During the early stages and throughout the rut, deer will use different body signs and language than any other times of the year. A hunter needs to learn and pay attention to these signs as a means of understanding when the deer rut occurs.
The bucks appearance will change towards the deer rut. The neck will begin to increase in size. The hair on the tarsal glands will become darker. Other changes include scars and broken tines due to fighting.
The deer rut also brings aggression into play. The bucks will often raise the hairs on its back, extend the ears back, and walk stiff legged. These are all signs that the rut is near.
While travelling the bucks will often keep nose to the ground searching for estrus does. The bucks may also be seen during daylight hours more frequently.
The deer rut also changes how the does act. The does will often separate from the main herd of deer during estrus. A sign that the doe is coming into season is that the tale is held straight out as the doe walks.
When walking, the doe may frequently rotate the ears backward or keep a watchful look over her back trail. This can be an indication that a buck may be following. Both can be signs of the deer rut.
These are just a few signs of the deer rut. By watching the body signs and actions of deer, they can be used to better determine when the rut occurs.
1. Be aware of the changing deer signs found throughout the area to be hunted. As the deer rut approaches, there will be more deer activity.
2. Look for and hunt well kept scrape lines during the early deer rut period. Deer hunting scrapes found leading from bedding areas to feeding areas can be very productive.
3. A rub line can also be an effective location to hunt during the early stages of the rut. As with scrape lines, more than one buck will make use of these areas.
4. Hunt near areas that offer good doe activity. Feeding and bedding areas that provide doe sightings will soon have bucks and will offer prime locations for the hunter.
5. Keep a watchful eye out for younger bucks that begin cruising or chasing after does. This is an obvious sign that the deer rut is near. Mature bucks will soon be more active.
6. Pay close attention to the body language of the does. A doe that is constantly looking back may be an indication that a buck is nearby.
7. As the deer rut progresses, find and hunt near isolated patches of cover. Does will frequent these areas and the bucks will follow.
8. After the initial phases of the deer rut, the bucks will return to thick cover to rest. Locating and deer hunting these areas hard can be very effective.
This article offers seven tips for deer hunting during the rut period.
It is very important for hunters to take steps in reducing human odors. Proper clothing and maintenance, using scent controlling sprays, and being aware of wind directions are all vital for success. If deer hunting all day, remember to focus on scent control throughout. Mature bucks will continue to be alert for danger even during the rutting periods so watch your odors.
Hunt Feeding Areas
Both does and bucks will continue to feed throughout the deer rut. Although the bucks may not feed as much as normal, they will follow does and take advantage of the available food sources. Field crops, acorns, and secluded food plots are often good locations for finding deer during the rut.
Hunt Secluded Areas
During the rut, does coming into estrus often move away from the main deer herd. A small secluded area that provides some cover can be a great place for a hunter to set up stand. These areas don’t need to be overly thick or dense with cover. A field overgrown with tall grass or a thin sapling thicket can be all that’s needed for the does to begin breeding.
Since the deer rut will get bucks moving around more, it is wise to stay in the woods as much as possible while deer hunting. It is not unusual to see bucks roaming the woods at all hours of the day. Prepare accordingly with adequate clothing, food and drink, and a comfortable place to sit.
Hunt The Rut
As soon as the first signs of the rutting period occurs, hunters should spend all available time deer hunting. The pre rut, rut, and post rut periods all offer excellent opportunities for those who spend extra time in the field.
Use A Grunt Call
The deer rut is a good time to use a grunt call. Bucks will respond to a grunt better during the rut than any other time. Mix a series of soft grunts together or try louder grunts to see what works best. Since most areas will have a decent number of bucks, at any given time one or more may be willing to respond to grunting.
It can be very easy for a hunter to let his or her guard down while spending long hours on stand. It is important not to fall into this trap. There is an old saying that you only have about five seconds on average to identify and make a harvest attempt on a buck. This is often very true so it is wise to always stay focused especially during the deer rutting periods.
Other deer hunting tips articles.
The deer rutting period has ended and all the breeding has occurred. The bucks will rest and return back to more normal routines. This period is referred to as the post rut stage.
The bucks will again be using a bedding to feeding schedule to regain much needed food and rest. For the most part, the bucks will be focused on regaining strength and energy from the exhausting rutting period.
The bucks will be feeding heavily and in most cases often. This period offers a good opportunity for the hunter. Setting up stands in and around available food sources can provide a hunter with a good chance at a late season buck. This will require the hunter to be aware of current deer food sources in order to be effective.
The morning and evening deer hunting approach comes back into play. If the area to be hunted offers quality cover nearby, bucks may even head out to feeding areas throughout the day.
Deer hunting near the bedding areas can be another way of taking a buck. The bucks will be more sensitive to any pressure put on the bedding areas so make sure to use proper scent control and not get too close. Hunting near deer bedding areas is often very productive during the post rut period.
Another idea to consider is still hunting from the ground. By using good still hunting tactics, a hunter can slowly and methodically cover more ground that is suspected of holding the deer. This also allows the hunter to stay current with any fresh deer activity.
Since the season is coming to a close soon after the post rut stage, a good deer drive may also offer hunters late season action. Just remember to be careful and use safety precautions.
The post rut stage can provide hunters with an opportunity to harvest a late season buck. Just because the rutting period is over doesn’t mean the deer hunting is finished. There have been plenty of nice bucks taken during this time of the year.
After the first breeding period, there will be some does that were not bred. These does will come into estrus again about a month later. This period is known as the second rut stage. This time can again offer increased deer hunting chances for the determined hunter.
The second rut stage does not usually provide as much heavy activity as the first. However, there will be some, and the bucks will again be searching for and finding these estrus does. The hunter needs to be alert and aware of these changing conditions.
The bucks have had some time to regain strength and energy. They have been resting and feeding heavily for several weeks. The bucks will again be on foot searching for the late season estrus does. The sightings will begin to increase for a second time.
This secondary rut stage can be hunted, often as effectively, as the first stages of the rutting period. There will be fewer does in estrus, but any remaining bucks that were not previously harvested will be active. Good observation skills will keep the hunter aware of increased activity.
When it comes to deer hunting, the hunter should locate current doe feeding, traveling, and bedding areas and set up accordingly. The bucks will be traveling and monitoring these areas in search of the remaining estrus does. Pay attention to deer movement and be willing to adjust if need be.
The hunter needs to stay active as the second rut stage can be productive and offers another late season chance for success. Stay focused, hunt hard, and make the best of the remaining rutting period.
After the initial stages of the rut, and the majority of the estrus does are bred, deer activity begins to decrease. This is known as the lull rut stage.
Both the bucks and does are exhausted from all the running around and breeding activities. For several weeks, the bucks will be bedding and visiting food sources in an attempt to rejuvenate much needed rest and energy.
This is often a tough time for deer hunting. Daylight sightings of bucks will decrease. However, it is still possible to be successful.
The best bet for a hunter is to locate the remaining food sources in the area. Setting up near and hunting these feeding areas or along nearby travel trails leading to these locations. This of course requires the hunter to be familiar with the terrain and to know the deer food sources.
In many cases, hunting during the evening hours will be more productive. The bucks will be bedded down for most of the day and venture out just before or after dark. Morning hunting occasionally works but is usually less effective.
Although the lull rut stage is normally less productive than other times of the rutting period, there is always a chance at seeing bucks. It is best to continue using good hunting skills in order to remain in the hunt.
Once the bucks have searched for, located, and chased after an estrus doe, then comes the time to breed. This is known as the breeding stage of the rut.
The bucks are now glued to the estrus doe and do not let them out of sight. Wherever the doe goes, so to goes the buck.
Buck and doe sightings are more frequent to hunters that stay in the woods all day. Although the bucks are still cautious, they do seem to let their guard down a bit if only slightly.
Does will generally seek out areas away from the other deer when it comes time to be bred. Secluded grassy or wheat fields, small patches of woods, or thickets that are away from other deer activity can offer good setup locations for deer hunting.
Rub and scrape line deer hunting is less effective during the breeding stage. A doe decoy used with estrus scents can still work if placed near food or bedding areas. The use of grunting and rattling can sometimes bring in bucks that are still seeking companionship.
The rut breeding stage, as well as the entire rutting period, is prime time to hunt all day and usually offers great success.
After the first does come into estrus, the bucks will begin following the does around waiting for the opportunity to breed. This period is known as the chase stage of the rut.
The bucks will stay close to the does chasing them from one place to another until the doe is ready to be bred. The bucks will become relentless during this time often becoming more visible during daylight hours.
When preparing for deer hunting, The hunter needs to locate bedding, feeding, and travel areas that are being used by the does. Tall grassy fields, small sapling thickets, and funnels that lead to these areas are excellent locations for a deer hunting setup.
The hunter can also use a doe decoy that is placed where it can be seen. Put the doe decoy in areas that are frequented by the does. Use doe in estrus deer scents placed in canisters around the decoy in a circle. This technique will often bring in bucks that are roaming the area.
The hunter can also use a set of deer rattling antlers. Use a series of short, soft sequences of up to a minute. Then pause for ten minutes or so to allow time for any buck in the area to respond. Add a grunt call to the mix before and after rattling. This can be an effective way to draw in a buck.
The rut chase stage is very exciting and allows the hunter to be aggressive during the rutting period.
As the rut nears, bucks will begin cruising the terrain in search of the first does to come into estrus. This time of the rut is known as the cruise stage.
The bucks will increase foot traffic during daytime hours. The bucks will often stay out longer during the morning and get on their feet earlier in the afternoon.
The rub lines and scrape lines will increase. The bucks will make the scrapes in areas that are frequented by the does. They will scent check these locations more often.
For the hunter, locating the rubs and active scrape lines while deer hunting will increase the odds for success. In most cases, these areas will be near doe food sources, bedding locations, and travel zones.
The use of decoys, grunt calls, and rattling antlers can also increase the chances of more buck sightings. The bucks will be more susceptible to responding to these types of setups.
Deer hunting during this early rut cruise stage of the rutting period can offer the hunter lots of excitement.
Deer Hunting Tips – The rut is the breeding period for deer. Whitetail does come into estrus and begin to draw attention from the bucks. This is a good time for a hunter to be in the woods. Here is some helpful information for deer hunting the rutting period.
Hunt The Does
During the rutting period, the primary objective of a buck is to breed as many does as possible. It only stands to reason that the hunter should focus on hunting near doe activity. The habits of the doe, for the most part, will not drastically change during the rut. They will continue their daily movement rituals.
Feeding, Bedding, Travel Zones
Locating feeding areas, bedding areas, or travel areas that the does are currently using will greatly increase the chances of seeing a buck during the rut. The hunter should have a good knowledge of the types of food that is available in the area to be hunted. Find these food sources and find the does. Find the does and the bucks will follow.
Don’t Let Your Guard Down
Don’t get caught up in believing that bucks suddenly become stupid during the rut. Bucks, especially mature bucks, will be just as cautious as any other time of the year. The only difference is the bucks may be more active during the daytime hours. Be thorough in your set up and don’t underestimate the bucks. Continue to use proper scent control as a buck that smells you will avoid you regardless of how many does are in estrus.
Doe To Buck Populations
The doe to buck ratio will greatly effect how much movement activity a given area has during the rut. In areas that offer a large number of does, the bucks will not have to travel as much to locate receptive does. Whereas the opposite will be true if the ratio is closer together.
Don’t Be Afraid To Move
It will be beneficial to have multiple stand locations throughout the rutting period. This will allow several options depending on activity. The use of a good portable lock on or climbing stand or ground blind is recommended. Always be willing to move if need be. If you see deer activity in a given area that is not near your current set up, don’t be afraid to relocate. This goes for on foot as well. If you see a buck chasing a doe from a distance, don’t just stay put, go after him.
Hunt All Day
The rutting period is one of the best times of the season to stay in the woods all day. The chances of seeing more deer during daytime hours increases. So plan to spend as much time hunting as possible. Make sure to plan accordingly. Bring plenty of extra supplies along such as food, water, and adequate clothing. Since you will likely sitting for extended periods, a comfortable seat and or stand will be needed.
Grunting, Rattling, Lures
Make use of any rattling or grunt calls that you may have. Especially during the early part or pre rut periods. Bucks tend to respond on a more positive basis during these periods. Also try using doe in estrus deer lures to add additional enticement to your set ups. Experiment to see what works in your area. The worst thing that can happen is nothing.
These deer hunting tips are provided as helpful information for deer hunting during the rutting period. Good luck and be safe.