The Linehan Outfitting 2021 whitetail deer hunting season was pretty strong. Minimal winter kill over the last several years has resulted in a super healthy whitetail deer herd here in the far northwest corner of Montana. Numbers are very strong and so are the deer. Average winters make it way easier for deer to find food. Obviously that makes them healthy, thick, and strong through the entire balance of the year.
The rut is the rut. And during the month of November it happens here regardless. The peak of the rut her is the week of Thanksgiving. But every year rut activity is different. Weather is one of the primary factors in deer movement. Cloudy skies and precipitation help. Indeed during the rut bucks spend more time on their feet searching for and encouraging does to come into heat. This year we had dark skies and a mix of rain and snow during the middle of November and sure enough that's when we noticed the most rut activity. Bucks were chasing does and covering ground during all times of the day. And does were all over the place which always help move bucks during the rut as well.
While I'd still say the peak of the rut here in our area is the week of Thanksgiving, this year the week of Thanksgiving was actually kind of tough. Sure we saw bucks, lots of them. But the mature bucks kind of disappeared. This can always happen to some degree but some years it seems more dramatic. With the highest number of does in estrus, bucks will herd them away for breeding for 24-48 hours. If the weather doesn't help move deer in general, and in this case the does, bucks are seen with less frequency.
All in all we had a terrific season. Daytime temperatures were generally good and we never got a deep freeze that made for terribly loud stalking conditions. We like to still hunt and spot and stalk using the quads god gave us and not the motorized type. Guides and guests were able to slip along and we had some outstanding close encounters in dark timber.
With super high numbers of young bucks and a strong, healthy whitetail deer herd we are expecting another successful and action packed season in 2022.