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.

Nov. 2: I started looking for days off later this week after talking to a hunter who also happens to be a researcher involved in one of Montana’s most ambitious white-tailed deer studies.

“Rattling is quite effective in the two weeks prior to the peak of the rut,” said Gary Dusek, a retired Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife biologist. He noted that his research pegged Nov. 21 as the average peak for conceptions in northwestern Montana.

“You’re a lot less likely to pull away a buck that’s tending a doe,” he said.