Readers ask: When Do Whitetail Deer Go In Rut?

How do you know when the rut starts?

Older bucks rub their antlers on trees more often than younger bucks. The closer it gets to rut season, the deeper those rubs will get. They will eventually turn into scrapes. Then, once you stop seeing deer around the scraping areas, that’s the indicator that rut is about to start.

What triggers whitetail deer rut?

The bow season opened four weeks ago, but deer activity is only now intensifying. It is called the “rut” — the breeding season for whitetail deer. Photoperiod (amount of daylight each day) is what triggers females to come into estrus, and the does dictate rutting activity.

How long does whitetail rut last?

The rut for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) usually lasts three weeks in the Northern Hemisphere and may occur most of the year in tropical zones. The rut is the time when white-tail deer, especially bucks, are more active and less cautious than usual.

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What months are deer in rut?

Multiple scientific studies have found that 90 percent of adult whitetail does will be in estrus and breed between November 5 to 20, and that covers North American hunting areas from North Carolina to western Washington. Of course, the rut can vary, especially in warm southern climates.

What time of day are most big bucks killed?

Most of them are specifically between 9:00 and 10:00 in the morning to be exact. It’s a proven time, and it could have a lot to do with the common perception among deer hunters that things slow down once early morning is through.

How long does a buck stay with a doe in heat?

Typically, when a doe is in heat, the buck will remain with her for 48 to 72 hours until she is no longer receptive to breeding. During this time he will keep her separated from other males and females to give him a better chance of producing offspring.

What moon phase are deer most active?

During the new moon this rut cycle, which begins on October 27 and stays mostly dark through the first days of November, you can expect deer to be most active at dawn and for 30 minutes thereafter.

When should you start rattling for bucks?

“ The two weeks before the peak -the first couple of weeks of November in my area-is almost a sure thing when it comes to attracting bucks through rattling,” he says, noting that while he has had success throughout the season, nothing tops the pre-rut period.

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How many miles will a buck travel during rut?

Some travel far and some don’t travel very far at all. At our Ohio farm, we have plenty of does so the bucks don’t seem to travel as far. Most of them seem to have a home range of a mile or so. During the rut this expands to 2-3 miles it seems.

What time of day are deer most active?

Deer are crepuscular, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk. During these times, the deer’s wide eyes take in plenty of light to see their paths to their favorite food sources, at a point when most predators are struggling to see clearly.

How do you attract big bucks during the rut?

An estrous-based scent smells like a doe that’s ready to breed. Bucks cover lots of ground searching for that odor, so use it to your advantage. Dominant-buck scents smell like a mature buck, which can make other bucks aggressively seek a fight. Mock scrapes can also work during the rut by attracting curious bucks.

Where do deer go after the rut?

Major Trails, Close to Bedding Areas As a matter of fact, a post rut buck is going to look for every opportunity they can to find a secure bedding area that is typically close to a food source such a grain fields or turnip plot.

Where do bucks bed during the rut?

During the seeking and chasing phase of the rut, bucks love to run back in the woods (usually about 15 to 30 yards) from the edge of a field (harvested corn is my favorite) as they use their eyes and nose to search for any doe offering even a hint of being near estrous. Often, bucks will cut the corner of the field.

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How many does can a whitetail buck breed?

According to Shorty Flees, of Wilderness Whitetails in Wisconsin, a whitetail buck can breed about seven or eight does (in the wild) before becoming severely depleted.

Where can I hunt bucks during the rut?

For a late-rut morning hunt, try an overgrown cedar field, tamarack flat, etc., with good, broken cover that sits a half-mile or so off a grain field. A creek or river bottom makes it better. Hunt high from a lock-on or tower stand so you can watch down into the cover.

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