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Dealing with a Warm Weather Rut


The 2015 deer season has seen some out of the ordinary warm weather. This warm weather causes a lot of frustration too many hunters across the state. Vacations are planned and timed with the greatly anticipated rut that usually occurs between the last week of October through the second week of November. Unseasonably warm weather, rain and more rain has dampened many hunts this season.

How do hunters find the bucks they have been after when the rut is facing unusual weather? To begin with, do not change your tactics. What has worked in the past may still work. Focus on the does. Find the does and normally bucks are close by searching for receptive does to try and breed. Typically however, with the extremely warm weather even the does are difficult to find. It is at this time that hunting the food is vital for success.

As the end of October comes and the beginning of November is upon us, that usually means a lot of hard mast is on the ground. Hunters who rely on bait, or corn piles to draw in does are finding their corn being ignored. Deer will always prefer acorns to corn when they are available. Finding the trees that are dropping the most acorns is vital to finding the deer during adverse weather.

Secondly, be patient, extremely patient. Sitting for as long as you can in these stands will often reward you with the sight of the deer you are after. Personally, I have never been able to sit all day in the same stand. I just have not been able to accomplish this as much as I have tried. But I can sit for five or six hours in one stand. Staying as long as you can will make a big difference. Often during situations like this I will abandon old standby stands and become more mobile. Locating the mast trees as close to the bedding area I can find. Believing that during extreme weather situations the bucks will stay as close to the food as possible knowing that the does will be close by also.

One favorite tactic is to employ what I call – ‘turkey hunting for bucks’. Wuite simply, I will break out my Gobbler getter chair from Browning Camping and get all of my stull and find a good location to sit on the ground for as long as I can. Some locations include a bluff overlooking an oak grove. Creek bottoms near crossings, planted pine plantations where often sitting on the ground will give you better vision than climbing. By sitting on the ground, it allows me to slip in quietly, set up on a location, get some native vegetation to help hide my outline and I can sit there comfortably for five or six hours easily. Another tactic is going to the climbing stand and getting into areas that are reserved for certain kinds of weather or times of the year. I have also seen that in areas where there are permanent stands, taking a climber in and climbing as much as thirty yards can be enough to catch a mature buck who may be skirting a permanent stand.

No doubt about it, warm weather rut hunting is about as difficult as it gets. We went from seeing five to seven bucks per sitting to seeing zero as the rut neared and the weather would not cool down. But with some adjustments to your hunting tactics, you too can capitalize on bucks who are looking for love.