Monday, October 24, 2011

PostHeaderIcon The Pre-Rut Is Here, Time To Get In The Woods

The deer woods are undergoing a massive and dramatic change. Fresh buck sign began popping up a few weeks ago and deer movement is picking up. The October new moon is just a few days away and deer are responding. It is quite likely that a small percentage of does will begin going into estrous this week. Bucks are already starting to change physically. Case in point, this photo submitted by Paul Korn of Tombstone Creek Outfitters in Northern Missouri. Look at the neck on that stud buck. He is already displaying the classic “rutted up” look of a thick necked goliath.

Paul also says he’s seeing a lot more daytime buck pictures on his many trail cameras. This big eight pointer has no problem walking right out in the open during late afternoon hours. Most hunters equate the rut with the best time to hunt big bucks. After all, they are on their feet and moving at all times during the day in an attempt to breed as many does as possible. However, the pre-rut may be the best time to hunt, especially if you’re the type of hunter that keys in on buck sign like rubs and scrapes. As’s Will Allen writes in his latest story on pre-rut hunting, during peak rut bucks are too busy breeding does to tend to rub lines and scrapes.

Of course, the best part of this change is the October hunting doldrums are coming to an end. The next month of deer hunting will likely be the best hunting we’ll see north of the Mason-Dixon Line. I’m hearing a lot of reports of successful hunts. What’s even more exciting is that many of these successes are on trophy bucks.’s Tyler Hinner connected on a dandy Northwoods 10 pointer over the weekend. Killing a big buck in late October is becoming a tradition for Tyler. He took a meaty 10 pointer last season around the same time.

After deer hunting solely during firearms seasons in the past, I have started archery hunting this year. I was lucky enough to pass up several shot opportunities on opening weekend back in September. Temperatures were warm and I didn’t want to butcher a deer unless it was a trophy class deer. Since then I have been out chasing waterfowl and upland birds and just haven’t put a lot of time in deer hunting. In mid-October I sat in the tree for a few evenings and one morning hunt without seeing any deer move through. I spooked some bedded deer coming in and out of the stand but haven’t had as shot opportunity in five weeks. I’ll be spending three full days in the woods this weekend and look forward to having a chance at my first archery deer. With cooler temperatures moving in this week, I’ll be hunting meat from the outset. The first deer in range of my bow is in serious trouble! Good luck, and please share any of your successes in the comments section.


Jon Ballard said...

Congrats on the nice buck Tyler!

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