If you are a hunter in northeastern Pennsylvania, the last two weeks of the deer archery season can bring some of the highest expectations.
And when those expectations aren’t met, well, that’s another feeling altogether.
Yes, the rut is in full swing here and with it comes dreams of big-racked bucks marching through swamps, forests, fields and food plots in search of a doe. A rutting buck with the right attitude can be as hard-headed as they come, ignoring every warning it has ever known in search of love.
It easy for archery hunters this time of year to get excited even after the sighting of a doe. There’s a good chance, after all, that a doe on the move in early November is walking for a reason – she’s got a buck pushing her.
You can imagine my disappointment this week when I spotted a doe sneaking up a swamp edge all by herself. Behind her I scanned, eager to pick out a buck trailing her every step. It wasn’t to be.
This time of year is also my favorite to trick a buck into thinking there’s a doe ready to mate. Hunters use estrous scents to lure in bucks, and when used properly with a drag rope, a trail can be left behind for a buck to follow. It worked perfectly for me this week, only to have a young buck following my lure left behind.
Better luck next time.
So, yes, the expectations of a November day can be some of the highest of the season. There’s a good reason for that, and it falls on the dreams of many hunters that someday they’ll cross paths with a fantastic buck seeking a doe.
I can tell you that the dream can become a reality pretty quickly, especially if you consider a buck can cover a long distance in a day of searching for a mate. So for that I say keep dreaming, keep hunting, and good luck.