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What is "Peak Rut" ?

Old 10-02-2008, 12:06 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 214
Default What is "Peak Rut" ?

I got this off T.R. Michels website, I thougt it wa interesting.

"I get a lot of questions about when peak whitetail rut occurs. As a result ogf these questions - I think many people have different ideas about what peak rut is.
Peak rut is the one week of the year when more does get bred than during any other week. It is often when hunters are most likely to see one or more bucks acting stupid (looking for, chasing or tending does) during daylight hours.

I think many hunters think they will see lots of BIG bucks during this time. It is the time when when bucks are most likely to be moving during daylight hours.

However, it is difficult for hunters to determine, or even SEE, when peak breeding occurs, because studies have shown that rarely do more than 25% of the does in an area get bred during any one week. Which m eans that if you (the hunter) actually keep track of 10 does in your area, and see them get bred, you will only see 2-3 does in estrus during the ONE WEEK of peak rut, with 2-3 does being bred the week before peak rut, and 2-3 does being bred the week after peak rut.

You'll never know the difference!!!!

As to numbers of bucks acting stupid during peak rut: Unfortunately - depending on the quality of the habitat, the number or deer per square mile, the buck to doe ratio, and the ages of the bucks in the area, this can be highly variable.

So, what you should do is spend the 2-3 weeks when those 50% of the does are in estrus - hunting hard, from sunries to sunset, with most good hunting opportunities occuring before noon, and after 3 PM.

If you can - either choose one particular buck to hunt, and pattern it's movements - or look for a travel corridor or evening staging area (near food sources) to hunt bucks, because where the does are (or move) - is where the bucks will sooner or later be.

IF you pattern a buck the best time to hutn is is NOT during peak rut, because that is when bucks are most unpredictable. What you should do is hunt during peak scraping, about 2-3 weeks before peak rut, when individual bucks are most predictabel along their rub routes.

I hope that helps.

God bless,

WildlifePhoto is offline  
Old 10-02-2008, 12:24 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 590
Default RE: What is "Peak Rut" ?

Interesting stuff there. What I personally see in NW Montana is that the week of "peak rut" is way worse for hunting than the week after or the week before. Our peak would be roughly 15-25 Nov. I've taken 7 bucks of 3 1/2 years old or older the last eight years, four from 11-14 Nov. and 3 after the 21st. What I find during the peak period is lots of little bucks running around like crazy with big bucks seldom seen. Why? Because the big boys all seem to have an estrous doe back on some impossible steep, brushy slope.

After "peak rut", when the supply of hot does begins to wane a little bit is when I seem to see more big bucks out running crazy, seemingly trying to get one more piece before it all comes to an end.

My vacation this year is split to avoid "peak rut". I'll be off 9-17 Nov, then work 18-22Nov., then back at it from the 23rd on.
Dirt2 is offline  
Old 10-02-2008, 12:36 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: NOVA
Posts: 780
Default RE: What is "Peak Rut" ?

Well said Dirt2.

i hunt an area with a very large population of deer per square mile, in some areas i hunt its well over a hundred head. The bucks have a lot of options, and usually can get a doe or two to hunker down with in the peak of the rut, however a two weeks before the rut, there is always that one/two doe that is hot and it seems like every buck in the county is on her. last year i witnessed 9 bucks chasing one day during the very first days of November. then i experience the same thing near the end of November, except later in the season you see a lot more eradic behavior where the bucks look like there out searching for that last doe.
crenshaw is offline  
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