Contributors to this thread:
What days would you hunt?
OK- I have a dilemna.................................deciding when to take off to (best) hunt the RUT! I can take 3 or 4 days off this year and I have an invitation to hunt my buddy's farm in Western PA. I usually try to take 3-4 days and hunt around Halloween. I usually try to hunt WEd or Thurs- Sat..
This year I could take off 11/1-11/3 and hunt 4 days in a row. Or take 10/27, 10/30 and 10/31. OR...........................if I took 11/6-11/9 I could actually hunt 8 days since 11/10 is a holiday for us and PA lets us hunt Sunday 11/12.
Because it is a 5+ hr drive to my buddy's farm, I usually only get 1 trip during the RUT. SO my dilemna is hunt "early" and have a better chance during the pre-RUT or chase phase or ......................................2) hunt later and have more days to hunt.
That said, my experience on this farm is the bucks tend to be chasing harder after the first couple days of November. Last couple years we saw a LOT of bucks chasing doe(multiple bucks in the same day), but it was harder(ie impossible) to get their attention with calling or rattling. and no shots. 2 of the 3 previous years, I killed a buck around Nov 1st.
Any of those are not bad choices. I like the long stretch option.
I'd go for the more days to hunt option. If you get a bad weather window on a 4 day hunt it really limits you.
My rule of thumb after 39 ears of bow hunting whities - early rut for action, late rut for trophies. The weeks I have traditionally taken off which is last weekend October through 11/8 have rarely given me a shot at a mature buck. All my best bucks have come very late summer until 10/8, and then 11/11 through January. Yet I am always allured by that first week in November and it never works for me for P&Y class bucks.
11/6-11/9. Best rut action in my opinion in that little stretch
If it was me I hunt later even move your 4days until after the 12th and hunt those 8 days 10th-if that a possibility.
I would also go with the start date of 11/6. If we only knew the weather in advance we could choose better.
"I like the long stretch option."....me too.
My choice would also be the long stretch option. I usually start seeing the P&Y bucks around 11/10 and after.
How far in advance do you have to make your decision? IMO, Unseasonably warm weather is generally the biggest factor in daytime deer activity.
I've read about a study that was done several years back and the results were that more trophy caliber bucks were killed on Veterans Day than any other day of the year. I always try to be hunting 11-11, and I've killed some nice bucks. My annual WT hunting trip is always the first full week in November. As t-roy said, warm weather is the biggest factor that determines what kind of action we see that week. Good luck!
deerhunter72 - my all-time best is 11-11-19.
"My rule of thumb after 39 ears of bow hunting whities - early rut for action, late rut for trophies."
Amen Brother! I have plenty of time to hunt whitetails at home...but when I draw an Iowa or Kansas tag which requires planned timing...my favorite week is just prior to Thanksgiving.
My two best big buck killing days are 11/11 and 11/13 , by far. Having said that, i cant hunt either of these days this year when i go to Wyoming for Whitetail. 11/05-11/10 is all i could schedule this time. I will make it work.
JohnMC x2… 11/10-11/14 or there abouts
Nov 6th. Should still be the rut and the moon phase is much better.
Thanks for all the responses guys!
t-roy- I can usually wait til the week before to make final plans, but I like to give work as much warning as possible. Weather is always a consideration.
My problem is I always get "antsy" when it gets close to Halloween(and I get texts from my buddies who are hunting seeing bucks........................) and it is HARD to wait to get in a stand! ;-)
Hunt the 8 day long stretch............
More days in the field the better.
or do like I do, I'll arrive in Penna Oct 28 and leave Nov 11. Have been doing the same for the last 5 years or so and it is pretty consistent the transition through the rut phases that I see. Most of the bigger bucks I have seen or on camera in the daytime are later in the hunt and are usually roaming. Most of the buck (and repeats) I have on camera on scrapes are during the first week and almost all at night. This is north central PA so may be different then farm country.
Dont consider moon phase. I was corrected by the experts here, it means nothing. There have been studies.
1st half of Nov is always good in our area (midwest). I would Go for the 8 day stretch
Weather notwithstanding, Halloween to November 10th has been more productive for me than any other time. Every year is different, though. So basically it’s a crapshoot, Perry :-)
My opinion is it strictly depends on what caliber of deer you’re looking to kill.
I strictly trophy hunt bucks and fill my freezer with does. I hunt usually around the 3rd week of October, week of Thanksgiving, first week of January and the particular days will depend upon moon phase. I will hunt the chase faze of the rut as well. But I really focus on the mature bucks on those three weeks I brought up earlier. All my hunting is done in the Midwest.
The moon plays a major part on when I choose to put a ton of time on the stand. Strictly looking for 5 year old or older bucks. That’s my opinion and how I’ve hunted for the last 30yrs of the 40+ I’ve been hunting.
Mature bucks after they leave the first doe,,,, 8th,9th,10th.,,, until.
Thanks for the input guys................................
I always knew the answer was 8 days hunting vs 4 days of hunting....................... but I always have had a struggle with being patient! And as my handle indicates, the closer to Nov. 1, the more "antsy" I get! ;-)
I would Quit my job and hunt the next month and a half.
Ignoring the moon phase in november is just dumb. No doubt I have seen and killed more bucks in November when it is NOT a full moon. First qtr and 3 qtr always seem to be the best.
I'm dumb. Moon has no bearing on my hunting plans or hunting success. Being in the woods in November as many days as possible and particularly my birthday, November 13, has been my best criteria for success.
Have a great hunt. October 16th 2023 is 15 years retired for me. I’ll hunt as Forest recommends (every day). Get yourself retired, enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.
Grey Ghost's Link
Of course, you have a "chance" to kill a deer on any given day. However, that doesn't mean your chances for success are the same on any given day. Moon phase is a key factor just as weather is.
"Moon phase is a key factor just as weather is."
Most research finds no supporting evidence that moon phase has a significant affect on deer activity, despite the myths that have remained for years.
Rut Nut, your choice is a no-brainer for me. I'd take the longer hunt.
Rut Nut, my only answer is YES!!!
LOL! : )
Forrest- I’m so close to retirement now I can smell it....................maybe I could do something to speed up the process? ;-) I have seen a couple of my co-workers basically forced into retirement because it’s almost impossible to get fired around here........................... Then I could go home and say: “SORRY HONEY, I HAD NO CHOICE- THEY WANTED TO GET RID OF ME!” : )
The end of October can be great if a couple of boxes are checked.
You have the property dialed in and know where the bucks are living. There are some matriarch does that will come into estrous at this time and it’s always the most mature bucks that get to breed these does. A good cold front will help these dates a lot.
Both in shooting and seeing bucks the 7th through the 11th are my best dates for more mature bucks.
Tough call,,,myself personally have been taking the 2nd week of Nov off for at least 40 years now.
Usually I feel that's the best. I'm in ne va. PA is probably similar.
Well in that case i would pick the longer run. More sits would be my choice
I’ve seen and killed my best bucks between Nov. 10 and Thanksgiving. Go with the most sits, Rut, and hurry up and retire!
If you take the same week off and hunt the same week every year is it possible to compare it to any other week.
LOL Jim! I’m TRYING!!!!!! : )
OK- it’s official...............planning on 11/4-11/12 This will be different! Always split up my days off and used them for a couple 4 or 5 day weekends during the RUT. This will actually be my first time hunting for a week straight for white tails!
Good luck Perry , post pics of that giant when you arrow one.
I o ew this thread was going to develop into the moon debate. So, let me clarify what is Moonie’s know.
We are going to hunt every second, of everyday that we can. Regardless of what the moon guide says. However, it’s when you are compromising your hunting time that it’s nice
“ I can only hunt a half a day on Tuesday through Thursday of this week. Which day do I go? Morning or evening?” Get your moon guide out and see what it says. Time your hunt around that barring no weather interference. See how it goes for you.
Here is what I 100% know. I use the moon guide. I’ve seen the difference. I use it to determine where I’m hunting. Not, when I’m hunting on all day hunts. It works. I don’t care how many links are posted to say otherwise.
Thanks buckeye! That's the plan! ;-)
ALMOST Matt! ;-) I drew on a nice 8 point on day 3 at last light.......................twice! Once at 17y and then when it stepped out into the slightly more illuminated field at 20+.............first time I couldn;t see him thru the peep and second time I could see his outline but couldn;t see well enough to "pick a spot" and the shot just did not feel right, so I made the tough decision to let him walk.
But choosing that week was definitely the right decision! I saw more bucks this year than any I can remember and I had the most fun I ever have hunting the RUT! I was more selective this year and let a 5 point walk under my stand on 2 different occasions almost 1/2 a mile apart. Picked the WRONG stand several times(by observation or trailcam evidence) and saw things this year that I never have in 25+ years of bowhunting! I posted about the buck that I heard GROWL several times in about 3 min that was tending a doe the one morning. Also spent 90 min one evening trying not to get "picked off" by 4 doe feeding in a field(I was in a tree on the edge of the field) waiting for the big buck to show up(which never did THAT evening! Of course he showed up the day AFTER I left, my buddy told me! ;-) At times the doe were within 20y of me and I thought the gig was up several times, but they went back to feeding.
So it definitely was an eventful week, even if I did go home empty handed!