All Signals Go: Time To Hunt The Rut!

By GrowingDeer,

  Filed under: Deer Hunting, Hunting Blog, White-tailed Deer

It’s that time of year again, the season that every whitetail hunter has laid in bed and dreamed about for the last twelve months. It’s the rut! Hunters wait all year for this magic time of chasing whitetails, but how do we confirm it’s really here?

I spent the day yesterday checking Reconyx trail cameras in preparation for hunting the rifle season this weekend. While out I made a few key observations about the stage of the rut.

I noticed that not a single scrape that we have been monitoring showed any signs of recent use. Falling leaves had covered them. This indicated that the majority of the does are now receptive and bucks no longer need to check scrapes to determine the status of deer in the area. Receptive does are emitting enough scent that the bucks know the status of does and spend their time seeking and tending receptive does versus checking scrapes.

Secondly, I observed three different sets of fawns without a mature doe nearby. When does begin to be harassed by bucks they often leave their fawns for 24-48 hours and seek thick cover in hopes of avoiding aggressive bucks.

Whitetail Buck taged during 2011 gun opener by Dr. Grant Woods

A successful hunt is one of the advantages of knowing the stage of the rut.

These and more signs all indicate it’s currently the lockdown phase of the rut in the Ozark Mountains. If that’s the case where you hunt, I suggest finding some thick cover in hopes of catching that big buck searching for a receptive doe. That’s where the Team will be hunting! Hopefully things turn out like the rifle opener two years ago (watch GDTV #104 here) when Grant and Adam had success out of a Redneck Blind using this strategy.

Chasing Whitetails Together,