Preparing and Strategizing for 3 Stages of the Rut
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When the rut is on its way, it's important to prepare yourself. You need to know what to look for so that you know when the rut arrives. This is especially true since there are a variety of factors, including crop harvests, weather and doe population, that impact when the rut actually arrives. You need to be able to observe your surroundings so that you can strategize accordingly.
If you notice that scrapes are filled with tracks and that licking branches have been tended to recently, then it's getting close. The does aren't ready to emerge yet, but the bucks are beginning to put their A-game on. To catch a buck that is on the prowl, consider setting up near travel funnels and corridors. The prime time to be on the lookout is in the mornings and evenings.
When scrapes begin to freeze over and become inactive and dry, then it's time to begin hunting where the bucks and does are feeding. Find harvested grain fields, food plots, clear-cuts and other feeding areas to set yourself up.
Heat of the Rut
This is when you will begin to hear or see bucks during the middle of the day. If you have some time that you can take off of work, then now is the time to do it. The best place you can be is at the edge of an open pasture or field. You may want to put that doe decoy to use now.
Although this information will only help you get started, it is important to be familiar with what to look for in various stages of the rut. Even when your friends are telling you that the rut is over, it probably isn't. Give yourself some more time to fill out those last couple of tags of the season. For more hunting tips and advice, visit our blog or feel free to contact us directly.