Rut Tracking 10-16-19
Bucks on the March
(Rut Meter: 20%)

Our Rut Meter is on the move, so things must be heating up in the whitetail woods. The
whitetail heat is coming from whitetail bucks, which are beginning to cover ground. They are moving across ridges and marching from one social area to another. Are they looking for estrus does? Well, not exactly; they are most likely responding to increased levels of testosterone pulsing through their systems and just doing what bucks do. They are on the march, and they will keep marching until an estrus doe reminds them as to why the fall march is on. That doesn’t mean the occasional buck will open a scrape or rub a tree, but it is all a dress rehearsal for the real deal that lies ahead.

Mature buck daytime activity will be on the upswing for the next several weeks.

Savvy whitetail watchers know that it’s the does that trigger the rut we are all waiting for. Our whitetail watching team is reporting does on the feed, feed, feed. The does are spending untold hours filling their bellies, while the bucks are moving aimlessly about. Fall food preferences can change by the day but make no mistake, it is still all about the “need to feed” in the whitetail woods. Hunters will do well to stay on food sources this week.

Does are not the only “4-legger” filling their bellies this week. Many have reported a buck marching into a food plot, feeding for 20 minutes, then marching right back out. If you are intent on arrowing something wearing headgear, a ridge that is known to produce buck sightings isn’t a bad bet, and neither is a well-used crossing from point A to point B.

A note of caution, the so-called “October lull” is about ready to be trumpeted across the whitetail world. No, the deer don’t crawl under a rock or leave the state. They are just figuring out it is hunting season and it’s time to be careful.

Stay tuned, we’ll be calling “Rut On” any week now.