Northeast Rut Reporter Mike Bleech has been hunting whitetails in his native Pennsylvania and throughout the Northeast for more than four decades. A Vietnam veteran and full-time freelance outdoor writer, Bleech has had more than 5000 of his articles published. States covered: ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA OH, MD, DE.

Most certainly a secondary rut is underway. Whether you see it or not is mere coincidence. Reports of rutting activity have come in from scattered locations around the Northeast Region. Trucker buddy Dave Baker saw more bucks with does over the past couple of days than at any other time this fall. Several hunters have reported taking bucks in the company of does in Pennsylvania, New York and New England. The only gap in reports is the lower Mid-Atlantic states.


It is time to get tricky. Use your calls. A favorite tactic of mine, one which apparently brought in the two largest bucks I have even seen while hunting whitetails, employs a grunt tube and a bleat can. Bleat once, then follow it immediately by grunting twice. Grunts should be about a second in duration and a second apart. The bleating does not have to be made with a can type call, of course. Any call that will make a plaintive bleat will do fine.

Then get ready. Things may start happening very quickly.

A couple of important points while calling deer. It should be done before deer are alerted to your presence, although our writer friend, Steve Carpenteri, says the bleat can will turn a deer even after it has been spooked. I swear that is true because I have done it myself.

Are you hunting does? A fawn bleat is so effective in calling does that I can not understand why every hunter is not using the tactic. I have stopped does within 200 yards after they were shot at by bleating like a fawn. That motherly instinct is mighty strong.

Doe hunting tactics do not get spread quickly because writers do not pay does much attention. However, the fact is that a large share of deer hunting is done with does as the primary goal.

Seasons are winding down in some states, and there are plenty of does out there, as my trail camera attests. It is time to pull out all of the cards.