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Whitetail Rut: November 1-7

You’ve waited all year for this, the big boys are out, the November rut baby!

You’ve waited all year for this, the November rut baby! Before you head out, take a few minutes to think about things like the deer behavior, food sources, weather and moon phase during the specific time you’ll be in the woods. Whichever week you choose, we’ve got you covered with our AH Rut Calender.

Deer behavior: While some mature bucks will stay on your property late in the pre-breeding period, others will expand their range and stay gone awhile. On the other hand, be on the lookout for “new” bucks you’ve never seen before moving onto your spot. All bucks rub and scrape heavily to vent sexual frustration and to leave their calling card for other deer, but they do it mostly at night. Scraping will begin to fall off around Nov. 6. Aggressive bucks that cross paths might spar or flat-out fight. Most does are days or a week from estrus; they continue on a bed-to-feed pattern.

Key sign: Big rubs, large, fresh scrapes.

Moon: Full on the 2nd (will expose more midday buck movement, so stay on stand longer in the mornings, at least until 11 a.m.)
Science fact: Dr. Karl Miller and cohorts conducted a trail-camera study in Georgia and found that bucks build scrapes in high-traffic spots where other does and bucks will see and smell them. One of the most common places was at the junction of two deer trails.

Top stands: “With the way the full moon is lining up, I think this could be the best week of rut hunting we’ve seen in years, especially if we have cool weather,” says Midwest big-buck guru Mark Drury. He predicts that afternoon hunting near a food source, any food source, will be hot. “Get in your best stand near the best feed on your place and go for it,” he says. “My gut is that some slob bucks will be killed.”

A killer morning stand is on the edge of a CRP field, an overgrown pasture, an old clear-cut—you get the picture—200 to 400 yards off the feed field or mast you hunted last evening. Many does will naturally gravitate there to bed. Big bucks will cruise in the chest-high cover after them. It is a perfect spot to rattle. Remember, hunt until 11 a.m.

Hot tactics: Look for scrapes that were dug 100 yards or so below a brushy ridge top and hunt nearby; bucks like to bed on a ridge or bench and move to scent-check the scrapes below. If you use trail cameras, keep them rolling; super biologist Dr. Grant Woods says, “At scrapes this week you’ll get images of most of the bucks on your land, the locals and the passers-through.” This is the best week for rattling, which works best on a cool, still morning. Try setting a tarsal scent bomb near your stand; a brawler buck might come to your stinky challenge. If you’re bowhunting, this is the week to try a bogus buck on the edge of a field near your stand, or in a clearing in the brushy cover where a buck can see and approach the decoy. Grunt at every buck you see wandering through the woods or dogging a doe, and do some blind calling every 30 minutes or so on stand; you can’t grunt too much this week.


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1 Response to Whitetail Rut: November 1-7

Si Axtell wrote:
October 30, 2010

That's odd, where I live the moon is in it's waneing half today. By the Second it will be a sliver.So is the article from the archives, as the new moon is on the 6th, full on the 21st.