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Rut Tactics

The primary rut is the time when you have the best chance of seeing big bucks.  Even though the primary rut is the shortest of all the rut stages, bucks spend the most time moving during daylight hours during this time.  For this reason, it is wise for hunters to spend the most time in their stands on their South Carolina hunting land during this time.

One of the hardest things to do once you establish your stand site is to stay put!  You should get much better results if you can spend the entire day in one stand.  If you can’t do the whole day, enter your stand mid-morning and spend the rest of the day in the stand.  By entering your stand mid-morning instead of pre-dawn, you are less likely to bump deer along the way.  Also, by entering and exiting just once from your stand, the amount of scent you leave on the ground will be reduced.

When approaching your stand, it’s important to come into the least amount of contact with foliage as possible.  Clip branches along the route to your stand and wear high-top rubber boots to help in reducing ground scent.  Of course you’ll also want to use the route that crosses the fewest deer trails.  Remember to approach your stand from downwind as well.  Be careful not to spook does or bucks on the way to your stand.  If the does wise up to your presence and change their behavior, the bucks will do the same.  Just because bucks are the most vulnerable during the rut does not mean you can get careless.

InSouth Carolina, it normally isn’t too terribly cold in November, but it can be.  If it’s a cold day, wear as few articles of clothing as possible when hiking to your stand.  Once you’ve reached your stand and cooled down, you can add a layer.  This is a good way to keep perspiration down and stay warm.  Perspiration can make you colder as well as magnify human scent.

You’ll need to bring food if you intend to stay in your stand all day or even several hours.  Nutrition bars are a great thing to carry since they provide protein, carbs, vitamins and minerals.  They are as small as candy bars so they don’t take up much space and they aren’t messy to eat.  Enduring long hours in your stand will be much easier if you aren’t cold or hungry!