Pre-Rut strategies

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
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Ghost Hunter
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Re: Pre-Rut strategies

Unread postby Ghost Hunter » Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:03 am

Brad wrote:
Ghost Hunter wrote:I have places I will not walk into till last half of October, weather dependent. If I go in there and there is no sign to hold me there. I turn walk out. Check again in a week or so.


I'm interested in knowing
what exactly makes that a spot you only sit at that time?
and, what is enough sign to keep you there?



It is just like walking into a spot that is hot. If it is not hot or ready to hunt yet. You hunt it you stand a good chance of burning a chance at what might be happening in next week or so. So stay out until time is right.

When you walk in there on this particular spot which is a ridge that runs a good distance. Covered in oaks an is secluded because of a couple creek crossings. If trails have fresh tracks in them an a rub here and there. It is time to try it. I keep track of time year this area gets hot. That is when I move in. Hunting season after season year after year. You learn what works and what to expect in an area. Some places take several season to figure out. Then, sometimes you can walk into a spot and it is hot and you learn a lot.


I live to release an arrow and watch woods grow into chaos and then grow quite as a mouse in just seconds.
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Net Guy
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Re: Pre-Rut strategies

Unread postby Net Guy » Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:47 am

Like many said before, scout. I really like funnels near water, especially around creek bottoms. When I hunt bigwoods in northern WI it gets trickier because of low deer densities and lack of sign they leave. In this case I focusing on trying to find scrapes. Hard to find but golden when you do. I'll follow old logging roads and look for low-canopy areas in the woods close to transition lines. You can't see them on maps but I really like little patches of low-canopy trees/brush.
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Re: Pre-Rut strategies

Unread postby MichiganMike » Fri Oct 02, 2020 4:36 am

If you didnt scout beforehand- Look for rub lines that open up in thick cover near creek bottoms or marshes. Usually that means there is doe bedding around. that trail should be well used and look like a cow path. Follow that rub line/trail in a ways and set up. Try not to get too far in or you may bump the buck out of there. If you know where his bedding area is- try to stay 100-150 yds from it. He will be moving earlier in evening if no one else has been in there. Typically its a 2-1/2 to 3 1/2 year old buck, but it gets you into the game and onto a respectable buck. I shot mine last year that way and my taxidermist aged him as a 5 1/2 though his rack didnt show it. You never know what may come down those rub lines, could be a stud.
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Re: Pre-Rut strategies

Unread postby HeadHunting » Fri Oct 02, 2020 9:37 am

As Ghost Hunter has eluded to, having spent time in an area is what is going to get you where you want. I know that may not be the answer that you are looking for, as it seems that you are trying to learn, grow and be successful often in a short period of time but sometimes that aggressiveness can be burdensome. Don't forget to actually enjoy the process of learning and getting better because of your goal to be successful. You will end up looking back and wish that you would have just enjoyed yourself more.

As you learn the areas that you hunt, you will notice when the timing is right. Again as Ghost Hunter stated, the sign will give that timing away. you will find areas that are great early season hunting spots but play out after a food source dries up as they are generally in a cover-food-cover pattern. You will learn and find great rut cruising spots, these can be all-day sit spots as movement becomes random during the rut. Look for fresh tracks or trails wearing in if the habitat is not good for tracks. This will play out after the rut period. Bedding while always important becomes even more so after the rut as bucks will look to recover and travel ranges will decrease. Does will go back to food sources and bucks will stay close to bedding. Bedding may have changed at this point and gotten deeper in, as cover in the woods gets thinner with the falling leaves and dying vegetation from winter/snow, if you have snow in your area.

Spending more time scouting than sitting in a tree will help you to learn both some of the tactics you pick up here and the areas you are hunting quickly. It will also help you to be able to recognize sign as "hot" sign meaning recent sign and sign that is older and may indicate that the deer are no longer in the area and not worth a sit.

Good Luck man, again I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you wanted to hear but some things will just take some time.
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Re: Pre-Rut strategies

Unread postby Ghost Hunter » Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:43 am

Also, I would like to add that spots I hunt and call rut areas are in close to bedding. Typically 150 yards or so. My max shot opportunities are less than 25 yards most of time.
I live to release an arrow and watch woods grow into chaos and then grow quite as a mouse in just seconds.
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Brad
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Re: Pre-Rut strategies

Unread postby Brad » Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:49 pm

Yea, the common theme is that I definitely need to scout. Truth is I have spent quite a bit of time scouting this particular location before the season last year, and had about 15 total sits in various areas within its almost 3000 acres. Done some squirrel hunting there, which for me really means deer scouting with my .22 lever action in my hand. I also spent alot of time running around the area during spring turkey season. I have put alot of miles in at that place... but I have actually laid eyes on only one buck... I have found several previous year rubs, heard stories of people bringing big bucks out of there regularly. I know they're there, but I have not been on them. I was starting to think that the places I go the bucks don't make as much sign as everybody talks about everywhere they hunt, making hunting hot sign very difficult... then I recently came to the realization that the bucks probably are making the sign, and I'm just not in the right places...
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Re: Pre-Rut strategies

Unread postby Ack » Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:14 pm

Brad wrote:Yea, the common theme is that I definitely need to scout. Truth is I have spent quite a bit of time scouting this particular location before the season last year, and had about 15 total sits in various areas within its almost 3000 acres. Done some squirrel hunting there, which for me really means deer scouting with my .22 lever action in my hand. I also spent alot of time running around the area during spring turkey season. I have put alot of miles in at that place... but I have actually laid eyes on only one buck... I have found several previous year rubs, heard stories of people bringing big bucks out of there regularly. I know they're there, but I have not been on them. I was starting to think that the places I go the bucks don't make as much sign as everybody talks about everywhere they hunt, making hunting hot sign very difficult... then I recently came to the realization that the bucks probably are making the sign, and I'm just not in the right places...


If you need to break it down even farther, look at it this way......if you were the buck and someone was hunting you down, where would you go that the person couldn’t find you. THAT is probably going to be the same place where you’ll end up getting onto the better bucks.


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