Big white-tailed bucks, the heart of the rut, and prime stand time
Across the country bowhunters are getting their decoys ready. They are also double-checking their packs to make sure that they’ve got rattling antlers, can calls, grunt tubes, and for most: scents. This is the time of year where we unload our bag of tricks and give it everything we’ve got.
Why? Well, sometimes it works, especially during the rut. There is nothing better than calling in a deer or watching a buck come in crab-style with his eyes rolled back as he plans to destroy your decoy.
While I occasionally employ all kinds of stuff to entice bucks into range, my rut reality differs from a lot of hunters. I usually just vow to spend as much time as possible in good stands. My chosen ambush sites might be proven deer producers from years past, or they might be something new that I’ve found while speed scouting. The latter is happening a lot more for me these days, and it has allowed me to fill buck tags on public land in two different states, so I might just stick with it.
While time on stand is important, it’s also important to understand that this applies no matter what the conditions call for. Hot weather, wind, rain, whatever… Just hunt. The bucks are going to be more active for the next few weeks and the opportunity to arrow one goes up quite a bit if you’re actually out hunting. The weather is a handy excuse to not hunt, but if you’re serious about tagging out the best bet is to play the wind and hunt no matter what Mother Nature tosses your way.
That’s my plan anyway, and even though the 10-day forecast isn’t as appealing as I’d like it to be, I also know that we are creeping up on the best time to be in the woods for deer. So that’s where I’ll be.
It’s really that simple.