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.
Sometimes the weather gurus just nail it, and this week they scored big. The predicted high winds are strafing the area as I write this, with gusts that literally rattle the windows and siding on my country home. I don’t know the exact speeds being reached, but they’re speedy enough to hamper air travel and make even driving dangerous.
Then there is this other gauge: It is the last week of October, and I am not heading for a treestand this afternoon. It must be bad!
Well, actually, I have work and home obligations to attend to…Or I would be out this afternoon. Though high winds can certainly throttle deer movement, I have also experienced some excellent buck movement when hunting through a wicked wind. In fact, last fall I shot my biggest archery buck when the tree tops were swaying like a church choir. But here’s the thing: I was in the bottom of a sheltered valley, and the winds were whipping on top. Whitetails–like all wildlife–know where to go when the weather makes life miserable. My buddy hunted on top that day and saw a single deer, while I enjoyed non-stop action that included 5 different bucks.
Obviously, not all terrain allows you to seek relief from the gale, and in these areas, even randy bucks are going to be relatively quiet. But the good news is this; things are supposed to not only calm down tomorrow, but cool down. Let’s hit the woods so I can get some harvest pics on here!
Like this 190-class buck that was shot in Missouri this week: