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The Chase Phase of the Rut

Posted by 
November 8, 2012
Published in News & Tips > Hunting > Deer
2347   Comment
expert

November 16, 2012

As usual, I’m hearing mixed reports about the intensity of the rut from different areas. I’ve received a BUNCH of email from GrowingDeer.tv fans that have tagged huge bucks in Kansas. Most of these pictures are accompanied by a note describing the intense rut action the hunter observed! Friends from other states are discussing the lack of deer rutting behavior they’ve observed this week. Mixed reports of rutting behavior from different areas are common each year.

This is because there are many factors that influence the amount of rutting behavior (seeking, cruising, and chasing) that hunters see during daylight. One of the biggest factors that determine how much deer activity hunters observe is the weather.

At my place, located in southern Missouri, I’ve seen more bucks than normal for this property (at this time of year) out seeking, cruising, and/or chasing the past two days. It seems rutting behavior is more visible during daylight hours this year compared to past years. You can see the bucks (their behavior/my hunting techniques, etc.) I’ve been watching on November 26th on GrowingDeer.tv.

The temperatures at my place have been in the upper 40’s/lower 50’s during the day and the upper 20’s/lower 30’s at night. These temperatures are approximately 10 degrees cooler than normal. That’s about perfect to encourage daytime deer activity! These same temperatures in northern parts of the whitetail’s range for this week would probably be warm enough to cause deer in that area to be active primarily at night.

It’s easy to swap stories with buddies, etc., and get confused about exactly how many bucks you saw and what the conditions were when simply trusting your memory. For years I kept written records of what I saw while hunting. Based on my observations I could adjust my hunting strategies to the current conditions. However, to make use of those observations, I had to enter all of it in a spreadsheet, try to find weather and moon data for those dates, and then work to get all of it in some format that I could understand.

This year I found a much easier and more accurate way to track how many deer I see, the sex ratio, average number of points, and weather and moon data for exactly when I saw the deer! I simply bought ($3.99) the ScoutLook DeerLog app. I always have my smartphone with me while hunting. Just after I see a deer, I simply open the app and enter, using an easy form, the gender, age, and points (if a buck) of the deer I saw. DeerLog then automatically grabs the weather and moon data for my location and that exact time! I’ve shared just a few lines of the data I collected this morning! I simply made a few strokes on my phone and DeerLog did the rest!

DeerLog

I can keep this information to myself, compare with buddies, etc. I find that by reviewing just a few days of my records, I can predict with great accuracy which stand and when I should be hunting. If the weather conditions are roughly the same next year, I’ll know exactly where to hunt or what stage of the rut to be expecting. If the weather conditions are substantially different, I simply compare to my own or a buddy’s observations during similar conditions at that time of year. That’s a very powerful tool!

I’m headed back to the stand now. I hope I get to record some more observations and a kill! If I punch my tag, I’ll share pictures soon.

Growing (and hunting) Deer together,

From GrowingDeer.tv
Grant Woods

 

Tagged under Read 2347 times Last modified on July 30, 2013
Dr. Grant Woods
expert

Home: Republic, Missouri
Family: Tracy (wife), Raleigh & Rae (daughters)
Hobbies: Deer & turkey hunting, improving habitat, fishing
Rifle/Bow Preference: Whatever season is open!

Hunting Stuff

Years Been Hunting: I started rabbit hunting and trapping at 7, 45 years ago
Prefessional Affiliations:
The Wildlife Society, Archery Trade Association, Quality Deer Management Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, Missouri Trappers Association, National Rifle Association
Hunting Strength:
Being a research biologist that specializes in white-tailed deer, I've been able to use my knowledge of deer behavior to help pattern mature bucks on a consistent basis.
Favorite Technique:
 Pattern a mature buck and then place a stand/blind or spot and stalk and end up at the same place as the buck without the buck knowing I'm present
Favorite Game to Hunt:
White-tailed deer & wild turkey
Favorite Hunting Gear: Nikon binoculars. Seeing game before they see me has been one of my best techniquesFavorite Places to Hunt: Missouri, Kansas and Texas
Favorite Places to Hunt:
My farm near Branson, MO. My favorite state to hunt besides MO is KS.
Favorite Season to Hunt:
Early turkey season and the pre-rut
Favorite Time to Hunt: Deer tend to be most active just before a substantial change in the weather — I really enjoy hunting food sources just before a major front.
Favorite Way to Hunt:
Favorite Gear:  

Career Highlights

Biggest Kill: 169" whitetail & several large wild boars
Greatest Hunting Achievement: 11 year old Kansas whitetail buck with a recurve bow after a long spot and stalk — shot at 7 yards
Favorite Hunting Moment: Watching my daughters take their first deer & turkeys

Dr. Grant Woods is a wildlife biologist specializing in deer management and research. He schooled at Missouri State University, University of Georgia, and received his Ph.D. from Clemson University. His success at conducting wildlife research, educating hunters about advanced hunting and management techniques, and designing site-specific management plans to improve deer herd quality is well known throughout the whitetail world. He is passionate about wildlife management and hunting and shares his knowledge with others via a weekly show on the web at GrowingDeer.tv and through events at Bass Pro stores as part of the RedHead Pro Hunting Team

 

Dr. Grant Woods is a wildlife biologist specializing in deer management and research. He schooled at Missouri State University, University of Georgia, and received his Ph.D. from Clemson University. His success at conducting wildlife research, educating hunters about advanced hunting and management techniques, and designing site-specific management plans to improve deer herd quality is well known throughout the whitetail world. He is passionate about wildlife management and hunting and shares his knowledge with others via a weekly show on the web at GrowingDeer.tv and through events at Bass Pro stores as part of the RedHead Pro Hunting Team

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