Mule Deer Rut is on in Much of the Southwest, Whitetails Chasing in Texas Hill Country

Image by Thomas Torget

The best action is still weeks away for whitetails and mule deer both near the southern border

Looks like the rut has shown up for Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. In some portions of those states, it’s actually winding down already. Utah has produced some incredible deer over the past few weeks and so has Nevada. The rut has been lackluster at best in many northwest Colorado units. That could be due to the CPW doing their very best to kill every mature deer in the state in the name of managing Chronic Wasting Disease. Many units in Colorado just don’t have any mature bucks left. It makes it difficult to get a good read on the rut when the majority of the bucks breeding are 3 years old and younger. That being said, the units that still have decent populations of mature deer have been on fire. I haven’t seen the number of really big deer killed in Colorado that I was expecting in a good moisture year, but the better units have still been producing some good bucks. In the better areas of Utah, Nevada, and Colorado I expect the next couple weeks to continue to be great. 

In Texas, we are seeing every part of the rut spectrum, from full-on to not happening and not going to happen for another few weeks. The Hill Country has been going strong, and the Panhandle is going pretty well also. I spoke with the owner of the ranch I lease in north-central Texas yesterday, and he said the cold front is really getting them going. I expect the best rut there will happen within the next two weeks. I will be there in two weeks so with any luck, I will catch some of that activity. South Texas bucks are still just hanging out with no signs of rut life yet, but that’s pretty normal for this time of year. The rut starts picking up down there mid-December.  

Arizona and New Mexico have some rut going in their northern reaches, but like South Texas, the majority of their deer won’t start rutting for at least another few weeks. I always like to follow southern Arizona’s rut activity because it lines up pretty well with our deer rut in Sonora, Mexico, which usually peaks in January. With good moisture coming at the right times, I’m looking forward to seeing what the deer look like this year in southern Arizona, as well as south of the border. 

(Don't Miss: Serious Sleeper States with Big Whitetails)

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Rubbing

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Scraping

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Fighting

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Seeking

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Chasing

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Breeding

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