Some Southern Hunters Finding Red-Hot Rut Action

Mike Little of Florien, Louisiana got a good dose of rut action last Saturday, November 10, when hunting on his deer lease in the southern portion of Sabine Parish in Area 2. Though it was the rut, Mike admitted that he wasn't expecting any deer action because hogs had taken over his food plot. Mike brought his young nephew, Ben Ward, and the two settled in their stand before dawn. At 7:20 a.m. they spotted a doe. Things happened quickly after that.

"When she was about 100 yards out, another deer stepped out from the same place she did and I could see its horns with my naked eye," recalls Little. "I told Ben a buck just walked out and to get ready. Looking through my scope, I could tell he had a good rack and I had to fight the urge to shoot him myself. The buck put his nose to the ground and started trotting straight for the doe. He almost made it to the doe when she threw her nose up, smelled the air for a second, spun around and then took off into a pine thicket.

We had been waiting for a broadside shot up to this point, but the buck was standing, looking straight toward us. At this point I instructed Ben that he needed to shoot now before the buck took off. Ben pulled the trigger on the .308 and the buck fell in his tracks. The hugs and high fives began.

"After we got down, put our hands on the deer and took some pictures, we went back to the stand to get my bag, which had our deer tags in it. As we were climbing down from the stand, Ben said 'There is something walking down the lane.' When I looked, there was a smaller buck headed down the same lane with his nose to the ground. When he got about 20 yards from Ben's buck, he stopped and looked at us. I took a shot at him and he also fell in his tracks," Mike said.

Ben's 8-point buck, above, had a 16 ½-inch inside spread and had a good bit of mass for deer in that area, according to Little. "Others on my lease said they had been seeing bucks chasing does up to a week before," Little said.

Though the two hunters had low expectations because of the hog intrusion in the food plot, they both scored because it was the rut and they were in the right place at the right time.

Hunters who post over large fields, food plots, or agricultural areas stand a better-than-average chance at seeing some rut action. The more real estate you can cover, the better. Travel corridors, creek bottoms, and ridges can also be good stand sites during rut time. Robert Deaton, who hunts a large field by a railroad track in Morgan County, Georgia, found this out last year when he bagged a 140-class buck last year by diligently watching this open area. Last week he scored again on a buck that was cruising the field's edge. "The buck was checking scrapes and peeing on everything," says Deaton.