Mark Drury and I compared notes again and came up with our 5th annual prediction of the best days to shoot a monster in the 2013 rut.
Any year, the first week of November, when bucks rub and scrape like fiends and troll for the first receptive does, is a great time to hunt for a big deer. If you take off this week, you ought to hunt all day every day, because you never know when you might see a shooter. But with the moon new and dark this November 3 and then waxing crescent, bucks should be most active at daylight. Get on stand extra early and hunt the mornings extra hard.
The first week of November “will be the best week to grunt and rattle,” says Drury. Watch the weather and don’t miss the 2-3 crisp, high-pressure days after a dry or rain cold front moves through your area. Bucks will move best then.
There have been more record-book bucks shot November 8-11 than any other days, and that window will produce giants again this year. But keep in mind that around November 10 every season, the major lockdown hits in many areas as mature bucks hole up in covers to tend and breed does. Couple that with new scientific data that says overall deer activity will diminish during the first-quarter moon of November 10, and the second week of November is setting up to be unpredictable, and tough in places.
“Look for the lockdown to be fairly tough, but once bucks start to free up around November 15th with the full moon coming on, I think the buck movement will be quite good at all times of the day,” says Mark.
Biologists say whitetail rutting activity fluctuates a bit with weather, acorn crops, pressure, etc., but actual breeding dates are amazingly consistent from year to year in any given location, regardless of moon phase. But Mark and I are more adamant than ever that bucks move more and harder during a “rut full moon” than during the darker phases.
So, we believe things are setting up to be hot during the full-moon week of November 17. Most of the older bucks will come out of lockdown around November 15, and as they go back on the prowl for more does, they will move long and hard from around 11:00 a.m. until dark each day. Mark Drury loves hunting November 16-20, and he predicts this will be a great time to kill a big buck this fall, maybe the best time of the 2013 rut. I concur and plan to get on stand by 9:00 a.m. and hunt till dark.
I have always told my hunting buddies that the 2nd full moon after the Fall Equinox is the best time to hunt the rut. Unfortunately, I already filled my archery buck tag this year on a “Spike”. (sarcasm)
Haha Danny that was a hell of a “spike”. When does your gun season start?
Early muzzleloader was in last Thursday-Saturday.
I took my nephew, neighbor boy and wife each out one evening. Saw 3 bucks with my wife, but she wasn’t comfortable with a 200 yrd shot. She made the right decision and didn’t shoot. (plus it was a 2 yr old 8 pt)
Doe only muzzleloader is this week. My neighbor wants some meat, so I might take him again tonight.
Rifle starts the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
You should give yourself a pat on the back, I commend you for helping others get involved in hunting and taking them out. If only more people were less self centered and realized that just because you may have tagged out doesn’t mean that your hunting and enjoyment of the outdoors should be over. I find pleasure in taking people hunting who don’t know how to begin or where to go, and when they harvest their first animal it’s one of the most rewarding feelings I’ve had.
Booked my flight to Missouri last night and I can’t wait! I’ll be hunting the 16-20th which is Missouri’s opening weekend of gun season. Last year I made the mistake of walking back to the farm house for lunch and as I looked back at my field I was just hunting minutes earlier I watched a 160″ 10pt trot across the field. It sickened me and you can bet this year I’ll be bringing my lunch with me to the stand for full day hunts. Mike I’ve been a bit worried that the rut may take place the week or two before I get there, but with what your saying I should still be good on those dates of the 16-20. The FEVER is really setting in. Good Luck during the rut everyone!
That is what i wanted to hear Mike. Planed my
northern Maine hunt 15th through 24th. Now if
the weather will cooperate we might have a
chance at a good buck. As you found out any
size deer in Maine is an accomplishment but
i try to hold out for that 200-260lb bruiser. Been
lucky that the area we hunt has that caliber deer
just need that one shot.