Rut Tracker


                                                          Rut Meter 25%


The rut is not a thing of the past, but in most locations, we have begun to think, “next year”. #RutTracker2017 Stealth Cam Wildlife Research Center, inc. Hunting

Posted by Hunting on Friday, December 22, 2017

Well, our rut meter has fallen to early-to -mid October levels. Does that mean the rut is officially over, well not exactly, the occasional doe, still shows signs of estrus, and there is always a willing buck. The rut is not a thing of the past, but in most locations, we have begun to think, “next year”. Young, deer of the year, are still candidates for their first estrus and some “old breeders” may have failed to conceived earlier in the rut.

The rut is not a thing of the past, but in most locations, we have begun to think, “next year”

Of course, if you hunt in the deep South, or at least specific areas of in parts Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and even Texas the rut may still lie ahead. Sorry, the rut came and went in South Florida last August, (yep, every mosquito in the world and 95 degree temps.)

By-in-large, if you live and hunt somewhere where most whitetails come from, the rut is a fleeting memory. The rut is a November event in the north and we are in rut recovery phase as you read this report. Our next rut meter report will be in the single digit range.

Now that doesn’t mean that the good deer hunting is over for the year, if you are lucky enough to have a deer hunting season that is still open, the hunting can be absolutely terrific. The deer are hungry, hungry, hungry and food supplies are rapidly shrinking, shrinking, shrinking, the deer are concentrated and if you have food to hunt over, you are going to have some fun (unless you have run all the deer out of the country).

The buck you chased all season is busy putting on the weight he lost from chasing does (roughly 25%). He is recovering from all that rut action and spending lots of time chowing down on anything green or anything that grew through the summer and fall (corn, beans, acorns or late apples. Don’t worry about the snow, a deer will dig through 8-12 inches of snow to get to food, deeper snow, the food of choice is browse like dormant plants, brush, and low hanging leaves. They’re getting ready for winter and the savvy hunter will be right there with them.

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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: