Hunting the Rut
It’s that time of year…the rut is right around the corner and the excitement level for bow hunters everywhere is at its peak. However, since a case of over zealousness could possibly lead to mistakes in the woods, let’s take a look at a few guidelines to follow during the rut this year that will help you take your trophy buck home.
The first rule is simple, but one of the most important. Only hunt your stand if the wind is right for it! Many hunters schedule vacation time for a certain week, as they expect peak rut activity will take place in their particular hunting area. Because they have this time off, many hunters will hunt their stands during this time, regardless of wind direction. If you sit in your stand and know the wind is wrong, your chances of shooting a mature buck are greatly reduced – even if you do everything else right. While the big bucks are not as sharp during the rut and will make mistakes, their noses still work when they are chasing a doe.
Sit and be patient. Most hunters sit a few hours in the morning and sit the last few hours of daylight in the evening. Hunting in this manner is fine for the majority of the season, but the rut is different. If you are able to sit most of the day, or all day, there is a good possibility you will see more activity in the middle of the day than you ever thought possible. Hunting all day could be the difference in success and failure when it comes down to it!
Lastly, choose the best stand set location available. If you have multiple stand sets, it is best to sit in the one with the most doe activity. A good stand set might be near food sources that does are frequenting, or it might be in a natural funnel area with active scrape lines. Rate each of your stands according to its activity. Then, determine which stand is best for that day depending on the wind direction. Following these guidelines should make hunting this year’s rut more enjoyable and ultimately a successful one.
Mia Anstine is an outdoor writer, licensed outfitter, hunting guide, life coach, keynote speaker, and range safety officer, firearms instructor, and archery instructor. She is the founder of MAC Outdoors and Host of the MAC Outdoors Podcast.
Mia Anstine strives to encourage others to get outside, hunt, fish, shoot, and survive life with others in a positive way.
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