Area hunting has been … good. But not great.

“The weather has been crummy with all the rain and that has made for more difficult conditions,” said Donnie Mathes, a 30-year game warden at Fort Hood.

“It’s been muddy so that keeps people from even going out to hunt. The bucks are a little behind in the rut. They should be chasing does right now more than what they are doing. Hopefully, that starts picking up. But, overall, this is why I’d call the hunting conditions ‘Good, but not great.’”

Mathes said this is normally the time deer stay on their feet a lot.

“The deers, usually at this time, do a lot of cruising around right now,” Mathes said. “They don’t rest that much. They don’t eat that much. They spend a lot of time looking for does, they’re ready to breed — that’s what they’re thinking about.

“And this is the time when people normally hunt for bucks. They’re more visible now. Most people try to harvest a buck now but there are some that try to harvest a doe.”

The recent rain, said Mathes, hasn’t been all that bothersome to the deer.

“When it rains as hard as it’s been, the deer won’t move around much,” he said. “But once it stops, they get going again. Mostly, this rain just bothers the hunters. It has not been the perfect weather for deer hunting.”

Some cooler weather would help.

“It certainly would be nice if it was a little cooler,” Mathes said. “It will help the deer stay on their feet even longer. If it’s real warm, then they must stop and take a rest. The deer are much more comfortable in cooler weather.”

Mathes said scents and grunt calls have been somewhat effective.

“Right now, you can use scents, and then grunt calls,” he said. “They’re working. Rattling antlers works somewhat this time of year but we’re a week or two away from the rattling working really well.”

Contact Allan Mandell at amandell@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7566 and read his column at KDHPressbox.com

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