How should I hunt this property in West Virginia during the rut?

By Grant Woods,

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Dr. Grant, I am in a tight situation with the rut coming on fast here in Wv. The mature bucks are starting to seek for does in estrus, and as I recently hunted some new territory with a friend on public land this past weekend, we got permission to hunt 450 acres of private land. The private land had many grown up hay fields, a small pond, and a few oak benches below some of the fields. But in the one evening I went in with a self climbing stand I found several fresh rubs and two active scrapes on one of the benches that were producing oak. I don’t have much time to hunt it, let alone scout a lot. What should I do to get a mature buck to cruise my way next time I’m on this new property?

Thank you,


Bucks are not very predictable during the rut. I suggest you study a Google Earth image, etc., of the property and look for bottlenecks, etc.  You mentioned ponds. I like stands by ponds as the they act as barrier and create a bottleneck. Deer will swim ponds, but don’t want to unless forced. I’d check out the largest pond and see if there’s sign and a potential stand/blind location where the wind will carry your scent across the pond.

Enjoy creation,


November 2, 2015