Brantley: Why I Should Have Been In the Woods

Rut Reporter Will Brantley of Murray, Kentucky, knows the region well. He spends 40 to 50 days each season in … Continued

Rut Reporter Will Brantley of Murray, Kentucky, knows the region well. He spends 40 to 50 days each season in the Mid-South whitetail woods. Brantley shot his first deer at age 10 with a sidelock muzzleloader. States covered: KY, TN, WV, VA, NC.

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Nov. 17: Yes, a week means old news when talking about the whitetail rut, but after pulling a trail camera that had been in place all last week and finally getting a chance to process the photos, I had to comment on the morning of November 10 (just two days after Field & Stream’s “Best Day of the Rut”). If nothing else, the information is useful for planning vacation days next year.

Last week was warm and often windy. Trail camera activity, even at night, was slow every day–except for Wednesday morning, November 10. The camera was placed over an active scrape along a major trail on a hardwood ridge (not 10 yards from my wife’s favorite ladder stand). The ridge is flanked on one side by a green field, and thicket on the other side.

The camera revealed steady action all morning, with dozens of deer pictures–mostly of the big buck in the photos below–but also of little bucks he was harassing and does he was chasing. The ladder stand remained empty all day, and activity was much slower when hunted the area over the weekend. Shoulda been there Wednesday…