Five cell cameras doesn't produce a great representation of what's going on around all of our farms in southern and northeastern Iowa. After all, trail cameras show only one thing... what is in front of it. Sometimes that is even a stretch thanks to imperfect technology. So, more cameras can definitely help show us more spots, but yet, nothing compares to actually being on one of the farms scouting with your own eyes and covering more ground in 10 minutes than a trail camera could cover all year. That is soon approaching for us. Hunters will be here over the next week to two weeks.
I was on one farm this weekend in south-central Zone 5, Davis County, and I was very happy with what I saw. Scrapes have started with some intent. Rubs have shown up in good numbers. Does are starting to get edgy. Bucks are starting to posture up. Young bucks are starting to play around with the does. Does with yearlings are still isolating themselves. Beans are basically all harvested around our farms. Some corn is, but the none of our corn farms are cut. So, October 25th, today, I can safely say the pre-rut is engaging now.
Over the next 7-10 days, the pre-rut will continue to show us some intel via our cell cameras, and also our non-cell cameras when we check them as hunters arrive, and we will establish our starting stands and starting approaches for the 7-10+ day hunts. With a full moon approaching on Halloween, the next 10-14 days following should be great as we enter into the rut. Now, the estrous cycle has nothing to do with the moon, but the buck activity does. We have the new moon on Nov 14th. I love hunting after a full moon. It is when things got magical for us in 2017. 2018 was one week early with a full moon on Oct 24th and new moon on Nov 7th and we had great rut action.
The only thing that can weaken the upcoming potential is weather. As of now, it looks to be on the warm side. November 7th is 13 days away, but the forecast calls for high of 56-degrees and a low of 39-degrees, which is about 15-degrees too warm compared to our ideals. November 2nd and 3rd show a temp range of 61/62 for highs and 40/41 for lows. I can't see beyond November 8th, but I hope it cools off for us on the last days of this hunt. If that stretch gets any warmer, I may try to get as many hunters as possible to hold off on their arrival dates. Yet, we don't want to hit lock-down. Decisions, decisions...
For now, I will keep thinking about our attack methods, working pro's and con's against the spots, and eventually I will have my go-to stands, my peak rut stands, and my killing-tree hopeful's. The cell cameras will continue to fire away showing us just a little glimpse of what is out there. Things are starting to change. We are one week from November in SOUTHERN IOWA! WOOHOO!