It is that
magical time of year again. The leaves have fallen off the trees, the farmers
are working diligently in the fields to get their crops harvested and the
whitetails are starting to move. The mornings have falling temperatures and the
anticipation of the rut is here. One of the most amazing times in a hunterís
year is upon us when you can see monster bucks moving about during daylight
classify the rut as different time frames. Some say it is when the bucks are
actually breeding but in my mind most hunters are actually referring to the late
pre-rut when the bucks are actively chasing does and looking for a receptive
doe. The bucks become vulnerable for the first time of the year during daylight
hours. It is a much harder time of the year to hunt a particular buck has they
will range several miles to find receptive does.
strategies should you employ for this time of year? Number one thing is to be
in the woods as you canít harvest anything from the couch.
things have worked for me over the years I do have several things that produce
on a consistent basis.
where I am from, as far as the hunters are concerned, starts at the end of
October and runs until our regular gun season the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
At this time of year I employ many tactics in a single hunt. I like to use a
good quality Scent removal system like Scent Killer, Scent Shield or ScentLok. I
will try to first and foremost make sure I am as scent free as possible.
showering with all scent free shampoo and soap and using scent free deodorant I
put on scent free clothing including undergarments like the ones from Contain
Clothing. Make sure to wear enough clothes to stay out all day, this includes a
couple pairs of quality socks like Black Mountain socks with Outlast technology
and thermal underwear like Carol Davis.
Once you have
yourself clean stay that way. Donít cook breakfast after you bathe. After
heading out to the area that you will be hunting use outer clothing that is
scent free as well. Several companies have jumped in the scent free clothing
line. They all employ the best camouflage patterns from Mossy Oak and RealTree
and the most successful for staying scent free would be ScentLok, Scent Shield
and Contain Clothing.
have your outer garments on donít forget to spray with an odor eliminating
spray. Make sure to spray your boots as well. but to be extra sure you don't contaminate your area with any foreign odors be sure and put on Elimitrax Over-Boot System and Elimiscent Gloves. Now you are ready.
are geared up and scent free and have headed into the woods and have scouted your favorite hunting stand
or blind location it is time to head out to that spot. Try to sneak into the
location walking into the wind whenever possible and try not to walk on a deer
trail. When walking out donít walk too fast or steady in case deer are passed
along the way. Try to walk and stop and listen every once in a while to imitate
a deer moving along.
Try using a
scent drag to your hunting location. Use a quality scent like Robinson
Mrs. Doe Pee, Tinks or Code Blue and drag a scent trail to within 15 yards of
your location. Make sure to add some scent every 30-50 yards to freshen the
scent trail. Once arriving at your hunting location hang the scent drag in a
shooting lane within your shooting range. Also try to add some hanging scent
pads or canister with additional scent. Make sure the scent is fresh and the
same on all of the pads.
your stand or blind location try to get settled in quietly not to alert deer or
any other animals that may be in the general area.
rattle, especially on cold calm mornings. Rattle and use a grunt tube while
rattling. If you have ever heard bucks fight they really get after it. They
make all kinds of noises while fighting so donít be afraid to make some noise
including banging on branches and brush. When rattling start with a slow
knocking of the tips together in case a buck is close by and that may be all
that is needed to bring him in. If after 10-15 seconds you donít see any
movement then start crashing the antlers together. Make it loud, as you are
trying to imitate two large animals trying to kill each other. Do this for
another 20-30 seconds as most fights donít last that long. After rattling, try
to make a couple loud strong grunts to show dominance. Then get ready as often
times the bucks will run in on you without you ever seeing them. Usually down
wind from you.
As the day
progresses try to use a snort wheeze as it will often times bring bucks in but
remember that when using calls they will almost always come in down wind from
you and that is why you must be scent free. Primos make a nice snort wheeze
call the ďBuck RoarĒ which is very effective. Use this throughout the day every
another tactic that can be employed into your hunting arsenal. During the rut,
try to use a buck decoy. Doe decoys can work if you have a proper buck to doe
ratio but buck decoys seem to work better Bucks will often challenge a buck
decoy as long as it isnít too large. So donít put out a 150 class decoy if you
intend to shoot a 120 class animal. You need to know what size of bucks are in
One way to find out what bucks are
in your area put up motion sensor cameras like CamTracker & Trail Timer or any other brand that will allow
you to have quality photos with motion and heat sensors. You can also shine
deer at night where legal. Check your local regulations as to whether it is
legal and what times you may do so.
Always have the decoy face you or
broadside as the challenging buck will usually come in at the head or side of
the decoy. Place the decoy 10-30 yards from your hunting location depending on
the effective shooting range and shooting lanes. Renzos silhouettes and
CarryLite Decoys both work well. After placing the decoy make sure to eliminate
your odor from it. Put buck urine by the decoy setup as well. Another trick
that helps is a tarsal gland by the decoy.
If you get
a buck hung up out of range donít be afraid to use some of the tactics to draw
him in closer like tickling the rattle antlers together with a buck grunt and
if he doesnít respond favorably through a snort wheeze at him and try to coax
him in for a shot.
Dale proves, use the right techniques and you get your buck.
remember that you canít shoot a deer if you are not out hunting and make sure
to take a kid hunting to pass on the our great heritage that we have as hunters