With the arrival of fall, comes the arrival of the Rut Tracker. Testosterone begins rising in bucks right around mid September amping up weekly as we press on closer to the rut in November. Their antlers harden, they start tearing up bushes, and they start laying fresh scrapes every chance they get. These are the obvious indicators of the rise in Testosterone in bucks. Less obvious signs but indicators none the less, are bachelor groups breaking up, bucks relocating, brief sparring matches, and dominant bucks asserting their dominance over younger bucks. Hunters would be wise to note these changes but not confuse them with authentic rut or breeding related behavior.
Hunters that intend on hunting the pre-rut are best to hunt food sources or areas that are used by deer going from bedding areas to food sources. Early season bucks are generally feeding aggressively as their body prepares for the Rigors of the Rut and winter to follow.
Don’t be dupped by aggressive soft signs of the upcoming rut; they are made by bucks under the influence, the influence of the first releases of testosterone and a prelude to the upcoming Breeding Rights.