If you’ve ever hunted a big buck, you know that it’s a unique challenge to catch one. Bucks tend to lose their antlers after the rut and then return to heavy feeding in order to gain weight for the winter. During the rut, bucks exhibit subtle but complex behavior. Fortunately, there are a few tips that can help you make the most of your trophy buck hunt during rut.
First, you should keep an eye on known bedding areas and narrow transit areas. Gather as much information as you can from cameras, tracks, and local sighting reports. Be prepared to move if you spot a buck. Be prepared to use aggressive calls if necessary. Even though bucks are still sexually fired-up, they may be less aggressive during this phase. While hunting in this phase, it’s crucial to have the right equipment and hunting strategy.
When hunting during the rut, look for mature bucks. While most bucks will stay near their core areas during the rut, they may also move around in daylight hours. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a mature buck on the move. But don’t burn your stand out before he moves. Instead, stick with him until the end of the rut. This way, you’ll have an opportunity to take him during the peak of his rut.
Another way to predict rut dates is to hunt during the off-season. In November, rut hunters packed the woods and deer lost their motivation and interest. While the crowds have cleared out, the competition is lower. Try hunting from Monday to Thursday during the rut. A whitetail buck’s movements are best on days with less pressure on the environment. You’ll be glad you did!
Once the rut is over, the bucks begin to settle their feuds and mate. During the rut, bucks begin raking trees with their antlers to advertise themselves. The scent from their preorbital gland is deposited on the saplings. They often rub the trees in clusters and seldom return to the same place. This makes them prime targets. There are many ways to take advantage of the rut and bag a trophy buck.
While hunting during the rut will give you a chance to see plenty of bucks, you’re still going to have to be patient. Bucks lose their natural caution when they are near a female, so make sure you plan your trip during the rut to maximize your chances of snagging one. This is a special time of year and the right timing will pay off for you. A consistently successful hunter will spend time in the field throughout the hunting season.