How Close is the Rut? 6 Ways to Tell

Discussion in 'Iowa Whitetail Conference' started by blake, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. blake

    blake Life Member

    Messages:
    12,728
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Toledo, IA
    Article from Field & Stream Magazine:

    How Close is the Rut? Here are 6 Ways to Tell
    You know about rubs and scrapes.
    Here are some other clues.
    Article by Bill Vaznis


    [​IMG]

    Photograph courtesy of Steve/Flickr

    When does the rut peak in your area? You can check last year’s dates, talk with a deer biologist, or consult moon guides. But these yield guesstimates and generalizations. A hot doe may have bucks all worked up in one spot while rutting activity is nonexistent the next valley over. The best way to pinpoint the peak ri ght where you hunt, right now, is to observe deer sign and behavior. Here’s what to look for.

    Better Buck Activity: When bucks start wandering from their beds well before sunset and also linger, often in groups, in or around doe feeding areas for an hour or two after sunrise, it’s because they’re looking for the first estrous does. That’s a sure sign the rut is about to break wide open.

    Chase Tracks: If you’re lucky enough to glimpse bands of deer running through the forest, it’s obvious the chase is on. Otherwise, keep an eye out for winding paths of freshly scuffed leaves accompanied by sets of widely spaced tracks.

    Cold Scrapes: When bucks suddenly stop showing up at the scrape lines you’ve been hunting, it’s a dead giveaway that they no longer need a calling card—because hot does are everywhere and bucks are busy trying to woo them.

    Midday Field Sightings: Driving down the highway to grab lunch between hunts, you glance at a field and see a giant cruising nose-down in the wide open. Midday sightings like this mean the search for estrous does is now 24/7.

    Strange Bucks…: If you’re a hunter who keeps close tabs on deer (through glassing and trail cameras) and you start noticing bucks you’ve never seen before, you can bet there are some fertile does in your area.

    …in Strange Places: Ready does tend to lead their mates away from the herd, often to spots with good visibility. So when you begin to see deer in unexpected places—at the end of a hedgerow, amid a patch of tall grass or brush in a field, in an open grassy ditch or swale—it’s a good bet that bucks are tending does, and the rut is in full swing.
     
  2. AdBot Guest Advertisement

  3. Liv4Rut

    Liv4Rut Active Member

    Messages:
    7,234
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Iowa
    #7 Get on iowawhitetail.com or archerytalk and read post after post of the good buck action and kills posted. Then you will know the rut is on.

    #8 Receive text after text from your buddies while you are work about the bucks they are seeing. Then you will know the rut is on.

    #9 See post after post on facebook from your buddies about deer they killed or action they are seeing. Then you know the rut is on.

    #1 - #6 isn't needed these days in our technological world.
     
  4. Jdubs

    Jdubs Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    127
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    NW PA
    How about just be in the woods the month of November; roughly the 7th through the 21stish. Been my experience anyway.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2015
  5. MNbuckhunter

    MNbuckhunter Member

    Messages:
    732
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Yep, in my area id say Nov 5-end of November. I'd say the most productive day on my farm gear after year has been Nov 12th. I have seen the best action and cameras tell me even more.
     
  6. meyeri

    meyeri PMA Member

    Messages:
    1,193
    Likes Received:
    425
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Central Iowa
    Agreed. Although my buddies can have their best day afield for rut action while I see jack squat and vice versa. Definitely a good general indicator though.
     
  7. loneranger

    loneranger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,110
    Likes Received:
    77
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Iowa
    My area Nov 5th --- about the 16th,,then dies down fast. Shut down happens season after season never sure why?
     
  8. LYON

    LYON PMA Member

    Messages:
    4,235
    Likes Received:
    401
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Central Iowa
    Remember to use discretion on #7-9. There's always those few guys that jump on around October 20th and say "IT'S ON" because they saw a buck sniffing a doe. :D
     
  9. Liv4Rut

    Liv4Rut Active Member

    Messages:
    7,234
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Iowa
    Oh I know those guys lol. There will be guys posting soon the rut is on because a 6pt is feeling frisky.
     
  10. Ishi

    Ishi Hang & Hunt Enthusiast

    Messages:
    2,156
    Likes Received:
    1,330
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Mill Creek
    Yep we all here it every year it's going to be a early rut. It wouldn't be right if we didn't hear that lol.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2015
  11. StickersNKickers

    StickersNKickers Camo Up!

    Messages:
    1,468
    Likes Received:
    57
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Greatest country in the world
    You all missed it. Dad saw a buck chasing a doe during the first week of August. It's over! Season is going to be very dull!
     
  12. bpul2113

    bpul2113 Member

    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    ?
    Rut dates

    Really hard to pin down those dates, if you asked me about last year i would tell you 25 oct - 7 november, year before would be november
    9th -21st, year before that would have been november 11 - 25th, and the year before that november 14 - 28th. Ask bill wiknke and he likes the 31 october - 11th november. Honestly, i just hunt as much as i can from halloween till thanksgiving am i am always very happy at the end of the day.

    I will say the cooler the better early. My humble opinion which doesnt mean chit
     
  13. JUNIOR

    JUNIOR Active Member

    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    South Central Iowa
    Id say the rut starts a little earlier in the season where I bow hunt also. Last few days of October through 2-3 week of November. Has been like that the last couple of years
     
  14. Forestryguy

    Forestryguy Member

    Messages:
    365
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    18
    6 pointer was chasing a doe and fawn the other day. Rut is ON NOW!!!
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice