Tracking the Rut 11-24-2018
(Rut Meter 95%)
November Rut Tracker still Cranking!
Posted by Hunting on Monday, November 26, 2018
Last week The Hunting Page called “rut on”, and this week the “rut on” call remains the same. The rut is on across 95% of whitetail country, the rut meter is maxed out for the second week in a row. It may be reading a solid 100% on your little piece of paradise buy it may be hovering in the 80’s over on the neighbor’s but that’s how the rut plays out, super here, not so hot, there. It all depends on which does are in estrus and where.
There are still many does to be bred even though a good deal of breeding has occurred. Estrus does will breed multiple times over a 2-3-day period until she has conceived and is no longer receptive. When the doe is no longer receptive the buck moves on looking for another willing partner, they might move 50 yards or 5 miles, it depends upon doe availability. When a buck and a receptive doe “hook up” they tend not to travel a great deal, as the bucks tend to stay close and the does have no longer trying to avoid the bucks. Multiple bucks will often tend the same doe with the doe often being bred by more than one buck. We often refer to this period as “lock-down”.
Lock-down often is a relatively the occasional chase can occur but in general chases are not as frequent as a week or two before the breeding began in earnest. Mature dominant bucks are often busy “tending” and/or breeding the receptive does and keeping the “wanna-be breeders” away from the estrus does. The dominant bucks often “stash” the estrus doe in some out-of-the-way woodland spot for “safe” keeping. Breeding bucks and does can often be found in old CRP fields or brushy areas that offer both food and cover.
Many hunters call “rut over” after a few “little to no activity” outings which often occur during lockdown. That can be a serious mistake., this is no time to be watching football on a Saturday afternoon. Savvy hunters know that the buck they have been waiting for is moving from doe to doe and can turn up at any time. Ridges, funnels and other travel corridors are still a good bet.
And deer still need to eat, thick spots are packed with leaves and woody browse and standing crops like dried off corn and soy beans are great late season attractors as are food plots full of luscious greens. Late season hunts are often weather driven so timing hunts around the weather often makes sense, deer are more often to be out after a blizzard than during one. Of course, deer become super scarce as hunting pressure increases, so be sure to keep your scent to a minimum and dig deep into your deer hunting bag of tricks, but most of all, hunt often and hunt hard, deer hunting doesn’t get much better than this.