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Lock down phase

Discussion in 'Ohio Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by bywayofthearrow, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Based on recent observations and just in general we are entering the lockdown phase. Yes it starts earlier or later depending on a lot of things. If you’ve never tried it, now is the time to try spot and stalk hunting. If you can get a 2 D decoy or heck even wear a light brown shirt (worked for me last year) you can take advantage of the whitetail bucks most vulnerable time of year. When lock down is fully on in my opinion you not only see breeding but it often occurs out in the wide open where bucks push does so they can monitor for other bucks trying to sneak in and take the doe. They also are notorious for getting into little isolated clumps of cover like clockwork. Us Ohio Whitetail hunters love our tree stands and they can continue to be effective but if you see the biggest buck of your life in the distance, especially with a doe, GO after him!! Get downwind and just go. If your a public land hunter I️ can’t recommend enough burning some gas driving the roads around public and glassing. If you do some research there are plenty of open areas in just about every Ohio county you can find this breeding activity happening in. If your not confident in your glassing abilities or just don’t do it often, again now is the time to try. You CANT miss a big racked buck bedded in a field or clump of grass, or carelessly out in the middle of a field with a doe. He’s not in his usual beds when he’s with the doe, he’s where they end up and it’s usually in a highly vulnerable spot.

    Last night on one road I️ watched a buck breeding a doe on a soccer field, and directly across the road another buck trying to mount a doe out on a island of a couple trees. I️ gave my lady a wink to see if something was in the air but that was a bust! Good luck and be safe around those big rutty whitetails.. they might try to come kill you so be prepared!
    Steve, pettet, Bryan six and 4 others like this.
  2. Thanks for the reinforcements I have a small 2 -3 acre woods with a creek running thru it surrounded by open field and crp closer to the farmers barn that I can access from the road that I have avoided all year just for this If tomorrow morning nothing comes my way I will be crawling into this area and hoping to put a shot down on a buck, I am excited about tomorrow also the Michigan gun opener starts and I hunt across street so that may bump some new bucks onto my spot.. I can not wait to get out there tomorrow I plan on getting in the stand the earliest I ever have been like an hour plus before light comes up..
    bywayofthearrow likes this.

  3. I was kinda fearful lock down would clash with youth gun. Last weekend the bucks were still moving. I'm hoping me and the boy can get out and get something in front of him next weekend.
    Bryan six likes this.
  4. I am seeing just the opposite in NE Ohio. Last week was completely dead for me (both from time on stand and trail cams).
    Checked cams this morning and had 3 different mature bucks hitting scrapes again within the last 2 days. Scrapes were completely leaf covered and untouched last week, now they are wide open again.
    As I stated in an earlier post, my best days so far for buck sightings were 10/25 & 10/26 then it slowed. I truly believe we had an earlier than usual start to the true rut in my area of NE Ohio, and now the mature bucks are onto the second seeking phase for remaining estrous doe. I predict the youth hunters are gonna take down some stud bucks this weekend.
    I'm looking forward to taking down some stud mallards this weekend
    EagleEye419 likes this.
  5. My guess is that a lot of the does will be bred this week before youth season comes in. I think a lot of the bucks will be out searching for does this weekend.
    EagleEye419 and Kyle13 like this.
  6. What we consider lock down phase is essentially the point of the breeding season where the majority of does are in estrous. Unlike many believe a buck will not spend several days with a doe. Rather a buck will try to isolate a doe that is extremely close to being ready to breed. Typically it won't take them more than a few hrs to get the job done and then it's off to find him another doe. Finding another doe that's receptive is not as hard at this time so they don't have to cover as much ground to find one. So if you're discouraged that you're not seeing much just remember a buck can be looking for a new doe at any given minute. Stay out there and hang out with the does.
    jrose, EagleEye419, DLC and 2 others like this.
  7. Agreed on your lock down statement, but partially disagree with a buck spending a fair amount of time with a doe. I don't think it's days but it can take just a few minutes or many hours. I live where it's extremely visible. I've seen bucks lay with does from sunrise until dark only moving 100yards or less the whole day waiting for her to stand. I did see a buck get lucky after a few mins of chasing that were 1/2mile away from each other prior to breeding Thursday night. I think every deer is different but if you have a stubborn doe or a lazy buck it can take alot of time. My area is definitely on the downhill but bucks are still cruising.
    Coondog likes this.
  8. 0 for 4 attempts at spot and stalk with 1 miss so far. Watched a buck with a doe 4hrs today only to have a little turd come run them off. I'm soaked. Very young doe this brute was protecting today.
    bywayofthearrow and EagleEye419 like this.
  9. Saw small bucks today. Nothing mature with does.
  10. Still seeing bucks with does in Central Ohio. Really mature buck tailing a doe this morning. Looked like a 12 pt.
    BigMikeLilBow and bitemybait like this.

  11. Do they really seek these areas or do you think that 90% of the time they lock down in timber and that we just see the 10% that find an isolated clump, go into an open field or somewhere else very visible? I've always wondered this?

    I agree with you 100% though. Bucks on lock down with a doe should be very easy to kill. The problem is most guys are out hunting and not out driving around or out looking for these bucks. The days I've been on kid duty this year were some of my best observation days. It's nice to keep tabs on doe groups and other happenings when your not on stand.
  12. and yes.....I saw a buck tending a doe this morning in an water way in the middle of a 100 acre cut bean field today. Also saw 2 buck out cruising tonight...they came together posturing but never fought. It's still primetime.
    bywayofthearrow and EagleEye419 like this.
  13. I had a slow day bumped one on way to stand, crept through a good timber blow down buck area around noon in the rain hoping to sneak up on one and saw nothing drove around the area didnt see any out in middle of fields, im starting to get discouraged after friday evenings miss hope its not over with. I have Friday off ill be back out and then i will get ready for gun opener and the following day and do some late season hunts if need be.
  14. There is definitely something about open areas and isolated cover pieces that attract them. Maybe the other bucks are in the cover and the buck pushes her away from them. Maybe the does are trying to get away from the chasers before their ready therefore hiding out in some unordinary places. I’ve seen what appears to be bucks pushing them to the open, and also the does leading so maybe it’s a mutual thing where they both want some privacy lol Buck I shot on Sunday pushed a doe down a ridge line right to a road I could barely see. My guess was to get away from other bucks I know where using the ridge. Lockdown in big timber is a different animal.
  15. I do think they try to get away from the other deer. But I've always wondered if it's simply the fact we see them that makes it appear that way. On a side note. In big timber I've seen them go into the thickest cover possible to get away from the other deer.
    bywayofthearrow and Steve like this.
  16. I personally have long thought it is both, but it depends on what part of the cycle we are in. Early on, the does lead the bucks most of the time. The does aren't quite ready just close and they are sick and tired of the bucks bothering them. They will lead that buck up by the road, off into the drainage ditch, out into the middle of an open field - in my opinion trying to shake the buck. These are areas that at any other time of year the doe knows the buck would not venture unless it was the middle of the night.

    As peak breeding begins I believe it is mostly the opposite. Receptive does are led away into these same areas to isolate them from other bucks and their youngins from spring.

    I do know if you can catch a buck in total lock down they are very vulnerable. It is the doe you must be concerned with because when and were she goes...he goes. Otherwise I have seen them so "stupefied" you could darn near walk up and spear em!

    Always seen my biggest bucks at the tail of the rut. Less action and sightings, but the absolute monster bucks at least for me the tail end is when I have seen most.
    EagleEye419 likes this.
  17. In
    my area they always take the does to the thickest possible area to breed. You can hear them in there all day long. When/if the doe tries to leave the buck will actually corral her like a horse herding sheep. I killed my buck this year by setting on the edge of an area I have witnessed this in years past. My buddy killed by doing the exact same thing. I also put a couple cams in these thickets a month ago and got my biggest buck of the year breeding a doe.
  18. Just bumping this up based on recent sightings.. saw good mature buck movement last night. One cruising one with a doe. Got a text this morning from a landowner there’s a big one trying to breed a doe in their back field. Glass them up and put a stalk on if you can right now! A 2D decoy makes a lot more possible. If they are with a doe challenge with a buck decoy.
  19. I saw a giant 10 pointer yesterday at 530pm 50 yards from the road in a brown wheat field
    EagleEye419 and bywayofthearrow like this.
  20. Had a nice buck locked down with a doe in a partially cut cornfield this morning right at daybreak. They eventually made their way into the thicket behind me.
    EagleEye419 likes this.