Many hunters think the rut is cut-and-dried, confined to two or three weeks in mid-November. But it’s not. There is more “trickle breeding” going on in mid- to late November and rolling into December than you might imagine.

Go back and check the biggest, most active scrapes you found in late October and November. Some bucks re-check and hang around scrapes where they hooked up with hotties in the first rut. Food is still key: Find the doe groups and you will find the bucks edging around them.

Here is another mid-November strategy and key area to cover in your late rut strategy: Any big deer that survived a hail of arrows and bullets will reactivate scrapes that are located in or around thick security cover. Don’t hunt over the scrapes per se, but hang a stand and watch the edges of thick cover where you might catch a buck prowling around scrapes. Especially during firearms season, don’t be afraid to back off travel and cover.

In mid- to late November, just one hot doe in a patch of woods will draw several different bucks sniffing around for one last shot of fun. As long as she hangs around, you can hang around until a shooter shows up.

Keep these areas in mind as we hunt the rut in late November, and you are sure to bag that buck.