Last Saturday night, I sat in my stand in the Nebraska Panhandle and watched a respectable 8-pointer keep tabs on a doe for more than hour before the sun set. He wasn’t quite the shooter I was hoping for, but he confirmed my belief that the rut on the Plains is just hitting its full stride. I also saw a yearling Saturday night wandering like a lost puppy, then had a doe and fawn feed underneath my stand Sunday morning.
My encounter was similar to what Buckventures host Brandon Danker witnessed in central Kansas during the same time period. As Danker points out in this video, by the second weekend of November, we will be entering the peak of the rut. As those smaller bucks give way, hunters on the Great Plains should start seeing more of the big boys show up during the daylight hours. Of course, this recent weather pattern, with a winter storm having moved across the Plains Wednesday, won’t hurt either.
This transition period is a great time to be in a stand. Deer are on their feet longer, and day-long sits aren’t a bad idea. About mid-morning Sunday, I was just thinking about climbing down when the woods blew up. A big buck trotted past my stand—his mind obviously on something pressing, namely a hot doe. Not three minutes later, a smaller buck made the same line, though he lingered at my doe bleat. Then a yearling doe, and another small buck searching. No, there wasn’t a shooter among them, but all of the action made waiting out the day worthwhile.