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Area 6 Deer Rut

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Let me start by saying, Iím no biologists, just an avid hunter and someone who likes to learn about different subjects. Iíve been hunting in the Atchafalaya spillway in Area 6 since the mid 1980ís and have been hearing over the years about needing to move the season back to correlate with the breeding in our area. Being an avid hunter, Iíve watched film and read books about deer breeding and can say that Iíve only seen deer actually chasing does several times. I also believe, but donít know for sure because Iím not sitting in the woods during February and March after the season to see, that most of the rut takes place during that time. Now the reason Iím bringing up is that earlier in the year people in the Atchafalaya was posting that they were seeing spotted fawns late in December. Now several facts that I learned are:

1. Gestation period for whitetail is about 200 days.
2. Fawns loose their spots in approximately 2 months.
3. If Doe not breed, will come back into estrus in 28 days.

Now with these facts stated above that I donít think many people can argue about. I worked up a spreadsheet that if a deer breed on a certain date, theyíll give birth approximately and will loose their spots on approximately (All Dates are 28 days apart in their respective rows)ÖÖ

Date Bread
2/6/2010 3/6/2010 4/3/2010

Birth
8/25/2010 9/22/2010 10/20/2010

Approximation of Losing Spots
10/24/2010 11/21/2010 12/19/2010

With this information I strongly believe our deer in the basin are mostly being breed early February and March and some as late as April!! Iíve read that some biologists wanted to slide Area 6 season back to accommodate the breeding, but was meat with resistance from Rabbit hunters and others. I think that we need to get together and urge LDWF to work on these changes!

Do you guys think that Iím wrong in my thinking and logic??

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Area 6 Rut
KenneyD - Having hunted in Area 6 all my life I would certainly agree - especially that area that's inside the basin and adjacent to it. Now to be honest I find that the river parishes - St. John, St. James and St. Charles tend to have a more pronounced late December/early January rut than Iberville, the basin, Sherburne, etc. I have validated this through cameras over the last four years. The majority of river parish fawns show up on camera one cycle earlier than those in Iberville (Ramah)and lose their spots earlier also.
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Dates need to be changed
I agree 100%. I have hunted all of Sherburne for roughly 10 years now and have never seen a full blown rut. I have watched fawns loose their spots no earlier than late Nov or mid Dec. I hunted the last three days of bow season(Fri-Mon) in Sherburne.
Fri - 2/13, found old scrapes & rubs, saw 2 does @ 2:00pm, nanny and yearling.
Sat - 2/14 saw same two does @ 6:55AM. Took a shot hit a branch and missed. 10:25AM wathced a single file line of 14 does walk 100yd behind me. Got down around 5:00pm to pack up. Went to look formy arrow and all 4 scrapes had been worked Fri night - FRESH & the does walked right through the same trail, stopped in the scrape area and left some scent. They were in no rush to leave the area.
Mon -2/15 Got in stand @ 2:30pm, does traveling the scrape trail again. Hung out scent bombs and the buck starts grunting @ 4:30pm and never stopped. He got closer & closer the later it got, but never saw him.
I've seen it first hand, season dates do need to be moved back forupper area 6 so we can experience a good rut hunt.
I know Dave Moreland has put some proposal together to move them back butwho knows where that will go.
BOW SEASON NEEDS TO GO TILL THE END OF MARCH AND KEEP THE SAME RIFLE DATES (FOR SHERBURNE).
My 2 cent..... Look @ the buck they just took last Sat and the Langlois deer two-three weeks before that..

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I Agree
I say move it back at least 3 or 4 weeks.Always fighting skeeters and snakes and hot as hell when the season opens.
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I AGREE
I AM IN A LEASE IN NORTHERN ST. LANDRY PARISH AND OWN A FEW ACRES IN SOUTHERN AVOLLEYES PARISH WHICH BOTH AREAS FALL INTO AREA 6. DEER HUNTING IS MY PASSION AND I HAVE BEEN DOING SO FOR THE PAST 26 YRS. OUR HUNTING CLUB(2600 ACRES) HAS BEEN ON A BIG BUCK PROGRAM FOR THE LAST 12 YEARS AND WE DO TRY TO HARVEST MATURE BUCKS ONLY(4.5 YRS & UP). NOT TRYING TO SAY EVERYONE HAS TO DO THE SAME...ITS JUST WHAT WE CHOOSE TO DO. WE USUALLY HARVEST ANYWHERE FROM 8 TO 15 BUCKS PER YEAR. IN THOSE LAST 12 YEARS, WE AVERAGE 1 MATURE DEER HARVEST BEFORE CHRISTMAS TIME. AFTER CHRISTMAS THEY START TO DROP LIKE FLIES. DAVE MORELAND'S RUT CALENDER IS USUALLY DEAD ON EVERY YEAR GIVE OR TAKE A FEW DAYS. OUR BOW SEASON OPENS OCT. 1 AND OUR RIFLE SEASON OPENS THE WEEKEND BEFORE THANKSGIVING WHICH IS NEARLY 3 MONTHS BEFORE OUR FIRST RUT PERIOD. THE POINT I AM TRYING TO MAKE IS THAT THE WHITETAIL HUNTING SEASONS OF OTHER STATES WITHIN THE UNITED STATES AND THE WHITETAIL DEER SEASONS OF OTHER REGIONS WITHIN OUR OWN STATE ALL REVOLVE AROUND THE RUT....EXCEPT FOR REGION 6. DAVE MORELAND AND OTHER WILDLIFE BIOLOGISTS HAVE BEEN TRYING TO EXPLAIN THIS TO THE 'POWERS ABOVE' BUT BECAUSE ITS BEEN THIS WAY FOR YEARS IT HAS TO STAY THAT WAY. ON THE AFTERNOON OF FEB. 7 2010 I HAD A DEER WITH FADED SPOTS FEED UNDER ME FOR THIRTY MINUTES. I ALSO WATCHED A MATURE 8 PT. CHASE A DOE FOR 45 MINUTES NOT COMING ANY CLOSER THAN 85 YDS. ON FEBRUARY 12, I HAD 4 GUESTS ON MY PLACE(450 ACRES) AND WE HARVESTED 2 DOES, SAW 20 DEER, 4 OF WHICH WERE RACK BUCKS, ONE OF WHICH WAS A SHOOTER....OUR BEST HUNT ALL SEASON. SINCE DEER HUNTERS WERE GIVEN 2 WEEKS OF BOW HUNTING AFTER MUZZLELOADER SEASON IN AREA 6, WE SEE MORE DEER, MORE RUTTING ACTIVITY AND MORE BUCK SIGN IN THOSE TWO WEEKS THEN ALL OF THE REST OF THE HUNTING SEASON PUT TOGETHER. ITS TIME FOR THE CHANGE....NOT ONLY HAVE THE BIOLOGIST BEEN TRYING TO TELL US BUT THE DEER ARE SHOWING US AS WELL. THERE WILL ANOTHER MEETING MARCH 4 AT WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES ON QUAIL DRIVE IN BATON ROUGE. EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE HEARD.
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Rutting Period Variability in Area 6
A very important factor in any decision to change season dates in the Area 6 deer season is the north-south variability in rutting. In the coastal parishes of Lafourche, Terrebonne, etc. the peak rutting period occurs in mid- to late-December whereas in the northern portions of Area 6, the peak rutting may be late January or February. Closing the deer season after Thanksgiving weekend to late December would eliminate the most productive hunting times in the coastal parishes; consequently, the obvious solution would be be allow a later season in the northern portions of Area 6, but retain the current season in the coastal parishes.
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I'm confused
I have hunted area 6 my whole life, and I can't make sense of any of this stuff. I know we have late born fawns, see them with spots well into November, and see very, very, small deer the whole season (I read they keep their spots until they grow their winter coat, no matter what their age. I sure don't know if that is true.) On the other hand, I have found sheds the first week in Febuary, and in fact some years, have pulled the horns of bucks before the gun season ended. We see hornless or one horned bucks, with just bloodly spots on their heads, at the end of gun season most years, so how can this be explained? I cannot get an answer from any biologist I have talked to. So you can see why I'm confused. I just know I don't want to hunt or kill bucks without horns.
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Cajunkayak
Area 6 Needs to be move back one month. It needs to open Nov 1st and end a end of feb. I have hunted in Iberia parish north of hwy90 and basin for 30 years. Every time You shoot a doe in Oct. You kill fawns, I have 12 game cam's and have the photo's to prove how young fawns are in Oct..I am not willing to give up any more bows days. We have lost enough. No spit and no more muzzle loader days. The lower marsh needs to be taken out of area 6.

I start hog hunting in Feb and see full blowen rut until the end of feb.
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Rville
Rville - Exactly what part of Area 6 are you hunting? As you can see from the thread there a fairly strong opinion that the rut timing differs even within area 6.
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Long Rut
Kenny you are right on. I take thousands of photos in SW Mississippi each year. Earliest spotted fawn photo last year, Aug. 27, last one, December 28th. Most around the first of November. Rut activity last for 5 months with peak activity mid to late January and mid to late February. I also see activity in March during turkey season Saw two fresh scrape lines yesterday and the larger bucks still have fresh scars and are still breaking antlers.
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proposal
Even If the proposal isn't protested too much by other hunters including those who deer hunt; we shouldn't expect too much change at one time. I had read that they proposed a split in early December and that would give just a few days into February. I would resonably expect that Area 6 won't gain or lose days; just shifting them around. If history repeats itself; this will be bitterly protested.

I am all for it. I made my last bow hunt on Sunday and saw fresh rubs and scrapes that WERE NOT there on January 31. There is a defined rut in February, we just don't see it. I am in central Assumption.
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Changes
I will be at the next meeting march 4th and will try to gather data to bring. If any of you have pictures of fawns late in the season or big pregnant does late into oct and nov please send them to me along with the part of area six they were taken. Of course they need to have the correct dates on the pics. Also pics of bucks still packing antlers in march! I will also be circulating a petition hoping to get signatures of folks in favor of pushing the season back so we can get in on the rut action. From the folks that I have heard from thus far it looks like hwy 90
should be the line that seperates area six.
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Well
I don't think they will change it. Too many folks griping..
On the contrary, I 've seen bucks in the Basin in FULL BLOWN RUT as early as Novemeber. That is a weekend I will never forget. They were chasing hard the entire weekend, in high water! The sight and sound of it makes my adrenaline flow like it was today.
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TIME?
Can someone give me a time the meeting will begin? Thanks
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Time?
Meeting starts at 9:30am at 2000 quail drive Baton Rouge.
Thursday march 4th
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I believe LDWF will make some adjustments
Which may help some of y'all. Here's a few of my own thoughts:

If they split the season to give added days in Feb. you may see more poaching during the new off days in December. Some guys want their cake and eat it too.

LDWF should consider restructuring/simplifying the deer hunting zones, and set them according to the needs/rut dates by parish. Area 6 could be all of the upper basin parishes, with a new area of Lafourche/Terrebonne etc.

3 bucks/3 does is too basic - some parishes can easily support this allowed take, others can't. It may not be a popular idea but some parishes should be allowed only 2 bucks (like most other states) and with a few, maybe 4 does would be allowed.

Everybody wants to hunt the rut but allowing some bucks to run around and breed isn't always a bad thing - more deer for the future. Even so, the herd would probably do alright with added dates in Feb. if the total no of days in the season stays about the same.
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Thank You Guys and Gals!!!
From what Iím reading by most everyone is that we are in agreement that the season needs to, in some way, go later to accommodate the rut. I donít believe we need more days, I think the season has enough days. I also donít think it should have a split with days off in the middle. I would love to see it start later with the same amount of days, just allow hunters to hunt the rut. I let quite a few bucks go this year and Iím not going to shoot bucks just for the meat or bragging rights, I just would like to have the same opportunity that others have by being able to hunt before, during and after the rut. The area I hunt, when you never get to see the rut, you have much less of a chance of taking a wall hanger. Guys that I work with that hunt in other areas are taking nice trophies by their standards due to them being able to be in the woods during the rut. When I started this thread, my intentions was to see if others felt like I did or if I was not seeing what everyone else sees. I believe most everyone is somewhat in agreement that we need to do something and I hope this thread has a bearing on the meeting on March 4th. I have intentions of being there and would love to be able to talk to some of the decision makers. I want to thank everyone for replying and keeping this civil and professional. This shows that there are quality people hunting and most everyone wants whatís right and fair for the hunters and the game! Thank You Guys and Gals!!!
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OPEN IT LATER AND RUN IT LATER
I hunt the Clinton/Ethel area not far the way the crow flies, due east of area 6. Shot some nice bucks this year on the property but not no rut activity PERIOD! Couple days before the end of muzzle loader around the 21st, we found the first scrape on the property stinking to high heaven. Also, my friend the landowner, knows someone over at Idlewild (LSU Whitetail Research Center). That guy said that the bucks in the pen had just started to take an interest in the does and harass them a little bit at that same point in time. Idlewild is about 2 miles through the woods from where we are.
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