A killer morning stand is on the edge of a CRP field, an overgrown pasture, an old clear-cut -- you get the picture -- 200 to 400 yards off the feed field or mast you hunted last evening. Lastly, continuing to focus on quality food sources is also a good idea. It’s going to be hard to get on bucks if you don’t go where they are. Top Stands: Set up where two or three ridges and adjacent thick-cover draws converge and peter out in a creek or river bottom. One way I’ve found to get a deer to stop where you want them to is by using scents. All the terrains create a dumping ground for does and the bucks after them. Mature bucks are now frequently seen walking in daylight. That’s because deer could be moving at any time … This might occur later in this week. My preferred tactical approach is to setup along trails — 20 to 30 yards from the field edges — that run parallel to open areas and food sources. ©2020 Jordan Outdoor Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reserved. Grunt at every buck you see wandering through the woods or dogging a doe, and do some blind calling every 30 minutes or so on stand; you can’t grunt too much this week. When it comes to a big woods setting, most of the time you aren’t able to see that far. One of the most exciting aspects of the rut is that mature bucks will move during the day to find does. Now the bucks are feeling their oats. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. During the rut, bucks will leave the home area where they have spent a majority of the year and will seek out other areas that have dense doe populations. The RUT – a unanimous term that sparks excitement, anxiety, and giddiness amongst the deer hunting community. There are smaller amounts of timber, and often times you don’t have to look at a map long to easily pick out a bunch of spots you can guess where bucks will be moving through. For this phase, you have to get in the bedroom. Say it ain’t so! There’s been a number of instances in North Dakota where I got eyes on a buck hundreds of yards away and then made a move on him. Most hunters are still hunting open areas and ag fields. Try setting a tarsal scent bomb near your stand; a brawler buck might come to your stinky challenge. All rights reserved. Around where I live in Minnesota and where I hunt in North Dakota, it’s a complete 180-degree difference in terms of habitat. Simply put, bucks are reacting to the human invasion. Lay an estrus-doe trail into your stand; a buck on a last hookup mission might cut it and come in. It ought to smell like a barnyard of deer. Key Signs: Primary doe trails; buck tracks; scrapes with fresh pawing. Another significant difference is the number of deer you see. Click here for more deer hunting articles and videos. Today, I wanted to touch on some of the lessons I’ve learned from hunting ag country and the big woods during the rut, and hopefully, you can find some bit of information that will help you this year or in future years. Bucks trolling for or chasing does will move all day in this type of cover. Sign up for offers, new arrivals and more. It’s something to keep in mind as you start trying to call this year. We have looked at what the rut is … Also, avoid morning hunts during this phase. Check out our stories, videos and hard-hitting how-to's on deer hunting. Remember to spray everything down with Scent Killer Gold once your setup is complete to ensure no human odor is left behind. Now, deer are hitting mast crops, such as acorns. These three stand set-ups can be employed across much of the whitetail's range. Because of this, I generally used more reserved tactics for this phase than I did during the previous two. You must rely on your ability to scout and be confident in your setups, even if you don’t see deer. Expect deer to move best the first and last hours. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Wind direction and proximity to common doe feeding and bedding areas are other factors that you should consider when choosing a set up location. Crops have an enormous impact on the rut where I hunt in North Dakota. I know that if I tried to hunt the northern big woods of Minnesota the same way I do in North Dakota, I would struggle mightily. If you’re bowhunting, try a buck decoy on the edge of a field near your stand. Is It Time to Rethink Fall Turkey Hunting? During the rut I like to place my cameras on rubs, scrapes, mock scrapes and water sources but if I have a trail or intersecting trail in the woods this is a great scent to use to get the photos right where you need them. This is when the highest percentage of bucks are moving and visible during daylight, increasing your chances to the max. You’re apt to see a buck prowling with his nose to the ground (with or without a doe in sight), chasing a gal flat out, standing over a doe and guarding her or even mounting one. The rut is one of the best times to hunt whitetail deer and can provide the action packed hunting with deer moving frequently throughout the day. Then comes the second rut window during the first half of December. I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor) During the rut, bucks will leave the home area where they have spent a majority of the year and will seek out other areas that have dense doe populations. But whichever week you choose, we’ve got you covered with this week-by-week plan on how to hunt the rut. Dave spotted five bucks escaping in the cover, and he shot the biggest, a 150-incher. Science Fact: Dr. Karl Miller and cohorts conducted a trail-camera study in Georgia and found that bucks build scrapes in high-traffic spots where other does and bucks will see and smell them. This is the week when every gun hunter and his brother hits the woods; the pressure moves rutting deer deeper into cover, and they move a lot at night. Granted, for doe fawns, that could happen at any time during the late season if adequate food sources are available. Mother Nature knows this, and so forget about an early or late rut. Rut sign is really ramping up now, and testosterone levels are getting deer up on their feet a little earlier in the day. Hunt high from a lock-on or tower stand so you can watch down into the cover. Field & Stream may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this site.

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