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hunting the rut

Why November is The Best Time to Hunt Coyotes, How to Icefish for Giant Walleye, Lake Trout, and Perch, The 6 Best Rifle Cartridges for Moose Hunting, How to Ready Your Pump-Action Shotgun as Survival Tool for Bear Country. Sooner or later the buck you are hunting will return to the area to re-deposit his scent on a rub or to seek out does that are frequenting your spot. I was mobile, slipped in and surprised those deer near the last good feed for miles. Bucks — even mature ones — are seen chasing does now. I choose not to. Moon: A dark-night week, with the new moon on Nov. 25. Most hunters are still hunting open areas and ag fields. This is the week when every gun hunter and his brother hits the woods; the pressure moves rutting deer deeper into cover, and they move a lot at night. Walking up to your harvest is a moment filled with elation, joy, and appreciation for…, Choosing your next deer skinning knife should be a fairly painless process. As difficult as it may be, this is the time of year for sitting on the stand or being in a blind all day, or at least for as long as you can. It is a perfect spot to rattle; hunt until 11:00 a.m. or so. Studies show that most mature does come into heat around Nov. 7 or 8, and 80 percent of them will be bred over the next two weeks. Deer Behavior: Breeding is still going strong in most areas, but beginning to fade in other places. But don’t be afraid to focus on bed-to-feed doe patterns, either. They may have been on patterns before, but this all changes now. My gut is that some giants will be killed an hour before last light. I know that if I tried to hunt the northern big woods of Minnesota the same way I do in North Dakota, I would struggle mightily. Also, in hill country, setup along leeward (downwind side) ridges. Around where I live in Minnesota and where I hunt in North Dakota, it’s a complete 180-degree difference in terms of habitat. Depending on the latitude of the deer, this can be anywhere from early November to late December and into January. Blow long, aggressive grunts for 10 to 20 seconds on your grunt call; sound throaty and gurgling, like a horny buck tending a doe. For a late-rut morning hunt, try an overgrown cedar field, tamarack flat, etc., with good, broken cover that sits a half-mile or so off a grain field. During the rut, bucks will leave the home area where they have spent a majority of the year and will seek out other areas that have dense doe populations. Moon: Good midday deer movement continues during the full moon; as it moves to last-quarter Nov. 18 when early mornings will be better. During the rut, bucks will leave the home area where they have spent a majority of the year and will seek out other areas that have dense doe populations. But most of the truly mature bucks will have responded to hunting pressure by now, meaning you’ll have to focus more on thick cover similar to the way you did in late October. Because of this, I like to set up in the fringes of doe bedding areas. In fact, it’s the biggest misinterpretation in all of deer hunting. These three stand set-ups can be employed across much of the whitetail's range. All rights reserved. In most states, at this point, even the gun hunters have had a crack at them. Is Southeastern Missouri the New Arkansas for Duck Hunters? Sign up for offers, new arrivals and more. Focusing on doe bedding areas isn’t a bad idea either. Science Fact: Research of collared bucks from Maryland to Texas shows that 20 to 40 percent of mature bucks continue to make long trips out of their core areas in the post-rut in search of the last hot does. Calling and rattling tactics can work, but I’d hold out until the latter half of this phase to really get loud with them. My No. Over the past few years, between hunting in North Dakota and northern Minnesota, I’ve experienced it in two very different ways. Dave spotted five bucks escaping in the cover, and he shot the biggest, a 150-incher. The rut is one of the best times to hunt whitetail deer and can provide the action packed hunting with deer moving frequently throughout the day. This will help eliminate human odor, which is very important because deer won’t be coming on just one trail or in one area where you can set up, based on the wind. Many does will gravitate there to bed. — like you were before. You’re ready to charge forth into the woods with bow or gun, pumped to put the smackdown on a 10-pointer. Obviously, bucks will most likely find these does near food sources. Bucks rub trees in the early season to remove the velvet from their antlers when growth of the rack is complete. If the deer activity is still good, sit in a stand all day because some breeding is still going on; you probably won’t see as many bucks at midday as last week, but it only takes one with a big rack to come by and make your season. This is the best week for rattling, which works best on a cool, still morning. A freshly rubbed tree indicates that a buck has recently been in the area, and it is highly likely that the buck will return to the tree to deposit more scent. Forget about the October lull. Now, I ease back into the best security cover I can find — that I think bucks are now bedding in — and wait for them to slip up. I was going to start out with the differences, but there’s a lot more of those, so I figured I’d run through a few of the similarities between hunting the rut in ag country and the big woods first. If you can find the area of your hunting land where the does spend the most time, then you will likely find bucks frequenting that area this time of year. Mix in sassy doe bleats on a can-type call; a rut-crazed buck might hear it and come in. Don't Miss: 20 Deer Hunting Lies Your Granddaddy Told You. One of the most common places was at the junction of two deer trails. This greatly increases your chances of seeing mature bucks during the middle part of the day. This can have multiple implications on how you hunt the rut, but among them, bucks will move further to seek out does in a big woods setting, and calling may not be as effective. But since bucks are rut-tired and skittish, sightings and movement will be erratic. Whoa, slow down man. Lay a hot-doe trail right to your stand, remove boot pads or drag line, hang it 4 feet off the ground, and juice it some more; you can’t put too much “eau de doe” in the air now. The rutting season occurs during late fall. Only have an hour after work? It doesn’t matter where you are hunting, to me, the rut is all about spending as much time in a tree as you can. This gives you a better shot at seeing that mature buck in daylight. ©2020 Jordan Outdoor Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reserved. Bucks often travel through these areas of least resistance as they search for the next estrus doe. This phase is when bucks begin to act a little rutty. — PAID PARTNER CONTENT. You’re apt to see a buck prowling with his nose to the ground (with or without a doe in sight), chasing a gal flat out, standing over a doe and guarding her or even mounting one. 1. Bucks will travel along these as they scent check for estrus does. That’s still a week or more out. If you have had trail cameras set up at stands and other places on your property, determine which locations have yielded the greatest number of pictures of doe activity during the past few weeks and choose those areas to hunt. May 22, 2019   |  Brow Tines and Backstrap. I like to place a curiosity or estrus scent such as Wildlife Research Center Trail’s End #307 or Golden Estrus Xtreme in my shooting lanes. Hunting the rut is one of the most exciting and action-packed times to go after whitetails in my opinion. He has had writing published in Quality Whitetails, Bowhunter Magazine and North American Whitetail Magazine. A doe comes crashing through the timber and blows right by your treestand. Depending on whether your rut is a few days early or late, you might see bucks wandering alone or chasing does; some will be locked down with gals. This is a period when deer have transitioned from their early season patterns to their fall ranges. Rubs and scrapes are popping up across the landscape, and deer activity is increasing.

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