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Thoughts From The Field

Blog posts by the
GrowingDeer.tv team

Shifting Deer Hunting Strategies With The Rut

Over the past few weeks scrapes have played an important role in the GrowingDeer.tv Team‘s hunting arsenal. In a recent episode, GDTV #257, we discussed what scrapes are and how to use them for hunting the pre-rut. Even though bucks will continue to use scrapes throughout the season it will be less frequent and with no distinguishable pattern. As the first does enter estrus, bucks begin to focus on does. Scrapes are no longer the primary focus of our hunting.

A mature buck checks out a mock scrape.

This mock scrape is at the end of a travel corridor. Bucks still check it out but it’s not as active as it was before a high percentage of the mature does in the area became receptive.

Maybe you have already observed does being chased by several small bucks followed by a larger buck. When this occurs, does get tired of constantly being pushed around and will seek out shelter. Time to shift focus and hunt stands that are near or overlooking areas of dense cover, like a thicket or a clear cut overgrown with saplings. The goal is to catch a buck searching for a doe that has or will take refuge in the cover. You can see how Grant put this strategy to use in episode #157.

In addition to hunting cover, our other preference this time of the year is travel corridors. Travel corridors are areas that deer prefer to use as they travel to their destination. These corridors tend to be paths of least resistance for deer and usually allow deer to move in relation to the wind. We know that does will be using these areas and that bucks will follow.

We also know that now is the prime time. As every day passes more does will become receptive. This means bucks will not have to look as hard for a date, and buck movement will decrease. When that happens, it will be time to shift hunting strategies once again!

I hope you get the opportunity to experience this exciting time of the season.

Managing whitetails with you,

Daniel Mallette

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