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  • November 4, 2011

    Best Days of the Rut 2011: November 7

    By Scott Bestul

    If you didn’t cash in that get-out-of-work pass on Friday, do it today—or extend it to give yourself a four-day weekend to fill your tag with a tank whitetail.

    The chase phase is a period of frenetic activity for whitetail bucks, and today will be especially busy. Local bucks will be in a lather from the first does that have entered estrus. They have smelled the scent of a hot female in the air and might have pursued or even fought for her. Those on the losing end of such a skirmish are not content to skulk about. Instead, they turn into heat-seeking missiles, intent on finding the next doe with an open dance card.

  • September 6, 2011

    EHD Takes Another Swat at North Dakota Whitetail Herd

    By Scott Bestul

    Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) appears to have returned for another swat at the North Dakota whitetail herd. According to a story released yesterday in the Dickinson (ND) Press, dead whitetails—animals suspected to have succumbed to EHD—have been found in four counties in the western part of the state; Hettinger, Slope, Golden Valley and McKenzie.

    EHD is transmitted to whitetails by a midge bite, and occurs most often in late summer months marked by extended periods of heat and/or humidity. If biologists are correct in their diagnosis, this will be the third EHD outbreak in North Dakota in the last nine years. EHD also knocked back whitetails in the summers of 2003 and 2007.

    I’ve heard concerns about EHD from contacts in Illinois, where rainfall has been basically non-existent for the last two months and temperatures have been high. Though whitetail herds bounce back relatively quickly, the short-term effects of EHD can be devastating, with localized mortality so significant that it will impact hunting opportunity.

  • November 8, 2010

    Why Today (November 8th) is the Best Day for Deer Hunting in 2010

    By Dave Hurteau

    Today, November 8th, is Field & Stream’s “2010 Best Day of the Year,” as chosen by Whitetails columnist Scott Bestul and detailed in our November issue’s “Sixth Annual Best Days of the Rut” (you can also read why he thinks this is the best day for deer hunting on our special Rut Reporters whitetail deer rut tracking page).