John's Journal...

The Best Week for Finding a Trophy Buck

Know the Best Day to Bag a Buck

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Famed baseball announcer Dizzy Dean once said, "If you done it, it ain't braggin'." And friends, I've done it. I've found the magic week to hunt deer that increases my odds for bagging a trophy buck. You don't have to bet on moon charts, tide charts, soothsayers or any hunting aids. But you can bet on experience, and I have it. Read on to learn how to down a buck during the best week of the year.

I know the very best day for me to bag a trophy buck. I have the scientific research and the qualified expert to unequivocally back me up. Just listen to this statement.
"Sixty percent of the deer bred in Alabama are bred around February 11 each year," Dr. Keith Causey, former professor of wildlife science and a wildlife researcher Click to enlargeat Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, says. "If you're ever going to see a trophy buck chasing an estrous doe, it will be sometime during that week of February 11 in Alabama."
From examining the fetuses of road-killed does and pregnant does taken for scientific research, wildlife biologists have back-dated the time of conception based on the fetuses’ development to the magic date of the week of February 11. So clear the roads, and put all the women and children in the house. On February 11, you'll find me in the woods hunting deer. But wait a minute -- I can't hunt in February! Since Alabama's deer season ends on January 31 like many other Southern states, I can't hunt during the best week of the year for taking a trophy buck. The peak of the rut Click to enlargein Alabama, according to Causey, occurs after deer season has ended.
However, in many states, the peak of the rut happens during deer season. John Curtis with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, says, "In a survey we did with 60 fawns taken around Buffalo, New York, the highest number of fawns were conceived between November 9 and November 19 with November 12 seeming to be the peak day for conception. The state did have one fawn conceived on November 25, one on December 10 and one on December 24. However, we biologists believe that the two December fawns were conceived during Click to enlargethose does' second estrous periods. Although November 12 seems to be the very best day for bucks to breed does in New York, I prefer to hunt the week before the peak of the rut. I believe that the bucks are more active then than they are during the week when most of the breeding is taking place."
Lonnie Hansen with the Missouri Department of Conservation conducted a study for several years on post-dating fawns. As Hansen explains, "We've found that November 16 is the most-consistent date for the majority of does in Missouri to breed. During our five-year study, this date has only varied by one day, either before or after November 16. Our research indicates that the very-best day to find bucks breeding does will be on November 16. Since our gun-hunting season usually begins on November 15, our state's first few days of gun deer season are at a time during the very peak of the rut." If you live in one of these fortunate states where the peak of the rut occurs during deer season, let me show you how to plan your hunting this season to take advantage of the best week to take a trophy buck.

Tomorrow: Do Your Homework, and Know You Have A Trophy Buck To Hunt

Check back each day this week for more about "The Best Week for Finding a Trophy Buck"

Day 1: Know the Best Day to Bag a Buck
Day 2: Do Your Homework, and Know You Have A Trophy Buck To Hunt
Day 3: Understand the Does' Secrets, and Hunt Between the Honeymoon Suites
Day 4: Recognize the Different Types of Classes, and Realize How the Rut Affects the Home Range
Day 5: Where to Find Thick-Cover Sanctuaries



Entry 386, Day 1