During this episode of whitetail 101, Bill discusses hunting the rut. As you can see Bill found success. To watch the full hunt go to MidwestWhitetail.com.
The week of November 14-20th mark a tough time for hunters. This period of time can be considered the November lull. The peak breeding of does in estrus for the Midwest falls right around the 14th-17th. The main difference that you will encounter when the peak breeding occurs is lack of movement from mature bucks. This is called the rut lockdown.
The rut lockdown or lockdown phase of the rut occurs when the majority of does simultaneously come into estrous over a 3-4 day period. During this time mature bucks will be locked in with does for the entire duration of their estrus. During this period the buck will breed the doe several times, will push off other bucks, and keep the doe in places that do not experience much deer traffic.
This is the period where hunting can be slow but still productive. In the beginning when the doe first begins her estrus, you will see the classic chasing and several bucks dogging. After this a mature buck if around will push the doe away from other bucks. During any moment of any day a mature buck can suddenly come off of a doe. Immediately after he will seek the next doe. He will be desperately seeking, making him very vulnerable to your rut hunting strategies.
Overall stay away from the feeding areas and start working your hunts towards doe bedding areas. Does that are out feeding have most likely already been breed and are simply staying away from bedding areas as they are avoiding being pushed around by bucks.
Also this week Bill discusses staying safe in the tree stand.
Tying a safe line when installing tree stands ensure that you are roped into the tree during the entire hunt. During the rut, an encounter with a mature buck and the presentation of a shot opportunity can create an unsafe situation. Balancing on the end of a tree stand or maneuvering your body for a shot could create a situation of a fall. By wearing a Muddy Safety Harness and using a Muddy Safe Line, you will always return home to your families.