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The rut - what's your opinion

Old 10-23-2017, 08:55 AM
Typical Buck
HatchieLuvr's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: West TN
Posts: 847

The rut is consistently the same pretty much every year, every where. It's based on nature "injecting" into that herd the best time for fawn recruitment in that basic geographic area, so that dictates when the rut typically happens. Moon phases & daylight cycles trigger the does cycles & obviously those only vary a few days either way each year.

What DOES make some years seem stronger & better than others is the weather & conditions during times we are most likely out there & eagerly awaiting them. Those conditions obviously DO vary from year to year. Warmer years typically make rut behavior & daytime movement less obvious & the deer activity less productive. Typically the reverse happens those special years when the mercury falls as the rut is cranking up & daytime activity is much more active! A moving barometer is something I've learned to REALLY pay attention to in the woods. Pre-frontal conditions are far & away my most productive & successful times over the years.

Years spent with a dozen cameras on my 625 acre west TN swamp has CONVINCED me that bucks, especially the mature ones, just DONT like daytime movement when the temps are over 70degs. As temps go over 80, the daytime movement is REALLY curtailed except for the absolute first & last half hours of daylight. ALL that goes OUT the window however when ol swamp daddy is looking for female companionship! Year in, year out I've also come to see that the last few days of Oct & first few of Nov are when the switch is FLIPPED for the mature bucks & they get up & start cruising for the first receptive does. This is a full 1.5-2wks before the rest of the bucks start prowling for the ladies. I've got pics, like clockwork, Oct 30-31 the woods come ALIVE with new scrapes & mature buck movement. 95% of the bucks on our wall came during that two week muzzleloader season. (First 2 full weeks of Nov)

This year the actual full moon is Nov 4 which is opening day of muzzleloader. Being its early in the rut, IMHO it won't have as large an impact on the overall herd as it would were the full moon to fall closer to gun opener (which in TN is always the Sat before Thanksgiving) The herd hasn't been pressured yet then & the does haven't been harassed 24-7 by EVERY buck like they have later in Nov. Another thing I've noticed is the full moon with warm temps REALLY assures crappy deer daytime sightings/counts because that only encourages more nocturnal movement by the herd. BUT photo evidence STILL convinces me that the mature bucks STILL might get up & prowl around & there's NO pattern as to when that might occur. Ive seen them moving high noon at 70degs just as they do early/late in the day under more ideal conditions. Forget seeing the does & little books, set up on key travel corridors & known, proven buck crossings & "serve your time"! The big boys are STILL out there & they don't let things like crappy weather (hot/cold, driving rain, high winds etc...) deter their quest for female company. You might be sitting from daylight to dark in crap weather for only one scant viewing of a lone deer... But guess what's most likely to move during the rut when most deer are tucked away awaiting better weather??? Honestly it's easier to fool a big buck during foul weather vs better conditions because his senses are dulled & his mind is pre-occupied. It's YOU that has to rewire your brain & train yourself to sit in a spot under crap conditions awaiting ol swamp donkey. But confidence is perhaps your GREATEST tool in the trophy toolbox.

Last edited by HatchieLuvr; 10-23-2017 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 10-23-2017, 09:25 AM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 489

Does come into estrous the same time year after year. The weather effects the daytime deer activity that Hollywood has portrayed.

Moon, food and weather all play parts on deer activity regardless of breeding season or not.
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