Bucks are more worried about filling their guts than they are chasing women. 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 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.

Most hunters are still hunting open areas and ag fields. 1. This is the phase when I get aggressive with calling and rattling. You can still hunt the traditional rut stands — parallel trails, funnels, food sources, etc. What I’ve found is that many of the does will still come out to the field and bucks prefer to just scent check the field instead of come out and waste their time eating. Mature bucks are now frequently seen walking in daylight. Now the bucks are feeling their oats.

Seconds later, a top-heavy, big-bodied buck trots down the same lane, hot on the doe’s trail. Deer Behavior: While some mature bucks will stay on your property late in this pre-breeding period, others will start to expand their range. Over the past few years, between hunting in North Dakota and northern Minnesota, I’ve experienced it in two very different ways.

Also, in hill country, setup along leeward (downwind side) ridges. And everything after that is the late season. What I’ve found is deer that are coming through will often stop to smell what this is; giving you a shot in the exact location you want. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. This way you can count on them stopping in that location and already be at full draw or have your gun ready and set for the moment they stop. The next issue is getting deer to stop for a clean shot. I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor) I slipped in that afternoon, saw 13 deer and shot a 160-inch, 10-pointer that came to the beans just before dark. First thing to note about hunting the rut is deer are unpredictable. Key Signs: Big rubs; large, fresh scrapes. Calling and rattling tactics can work, but I’d hold out until the latter half of this phase to really get loud with them. Hunt high from a lock-on or tower stand so you can watch down into the cover. We have looked at what the rut is …

The RUT – a unanimous term that sparks excitement, anxiety, and giddiness amongst the deer hunting community. Deer have been pressured hard by now. It’s something to keep in mind as you start trying to call this year. The stages of the rut vary a bit throughout the month. While the number of different designs and features…. One of the most common places was at the junction of two deer trails. Granted, for doe fawns, that could happen at any time during the late season if adequate food sources are available. The odds of actually doing so increase if you set up where deer are most likely to travel, and hunt when they're most likely to be in the area. Lay an estrus-doe trail into your stand; a buck on a last hookup mission might cut it and come in. This week I generally back off “blind rattling” because skittish deer have heard clashing antlers (both real and fake) for weeks. A doe comes crashing through the timber and blows right by your treestand. When it comes to a big woods setting, most of the time you aren’t able to see that far. Expect deer to move best the first and last hours. Grunt at every buck you see wandering through the woods or dogging a doe, and do some blind calling every 30 minutes or so on stand; you can’t grunt too much this week. The rutting season occurs during late fall. Some people refer to everything after the peak rut as the post-rut. Key Signs: Primary doe trails; buck tracks; scrapes with fresh pawing. But whichever week you choose, we’ve got you covered with this week-by-week plan on how to hunt the rut. Deer Behavior: Last days of pre-breeding and into the breeding stage. As for tactics, I’m still keying on buck bedding areas during this phase. Hunting the rut can vary drastically depending on where you hunt. 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.

The rut is more of a marathon than a sprint; breeding activity may start as early as mid-October and then builds slowly and steadily. Obviously, bucks will most likely find these does near food sources. During the rut, bucks rub trees to display their physical prowess to potential mates and also to deposit unique scent markers onto the tree from glands in their foreheads. You can find his work in a variety of places, but the best place to go is WhitetailDNA.com or visit his Instagram or Facebook Page. This is the best period to increase your chances of tagging a large, dominant buck. If you are someone that travels to hunt the rut, depending on where you’re going, you may have to adapt to the surrounding and change your hunting style a little bit.

You must rely on your ability to scout and be confident in your setups, even if you don’t see deer. 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. If you hunt private ground where the pressure has been relatively light all month, try rattling in the mornings. And if you have an estrus doe fawn near you, things could get interesting. The does that have been bred move back to food plots, fields, browse and other food sources. Setting up a stand location near this tree will help to increase your chances of seeing the buck and of ultimately getting a shot at him. And this is how you should hunt each phase of it. That’s because deer could be moving at any time … In one corner, I found a quarter-acre strip of beans the machines had missed. Hang a lock-on or ladder just inside a strip of trees that juts out into a weed field and creates a pinch with the timber on the far side of the field. Odds still aren’t good of killing a buck over a scrape (they never are — most scraping activity is done at night), but if you find several scrapes and a rub line really close to a known bedding area, get between it and the buck’s bedroom on morning hunts. The reason this works so well is the dripper will drip daytime only causing the deer to think another buck or hot doe is coming through during the day when they’re bedded up. A creek or river bottom makes it better. You also have to know when to move.

Also, be persistent in hunting the same stand location for multiple days.

In fact, it’s the biggest misinterpretation in all of deer hunting. Is It Time to Rethink Fall Turkey Hunting? But keep grunting. Today, I wanted to touch on some of the lessons I’ve learned from hunting ag country and the big woods during the rut, and hopefully, you can find some bit of information that will help you this year or in future years.

So often deer will be chasing and even the loudest grunts can go un-noticed with your shooter buck passing right through your lane and never stopping. Rubs and scrapes are popping up across the landscape, and deer activity is increasing.

It ought to smell like a barnyard of deer. However, the second rut is near, and that means bucks making mistakes once again. If you’re where the does are, eventually bucks will show up. Try setting a tarsal scent bomb near your stand; a brawler buck might come to your stinky challenge. This might occur later in this week. It stood up around midday and Dad took the shot. Get 10% off your next accessory purchase when you sign up to receive product updates, hunting tips, and more from TenPoint. The deer, especially the bucks, have neglected food for the majority of the past month and are in need of nutrition. Bucks trolling for or chasing does will move all day in this type of cover. You might see some young bucks chasing, but don’t expect the big boys to. Bucks will follow those does wherever they go. That’s the best shot at killing one. It stops mere yards from you, lip-curls, and belts out the gnarliest grunt you've ever heard.

They may have been on patterns before, but this all changes now. Because of this, I generally used more reserved tactics for this phase than I did during the previous two. One of the most exciting aspects of the rut is that mature bucks will move during the day to find does. 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. During this phase, mature does that were not bred during the first rut, will cycle through 28 days after their first one.

— PAID PARTNER CONTENT. Site by Gray Loon. For post-rut, food sources will be your most consistent bet.

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