Northeast Rut Reporter Mike Bleech has been hunting whitetails in his native Pennsylvania and throughout the Northeast for more than four decades. A Vietnam veteran and full-time freelance outdoor writer, Bleech has had more than 5000 of his articles published. States covered: ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA OH, MD, DE.
‘Twas a dark afternoon with a strong threat of rain in the sky. A chillier than expected bowhunter watched a deer passing by through thick cover. Following its movements with binoculars, he spotted a flash of antler. His immediate response was a couple of grunts from his grunt tube. The buck changed direction and picked up speed to a trot. Just before getting into a clear shooting lane, the buck looked up.
That is the biggest downfall of grunting. This hunt did not end with a buck on my game pole, but it does show how important a grunt tube can be to any hunter.
Grunt tubes might be effective just about any time. I have tested them several times early in the antler growth period and got several good responses. But now might be the very best time to use grunt tubes.
Things are happening all over the Northeast Region, but not all the same things at the same time.
From Don Burnett at Lake No. Nine Outfitters in northern Maine comes word that he has seen only one rub and no scrapes. He has four trail cameras out for deer, with the others in the business of looking for moose. Just this most recent weekend he got his first buck pictures, two forkhorns, a 6-point and an 8-point, shown here. Those deer were traveling late at night, and apparently three of them were traveling together.
The report from Frank’s Gun & Tackle Shop, in the southern Adirondack Mountains of northern New York, is that bucks have just started rubbing and there are no scrapes. Does can be seen in fields in the evenings, but bucks are holding back. Until later last week, temperatures had been too warm, causing deer to be lethargic.
Like the folks at Lake Nine Outfitters in Maine, most of the attention from Marty’s Sports, at Bennington, Vermont, has been directed towards moose until very recently. They have seen some rubs in the National Forest, but closer to home in the southwest corner of Vermont, no one has been talking about seeing rubs. They repeated a common phrase: It has been too warm.
Meanwhile, moving to the southern parts of our Northeast Region, bucks are making rub lines, they are starting to make scrapes and they are fighting.