Rut Reporter David Draper grew up hunting deer and small game throughout this region and presently lives on a family farm in Nebraska. Draper, former communications specialist for Cabela’s and an authority on the Great Plains, subsists on a diet of duck breast and venison. States covered: ND, SD, NE and KS.



It’s always great to open up your e-mail in-box to find photos of successful hunters, but it’s even better when one of those hunters is an avid Rut Report reader, like South Dakota college student Spencer Neuharth. In his e-mails, Spencer thanked the Rut Reporters for helping him tag this great East River buck. Using information from this site, along with a bolstered confidence knowing he was hunting our best day of the year, he put a successful strategy together. Here’s his story:

“I took this 5×5 P&Y buck on your best day of the rut, November 12. Since I go to college an hour away from home, where I hunt, I have to hunt hard all season on the weekends. I check the Rut Reporter blogs every day to see what my hunt will be like for the upcoming weekend and was relieved to hear that the best day of the rut fell on a Saturday. I even used the advice written for that day–that I should finally use my best stand in the bedding area I left alone all year. It paid off.

Just 20 minutes into the hunt I arrowed the third buck that walked by that morning. He was coming down a high traffic trail in the bedding area; his nose was to the ground and neck thick. He green scored at 130 and was taken from 35 yards away with my PSE Bow Madness and Boss Wasp broadheads. This was the first time that I saw this buck all season. I am a huge fan of the Rut Reporters blogs and the map. I use them religiously.”