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Best Days of the Rut 2011: November 7

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November 04, 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.

One key to hunting this phase of the rut is knowing the locations of several doe bedding areas and the cover connecting them. Bucks are covering serious ground now, and you need to anticipate how they’ll navigate in their search for does. Thankfully, bucks are limiting most of these recon missions to bedding areas within their home range, so that monster you know is in your area is still there, but he’s moving widely. Place your morning stand along a major funnel—a creekbottom, a brushy fencerow, or the intersection of several ridge ends—that a buck will follow as he makes a milk run of as many bedding spots as he can. If you’re a still-hunter, slip along the downwind edge of these funnels. Don’t just look for deer—listen for the sounds of a cruising buck in the distance.

A common affliction hunters share as the rut heats up is focusing solely on bucks. Never forget that does are running this show. If you don’t know where does are and what they’re doing, the chase phase will take on an unintended meaning: You will be chasing bucks, and will almost certainly remain behind them. So this afternoon, if you’ve watched a funnel or still-hunted a travel route with no luck, get to a small, protected food source favored by does: a little patch of oaks, a micro food plot, a cluster of apple trees. As the chase phase unfolds, non-estrous does will get so skittish they won’t dare to poke their heads into a large field unless they want to be on the receiving end of a chase. But right now, they’ll feed happily in a small covert—a whitetail’s version of a corner grocery store—where they don’t attract as much attention. But bucks know these areas too, and that big guy you’ve been dreaming of may appear at any time to see who’s there.

To see all the Best Days of the Rut, visit the Rut Reporters page and view the calendar to the right.

Comments (10)

Top Rated
All Comments
from jbird wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Only got out for the morning hunt here in MO, could'nt believe I didn't see a single deer. I've got the whole day off MOnday, gonna' try to spend it all in the woods.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Only got out for the morning hunt here in MO, could'nt believe I didn't see a single deer. I've got the whole day off MOnday, gonna' try to spend it all in the woods.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FishnFast wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

The best time to hunt whitetail for me is every chance I get !!
I CAN'T call off work for even one day, so I have Sat/Sun and it sucks, the weather turned up the heat here in Ohio and slows the activity down, plus I must quarter and refrigerate the meat the same day because it will be spoiled by 5:30 when I get home, even with ice bag packed inside chest cavity and over rump. But I do what I must do, either that or pay to have it done and I do a much better job myself.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ohiodeerhunter wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

It was windy most of the day here-Northern Summit County, Ohio-but there were some deer moving,saw a buck at about 3:30 this afternoon,and the bucks have been chasing for a little over a week now,at least near here-Got tomorrow and Mon. off,so spending both in the woods.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kevin Gregory wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Hunted Central West Virginia on Saturday and did some scouting on Sunday (5-6 Nov). Deer movement picked up on Sunday after a cold night down into the lower 20s. One "new" buck reported in my area that we had not seen prior, so that may indicate some early movement. Typically due to the number of doe in our area, bucks don't have to move far, so I am assuming that he was looking for some early-cycling does. Good luck and be safe out there....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jetram3 wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Have the whole week off just for the rut! Was out this am and at 9:35 had a 120" 4x4 come cruising past. Grabbin' a bite to eat and heading back out to the stand.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rich poquette wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

youth hunting weekend just passed here in vermont middle of the state does not being chased no signs of chaseing and very few scrapes and rubs being reported.Does in the northern part of vt have there tarsel glands swelling from what i hear from game check ins dad and daughter saw 9 does last one a nice 140lber not a buck in sight after them and her tarsel were swollen up bigtime mushroom shaped alittle amazed no bucks in sight.the hair and fat this year is amazing THICK good sign of a tough northern winter on its way.Should start to be heating up here anytime opening rifle on the 12th of nov. good luck everyone

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

I wonder what effect hurricane Sandy will have on the rut in the northeast,. What so you all???

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

soory guys. should be what say you all??

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Ohio gun season kicked in on the 26th. while out hunting I noticed quite a bit of rut activity, Fresh scrapes and does bedding near them. I know this is most likely the secondary rut but it seems unusual to see this much activity. Maybe hurricane Sandy did mess up the rut in Notheast Ohio.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from jbird wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Only got out for the morning hunt here in MO, could'nt believe I didn't see a single deer. I've got the whole day off MOnday, gonna' try to spend it all in the woods.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Only got out for the morning hunt here in MO, could'nt believe I didn't see a single deer. I've got the whole day off MOnday, gonna' try to spend it all in the woods.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FishnFast wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

The best time to hunt whitetail for me is every chance I get !!
I CAN'T call off work for even one day, so I have Sat/Sun and it sucks, the weather turned up the heat here in Ohio and slows the activity down, plus I must quarter and refrigerate the meat the same day because it will be spoiled by 5:30 when I get home, even with ice bag packed inside chest cavity and over rump. But I do what I must do, either that or pay to have it done and I do a much better job myself.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ohiodeerhunter wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

It was windy most of the day here-Northern Summit County, Ohio-but there were some deer moving,saw a buck at about 3:30 this afternoon,and the bucks have been chasing for a little over a week now,at least near here-Got tomorrow and Mon. off,so spending both in the woods.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kevin Gregory wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Hunted Central West Virginia on Saturday and did some scouting on Sunday (5-6 Nov). Deer movement picked up on Sunday after a cold night down into the lower 20s. One "new" buck reported in my area that we had not seen prior, so that may indicate some early movement. Typically due to the number of doe in our area, bucks don't have to move far, so I am assuming that he was looking for some early-cycling does. Good luck and be safe out there....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jetram3 wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Have the whole week off just for the rut! Was out this am and at 9:35 had a 120" 4x4 come cruising past. Grabbin' a bite to eat and heading back out to the stand.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rich poquette wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

youth hunting weekend just passed here in vermont middle of the state does not being chased no signs of chaseing and very few scrapes and rubs being reported.Does in the northern part of vt have there tarsel glands swelling from what i hear from game check ins dad and daughter saw 9 does last one a nice 140lber not a buck in sight after them and her tarsel were swollen up bigtime mushroom shaped alittle amazed no bucks in sight.the hair and fat this year is amazing THICK good sign of a tough northern winter on its way.Should start to be heating up here anytime opening rifle on the 12th of nov. good luck everyone

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

I wonder what effect hurricane Sandy will have on the rut in the northeast,. What so you all???

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

soory guys. should be what say you all??

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Ohio gun season kicked in on the 26th. while out hunting I noticed quite a bit of rut activity, Fresh scrapes and does bedding near them. I know this is most likely the secondary rut but it seems unusual to see this much activity. Maybe hurricane Sandy did mess up the rut in Notheast Ohio.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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