Ok, call in sick and head to the woods, the young bucks have been up and about for a few weeks now and the old guys are starting to move (at least over 95% of whitetail country). The next 2-3 weeks will be prime time for hunting the rut.

How do we know? Simple, our cameras are showing a significant increase in buck traffic and the bucks in the pictures are on the muscle. They’re posture is all about attitude and they’re telling anyone who cares to listen they’re big, bad, and ready for action. Their tarsal glands are darkening up, they’re bristling up and their antlers are rubbed up and ready for battle. More than likely they will be harassing a doe or just marching though the frame. Doe pics are also starting to decline.

We’re seeing aggressive rut sign (some pretty big trees rubbed and aggressive scraping) all over the woods. Sits on stand are yielding multiple buck sightings. They are more likely to walk through a food plot than to stop and feed for a half hour. Chases are beginning to show up all over deer country and some big bucks are going down. We’re receiving all kinds of hero shots from successful hunters.

You can make hunting as complicated as you want, but basically it all boils down to setting up in a place where deer are likely to congregate or pass through and putt in your time. You can rattle and grunt and do all kinds of stuff to get a good deer in your sights, but you can’t do it your living room or hunting camp. Dress for the weather and be there when they show up.

The rut makes good hunters of us all and now is the best three weeks of the year to prove it.