Rut Reporter Scott Bestul is a Field & Stream's Whitetails columnist and writes for the website's Whitetail365 blog. The Minnesotan has taken 13 Pope & Young-class whitetails and has hunted, guided for, and studied deer in the north-central region all his life. States covered: IA, IL, IN, MI, MN, MO, WI.
Oct. 21:** When the rut starts cranking, most of the bucks in the herd go girl-crazy. But some bucks start acting like players the minute they shed velvet. Exhibit A is this beautiful 12-point buck shot in early October by Wisconsin bowhunter Scott Smolen. Scott tagged this 150-class buck nearly a month before bucks get serious about badgering does…yet this whitetail was acting like the chase was on.