Dan Infalt is known for killing big bucks during the rut by hunting bedding areas. This is something many hunters do not do, but maybe they should.
Alex Clomstock had a chance to interview Dan to learn his secrets.
Q: At a high level, how important are bedding areas to you during the rut? What changes for you from October to November when it comes to hunting bedding areas?
Dan: Bedding areas are always in the equation. My biggest and oldest bucks taken during the rut were shot in relation to bedding areas, not funnels. Generally the younger bucks, 1 and 2 year old’s, run the ridges and funnels. 4 year old’s and older bucks do not get that old by running through funnels during the rut. They most likely have learned some hard lessons about running around in daylight. That doesn’t mean they don’t make the occasional mistake, it just means that for older bucks, you need to hunt different.
Every Tom, Dick, and Harry out there is hunting funnels, or sitting over a scrape or rub. How many giant bucks are these average guys shooting? If you hunt like everyone else, expect results like everyone else.
I just finished a hunt in a large area on a hunt where you draw for areas. I was hunting with a young hunter who drew it for most of the season from early September through November. I just drew the 1st couple weeks of November. He was hunting all the classic funnels, pinch points, points leading into the swamps, and the rub and scrape lines that were popping up everywhere. He was going over his frustration with me that he was seeing lots of deer every sit, but no shooters. He only saw one shooter from his treestand the whole time he had been hunting. Meanwhile, I was seeing very few deer, but about one shooter every two sits.
So what was I doing different? I was out in the swamps hunting off the ground and out of small trees in water, in the doe bedding areas. Bucks change their patterns during the rut and go to the does. But they keep them corralled in thick cover. During the pre-rut, I often find them shifting to what I call rut beds. These are usually located adjacent to doe bedding, where they can monitor the does as they come and go from bedding.
Another thing that is a golden tip, is if you have a primary bedding area where a scrape shows up in staging within 100 yards of lots of bedding, that’s one scrape that should be sat over. My two biggest bucks came from scrapes within 100 yards of two bedding areas where competing bucks would stop by every evening after getting out of bed. [Continued]