Whitetail Deer Tip: Follow the Breeder Track an estrous doe and you’ll have bucks in your pocket

Posted: November 7, 2014 by gamegetterII in deer hunting
Tags: , , , , ,

Photo by Donald M. Jones

When fresh snow falls overnight, most big-woods hunters are out at first light looking for the track of a trophy buck to follow. That’s a good early-morning strategy. But if you can find and follow the right doe trail, big bucks will actually come to you.

Lady = Luck
An estrous doe, including any late-cycling female coming into heat a month after the primary rut, makes every effort to attract amorous bucks. She may stay on her feet all day, lingering near scrape lines, milling along edges, and feeding in openings where she’ll be seen easily. In short, she’s a buck magnet. Get close and you can tap her drawing power.

But first, you have to get on the right track. When you find doe prints, follow them and watch for rose-colored urine stains in the snow. This is a dead giveaway that she’s in heat. Also, look to either side for the tracks of a flanking buck or two. If she’s close but not quite ready to stand, bucks will zigzag her trail like skiers running a slalom course, each using his eyes, ears, and nose to keep tabs on her exact whereabouts. You can’t miss it.

The Solo Doe
When you find only the rose-colored stains, and it’s clear the doe hasn’t caught the attention of a buck yet, follow her trail, being careful not to spook her. And keep an eye on the flanks. Eventually, a passing buck is apt to spot her, move in to check out her breeding status, and give you a shot.

Should you spook the curious buck, let him go, allow things to calm down, and get back on the doe’s trail. Sooner or later, the buck will circle around and try to intercept her, or she may attract another suitor in the meantime.

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