Why am I not seeing deer during the rut?

By Grant Woods,

  Filed under:

← Grant's AnswersHunting Tactics
Hi Grant, I started hunting a new piece of land this year, I have seen a lot of does and even shot and missed one during bow season. My problem is seeing bucks, we have pictures of several nice bucks but there all at night, also rut is supposed to be in right now and I’m finding very few scrapes,, we have horned trees all over, I’ve hunted morning, evening, mid day and all day and it seems like the deer, even the does are shutting down during the day. The Bucks haven’t moved during the day all season, I am disabled and cant hunt as much as I would like. I would appreciate any advice you could give me, Also One of the guys I hunt with said it was the same way last year. Please HELP??


It’s understandable not seeing much deer activity during the rut.  Bucks don’t need to move much during the peak of the rut.  This is when the highest percentage of does are receptive and bucks don’t have to travel far to pair up with a doe.  Once with a receptive doe bucks often tend that doe for 24-36 hours.  Often neither the buck or doe will travel far during this time.  In addition, because there are often many receptive does in the area bucks or does rarely use scrapes during the peak of the rut.

There’s often more activity during the pre and post rut when bucks are actively seeking receptive does.  In addition and bucks certainly visit scrapes more during the pre and post rut than during the peak of the rut.

Hunting can be great during the post rut if the temperature is average or colder than average.  

By the post rut most deer have become conditioned to avoiding hunters.  Try to hunt areas deer don’t associate with danger – especially during the post rut!

Enjoy creation,


December 6, 2015