Its week 4, October 24th-30th and this is the time we live for as whitetail hunters. This is the Pre-rut and it is a great time to kill bucks. Bucks are finally showing themselves in daylight more and more, their constantly checking scrapes, bedding areas, food sources, and travel corridors, for one thing, that first receptive doe. During the week 4 period the woods start exploding with deer sign, posture becomes more aggressive, sparring turns more aggressive, and deer are really moving and being active. This week’s discussion is pre-rut hunting strategies.
This is one of my favorite weeks to check cards on my cameras because you typically start seeing a lot more buck movement, which of course always carry’s the possibility of new bucks passing through on the property. It also means your experience with the October Lull is over, and once again you will start seeing bucks show up on your trail cameras. Not just on your trail cameras, but where many hunters would favor seeing bucks, like on green food sources. Wherever the does are, expect bucks to be pushing them around and checking their status.
Again, just like last week, mock scrapes will be very active, but towards the very end of the week as we progress into November you may start seeing less activity. During that time, and this week we will start seeing several things, when that first couple of does start coming in scrape activity will start to die off, You will see buck aggression and posture ramp up, and start seeing some of those tall tale signs that the pre-rut is on like a small amount of bumping, chasing, and again posturing.
This is an exciting time of the year, but you will still be rewarded with some caution. During this week great pre-rut hunting strategies will enter around trail camera information. It will benefit you greatly you to check cards often on your trail cameras. The most recent information on any given hunting property or area is always a necessity as the whole game can change with just one picture or video. The trick this week will be pressure, don’t shut down activity with human pressure. When you go in to check cameras do so during prime opportunities. Cold fronts a topic we covered in week 2, are not just good for deer activity but checking cameras as well. Right as the front passes, you typically see some nasty weather or rain at least, and that is a killer time to check cards.
Any information on your hit-list bucks is critical because once the nasty weather moves through, whitetails will be on their feet, bucks will be on their feet, they will be heading to food sources, and if the temp drop is significant enough you should see great movement. So for this week, check your trail cameras often, but during prime opportunities like nasty weather. If you find back your hit-list buck, make a move on him, this is the week to get aggressive with your tactics, but stay smart with pre-rut hunting strategies.