Whitetail Hunting photo

Rut Reporter Rich Landers, a native Montanan and life-long hunter, is the outdoors editor for The Spokesman-Review in Spokane. He has written several books about the western outdoors and has hunted whitetails all his life. States covered: WA, OR, ID, MT, WY, CO.



Nov. 16: The silence has been broken. Some of my Rut Reporters in northeastern Washington have been virtually mum this season as they searched for big bucks. Even rutting activity has been spotty with big bucks moving mostly after dark.

Until now. Hunters are buzzing, and the excitement is palpable.

The rut appears to be on in a big way almost across the board in Eastern Washington, North Idaho and throughout Montana.

Colville, Wash., hunter Kevin Scheib has been patiently monitoring his trail cams since July, when he documented a few big bucks that disappeared as soon as the September archery seasons started.

Just this weekend, the big ones began to show again. Scheib caught a photo of the hot buck above out in the open, well before the end of legal shooting time. Read what Scheib reported, and then tell me where you think he’ll be in these last few days before northeastern Washington’s late whitetail buck hunt ends on Saturday:

“Now it’s on like donkey kong. This guy is swollen and hot for teacher. He came in chasing three does; the first mountain buck I’ve seen coming out in the lowlands.”