

By the end of December northern bucks have pretty much lost interest in does, so their desire to breed is a thing of the past. One rutting behavior that is tough for bucks to turn off is rubbing. In spite of decreased testosterone levels bucks will make rubs until they cast their antlers. However,...

December can mean a 'second rut' in northern climates, which might include larger doe fawns. (Photo copyright Charles J. Alsheimer)

Alsheimer: ‘Second Rut’ Offers Second Chance at Bucks

In fine-tuned deer herds, the majority of breeding will be over by the time December’s recovery period is in full swing.  However, on good whitetail range where the herd is healthy and the fawns of the season are large enough, some December breeding will occur. In my area of western New York, many doe...

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Alsheimer: Bucks Begin to Recover After the Rut

For all practical purposes the rut is over in the North. For the better part of the last 40 days, bucks have been on the march searching for does to breed. During that time they’ve devoted little attention to eating, causing them to lose up to 25 percent of their pre-rut body weight. Though breeding...

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Alsheimer: Whitetail Bucks Still Looking for a Fight

When hunters think of vicious buck fights they envision encounters that occur in the late pre-rut or when the rut goes hot-to-trot. Though some of the most incredible fights occur during this time, fighting doesn’t end when the rut ends. Some of the most impressive fights I’ve witnessed in my career took place when the rut was...

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Alsheimer: Hunting Tips for the Breeding Phase of the Rut

Whether you call it the breeding phase or lockdown time, now is one tough period to hunt bucks in the North. In last week’s blog post I illustrated the chasing action that precedes peak-breeding. Though breeding can take place throughout the month of November in the North, the 20 days that follow the full...