The Second Rut: Strategies To Be Successful

By GrowingDeer,

  Filed under: Deer Hunting, Hunting Blog

Late November and early December can be a difficult time for deer hunters, but understanding deer biology can help you tag a late season buck!

Grant tagged the buck, the Trashman, during a late December hunt

Grant poses with “The Trashman,” a mature buck that was harvested when he was following a receptive doe fawn.

Trying to pattern deer, especially mature bucks during late November and early January is tough. By this time of year the deer have usually felt a high amount of hunting pressure. We know what pressured deer do don’t we? They become nocturnal. Nocturnal deer are very hard to hunt, but lucky for us nocturnal deer will still chase receptive does, even during daylight!

Over the next couple of weeks, doe fawns will be reaching the body weights of approximately 70 pounds. When they reach this weight they will begin puberty and become receptive. Unlike a mature doe who seeks shelter upon becoming receptive, doe fawns go about their normal routine. That routine may consist of bedding in a clear cut during the day or going to a food plot an hour before dark every afternoon. If this is the case, there is a good chance a buck will make an appearance at that food plot during daylight hours.

Game Plan: With our Reconyx cameras placed over most of our food plots on time lapse mode, we will monitor the fields for daylight activity. Next, we’ll search for patterns of doe fawns frequenting the plots. Once we find the fawns, we’ll move in and hope for a mature buck to make his appearance. Grant and I had a great hunt using this same strategy a couple years back as he tagged a nice buck we called “The Trashman.”

Finding the preferred food source during the late season is one thing. Finding the preferred food source with a receptive doe fawn will most likely lead to a very exciting night in the stand. Be sure that you’re not overlooking the doe fawns in your area; they may be the lure that helps you harvest your number one hit list buck.

Daydreaming of Whitetails,