Bowhunting during the rut gets even better as October yields to November. It’s the time when mature bucks drop their wariness in search of a doe-in-heat. Even the most wary older bucks begin showing themselves during daylight hours in search of love.
According to the pro staff at Yamaha Outdoors, the rut won’t last long so make the most of it by being in the woods. They promote hitting the “peak week” as deer biologists say peak breeding occurs at roughly the same time every year. That period over much of the northern half of the U.S. is just shy of mid-November. Peak rutting, they say, occurs roughly a week to 10 days before that – and it includes seeking and chasing. And that’s when you want to be in the woods.
The Yamaha pro team advocates spending the day in the woods as rut deer, they contend, are crepuscular - most active at dawn and dusk. But the window widens a bit now and deer may move a little later in the morning and early afternoon. Odds of seeing a buck almost any time of day go up. And it’s certain you’ve heard that the best time to be in the woods is from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.
Testament to this is a big buck sighting I had two years ago as I drove south on Mauch Chunk Road in Whitehall. About 50 yards from the light at the intersection of Schadt Avenue and Mauch Chunk, a 10-point buck strolled along the perimeter of the cornfield on the west side of the highway. In fact as I passed him, he was a mere 15 yards from the roadway before be rounded the cornfield and headed back into Trojan Powder Company (that’s what I still call it having grown up in West Catty) property. I couldn’t believe my eyes since it was 10:15 in the morning.
The boys at Yamaha suggest looking for bucks where they’re most likely to travel. Look for terrain or habitat features that funnel deer movement, particularly between bedding areas. And they believe you shouldn’t abandon pre-rut stands as you’ve probably seen does there in the early season. “As bucks remain fairly close to their core areas, they may make a brief excursion, but they’ll be back home within 24 hours,” says Bob Humphrey at Yamaha.
And lastly, don’t give up too soon. “As the number of receptive does drops off, older bucks redouble their efforts and may travel even more,” Humphrey emphasizes.
WEEK 4 RUT REPORT
This weeks rut report from Bob Danenhower of Bob’s Wildlife Taxidermy in Orefield, indicates similar rut observations from the Yamaha staff.
Says Danenhower, “Reports from my personal time on stand plus those from hunting buddies and customers show that bucks are shadowing and chasing does. They’re responding well to rattling, decoying, grunting and of course doe-in-heat lure.”
Danenhower is proud to announce that so far he has had several reports of bucks being harvested with his fresh Urine-Luck doe-in-heat urine. Three of them, he recalls, are trophy mounters.
As for his personal time on stand, Danenhower said, “This past Saturday I hunted four hours in the morning and had seven bucks at my stand, five in bow range and two good shooters. But as bad luck would have it, a 130-class buck showed up at 15 yards. He froze and as I drew, he stepped behind a tree. I held as long as possible, but he won. But then that’s hunting.”
He recounted that on Wednesday, he discarded a bunch of his doe-in-heat urine drenched paper towels in his garbage can behind his house only to have a decent buck show up 15 yards from the can. “We haven’t seen a buck in our yard in the middle of Orefield in 10 years. Was it a coincidence,” he questions?
His story reminded me of a large-racked buck my wife and I saw last year in his vicinity. As we waited for the stop-light to change green at Route 309 and Orefield Road, my wife spied this big buck saunter across heavily traveled Route 309 and between two homes on the west side of the highway. This was around 10 a.m. during the last week of the archery deer season (also the rut). As we drove west on Orefield Road, I looked right and saw the buck standing in a homeowner’s back yard and a few yards behind a 3D buck target the owner evidently uses for practice. If he only knew.
Danenhower summarizes by saying, “Despite the rut, bucks aren’t stupid so keep the wind in your favor and cover your scent. The more mature bucks are just beginning to show so it’s only going to get better from here on. And because of mild weather forecasted, I believe the heaviest action will be early mornings until daytime temps drop. Some hunters are also reporting heavy movement at noon as well.”
CABELA’S HONORS HOMETOWN HEROES
Cabela’s Hamburg, will honor Hometown Heroes on November 11-12 by offering employee discounts on in-store purchases during these two special days. The offer goes out to all active military, military veterans, law enforcement, firefighters and EMS personnel.
“This is our way of saving thanks to all who serve in these capacities,” said Harold Luther, Cabela’s Retail Manager.
To automatically receive outdoor news and views from Nick Hromiak, click on the “Subscribe”notation on this page.