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Peak of the Rut


Peak of the Rut


Two words stir the soul of whitetail deer hunters across the country. Those words are; “the rut”. It tells us there is a possibility that ole mossy horns may let his guard down. It tells us that we may have a chance at a big buck. We may finally get to brag a bit.

The rut is a time of year when most of the does are receptive to breeding and bucks are running around with nothing but love on their mind. They sometimes throw caution to the wind in hopes of finding love. Hunters who apply some basic hunting strategies can set themselves up to intercept these bucks. Here are five tips to help during the rut.

  1. Stay put – During the rut, bucks can and do travel around all day and night. Hunters who have the patience to sit as long as necessary can be rewarded with some fine deer. As one friend of mine puts it, the longer I sit, the better my chances are that he will come by. Sitting as long as you can is a great idea to put a buck on the ground.
  2. Don’t forget the wind – While bucks will let their guard down, they will not ignore their nose. If they catch a whiff of you they will not linger or stick around regardless of the hot doe. Don’t let your guard down. Keep hunting the wind.
  3. Get aggressive – Now is the time to rattle, use vocalizations and tactics that may not work other times of the year. Get loud, and get aggressive. Bucks will defend their territory and their girls from all intruders.
  4. Forget the thick stuff – During this time of year I like to sit where I can see a lot of ground. Bucks chasing does can cover a lot of ground and if I am hunting thick stands, they will be gone long before I can get a shot. Move to more open stands.
  5. Hunt the Does – Hunting where the does like to hang out will bring bucks into your area. If the acorns are dropping, find a good food source and hunt there as long as needed to get the buck. The does will come to the food and the bucks will follow.

By following these five tips, you will increase your odds of putting a nice trophy in your lap this year.