rut reporters
Abbi Ashcraft and her 5-1/2-year-old 7-pointer.. Submitted

Eric Ashcraft, owner of Close Encounters Whitetail Outfitters in Utica, Ohio, just shot us this report, which includes a great father-daughter hunt from the last week of October, and a look ahead to increasing buck activity as November gets rolling.

“The pre-rut here in Ohio has kicked off with a major cold front that has swept through the Midwest. Indian summer and the October lull are gone, thankfully! Bucks are on their feet making new scrapes, freshening old ones, and expanding their territory. They’ve become a lot more vocal and have been scent-checking does in our food plots over the past few days. This past Monday my daughter Abbi harvested a great 5-1/2-year-old 7-pointer that came grunting into a field full of does, checking them before she made a great 30-yard shot.

“Older bucks, like the one in this trail-cam pic (below), have become more visible as they spend more daylight hours seeking and hounding does. They should respond well to calling and decoying. Hunt those high-pressure cold fronts to have the most success this time of the fall. The best hunting of the year is right around the corner so buckle in. It’s going to be a wild ride.”

Ohio Bucks
The pre-rut has kicked off. Submitted