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Hunting Strategies During the Rut; 3 Tips for How to Adapt

  [caption id="attachment_1194" align="alignnone" width="300"]pic-3 You can score big during the rut. Make sure you have a solid plan in place.[/caption] The last day of October has ticked past and we are entering the most magical month for bowhunters; the rut. With estrus ready to hit the wind and old mossy horns finally lured from his den, hunters are gearing up for a special time of year. In my previous blog, I discussed the basics of the rut to shed some light on what deer are doing during this time and why. The important thing for hunters to know is how to react and what hunting strategies during the rut they should use.

Stand Placement During the Rut

If you are a whitetail junkie you must pay special attention to your tree stand placement during the rut. Bucks roam from place to place during the rut looking for does to breed. If you can find a travel corridor between bedding areas or scrape line its best to set up your tree stand on them. This way you can intercept the bucks without bumping does. Also, if you have the luxury to let a spot rest until the rut, hang your tree stand in early fall and don’t use it until the rut. Knowing how bucks in your area will move, can help you determine the best stand placement during the upcoming rut.

Rattling Bucks in the Rut

One of the most popular hunting strategies during the rut is rattling. Rattling bucks during the rut simulates two bucks sparring and may grab the attention of a passing buck pumped up with testosterone. One mistake beginners make when rattling bucks in during the rut is to make too much noise. If you’ve ever heard bucks sparring in the wild, you know they don’t collide like bighorn sheep, but rather lock up and try to push each other around. Try and keep the volume at a realistic level.


Even though bucks movement is at its peak this time of year, hunters must still exercise patience. Bucks cruise between hot spots and return to a spot every three days on average. So if you happen to catch a glimpse of a shooter, don’t worry if he doesn’t show up for a day or two. Odds are he’s working his way around his territory. If you stay patient and persistent you are more than likely to see him again in a few days. The rut last for only around two weeks, so in order to be successful hunters should have a plan. By using good tree stand placement and rattling for bucks in the rut, you give yourself the best chance for success. Finally, be persistent and spend as much time in the field as you can.
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