Interpreting the Rut
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It is 70+ degrees with blue skies again today. Although I’m seeing active scrapes and rubs I haven’t observed much rut behavior from the tree. Oftentimes hunters assume that the rut changes date because they don’t observe rut behavior at the same time from year to year. After reviewing literally hundreds, if not thousands, of conception dates from harvested whitetail does it is obvious that the actual timing of breeding doesn’t change drastically from year to year. However, the amount of daytime activity is based on several conditions including weather, specifically daytime temperatures.
Imagine running a long race for a very valuable prize when it is hot and you are forced to wear a winter coat. That is an illustration of mature bucks during these pre-rut days when daytime temperatures are above normal. Temperatures seem to be a bit less of a determinate of daytime buck activity during the rut because the prize is very obvious to them. However, during the pre-rut there may not be enough excitement to cause the bucks to be cruising during the daytime with their winter coat on.
These conditions can change at any time. This is a huge advantage for home turf hunters and a good reason for suitcase hunters to schedule as many days as possible for their trip, allowing time for weather conditions to be favorable. Understanding a deer’s reaction to specific weather conditions is a key to harvesting mature bucks on a sustained basis.
Growing Deer together,