The Rut is Coming


The Rut is Coming

John J. Woods
Magnolia Outdoor Communications


It’s December. Two things are going to happen for certain this month. First and most important, on the 24th, Santa will be making his rounds across the world. For outdoors people hopefully he will be bringing neat guns, gear, and everything all outdoors.

What else? Well, in many parts of the country especially in the more southern climes, the whitetail rut will swing into action. The exact dates of those peaks varies by region. Alas, peak rut is over up north, but good deer hunting remains where seasons are open. The nice thing about whitetails is that there are so many now, not every doe gets bred the first go around. So, there are often secondary and even minor tertiary ruts to hunt.

Lucky for southern hunters, the full bore rut is fixing to kick in. So, what does that mean? Bucks are often described as literally girl crazy during the breed chasing phase. It is universally thought of as the best time to catch a trophy class buck acting out of character. But, don’t let those unwise tales fool you. Bucks are still bucks, and that means crafty and aware.

If you cataloged the hunting strategies to cage a big buck during the rut, then what should be your primary tactics? Foremost is the old adage about not being able to kill a deer from the recliner, unless, of course, you are really hunting out of a recliner, which I actually saw once in a Missouri woods back in the 1970s. But that’s another story for another day.
So, guys and gals, now is the time to cash in on remaining vacation time, holiday time, weekends, hours before and after work, and any other time you can squeeze in to be hunting. Odds are always in favor of the hunter that is in the woods hunting instead of shopping at the grocery store or taking a nap. Go hunting!

Guy deers like gal deers, so plan to hunt where the two get together as much as possible. Why it is do you think that local honkey tonks offer free drinks for a girl’s night out? It’s not to give away free drinks. You figure it out. Same for deer.

Antlerless deer “yard up” to eat. Find where this is happening. Have stands set where the winds are right, and early or late, glass the dark edges to observe bucks watching or scenting the does. During the middle day, post yourself to watch trails, funnels, creek crossings, and thickets. Time on task will eventually yield results.

Avatar Author ID 67 - 1709279422

Award winning outdoor writer/photographer since 1978. Over 3000 articles and columns published nationally. Field & Stream Hero of Conservation in 2007. Fields of writing includes hunting most game in American, Canada, and Europe, fishing fresh and saltwater, destination travel, product reviews, industry consulting, and conservation issues. Currently VP at largest community college in Mississippi in economic development and workforce training with 40 years of experience in Higher Education. BS-MS in wildlife sciences from MO. University, and then a PhD in Industrial Psychology. Married with two children and Molly the Schnoodle.

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