I spent a few hours Thursday on stand in the Nebraska Panhandle and from what I witnessed, bucks are deep in the seeking phase of the rut. Though most of the activity is still showing up on camera after dark, the recent cold snap has deer moving a little earlier. From what I’ve heard and witnessed, bucks are starting move late in the afternoon and just before dark.

I watched a nice eight-point tear up a fresh scrape near my stand before sticking his nose in the dirt and working on down the trail. Last I saw him, he was on a fast trot, probably with a nose full of hot doe scent. Also, I caught the tail end of a chase in some thick brush just before I climbed out of the stand.

My bet is this weekend is going to be the best time of the year to be on stand. I know I’m not going to miss it, and you shouldn’t either.