Hunting The Peak of The Rut


The peak of the rut is the most frenetic time in the deer woods. Does run helter-skelter, often followed closely by one or more lovesick bucks. Dominant bucks not only chase hot does, they also challenge other mature males and run off lesser bucks. It’s a frenzy of deer activity that lasts from dawn till dusk and throughout the night. Obviously, this is a great time to be in the woods. Any of the 4 main hunting techniques-ground blinds, tree stands, still-hunting or drives—will work. Whichever method you use, simply adapt it to take advantage of a buck’s preoccupation with mating.

rut1.jpg A ground stand overlooking a draw or bottom littered with fresh rubs, scrapes, trails and big tracks is a good bet. A tree stand might be even better because you can see and cover more of the rutting area. Still-hunting can be dynamite during this short, sweet period of high activity by usually wary and secretive bucks; you can sneak around and often stalk close to an unsuspecting big deer. Even drives can work because deer are already disoriented by their rutting wanderings; you never know where or when you might push a big buck out of a pocket of cover and into a buddy’s sights. Rattling and grunting can produce because a dominant buck is touchy about other bucks that might invade his breeding domain. In short, a myriad of techniques can produce during the peak rut, a short window of time when it is simply important to be out there, looking and listening for wild-eyed bucks.


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