This week's edition of "Traplines on Cypress Creek" discusses the lack of a rut this whitetail season, as well as shares a story about a local youngsters first successful hunt.


We are halfway through the biggest hunting season Delaware has, and for some I’m sure it was one to remember, while for others it’s one to forget. Since my deadline is much earlier than you read this in print, I won’t have any of the juicier stories until next week’s column.

One thing that has puzzled most of us whitetail fanatics has been the rut; or better still, the lack thereof during the times we expected it. Traditionally, the Delaware rut is the first week in November. I planned on it and tried spending as much time as I could in the woods during that time, and I can say with a great degree of certainty it didn’t happen then.

While the rut usually occurs about two weeks after the Harvest Moon (October full moon), that happened very late in the month. Some experts claim this has pushed our rut further into November than usual. Others claim the rut was early this year and we’ve simply missed it completely.

I do know one thing — the deer didn’t miss anything. If there was one earlier, they were there. If it happened later and still before press time, then we’ll all know it by next week’s edition.

While us old folks plan on the November season, some of us forget that we give the youth of the state a bit of a head start. Youth Deer Hunting Day was on Nov. 6, and I got a very heartwarming story out of Felton.

PopPop Mike Raines of Felton didn’t need much encouragement to take his 6-year-old grandson Logan Mayle on this special day for young hunters. Taking a scoped Harrington/Richardson single-shot 20 gauge out to a large stand on private land, Mike was able to contain the youngsters enthusiasm for what we all know can be a very long wait. Fortunately Logan didn’t have to wait that long and a small button buck came out near enough for Logan to take his very first deer. Though it was “only a button buck,” to Mike it was the hunt of a lifetime and for Logan, one he’ll never forget. Congratulations to both Logan and PopPop.

From the water sports side of the outdoors, I haven’t heard much from either the late season striper fishermen or from the duck hunters. I do know that I haven’t heard the shooting on the impoundments that I have in the past, but that could be simply because the winds were whipping the sounds over toward New Jersey.

In case you haven’t been hunting yet and are planning on this weekend, or perhaps preparing for the Maryland opener the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I suppose I should caution you when you go to buy slugs. Five-count boxes that you paid $11 to $13 for last year will likely run you as much as $20 this year. With inflation at an all time high, the price of everything is going up.