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Advice Needed for Whtetail Rut Hunt
Going to Northern Kentucky first part of November to hunt Whtetail in the Rut. I will be going hopefully during the rut? Just need some advice on best ways to help me be successful. I have never bowhunted whitetails so I am a rookie when it comes to whitetails and hunting the rut. I am going to hunt private property and will have several stands to hunt during my time there. Suppose to be good deer population and not over hunted. Thanks for any good advice.
Plan to sit all day and do it. Without knowing the property or how the stands are set the single best piece of rut advice I can give you is to sit all day.
Pvdesert, There is good thread going below. “Add a tip/ secret”. It has a lot of great tree stand tips in it. Good luck.
During the rut hunt the doe concentrations.
Put up a tree stand at home , put out some targets and start practicing at different distances .
Let the doe's pass and the buck's are usually not far behind.
How much time do you have to hunt? As far as when to be there I would try and split your time equally on both sides of the 10th. Seven days before and seven after would just about cover most of the rut.
If you have stand location options try to set up in a pinch point between larger cover.
I love hunting downwind side of greenbrier thickets.
Thanks for the info so far. If I hunt all day in the stand do you call and rattle all day also?
I use my grunt call to close the distance when a buck is sighted outside of shooting range.
If a buck isn’t going to intersect your 30 yard radius.... blow that thing and see if you can turn him.
I use to call all day... but then you change the hunt by doing that. Rattling creates the scenario where you become the hunted. And after the sequence you have to be really alert ...... whitetails have an uncanny ability to locate the exact location of the calling.
Honestly, some areas of the country I do not have good success rattling. And some areas are awesome fun. I say only rattle when things are slow....or if you know that area responds well to rattling.
If you are calling/rattling to visible, but out of range bucks, do not call or rattle to them when they are looking at you or in your direction. Wait until they are looking away and stop when they look towards you. You want to keep them guessing as to exactly where the sound is coming from if possible. . I call only enough to get their attention and then wait them out. They may lose interest and start to walk away. I’ll give them another call to reaffirm to him that I’m still there.
I don’t rattle to visible bucks unless they are too far away, or it’s too windy for them to hear my grunts or snort/wheezes. Then I’ll rattle to them to get their attention, then use the grunt call.
Also, I will grunt or “meep” to a deer to stop him for a shot. Some guys don’t, but I’ve only ever had one deer come unglued when I tried to stop it with a grunt. If a buck is chasing a doe all over the place, you might have to even yell at him to stop him. I’ve had to do that several times.
You said you are a rookie and you are on private property with good deer population - during the rut. I would not advise you to rattle or grunt. Just be there, in a pinch point, make sure you are not skylighted in your stand, wind to your face and just be quiet with no movement, forget the rattle and grunt stuff.
I’ve got to respectfully disagree, woodguy. Why limit yourself to relying totally on the chance that a buck will walk by in bow range? I would agree not to overdo it, however, I’d venture at least half, if not more of the whitey bucks I’ve killed over the years, have been called in to my stand setup. Lots of times you will see a shooter buck out of range, with little to no chance of him coming your direction. Why not take a chance calling to him to see if he is curious/aggressive enough to possibly investigate?
Also, during the prerut/rut, chances are pretty decent that he may respond positively to your calling. Pretty exciting thing to see a good buck coming to the horns or calls. Adds to the experience IMO. I would even encourage Greg to experiment his calling a little on non target bucks a little bit. Smaller/younger bucks don’t, necessarily, react exactly the same as many mature bucks do, but they occasionally do. Besides, you’re there to have fun.
Is this a guided or unguided hunt? If it is guided, I would think he/she is familiar with the lay of the land and the movements and habits of the deer. Listen to your guide. Other types of info can be acquired from BS threads.
Practice hunting from elevated stand at different distance and wear a safety belt with practicing and on actual hunt.
This is a semi guided hunt and I will get lots of good advice from the land owner as he is a bow hunter. I do like to hear opinions of what works for others and like to add it with the local knowledge. Seems most agree on sit all day and take it easy not to over call and rattle. Pinch point seems big. Wind is a given. Any scent conainments ideas? This western states hunter thanks you for all the great advice —- can’t wait to be in the stand chasing whitetails in the rut
Just try to keep your gear and yourself as scentfree as is possible. Not 100% possible, but every little bit can help some. Like you stated, downwind setup as much as is possible, cures a lot of ills. I’ve had a lot of positive results using Nosejammer spray with deer that have gotten downwind of my position. Again, not foolproof, but enough positive encounters to convince me that it helps.
Good luck this fall. Hunting whiteys during the rut is a blast!
Make sure you are in a stand 10-2. Seems like bucks move a lot during that time frame. Being in stand dark to dark can be tough, but if you want to max your chances....
Can you do a pre- season trip to familiarize yourself with the property and get stands set? Maybe in spring and combine with a turkey hunt? Get an aerial photo of the property and identify the food/cover so you can locate the transition areas to set up during the rut. A lot of guys overlook how to best access their stands. Being able to get in and out of your stands undetected is just as important as the deer sign is when you are choosing stand sites. Setting up on the best sign in the world is useless if you are busting deer going in and out of your stands. Identify the correct winds you need for each stand site and make a list. Check your wind forecasts daily during the hunt and plan your stand selection days in advance, making the final call with your weather app but also make the final call in the field with your wind checker before you head to your stand (stand selection will change of course based on deer sighting too). And don't be afraid to bail out of your stand if your wind switches and is no longer gonna work for the stand you are in. Be conservative to begin your hunt and get more aggressive as the hunt wears on. If you jump into the middle of all the activity day one and don't kill, you could be a bored hunter by day three, so work around the edge of the activity to begin with and work your way into the core as you figure things out. As some guys have mentioned, all day sits can be very productive if the rutting activity is high. Stay in the tree and extend your hunt if you are seeing deer activity mid day, and you will also cut down on the trips you are making to and from your stand. So much to learn, but for your first time, keep it simple and have fun. Good luck!
My best advice is this... lots of these tricks that have been posted, will work, depends on how much pressure has been on the land.... pressure is a key for deer behavior.....
Just make sure everything you have on you, bow etc, is dead QUIET...... noise is a killer ,,,, silent everything....... and good luck
Stay in the tree all day. Learn how to snort wheeze. Works very well during that time period.
Do you have the property location and if so you could be studying topo map, google earth, and aerial Photos.
Try and ask people who live right near where you are hunting. Biologists, DNR officers etc. I say this because the actual breeding period can vary in just a matter of 10-15 miles and you do not want to hunt the actual rut(breeding period) The bigger bucks get locked down with does and unless you are lucky enough to have a hot doe near by you may just see a bunch of 1.5 and 2.5 year olds running around. That said I would say from a few days before Halloween up until the say the 6th or 7th will be good in that area as it will be right before the actual breeding starts taking place. One of the best times for big bucks is a day or two after the heavy breeding phase. Big bucks will once again be out looking and will again start responding to calls and even scent trails. Shawn
Lock down isn’t a factor.To think all mature bucks are simtaneously with a doe is a recipe for a quitter’s mentality.
I’m not smart enough to know when the shooters are breeding and when they are searching for the next doe but I am smart enough to know that they are not in unison.
We all have different philosophies.Ive probably rattled 3 times my whole life and haven’t done it in 15 years with the concern of bucks I never see getting downwind of the sound and educating them to my sets.
For every stud buck somebody calls in rattling I only wonder about how many got downwind of the horns and the Hunter never knew it.
Couldn't agree more, Steve! Exactly why I rarely rattle as well. I've rattled in a few small bucks in my time and a handful of does.