I pack and use simple but effective gear every day that I hunt the whitetail rut: Carry a grunt call and use it every day. Hunters grunt in and shoot many giant bucks each November. Most any tube will do the job. I lay trails and set wicks with Mega-Tarsal Plus buck scent, and Special Golden Estrus doe near my stands. Make sure to use synthetic deer lure if your state requires it. You can bring in a buck with a rattle bag or box, but nothing beats real antlers. Antlers off a 130- to 140-class buck are good. They have enough mass and tines to mimic the deep thudding and grinding of two mature bucks. Most realistic.
November 6, 2012, Wisconsin bowhunter Dusty Gerrits (picture left) sat and waited on a 150-class buck he called Tiny. “We had pictures of Tiny on a scrape the morning before, so I set up right there,” he says. Two small bucks showed early, but no Tiny. All of a sudden and out of the blue a giant rolled in! Not Tiny but bigger! “He pushed an 8-point off the scrape, but no shot,” says Dusty. Finally, he saw his opening and fired. The buck crashed 50 yards away. The monster netted 189 and change, at the time the new state record archery typical. Regardless of weather, moon or other environmental factors, the vast majority of does in the northern two-thirds [...]
Researchers at the University of Georgia’s “Deer Lab” conducted an extensive study on the scraping behavior of whitetail bucks. On major finding: 85 percent of all scraping (by bucks of all ages) occurs at night, and a 3½-year-old or older buck is rarely observed at a scrape. Take that at face value and you’d never hunt scrapes again. But not so fast; read between the lines for some useful data. When analyzing the time codes on their trail-cam images and video reels, the researchers noticed that a flurry of heavy scraping occurs at or just after dusk on late-October and early-November days. Hmm, so here's how to play off that science. Scout for a doe trail, draw or ridge funnel [...]
Magical stuff happens on Halloween, so dress up in camo, paint your face and go bowhunting. Compared to the last several years, we’ve noticeably cooler weather for October, and let’s hope the trend holds. A little cold front followed by a few days of high-pressure with a light northwest wind and temperatures in the 35- to 55-degree range… If those conditions come together on Halloween, you’ll see deer moving, and bucks starting to rut. Moon-wise, no trick but a lot of treat this Halloween. Based on the full hunter’s moon October 28, I predict good to great deer movement October 27 and continuing through November 4. This is one of my favorite windows to bowhunt any year, and made better [...]
An estimated 5.3 million whitetails inhabit 252 of the 254 counties in Lone Star State. Texas hunters shoot more than 800,000 deer (does and bucks combined) a year. While there are no stats to back me up, I feel confident saying at least 95% of those deer are shot from towers and box blinds positioned to watch corn feeders. “This is Texas, feeders have long been part of our hunting heritage,” says my friend Wren Munsterman, who has managed and hunted ranches in all geographical regions of the state. Wren says, “My main strategy regarding stands and feeder placement is twofold: first, to avoid shooting into a rising or setting sun during the hours of peak deer movement, and secondly, to provide [...]