The greatest week of the year is near, and it is called the rut! Why is the rut not a national holiday? I have no idea, but it reminds me of Christmas. It brings me joy and there is a potential for a lot of food. The upcoming rut is like staring at a Christmas tree with a pile of presents surrounding it. I wonder what is in those fancy wrapped presents much like I wonder what deer are about to show themselves during the rut. Anyways, let me get you prepared for what is the greatest time of the year – the deer rut.
5. Watch the Weather
When preparing for the rut, the first thing I do is look at the extended 10-day forecast. You will have the internet telling you to study moon phases, barometric pressure, and what kind of clouds are in the sky. In my experience, examining basic information is much more beneficial and will help you plan more comfortable and productive hunts.
What I typically look at is sudden drops in temperatures and wind. Drops in temperature get does moving/feeding and strong winds keep does bedded down. The more does that are moving, the more bucks are going to move.
I stray from hunting in extreme weather like storms. Deer typically bed down in storms and so should you. Hunting in storms creates a dangerous environment for you as a hunter, especially if you are hunting out of a tree stand.
I use Weather Underground to gather my weather information. Type in your location and click the 10-Day tab.
Link to Weather Underground
4. Study Your Maps
I hunt and study a lot of public land and I always live by this 1 rule when preparing for the rut – find the path of least resistant.
When a buck is on the move to find his next mate, he is going to walk/run a path where he can move fast and without resistance. The same goes for a doe being chased by a buck. Find an area that has a lot of thick cover but has a distinct path that deer can easily move through. Setup 20 yards off the path and prepare yourself for a show!
3. Spy on the Farmers
Not literally but take a drive and see if the corn and beans are being harvested near your hunting area. An individual deer has a habitat range of 1 square mile which is the area you need to view from a distance. If sections within that square mile have corn or beans still standing, expect the deer to move that direction and plan your hunt accordingly. If I see a farmer out checking his mail, I will stop and say hi. Most farmers are glad to talk with you and give you information about the time they expect to harvest. Try to continually build relationships with your local farmers. This ongoing relationship will no doubt pay off for you in the future.
2. Buy Doe Urine
Doe urine is a great tool for the rut and for obvious reasons. However, I not only attract the bucks with doe urine, but I use it to cover my own scent. To attract the bucks, I will spray doe urine around my tree stand, usually 15 to 20 yards away from the base of my tree. When I climb to the top of my tree stand, I typically spray a few limbs downwind to cover my own scent.
1. Get Scent Free
I always try not to complicate deer hunting, but I feel it is crucial to be scent free. I have bow hunted for over 10 years and gun hunted for 22. Almost every time I am not scent free, deer bust me.
A few weeks before the rut, wash your clothes with scent free soap and let your clothes air dry. After air drying, spray your hunting clothes with scent free spray and place in a sealed tote.
If you travel by truck or boat to your hunting spot, where different clothes and bring the tote with you. Once you turn your truck or boat off, put on your hunting clothes and spray yourself again with scent free spray.
I wish you all the best of luck during the 2019 rut and feel free to send me a picture of your trophy! I will gladly post the photo on the White Buffalo Outdoors website and all social media platforms.
Justin J. Lind
October 24, 2019
White Buffalo Outdoors