February 23, 2019, 09:42:51 PM

Author Topic: Whitetail Deer Hunting During The Rut  (Read 838 times)

Offline TrackerOutdoors

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Whitetail Deer Hunting During The Rut
« on: April 04, 2005, 02:30:58 PM »
Some people may consider it a bit foolish to hunt bucks prior to the rut (mating season) because the does may not yet be pregnant.I would disagree because deer are polygamous. Meaning that one buck will mate with many different does. I doubt that we can harvest enough of the bucks to reduce the number of pregnant does.
One of the good points about hunting bucks during the rut is that they will tend to travel a great deal more in search of receptive does. At this time they are often a bit less cautious. Another good point about hunting during the rut is that many does will already have been bred.

Some hunters prefer to take bucks prior to the rut claiming that the taste of the meat is better before the rut. I have shot deer in bow season (October for me) and in November and December. I am one who must agree that the meat tastes better in deer that I are harvested before the rut. But, rest assured, the meat of any deer won't be wasted around my house. We are always thankful for the wild game and it's source of meat.
The rut will vary to some degree across geographic areas but in general, November will be the month that most of the rut will occur.

Another factor that may determine how often we hunt during the rut is the weather. Here in Texas winters are not usually so bad that it is hard to find good enough weather to hunt in. However, in other areas of the U.S., the weather may be a factor for some. My biggest problem in recent years hunting has been mosquitoes. Yes, even in November.

During the rut bucks will become somewhat more aggressive and will fight with other bucks for the right to mate. They will use their antlers to battle other bucks for this right. Dominant bucks will gather "harems" of does and heard and guard them during the rut chasing away other bucks.

Prior to and during the rut bucks will make rubs and scrapes. At the beginning of the rut, the bucks begin to rub their antlers on trees or brush creating "rubs". Usually, around the same time, he will start pawing spots on the ground called scrapes. He makes the scrapes by using his front hooves to scrape the ground clean of debry. Bucks then urinate to leave their scent in the scrape. After urinating in the scrape they will ussually chew on branches above the scrape or rub their head on a low limb to leave even more scent. They will return to the scrape frequently to "freshen" the scrape and check for the presents of a doe or intruding buck. Does in heat look for scrapes and when they find one they urinate in it. This signals the buck that she is ready to be mated and he can trail her scent. Rival bucks will urinate in other bucks scrapes as a challenge or warning. Bucks usually make scrapes near the edges of their territory. A fresh scrape will have freshly clawed up dirt and an odor or deer urine.

Good Hunting,
« Last Edit: April 05, 2005, 06:30:14 AM by Gutpiles »


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