Rut Reporter Rich Landers, a native Montanan and life-long hunter, is the outdoors editor for The Spokesman-Review in Spokane. He has written several books about the western outdoors and has hunted whitetails all his life. States covered: WA, OR, ID, MT, WY, CO.

Oct. 29: Whitetail activity is in a mixed-bag period around the West, with bucks displaying various stages of the rut. But in northwestern Montana, “We just aren’t seeing it here, yet,” said Ron Nail of Kalispell, noting that Montana’s opening weekend check stations recorded fewer than normal whitetails harvested. The opening weekend was quite warm while cold weather moved in during mid week.

“Only a few small bucks taken around here so far. It should pick up some around Nov. 7-9 from my past observations,” he said.

Of course, many whitetail hunters aren’t waiting for the the rut to kick into high gear. Karsen Enevold hunted a food plot in northeastern Washington this week to bag a nice buck pictured above. He made the shot at 50 yards with his .243 from the new tree stand he and his dad set up this fall on their food plot.