Once I got home from the shore I quickly hit the local woods as I knew rutting activity was happening up here in central Maryland. So, I spent as much time as I could in the woods over those 5 days.
I spent most of the time in Loch Raven, I had good hunts and bad ones. Thursday evening I saw a doe and 4 point on my way into the woods, but that was it. I saw nothing while in my stand for hours.
Friday I ended up having to work...
Saturday morning was exciting. as I saw a number of deer and was almost constantly seeing deer. I ended up seeing 5 small bucks and half dozen does all running and chasing, but nothing close.
Saturday evening I hunted the same area, but had much different results, I didn't see anything at all other than the fox in the video below before sunset. Right at sunset I had two small bucks pushing 3 or 4 does all around the thicket about 75 yards off to my left. They ran around until it was almost dark and I heard them all run up the hill and out of sight, at which time I got down.
Monday morning was again a thrilling morning for those that like to see deer. It started right as the light broke. I saw 3 does up the hill about 110 yards in front of me feeding along minding their own business. After they left, 15 minutes later I had 2 more does come up the hill from below, these were must closer. It was a bigger doe and a fawn, I couldn't get a shot at the big doe and she stayed in the thicket behind me and when in openings she was 35 - 40 yards away. Just out of what I felt comfortable taking a shot at a doe. I watched them feed and at one point the fawn was just 17 yards away but I just watched her and let her feed across the hill.
Shortly after that I heard something steady walking down the hill from me and I saw a buck coming up the hill, he was steady walking nose to the ground. He basically did a huge circle around me staying at about 50 - 75 yards away the whole time. He was a nice young little 7 point. He in the end worked off to my left up the hill and into the thicket and was gone pretty fast. Then some time passed, and about 20 - 30 minutes later I saw a doe work across the hill about 50 yards in front of me just feeding along and no interest in coming down the hill to me. By this time it's about 7:45 AM and next thing I knew I see another buck coming from where the last one had gone. I figured oh here he comes back down the hill. Until I did a double take and looking in my binoculars realized this wasn't the 7 I watched earlier but this is a small 8 and much like the 7 he had his nose to the ground and was quickly working down the hill in front of me. Much like the rest of the deer I had seen he stayed in the thicket and when he wasn't he worked about 45 yards out in front of me, just far enough I wouldn't shoot. He was quickly working down the hill and out of site off to my right.
Then more time passed and now it was about 8:15 AM, I saw more movement down the hill from me and here comes 2 does up the hill acting like something is chasing them, they ran up the hill off to my left about 60 yards away and never stopped but they did slow down. Eventually I watched them walk up the hill and out sight. Then, 5 minutes later here comes 3 more does running up the hill, run right under my stand and I was trying to stop them for a shot, but also figured there has to be a buck behind them and i'll just be ready. Well, never saw the buck if he was behind them, I stood and waited for 15 minutes and nothing. I finally sat back down and waited, about 8:30 am I saw another doe working across the hill on the same path the last single one took about 60 yards in front of me feeding along. In the end that would be the last deer I would see everything got quite and stayed that way until I got out of my stand.
Well I got in my stand at a reasonably early, I moved about 75 yards from where I was in the morning figuring maybe I would see something closer and get a shot. I sat and waited and watched for hours, saw nothing other than birds and a fox a number of times. Until about 4:45 just before sunset. I heard something coming up through the woods, about 50 yards away the 8 point pictured below cruised by, moving along not stopping but also didn't really seem like he was rutting either just had somewhere to be. Other than the 8 point I had something come in as I was getting down at dark and it snorted and ran off, but nothing I could do there. All and all a pretty slow evening for an area that had some much excitement that morning.
And that was the end of my hunting the rut in Loch Raven. I haven't been back out this week, but been checking cams and hope to get out this week during the holiday. I am also looking forward to this Saturday and opening day of gun season!
It was great to be back home and see some deer, I just hope I get a shot at one soon!