The Hunting Pages “Rut Tracker Rut In Review”

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The 2017 Rut in Review

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Here is a recap of the #TheHuntingPages #RutTracker2017 'Rut In Review" Highlight Reel! Hunting Stealth Cam Wildlife Research Center, inc.

Posted by Hunting on Sunday, January 7, 2018

The 2017 rut started somewhere around Labor Day weekend, not what we were looking for but the first signs of the rut none-the-less. The days got shorter and the shadows lengthened, velvet peeled, and the scrapes and rubs magically appeared. It was testosterone time in whitetail country.

We started tracking the rut the beginning of October, our rut meter read 2% but it was hunting season and the early signs were aplenty. Savvy hunters were hunting food, but a fresh scrape  or rub line can be plenty tempting. By mid-October the rut meter was registering in the mid- teens  but  climbing fast,  deer were still in their summer  “feed frenzy” but the rut was on the way, it would still be a good while before we were even  thinking about calling “rut on”. The call went out out early November, November 7 to be exact. The signs were there, bucks chasing estrus does, fawns looking for momma and big bucks feeling their oats, game cameras worked overtime and hunters from across whitetail country were reporting “rut on” on an hourly basis, lots of hunters. The big boys were on the prowl, it was nothing to see a dozen big bucks on camera in a 24 hour period and a dozen road kills on the way to camp, our rut meter was pegged at a solid 99% . Bucks were chasing does and hunters were sending us big buck “hero shots”,  every deer camp in the woods had at least one hanging. The  rut was “on” and the woods were alive with testosterone crazed bucks. It was time to be in a stand, any stand, the rut makes good hunters of us all. The rut meter stayed at 99% from the 9th to the last week of November.

it was nothing to see a dozen big bucks on camera in a 24 hour period

By the first week of December, the rut meter was on it’s way down (75%. Deer) were still being bred and chases were still being observed  but the intensity had fallen off and you had to be at the right place at the right time, the rut was slowing down. By mid-December we were down to a 25% reading, and the deer were back on the feed, the occasional doe was being bred but for the most part if you wanted to shoot you had better be hunting food. Fawns and does were back together and bucks were feeding with does chases were a thing of the past and all but the biggest bucks were more interested in filling their bellies than chasing the girls.

By Christmas the rut had all but ended it was all about hunting food unless you were heading south to catch some rut action in Alabama or Louisiana or even some parts of Texas and Florida. The rut had come and gone across some 90+ percent of the whitetail world.

It rolls out this way about every year, the days might vary a day or two or even by a couple of weeks but it happens none-the-less. The days shorten, the hormones trigger, and an estrus doe hooks up with a testosterone crazed buck. Two-hundred days later a 8 pound spotted wonder hits the ground and the cycle is complete. It’s been that way for a couple thousand years and if we are lucky it will stay that way for a thousand more.

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Craig Dougherty has been a staple of the hunting industry for over 35 years. He has held senior executive and board level positions with multiple archery and firearms companies, and industry organizations. He was Chairman of the Board of the Quality Deer Management Association and was instrumental in the formation of the National Deer Alliance. He has and his son Neil have published books on deer management and hunting, and have written hundreds of articles and appeared on hunting TV and at countless sportsman’s events. The pair founded NorthCountry Whitetails a deer hunting and property management company, where they manage over 300,000 acres of deer hunting property for clients across the nation. visit: www.NorthCountryWhitetails.com

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