Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

The Weekly Rut Report

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

Whitetail 365
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

October 28, 2009

The Weekly Rut Report

By Scott Bestul

Over the course of the next several weeks, I’m going to devote one post per week to report on the status of the rut in the area I’m hunting. I’ll discuss the deer behavior I’m seeing and how I interpret it, and also share some of the tactics I’m using. Hopefully you’ll chime in and use this space for the same purpose…and we can all learn from each other, as well as share some hunting tales.

With my Minnesota tag filled, I headed across the river to Wisconsin, where a friend lets me hunt his 280-acre farm. My first hunt was an evening sit, and I was in the stand about 2:40. As I was prepping gear and settling in, I glanced downhill and spotted what looked like a white antler against dark brush. My binocular confirmed it was a buck, but I couldn’t judge age/size at all. I grunted several times to the deer, but he gave no indication he’d heard me. So I amped things up some and tickled my rattling antlers. Two minutes later the buck was 10 yards from my stand! He was a handsome 2-1/2 year old, with a nice 4-point side, but the other beam was snapped off (from fighting, I assume) and was nothing more than a fork! I passed this deer, knowing there are much bigger on the farm.

I saw no other deer until nearly dusk, when a young 6-point appeared, made a rub, and walked past my set. To me, this type of buck behavior—bucks on their feet throughout the afternoon—indicates the late stages of the pre-rut; I have seen no signs of chasing, but older bucks are on their feet, nosing around and checking does, but with little sense of urgency….yet.

Right now, I find grunt calls and rattling antlers very effective. But if I’m hunting an older buck, I use them very carefully. I prefer to call to deer I can see so I can read body language to see how the buck is responding. If I’m blind calling (to deer I haven’t seen) I only do so when I know the wind is perfect for me. Older bucks will still use caution when approaching a call now, and I don’t want to educate anything I don’t have to! Scent drags and mock scrapes can also be highly effective in grabbing the curiosity of a cruising buck.

The buck pictured above was shot by my friend Billy Jerowski in Wisconsin this week, a full two hours before dusk. When mature bucks like this are moving that early, it proves that the tension (and testosterone) is building! So what are you guys seeing? Stories to share?

Comments (25)

Top Rated
All Comments
from hunting_WI wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

I'm in WI as well and activity has really started to pick up. I saw 2 nicer bucks roaming mid day on Sunday and another on Monday lightly pushing a doe. Haven't connected yet, but will be back at it this weekend and into next week.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from theoutdoorfever wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

I hunted in SE Kansas this past weekend. I witnessed 6 different young bucks chasing does and one mature 150+ buck doggin a doe. The rut is very close to kicking off down here. I will be back in the stand this weekend and hopefully will have a big boy come by my stand.

Matt
theoutdoorfever.com

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from idahooutdoors wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Mule deer are chasing does in North Central Idaho, seen the first whitetail scrapes and rubs last Sunday as well..the whitetail activity will keep getting better and usually peaks around the 15th of November in these parts..some snow in the higher country last night, usually gets things stired up...hoping we get a good quantity of early snow up high so the does move down and concentrate and the bucks will follow....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from swilmot1 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Things Have been picking up in NC I usually make it out at least 4 times a week and the scrapes have doubled in the last week. Not going to see the big guys making it out in early daylight yet but hit the swamps and chances are better, about a week or two longer and we should be in the prime time!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from neuman23 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Also hunting in wisconsin, last friday saw two 150 class deer 40 yards from the road on the way to my hunting property. Then next morning I had three bucks sparing underneath me before light, and then grunted in a 6 pointer an hour or so later. Later that day bumped a big ten or twelve that was bedded with a doe while trimming stands. Then Sunday night my dad had a big bruiser chase a doe in by him but couldn't get a shot, and had a bunch of other small bucks chasing doe. Needless to say, this weekend cannot come soon enough.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from thuroy wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Saw my first chasing on October 26th here in southwest Michigan. A hunting budy has also seen the chasing since then. Of course tommorow is supposed to be near 70 degrees.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Northern Michigan, 4th weekend in October. Was surprised to hear a buck loudly tending a doe. Couldn't get near them, though.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

I live in a WI and i ve been seeing a lot of deer activity on the side of the roads but my hunting area has gone dead Usually i see does everyday. went out 2night and didn't see any deer. i was kind surprised because i was sure pre rut activity started and the rut was sure to start in the next few days. granted it was warm out today deer should have been moving with a front moving in....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from T. Edward Nickens wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Great idea, Scott...pretty sure I saw a first chase in NC 2 days ago, that or a coyote chasing a doe. But thuroy's comment about heat has me thinking: what are folks ideas about the effect of a heat wave on rut activity? Been very very warm and will continue. I know rut is driving by photoperiod, but what about the effect of a really warm snap?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

DEER IN THIS PART OF OHIO ARE STILL IN PRE-RUT. BUCKS ARE OUT CRUISING DURING THE DAY. I WATCHED A SIX POINT MAKE SCRAPES TWO DAYS AGO. A LARGE BUCK TORE A SHRUB TO PIECES OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF A HAYFIED. A GOOD FRIEND CONNECTED LAST THURSDAY, HE USED SCENT, RATTLED AND GRUNTS TO BRING HIM IN CLOSE. HE WAS IN HIS STAND A TOTAL OF TEN MINUTES WHEN THE BUCK CAME IN AT A FAST PACE WIRH HIS NOSE TO THE GROUND. IT WON'T BE VERY MUCH LONGER UNTIL THE RUT HERE REALLY HEATS UP.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ohst8fan wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

In Central Ohio have seen a few younger Bucks dogging smaller does two weeks ago. Have also seen many Bucks out by themselves early (2 - 3PM)just walking though open fields. I believe we are really close to the full rut kicking in. I think the cool weather we had the past few weeks has sped up the process just a bit. Going out again this weekend hoping to have a Big Bruiser walk under my stand.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from waterdrinker9 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

I hunt on the Eastern Shores of Md. I have only been hunting twice this year with lasy Thursday being my first and I have seen a few rubs and scrapes. As for deer activity, I did see a a 4 point and a nice 10 following 6 or 7 does but they were not chasing the hell out of them. The other deer I saw was a young 8 by himself and some does and fawns. Within the next couple weeks the late Pre-Rut will change into the Rut so I am going to start taking my calls that are mainly for the Rut.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

hunted last week on colorado's west slope and saw nothing. not even a doe. the weather was warm and i went a long way in thinking i would see a few mulies but nothing! was the same last year. just too warm and now 2 days after my season ends we get dumped on with snow. has anyone ever been able to rattle or grunt in a mulie? don't think you can.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from idahooutdoors wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Went out last night, the whitetails that were running in bachelor groups now seem to be running solo, attitude problems must be starting to arise...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from camdenanthony wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Been hunting about 4 days a week here in southern missouri haven't seen any chasing.Did have some success rattling just never got a shot.Have also been seeing alot of fresh rubs and scrapes lately.Maybe this weekend?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckfever wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Last weekend little bones were chasing big does, 1to2 year olds. Seeing small bucks around 12to2 roaming. This weekend should start warming up for the big guys to start checking out the skin heads. Good luck to all. Northern In.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from hjohn429 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

It seems that the bucks asround here are getting pretty excited. They have started making a lot of rubs and scrapes. I was just out this evening and saw a bunch of rubs near doe bedding areas. This means the bucks are looking for does too. But since I already tagged out, I can't shoot a buck till next season. I guess this will give me some real quality scouting time.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hjohn429 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Oh, forgot to mention, seen lots of bucks trailing does on trail cam too. Even saw a rub on a 8-10" wide persimmon tree across the field and lots of "sign post" ruds on Beach and Hawthorn trees.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hogdog3f wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

anyone have a few good tips for hunting the rut in pennsylvania?i have been getting shut out since bow season began!i see deer in the field on my way in to hunt in the mornings but its dark and thats the last i see them for the rest of the day. have spent all day on stand with no sighting as of yet! HELP!!!!deer seem to be traveling more but no chasing yet. finding rubs but no scrapes

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from codyboyd wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

Just the other day I was on a stand in Wisconsin and i had a doe blasting through the brush with a buckzilla on her trail. I didn't get a shot through the brush but I know now that the rut is starting to kick in.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

I also am in Wisconsin and the bucks are really hitting the scrapes and just getting into rubbing. doe in estrous scents are just getting to be affective, I had a eight pointer come following one in this morning couldn't get a shot though. :(

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lucion77 wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

is anyone in virginia i'm in dinwiddie have not seen anything,but some droppings. they were fresh.but no scrapes or rubs and no deer sightings .i've only seen deer in fields in late night hours around 12 or 1 am getting concerned.all my spots are dead so far any advice

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lucion77 wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

please help

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cscarrell18 wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

I hunt in Wisconsin also and for the past week I've seen at least one shooter buck every night out. I had a nice mature 8 point trot right past me at 50 yards on my way to my stand yesterday at 3 pm without noticing me. The same deer responded to calls later that night but was still little bit cautious. I would agree that we're seeing the later stages of the pre-rut and am anticipating an amazing weekend to be out on the stand.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckscouter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

The rut is on in Southern Indiana. Though, the heat we have had these past several weeks has slowed it down some. Bucks are trailing does and scrapes are popping up everywhere. Here's my advice if your hunting public land: Forget the big woods and get into the nastiest thickets you can find -- that is where the deer are at now. Gun season opened this weekend and it is a war zone out there. Remember, get into the thick stuff. The bucks are moving but, you have to go where they feel secure.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from idahooutdoors wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Mule deer are chasing does in North Central Idaho, seen the first whitetail scrapes and rubs last Sunday as well..the whitetail activity will keep getting better and usually peaks around the 15th of November in these parts..some snow in the higher country last night, usually gets things stired up...hoping we get a good quantity of early snow up high so the does move down and concentrate and the bucks will follow....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from swilmot1 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Things Have been picking up in NC I usually make it out at least 4 times a week and the scrapes have doubled in the last week. Not going to see the big guys making it out in early daylight yet but hit the swamps and chances are better, about a week or two longer and we should be in the prime time!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

DEER IN THIS PART OF OHIO ARE STILL IN PRE-RUT. BUCKS ARE OUT CRUISING DURING THE DAY. I WATCHED A SIX POINT MAKE SCRAPES TWO DAYS AGO. A LARGE BUCK TORE A SHRUB TO PIECES OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF A HAYFIED. A GOOD FRIEND CONNECTED LAST THURSDAY, HE USED SCENT, RATTLED AND GRUNTS TO BRING HIM IN CLOSE. HE WAS IN HIS STAND A TOTAL OF TEN MINUTES WHEN THE BUCK CAME IN AT A FAST PACE WIRH HIS NOSE TO THE GROUND. IT WON'T BE VERY MUCH LONGER UNTIL THE RUT HERE REALLY HEATS UP.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckfever wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Last weekend little bones were chasing big does, 1to2 year olds. Seeing small bucks around 12to2 roaming. This weekend should start warming up for the big guys to start checking out the skin heads. Good luck to all. Northern In.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunting_WI wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

I'm in WI as well and activity has really started to pick up. I saw 2 nicer bucks roaming mid day on Sunday and another on Monday lightly pushing a doe. Haven't connected yet, but will be back at it this weekend and into next week.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from theoutdoorfever wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

I hunted in SE Kansas this past weekend. I witnessed 6 different young bucks chasing does and one mature 150+ buck doggin a doe. The rut is very close to kicking off down here. I will be back in the stand this weekend and hopefully will have a big boy come by my stand.

Matt
theoutdoorfever.com

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from neuman23 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Also hunting in wisconsin, last friday saw two 150 class deer 40 yards from the road on the way to my hunting property. Then next morning I had three bucks sparing underneath me before light, and then grunted in a 6 pointer an hour or so later. Later that day bumped a big ten or twelve that was bedded with a doe while trimming stands. Then Sunday night my dad had a big bruiser chase a doe in by him but couldn't get a shot, and had a bunch of other small bucks chasing doe. Needless to say, this weekend cannot come soon enough.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from thuroy wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Saw my first chasing on October 26th here in southwest Michigan. A hunting budy has also seen the chasing since then. Of course tommorow is supposed to be near 70 degrees.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Northern Michigan, 4th weekend in October. Was surprised to hear a buck loudly tending a doe. Couldn't get near them, though.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

I live in a WI and i ve been seeing a lot of deer activity on the side of the roads but my hunting area has gone dead Usually i see does everyday. went out 2night and didn't see any deer. i was kind surprised because i was sure pre rut activity started and the rut was sure to start in the next few days. granted it was warm out today deer should have been moving with a front moving in....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from T. Edward Nickens wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Great idea, Scott...pretty sure I saw a first chase in NC 2 days ago, that or a coyote chasing a doe. But thuroy's comment about heat has me thinking: what are folks ideas about the effect of a heat wave on rut activity? Been very very warm and will continue. I know rut is driving by photoperiod, but what about the effect of a really warm snap?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ohst8fan wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

In Central Ohio have seen a few younger Bucks dogging smaller does two weeks ago. Have also seen many Bucks out by themselves early (2 - 3PM)just walking though open fields. I believe we are really close to the full rut kicking in. I think the cool weather we had the past few weeks has sped up the process just a bit. Going out again this weekend hoping to have a Big Bruiser walk under my stand.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from waterdrinker9 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

I hunt on the Eastern Shores of Md. I have only been hunting twice this year with lasy Thursday being my first and I have seen a few rubs and scrapes. As for deer activity, I did see a a 4 point and a nice 10 following 6 or 7 does but they were not chasing the hell out of them. The other deer I saw was a young 8 by himself and some does and fawns. Within the next couple weeks the late Pre-Rut will change into the Rut so I am going to start taking my calls that are mainly for the Rut.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

hunted last week on colorado's west slope and saw nothing. not even a doe. the weather was warm and i went a long way in thinking i would see a few mulies but nothing! was the same last year. just too warm and now 2 days after my season ends we get dumped on with snow. has anyone ever been able to rattle or grunt in a mulie? don't think you can.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from idahooutdoors wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Went out last night, the whitetails that were running in bachelor groups now seem to be running solo, attitude problems must be starting to arise...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from camdenanthony wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Been hunting about 4 days a week here in southern missouri haven't seen any chasing.Did have some success rattling just never got a shot.Have also been seeing alot of fresh rubs and scrapes lately.Maybe this weekend?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hjohn429 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

It seems that the bucks asround here are getting pretty excited. They have started making a lot of rubs and scrapes. I was just out this evening and saw a bunch of rubs near doe bedding areas. This means the bucks are looking for does too. But since I already tagged out, I can't shoot a buck till next season. I guess this will give me some real quality scouting time.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hjohn429 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Oh, forgot to mention, seen lots of bucks trailing does on trail cam too. Even saw a rub on a 8-10" wide persimmon tree across the field and lots of "sign post" ruds on Beach and Hawthorn trees.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hogdog3f wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

anyone have a few good tips for hunting the rut in pennsylvania?i have been getting shut out since bow season began!i see deer in the field on my way in to hunt in the mornings but its dark and thats the last i see them for the rest of the day. have spent all day on stand with no sighting as of yet! HELP!!!!deer seem to be traveling more but no chasing yet. finding rubs but no scrapes

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from codyboyd wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

Just the other day I was on a stand in Wisconsin and i had a doe blasting through the brush with a buckzilla on her trail. I didn't get a shot through the brush but I know now that the rut is starting to kick in.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

I also am in Wisconsin and the bucks are really hitting the scrapes and just getting into rubbing. doe in estrous scents are just getting to be affective, I had a eight pointer come following one in this morning couldn't get a shot though. :(

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lucion77 wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

is anyone in virginia i'm in dinwiddie have not seen anything,but some droppings. they were fresh.but no scrapes or rubs and no deer sightings .i've only seen deer in fields in late night hours around 12 or 1 am getting concerned.all my spots are dead so far any advice

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lucion77 wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

please help

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cscarrell18 wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

I hunt in Wisconsin also and for the past week I've seen at least one shooter buck every night out. I had a nice mature 8 point trot right past me at 50 yards on my way to my stand yesterday at 3 pm without noticing me. The same deer responded to calls later that night but was still little bit cautious. I would agree that we're seeing the later stages of the pre-rut and am anticipating an amazing weekend to be out on the stand.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckscouter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

The rut is on in Southern Indiana. Though, the heat we have had these past several weeks has slowed it down some. Bucks are trailing does and scrapes are popping up everywhere. Here's my advice if your hunting public land: Forget the big woods and get into the nastiest thickets you can find -- that is where the deer are at now. Gun season opened this weekend and it is a war zone out there. Remember, get into the thick stuff. The bucks are moving but, you have to go where they feel secure.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

bmxbiz-fs