Rut Report – July 11th, 2017
July is here! That means fireworks, corn on the cob and the velvet rut! We are 2 months away from deer season and all throughout Maryland, bucks are in their bachelor groups and summer feeding patterns. July is also when antlers begin to take shape and slow down to their final form. If you see a buck in early July with an impressive rack, you know he will be a monster come September. But don’t brush off the marginal racks just yet because there is still another solid month of growth to come.
So far, this summer has been relatively dry which has a slightly negative affect on antler growth. Let’s hope for rain in the not so distant future. We also had a weird winter that caused the deer to hold their antlers longer. I personally saw bucks holding until end of April. If you have the ability, now would be a great time to start a mineral supplementation to spur on antler growth. But remember to make sure the mineral sites are close to water because, like any living creature, salt makes things thirsty. If you don’t have a stream nearby, you can supplement the water with a feeding trough or a big water drum. It’s also a great time to plant summer clover and grass plots. Just make sure you have the ability to water them.
This is also a great time to start hanging your stands and running your trail cameras. We are far enough away from opening day that you won’t have a major impact but close enough to start to pattern those big boys. I personally opt for a less invasive scouting tactic and like to sit up on hills overlooking some public spots to get a feel for when and where the deer enter the food. It’s also a great way to get out of the house and watch a beautiful sunset.