Overall Activity Status: Daytime buck movement seems to be picking up, though mostly within and hour or so of dark. Does and fawns, too, seem to be moving more during daylight hours.
Fighting: I have heard one report of bucks fighting in western New York.
Rub and Scrape Making: In most of the region, reports tell of fewer rubs and scrapes than normal. This certainly seems to be the case in my part of northwest and north-central Pennsylvania. Here, scraping has apparently dropped off, but this might simply be a matter of scrapes being covered by falling leaves.
Chasing: Nothing yet.
Daytime Movement: I’m seeing more does and fawns moving during daylight hours, as well as more daylight buck photos on my cams. These bucks were out within an hour of darkness, but this should certainly increase your odds of encountering one. Of course it does not mean there is an uptick in daylight movement everywhere, but I’ve seen the same during this part of the fall just about everywhere I have hunted deer over the years, which includes most parts of the country and in the eastern Canadian provinces.
Estrous Signs: Nothing to speak of yet.
X Factor: No doubt you have heard or read about bucks and does using separate trails. This is both right and wrong. After watching trail cameras for a few years, it’s clear that some trails are doe and fawn trails, some are buck trails, and some trails are used by both bucks and does. The scrape I have been watching since late August is right in the middle of a major trail. You may have noted that both bucks and does have been visiting the scrape, which means both use the trail.
As of just last week, bucks have started using one doe trail I’ve been watching via trail cam. You know how I feel about jumping to conclusions. But this change may point to a trend that could prove very useful while hunting. As time marches on, I will be checking to see if bucks start using doe trails elsewhere. My stand will not wait, though. I am already making location adjustments.