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The early part of the deer season is good to hunt around food sources, and the trails leading from the food sources to the bedding areas, as the deer are a little sluggish and will move more during the morning, and late evening hours.
Now when the rut starts to get close, the deer will become more active, including the bucks. The bucks will start leaving more and more sign. They will be making more rubs and will begin making scrapes. This time of the year should be a good time to start using soft short grunts and soft rattling calling techniques because the bucks are beginning to claim their territory and by showing who is more dominant over the others. They will be testing one another.
Now when the rut becomes more into full swing (the time is magical). This is when you want to be more aggressive in your calling techniques and by using more scents, such as doe estrus and dominant buck urine. Now you have to keep in mind that the dominant buck urine could spook some of the less dominant and younger bucks but it is sure to get the attention of a dominant buck in the area, especially when used around scrape lines.
Using doe estrus around scrape lines is also a good way of attracting bucks as they will often come back to check some of their scrapes for doe that are coming into heat, as does will often urinate in or around these scrapes.
Now we have talked a little about hunting around areas with buck sign and a few ways on attracting bucks but there is something else important that is often overlooked. What happens when you are hunting an area that has a lot of buck sign but you are not seeing a lot of bucks? It is possible that the bucks, especially the older bucks, are visiting your area at night. It could also be the buck has become locked down with a doe and they will stay with that doe no matter where she goes until she is ready to breed before it moves on in search of another. This is the time for a backup plan.
We feel that not only do you want to scout for buck sign and their movement patterns but it is a good idea to scout for does and their movement patterns as well. Why? Because of what the bucks are doing during the rut. They are not only asserting their dominance, they are also searching for does. Where there are does, there are bucks.
Don’t get hung up on just buck sign.
Happy Hunting and if have a questions or comments please contact us we would like to hear from you.
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If you are you going to be using deer scents, or calls this upcoming deer season? Then check out our friends at Harmon Scents. Great people, and great service.