SW ID Deer Rut / Live Hunt

twsnow18

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2013
Messages
1,574
Location
Boise, Idaho
I've been hunting a late rifle buck tag. Hunted 4 days so far. The 7th, 8th, 9th and 11th. Every day has yielded more deer spotted.
75, 100, 125 and 225 respectively. More deer moving in every day from this much needed weather.

Out of the 225 deer yesterday (20 bucks), I saw 2 does that I would consider "hot." 2-3 younger bucks all over those 2 does. The rest
of those 200 +/- did not look ready and none of the other bucks seemed interested in does yet. Despite the snow.

IMO, this weekend and the following weekend will be prime time for the deer rut around here. At least in my unit. I have 7 or 8 more
days allotted for the hunt. Just a little update for those with late rifle or the late general archery tags.
 

JT88

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Joined
Oct 2, 2020
Messages
82
Location
Montana
Good deal. I'm headed out this weekend with some buddies in MT for my "bachelor party" which is a 3 day mule deer hunt! Can't wait. The bucks seem to be starting to get after does the last week or so here so fingers crossed. Seen a few pictures with swollen necks 7-10 days ago. I hope it's full on rut madness
 

twsnow18

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Joined
Apr 4, 2013
Messages
1,574
Location
Boise, Idaho
Good deal. I'm headed out this weekend with some buddies in MT for my "bachelor party" which is a 3 day mule deer hunt! Can't wait. The bucks seem to be starting to get after does the last week or so here so fingers crossed. Seen a few pictures with swollen necks 7-10 days ago. I hope it's full on rut madness

Cool bachelor party idea. It should be! It's interesting how every area is different. The deer in my OTC spot
seem to get goin earlier for whatever reason.
 

Maxxis31

Active member
Joined
Aug 6, 2014
Messages
125
Location
NE Oregon
Awesome, I’m spending the 25-29th over on the late archery hunt. Hopefully it will be good timing with the late fall this year. I’ve seen several deer cruising here at home this week but no big boys out yet.
 

twsnow18

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Joined
Apr 4, 2013
Messages
1,574
Location
Boise, Idaho
Good luck guys. Hopefully we get some better visibility to close out November. The weather has been much needed, but tough to glass.

Might as well turn this into a half ass live hunt. But don’t expect reliable updates out of my lazy butt. Might be 4-5 days between posts.
 

twsnow18

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Apr 4, 2013
Messages
1,574
Location
Boise, Idaho
Wednesday yielded about 20 bucks. 2 bucks in that 150 range and the rest 2.5 y/o or younger forkies and 3 points. Hoping the breeders show up this weekend 🤞
 

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twsnow18

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Apr 4, 2013
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Location
Boise, Idaho
Found 150 deer on Saturday and Sunday both. A higher % of the bucks nosing does, but still not what I would personally consider “peak” rut.

Went up yesterday to babysit my doe groups. They’re all essentially in 2 big open drainages. Man it’s been tough to turn up 3.5+ y/o deer this year. I’m pretty certain I haven’t seen a 4.5 y/o buck on this hunt. What’s interesting to me is seeing multiple groups of 10-12 does without a buck.

This buck was pretty hot on 2 does yesterday, he’s one of the best spotted so far.

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I’m curious if all that weather we’ve had is making them slightly “late,“ with 2+ feet of snow from those 2 storms. It’s been fun though, always a good time when there’s only a handful of other tag holders and limited competition.

I can hunt Fri - Mon if need be, to close it out. Looking forward to clear skies. Giant lakes and 6” of mud in front of my camper!
 

twsnow18

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Apr 4, 2013
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1,574
Location
Boise, Idaho
Went back out on Friday the 20th. Finally some clear weather. Decided at the end of hunt day #9 that I was ready to be done.

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Despite having 3-4 guys fanned out on spotters with radios, this was the best buck we found in 9 days. We looked over well over 100+ bucks. There was a definite behavioral change the weekend of the 20th. Which was a learning curve as we don’t hunt deer here after Halloween, outside of draw tags and a couple OTC archery units.

Bucks truly bird dogging the does. It was a blast. Honestly wish I wouldn’t have spent as many days hunting in early November, as it was very clear that that was wishful thinking by 2.5 y/o bucks, and not peak rut for the real breeding bucks. If I had a mulligan, I would focus all my time and energy 11/15 - 11/25 ish.

I do think this unit got absolutely destroyed by the winter of 16/17’. As I’ve seen first hand the quality that has come from this unit in the past. If you’re wondering which late hunt this was in SW ID, shoot me a PM. I might reply. It just needs 2 mild winters in a row and it’ll come back some, I feel. Before it’s worthy of another application.

But regardless, had a blast with good buddies and seeing 150+ deer a day with limited competition! Can’t beat that.
 

HalfAce

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Joined
Jul 6, 2013
Messages
478
You have to be happy anytime you put that much time into a hunt, cover that much country and take home the biggest deer you saw. Sounded like a tough but efficient hunt. Good work.
 

marshman

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Joined
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
454
Location
Southwest Washington
Nice write up, and congratulations! A hunt like this is on my list, regular season hunts in Idaho have not been that impressive for me hoping to get a draw one of these years.
 

twsnow18

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Apr 4, 2013
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Location
Boise, Idaho
Nice write up, and congratulations! A hunt like this is on my list, regular season hunts in Idaho have not been that impressive for me hoping to get a draw one of these years.

Thank you. Unfortunately don’t hold your breath, low single digit draw odds for residents.

But don’t give up on the general units, it took me an honest 5-7 years to learn an OTC unit well enough to be able to pass on bucks. It’s a steep learning curve when the competition is that high and the tags are that easy to get. But it’s worth it and rewarding once you dial it in, since you can always get the tag.
 

Sawtooth

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Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
1,606
Location
Idaho
Nicely done twsnow18. That is a great looking buck and not a bad shot either. ;) Glad to see your hard work and a substantial time commitment pay off.
 

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