The time has come to start putting ample time in the whitetail woods. The rut meter is on the move and things are beginning to happen quickly in the woods. Bucks are moving about and making does uncomfortable everywhere they gather. Mock chases and sparring matches are now everyday occurrences. If you are home watching football or raking leaves, you are missing the prelude to the greatest show on earth. The main event can break out anytime now and the meter still has some room to climb.
Being a weather watcher right now is the key. Cold weather under 50 degrees means plenty of deer movement, but warm weather, not so much. This week you want to be spending as much time possible tucked in close to doe bedding areas and destination feeding fields waiting for a chase to break out at any time or a mature buck searching for the next available doe. Trail camera data is still important but shifting toward to what the does are doing and how they are moving. Hunt the does and the bucks will come.
But before we call “drop everything, rut on”, we are looking for some more hard rut markers, such as older age bucks three and half years or older to begin cruising during daylight, some estrus-driven chasing, and, of course, bucks breeding does. Chances are that the signs will be everywhere in a few days or so. It’s just a matter of putting the time in the woods.
If you are serious about your deer hunting, you need to be in the woods: now, next week, and the week after that! November is what we wait for all year long as whitetail hunters.