How to Find and Hunt Whitetail Deer During the Rut
- 14 Sep, 2020
The rut is a magical time of year for bow hunters around the country. Mature whitetail bucks lose there inhibitions in search of hot does to mate with, and fight anything that gets in their way. Lets take a look at some tactics to employ during this time.
Get Close to Bedding Areas
getting near bedding areas, in particular on travel corridors near bedding areas can be a great way to get the drop on a mature buck. With that being said DO NOT ENTER THESE BEDDING AREAS! But with that important warning on the table, you should try to get as close as comfortably possible. Bucks will be traveling in these areas in search of hot does, or in the latter part of the rut, locked down with these does and not going to far from them. One very important consideration with setting up near bedding areas is to make sure you always setup with the wind blowing your scent away from the bedding areas to avoid spooking any deer out due to your scent, but if you play your cards right in these areas you can potentially get away with murder.
Hunt New Areas
Another good tactic you could try is to hunt new areas that you haven't hunted much before or ever. any travel corridors or areas that you tend to avoid could have bucks traveling them in search of does. During the rut I do this often, and I might sit in multiple locations through out the course of the day depending on wind, weather, types of areas the stand is located in. Some of the best areas that you tend to avoid might just become a hot spot, like those areas that are so thick you can barely walk through it, or that cedar swamp that's so wet and thick you have to crawl under fallen trees just to get to your stand.
Make Some Noise
Rattling during the rut can be extremely effective. I try to rattle about once every hour or so, mixed with blind grunt calls. Bucks are cruising all day long, and rattling can be a great way to pull in traveling bucks searching for does, who's thinking coming up to two fighting bucks over a doe would be an easy snag. As Mentioned before, being mobile while calling can also be a great idea with trying rattling and calling in multiple different locations. Slip in, bang some antlers, break some sticks, do some calls, and wait. I have harvested bucks in the rut by simply jumping in stands and rattling all day, and have had bucks come in after only sitting for 15 minutes.
Many Hunters use scent, but they don't necessarily use it correctly all the time. many people use scent at their stand location, which is all fine and dandy, but you have to remember that your scent is going in the same direction as well. When I use scent I will Use a drag string with some cloth on the end and drag in on trails that go near my stand, or even on the bottom of my boots. I have walked considerable distances doing this to my stand area, in the event that any big buck that comes across that trail will smell the hot doe scent and follow it to me.
These tactics are a great way to help you seal the deal when trying to get within range of those mature bucks that are usually illusive as ghosts earlier in the season. be sure to always use wind and other natural things such as travel corridors to you advantage as well. Be patient and it will eventually pay off.
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