Rut Meter 7%

Our rut meter read 7% the first week in October, now it’s right back where we started. The rut as we know it and love it (the rut makes good hunters of us all), is pretty much history. Short of an isolated doe showing signs of estrus, rut activity in the northern deer states is states over. Regions of a few southern states are still “rut ready” but almost 95% of the deer in America, have moved on to filling their bellies and getting ready for the onslaught of winter.
Chances are the deer in your back 40 are still getting over the impact of being hunted hard and breeding harder. They come to the food late and stay out of the way of most people places. They like anything green and carbohydrate rich foods like soybeans, acorns, and corn. They are weather driven and do what they can to stock up and conserve their energy reserves.
Hunters will be most successful by hunting food sources and keeping hunting pressure to a minimum. Savvy hunters hunt south facing slopes on sunny days (greener and warmer) and find sheltered spots to hunt when the winter winds blow. Sudden snows can trigger feeding sprees in food rich areas.
If you have an incurable case of “rut fever” start up the truck and head south, you can still catch a month or so rut activity in some regions of good ol’e Dixie.

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Craig Dougherty
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: