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Peak rut dates

Old 08-24-2011, 05:32 PM
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Default Peak rut dates

The Peak Rut Dates are the week when the highest number of does get bred each year. However, bucks are most active during daylight hours during the 2-3 weeks prior to the peak rut in your area. That s when you are likely to see bucks during daylight - checking scrapes, making rubs and looking for does.

Contrary to what is written on the Cabelas' rut Dates Page, peak breeding dates are different from norht to south (but many of you already know that). And contrary to what many "experts" say, they do not change from year to years (this has been scientifically proven by at least 7 different studies). Once you know the dates for your state, you know them till you die ....

Once peak rut occcurs, many of the bucks are locked up with the does for about 3 days each, until they find another doe. And you may not know where to find them, or when to find them. So, hunt those 2-3 weeks before peak rut (breeding).

To find our when Peak Rut occurs in your are Google "Peak Rut Dates".

God bless,

T.R. Michels

Last edited by trmichels; 08-25-2011 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:28 AM
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I guess I should also clear up the FALSE "peak rut and full moon phase" hypothesis. First, lets understand that "peak rut" (as used by deer biologists) is the one week of the year when more breeding occurs than during any other week. IT IS NOT NECESSARILY WHEN YOU SEE BUCKS MOST ACTIVE DURING DAYLIGHT, WHETHER CHASING DOES OR CHECKING RUBS AND SCRAPES.

After doing a lot of research on the subject, I was the first person to be able to prove (in 2000) that the full moon did not influence peak breeing in any way. I sent my findings to Dr. Karl Miller at the U of GA, and asked him to follow up on it. After Checking over 2500 does in 10 states he and several deer biologists came to the conclusion that the moon did not affect deer breedeing - in any way.

But, after reading a research paper by Dr. Kent Kammermeyer, I found that deer, especially breeding bucks, are affected by the full moon, making them most active during daylight hours when there is a full moon, but mostly when it is visible all week. (Something all of us are looking for.)

Although this does not affect when does get bred, it may cause bucks to become more active during daylight hours during the week before the full moon, when it occurs before or during the week of Peak Rut (peak breeding). So, determining when Peak Rut occurs in your area, helps you determine when you are most likely to see more bucks durng daylight hours than normal - by looking at your calendar and finding out when the full moon occurs before or during the week of PeaK Rut.

Don't be fooled by all those "secret formulas" other writers use each year to get you to read their articles and magazines. This formula (scenario) will occur the same way each year - once you know it.

However, increased hujnting pressure (gun season), increased human behavior of any kind(farming,logging, hiking), or unseasonably hot, windy or rainy weather - may cause the bucks to move less than normal, so you may not see bucks as much as you might when that occurs.

And, bucks are still going to be most active within two hours of sunrise and sunset. So, hunt hard from 1 hour before sunrise to about 9 AM, and from about 4 in the afternoon, until an hour after sunset (or legal huntign hours).

Check the Peak Whitetail Rut Dates for your state...

Good hunting, and let me know how you do. "If you read the "Thank You" thread, you will find out why I have to live vicariously through your hunting escapades this year.

God bless all of you,

T.R.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:21 AM
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Take vacation time around the first two weeks of November.
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:29 AM
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Im off for 5 weeks starting the last of October so I got it covered.
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:19 PM
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Peak rut in Mich. is Nov.4th thru the 10th. It does vary from region to region. I hunt out west alot and have found that the peak rut is usually Nov.15th thru the 23rd. Canada about the same or a few days later. Problem is the later you hunt in Nov. the more busted up racks you get from fighting.
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:37 PM
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I scheduled off for the last week of Oct because the first week of Nov is the full moon, never had much luck seeing the amount of deer rutting during a full moon as I have during a week before or a week after. In my experience it seems the chasing takes place more at night during the full moon. The only reason I say this is because I have coyote hunted during the rut period at full moon and have heard alot more chasing at this time. For me it always works out this way

Last edited by 4evrhtn; 08-26-2011 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:12 PM
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Another thought after re-reading your post TR.... You say hunt hard from sunup till 9 am and then from 4 on. Having worked in a Taxidermy shop I have also seen just as many buck be brought in that were shot between 10 and 2 during the rut as the times you listed. I think better advice would be "if you can sit in the woods during the rut than you should sit" because during the rut you are just as likely if not more so to see bigger buck during all hours of the day as you will during the times you listed. I hunt out of state where there is nothing else to do during hunting hours other than hunt so I sit all day during most the days I am there and while the opening of the season and late season are slow during the late morning/ noon hours, the days during rut are always more exciting with very little slow times as compared to the rest of the season. Understand this is hunting in a state where there are more deer than what I see in Pa, would I be as willing to sit all day in Pa??? Probably not because I can hunt a 2 weeks straight in your average woods of Pa and not see the quantity or quality deer I see hunting 2 days in the average woods of the midwest.
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 4evrhtn
Another thought after re-reading your post TR.... You say hunt hard from sunup till 9 am and then from 4 on. Having worked in a Taxidermy shop I have also seen just as many buck be brought in that were shot between 10 and 2 during the rut as the times you listed. I think better advice would be "if you can sit in the woods during the rut than you should sit" because during the rut you are just as likely if not more so to see bigger buck during all hours of the day as you will during the times you listed. I hunt out of state where there is nothing else to do during hunting hours other than hunt so I sit all day during most the days I am there and while the opening of the season and late season are slow during the late morning/ noon hours, the days during rut are always more exciting with very little slow times as compared to the rest of the season. Understand this is hunting in a state where there are more deer than what I see in Pa, would I be as willing to sit all day in Pa??? Probably not because I can hunt a 2 weeks straight in your average woods of Pa and not see the quantity or quality deer I see hunting 2 days in the average woods of the midwest.
i could not agree more about not seeing many deer in PA woods, atleast the national forests etc. but down near pittsburgh there is supposed to be a buck that will break the state record...no body got him last year.

But i will tell you if you want to save money on gas, AND see more better deer, hunt close to home (i love hunting the big forests to but its 50$ for gas a trip, and i try to hunt everyday after school). Big patches of woods outside of the suburbs is where i do a lot of my archery hunting and i saw a buck that still gives me nightmares.. (didn't mean to hack this thread)

Anyway the first 2 weeks of Nov. are always best where i hunt, but i think i have seen more the last week of Oct.
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by 4evrhtn
I scheduled off for the last week of Oct because the first week of Nov is the full moon, never had much luck seeing the amount of deer rutting during a full moon as I have during a week before or a week after. In my experience it seems the chasing takes place more at night during the full moon. The only reason I say this is because I have coyote hunted during the rut period at full moon and have heard alot more chasing at this time. For me it always works out this way

Deer are generally most active at dawn and ducsk by nature, which is why they are called crepuscular. Because predators can see well during a full moon, it makes deer more susceptible to predation when there is a full moon without cloud cover. Conseqluently the move more dyuring the day tahn normal, even if the rut is not on. After 10 years of deer research I've found this to be true of trophy class bucks too.


The effect of the moon on melatonin, which is a mood regulator, appears to increase the urge to breed during a full moon during DAYLIGHT hours, but only when it is fully visible for 7 full days. Less so when it is visible fewer days, and probably not at all if there is cloud cover (they move at night -not during the day).

SO - if you are hunting the full moon - hope for 7 days of clear skies. The last quarter appears to be the next best timeframe to see bucks during the day.

I've spend 10 years of 3-7 hours per day, 3-7 days per week, 90 - 120+ days per year, watching, graphing and correlating deer activity during my research project. And then I checked it out with several other deer researchers, just to make sure I was not wrong in my findings.

I stake my reputation on what I say in my seminars and write in my articles and books - about deer, elk, turkeys, waterfowl and black bear (which I am currently studying for the 3rd year).

If you have questions - Fire Away - I'm here to help you guys get the buck, bull , tom, bear or duck or goose you want - every year for the past 7 years here on Hunting Net.

God bless,

T.R.
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:25 PM
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[quote=4evrhtn;3839073]Another thought after re-reading your post TR.... You say hunt hard from sunup till 9 am and then from 4 on. Having worked in a Taxidermy shop I have also seen just as many buck be brought in that were shot between 10 and 2 during the rut as the times you listed. I think better advice would be "if you can sit in the woods during the rut than you should sit" because during the rut you are just as likely if not more so to see bigger buck during all hours of the day as you will during the times you listed. quote]

I sincerly doubt that the average hunter would see more "bigger" bucks in the hours betweeen 10 and 2, than they would betwen sunrise and ( am amdnd 4 PM and sunset, becue those are normal deerr activity times - even during the rut. One reason being that bigger (if that translates into "older" bucks are generaly more wary than younger deer, at all times of the year.

However -

One of the reasons suggested in a Deer and Deer Hunting survey for bucks killed between 10 and 4 - is because at about 10, many hunters leave the woods, pushing some deer around, and making other deer feel secure enough after they leave, to become active. And deer get pushed around again as hunters go to their stands in the afternoon hours.

But, because I am not only a researcher for 10 years, but also an outfitter and guide since 1989, I only hunt private land, where I know all of my hunters will be. And we do not hunt midday hours, so that the deer have time to do what they want and need to do, and aren't pressured so much thyat they leave the properties. But, this strategy (as you suggest) may not work on public land (and that I am well aware of). But, it MAY work - which is the point.

I've learned one thing in about 25 years, there is no one right way to hunt deer. There are many right ways to hunt deer, and many more incorrect ways to hunt deer and elk, and turkeys, and ducks and geese and bears. And I write about all of them in my articles and books.

Last edited by trmichels; 08-27-2011 at 12:06 PM. Reason: spelling
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