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Best Days of the Rut 2011: October 31

Halloween day should kick-start the rut. The reasons are simple yet exciting.

First, that crescent moon will be rising at midday and in the sky all afternoon. Hopefully coupled with some cold temperatures, it should get bucks moving well during hunting hours. Even better, this Monday will launch the rut’s seeking phase—the period when bucks begin searching for that first hot doe, traveling more widely and more often than they have all season. But what’s really exciting is that bucks will confine that searching to their home range. That means the scouting and hunting you’ve done up to this point will put you in the driver’s seat for killing the biggest buck in your area if you get after him right now.  So put a big bowl of candy by your front door and hit the woods. Here’s how you start:

Visit some of the best food sources in your area—oak ridges, picked cornfields, clear-cut edges, apple orchards—and speed-scout them at midday for buck sign.  Although the majority of field-edge scrapes are made (and visited) after dark, that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. Fresh field-edge scrapes indicate an active buck, so when you find one (or better yet, a cluster), backtrail the closest entry route from the scrape toward denser cover.

Don’t be surprised if the scrapes peter out as you walk away from the food. You’re looking for rubs, now, and big ones. If there’s a dandy buck near your food source, he’s going to advertise his macho presence by picking on the biggest trees he can find. A rub on a massive tree means a Kong-size buck, and every animal in the herd gets it up and down. But don’t content yourself with finding one tree missing its bark. Try to string together three or more shagged-up trees in a series. This rub line will serve as a connect-the-dots route that joins a buck’s favorite bedding area to the food source you just left. Choose a good stand tree somewhere along this pathway, and tagging that Halloween trophy might be as simple as knocking on a door and waiting for a treat.

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

Comments (13)

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from 2Poppa wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

I'll be out there! One of my bucks came on Halloween night, several years ago, coming to a salt lick in late afternoon ... C'mon Out Monster!

I had a tree picked out for a couple of days this week and finally set it in place. When I finished, I noticed 2-scrapes on both sides of the tree!
Good Luck Everyone & Be Safe Out In The Woods!

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

I won't be out until Friday, Nov. 4th next. But according to the rut calendar in the latest magazine, that is going to be one of the best days for the start of the chasing phase. And I cannot possibly explain how excited I am for 3 full days when bucks are starting to run around like 16 year olds at a college visit.

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from ejunk wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

here's hoping you're estimate is two days late. ;)

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from ejunk wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

er, "YOUR," rather

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from Walt Smith wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

I've never had much luck on Halloween but I've always seen bucks on Devils Night for some reason, think it has something to do with dem horns!!!

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from steve182 wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Leaving halloween morning to go hunt for the week.

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from jbird wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

I live in the suburbs of KC, MO, and I've had 2 reputable hunting buddies say they've seen bucks running does the past 2 days. I'm hoping to get out this weekend and witness "first-hand".

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gtbigsky wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Nov 10th 11th 12th are typicaly the hottest rutting day here. This year there happens to also be a full moon on Thursday and its the last week of bow season. I cant wait

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from flathead4u wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

things are looking good here in ne kansas.there is lots of fresh sign out on the tree lines and woodland trails.I had the chance to do some scouting and seating sunday afternoon seen a nice three year old buck with tall tines if i would have been hunting that afternoon he would be on the wall!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from flathead4u wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

I all so have cam pics of a nice buck with one side busted off so the boys are getting after it

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nikoli wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

IT IS SOOOO ON TODAY!!!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WhitetailHunter706 wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

i hope your right bestul, cause i havnt seen hardly a thing for a week... biggest problem about 80% of corn is still in the field here in west central indiana only seen three bucks this hunting season all small and two of em i saw driving down the road.. well them 2 does i shot early opening week will have to keep me fed til "Big and Nasty" comes walking down the trail

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from longbeards wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

Oct 31st, wacked a West Virginia 8pt!! Traveling with another buck,,a 6pt, at 8:55am,I was getting out of the stand at 9:00! ,,3rd buck I saw that day,,Neck was swollen! But he was not chasing does,,,Of course it could have had something to do with the 5 inches of wet snow and trees breaking everywhere

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from 2Poppa wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

I'll be out there! One of my bucks came on Halloween night, several years ago, coming to a salt lick in late afternoon ... C'mon Out Monster!

I had a tree picked out for a couple of days this week and finally set it in place. When I finished, I noticed 2-scrapes on both sides of the tree!
Good Luck Everyone & Be Safe Out In The Woods!

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

here's hoping you're estimate is two days late. ;)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

I live in the suburbs of KC, MO, and I've had 2 reputable hunting buddies say they've seen bucks running does the past 2 days. I'm hoping to get out this weekend and witness "first-hand".

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gtbigsky wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Nov 10th 11th 12th are typicaly the hottest rutting day here. This year there happens to also be a full moon on Thursday and its the last week of bow season. I cant wait

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from flathead4u wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

things are looking good here in ne kansas.there is lots of fresh sign out on the tree lines and woodland trails.I had the chance to do some scouting and seating sunday afternoon seen a nice three year old buck with tall tines if i would have been hunting that afternoon he would be on the wall!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from flathead4u wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

I all so have cam pics of a nice buck with one side busted off so the boys are getting after it

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from SD_Whitetail_Hntr wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

I won't be out until Friday, Nov. 4th next. But according to the rut calendar in the latest magazine, that is going to be one of the best days for the start of the chasing phase. And I cannot possibly explain how excited I am for 3 full days when bucks are starting to run around like 16 year olds at a college visit.

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

er, "YOUR," rather

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

I've never had much luck on Halloween but I've always seen bucks on Devils Night for some reason, think it has something to do with dem horns!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Leaving halloween morning to go hunt for the week.

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

IT IS SOOOO ON TODAY!!!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WhitetailHunter706 wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

i hope your right bestul, cause i havnt seen hardly a thing for a week... biggest problem about 80% of corn is still in the field here in west central indiana only seen three bucks this hunting season all small and two of em i saw driving down the road.. well them 2 does i shot early opening week will have to keep me fed til "Big and Nasty" comes walking down the trail

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from longbeards wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

Oct 31st, wacked a West Virginia 8pt!! Traveling with another buck,,a 6pt, at 8:55am,I was getting out of the stand at 9:00! ,,3rd buck I saw that day,,Neck was swollen! But he was not chasing does,,,Of course it could have had something to do with the 5 inches of wet snow and trees breaking everywhere

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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