All over social media, there were posts about the rut; has it started in your area? have you seen any chasing? how do you know? what's the moon phase? As much as I would have loved to have had some concrete answer to those questions, I had never seen proof that the rut was on. Until that second week in November.
Hubs was out hunting on the 10th and I was in charge of the kids and making our way up to my parent's house to hunt on the 11th. It was windy and cold and I had opted to stay in and not hunt that evening, but wait until the next day.
I was holding the baby and watching the leaves blow across the lawn when I saw a doe emerge from the bushes around the pond (see down pointing arrow.) She paused and then ran across the lawn, tail down. I assumed that she wanted to get back into cover with the weather being what it was. Seconds behind her was another deer. I assumed that it was her fawn from the spring, until I saw the shine of small antlers. It was a buck chasing a doe! I had never seen anything like it. The two of them ran across the lawn and disappeared into the tall grass closer to the house (right pointing arrow)
Dad was outside when all of this happened and hadn't see any of it. I was explaining what I had just seen when we both looked back at the pond. Another deer was coming out of the grass... another buck... with HUGE antlers. Someone yelled, 'get the gun!' It might have been me... I was still holding the baby, so I promptly placed her on the floor in the living room and ran back to the door. I flung the door open, leaving the open screen door between me and the buck. He had tall antlers and they were well beyond his ears. This was the biggest live deer I had ever seen. He had his head down and was following the path of the doe and smaller buck.
I yelled at time through the screen and tried anything I could to delay him so that Dad could get the gun and I could step outside and take a shot. He didn't hear me, or if he did, he didn't care. He was gone before I could get the gun in my hands.
It was the first time that I had seen the rut "in action" with not one but two bucks chasing one doe. I would have LOVED to have been able to drop a huge buck right on the lawn, but it just wasn't meant to be. Still, it was an incredible experience! and another reason why deer hunting is so much fun; you never know what could happen and when.