| While bucks aren’t as active during the lock down phase. There’s still
hope. Bucks only tend does up to 2 days. Then they’re on the move
As we enter the peak breeding time of November, there are more does in estrus at one time. According to the information provided on the Pennsylvania Game Commission website, “Most adult does in Pennsylvania are bred in November with average conception dates between November 11-17.” This is true for the majority of the northern portion of the United States. The lockdown period drastically changes the amount of good buck encounters that hunters have.
When so many does are ready to be bred all at once, bucks do not have to cruise and actually look for does like they would have in early November when there are fewer hot does. Almost all of the bucks’ attention will be on does for the next four to five days. Calling during the time is less successful. Bucks will still acknowledge your calling attempts, but he’s less likely to leave the doe to look for a fight, especially if the buck is far off. Calling may have some success if the buck is relatively close to the tree. In that case the threat of another buck is close by and it won’t have to travel too far from the doe. Usually, a buck will circle the doe to protect it from other bucks.
What can you do to pull bucks away? Unfortunately, there is no real good tactic. The best thing you can do is hunt the does. If bucks are on the does’ shoestrings, it makes sense to be in a location where you will encounter a lot of does. If there are a lot of does, there is bound to be a buck close by.
Bucks do not get locked down for too long. According to a blog by Dr. Grant Woods, called “Lockdown Rut Phase,” bucks only pair with does from 24-36 hours. Once the majority of does get bred, bucks will be back to cruising. Much like early November, less does will be in estrus; therefore bucks will have to be out looking for the few that haven’t been bred. After the lockdown period, there should be at least another week of some pretty good rutting activity.
The lockdown period is only temporary. Do not get discouraged if you are seeing less and less bucks. The rut is far from over. Continue to hunt hard in places where does concentrate, especially where many does pass your stand in range because there is likely a buck accompanying her.