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Where did he go? And where did he come from?

Posted: November 1, 2016

This buck's rut behavior explains the mysterious appearance of a stranger on your game camera. Or the inexplicable disappearance of the buck you've watched all summer.

It happens all the time. You watch a buck all summer long - every inch of antler growth through the polishing...Poof! Just like that he's gone!

That's frustrating.

Or what about the this scenario? Late October rolls around and you start seeing bucks you've never seen before.  It may be surprising but it's not so unexpected. The home ranges of bucks during the rut double or triple (or more) in size.  

That's exciting!

So here's a movie of Buck 12792. He's one of those deer that either appears out of nowhere or disappears (depending on where you set up your cameras).

I plotted all his locations during August and September in light blue. That will help you see the expansion and shift of his home range during the rut.

If you had your camera set up in his home range in August and September, you probably would have known him quite well. But once the rut starts, he was rarely home.  

Watch this movie as many times as you like! When you think you know when this buck begins and ends his rut movements, enter your dates in the online survey. The survey will be open until 11pm on November 8, 2016. 

Enter your dates here

We end the movie on 20 November because that's when bear season starts. Although there is still some breeding that occurs through the end of November, the bear season and rifle season have a greater influence on buck movements than finding the love of his life.

-Duane Diefenbach

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