“Early in October, the rut can actually still be pretty good,” says Fedinec. “You may hear a little less bugling, but those bulls are sometimes a little more willing to come to a call because there are fewer cows in heat at that time. I definitely wouldn’t be afraid to call and use some rut tactics in early October.” But as the month fades, so, too, does the rut. “You’ll start to see those big, old bulls breaking off from the herds. They might be in bachelor groups, but a lot of times the biggest bulls are loners,” Fedinec says. To find them, you have to understand what they’re doing: Fueling up.