A website made by Bow Hunters For Bow Hunters.

   2023 Rut Report



Every year I look at my notes from years past and try to make sense of what we call “The best days of the year”.  These days that I am speaking of are “The Rut”.  I will always tell you that your best indicator of how your rut will be comes from data that you keep yourself.  There is no scientist that can tell you about Whitetail deer on your property better than yourself.  Our rut report is calculated over 13 years of journals and 13 years of photos kept.  We have changed our rut report up a bit to give you some of the best days to hunt instead of weeks so you can plan a day here or there.


 Best days to hunt #1.  October 20th 

 This day will kick off a rub, scraping frenzy around the woods.  Mature bucks are almost ready to roll and need to blow off some energy.  This day will kick off a time in the woods that scrapes will have different bucks visit them to make sure they leave their scent.  With many does not ready yet, your bucks will be looking to impress some of the females in the area with scrapes and rubs.  This is the time to move Trail Cameras on know spots on your property that scrapes appear every year.  Main feeding trails are great spots to pattern a mature buck, and if you have a set up that is close you can bet that a mature buck will be working that trail.  Wait for perfect conditions and throw in a morning hunt.  One thing is do not over hunt one spot if you get busted move out and come back 4 or 5 days later.  Do not get stuck on one stand.


Best days to hunt #2.  November 1st 

All most overnight, without warning the SEEKING PHASE will start.  Bucks frequently will check scrapes, but not like two week ago.  Bucks will become more patient waiting and watching the doe groups.  Younger bucks will start pushing the does, with the mature bucks waiting in the wings.  The mature bucks know what time it is and know they can sit tight for the ladies to start getting their groove on.  Sitting over a food source, or where the does are, is your best chance to catch a “love sick” buck.  If you are only hunting mature bucks get back in the staging area around 1pm and wait.  They will show up and try to survey the situation.  If you have found a good rub line stick to it, do not give up on that spot.

  (tactics: mock scrape, afternoon sits will be better, Grunting, light rattling)



  Best days to hunt #3, November 5th

  Here we go this will mark the day that you will want to be in the woods from start to finish.  Make sure you are putting in your midday hunts and catching the big boys cruising, because the CHASE Phase has just started.  With the change over from SEEK PHASE TO CHASE PHASE it is still early enough in the Chase phase to stop a buck for a shot.  We all know the longer you go into the Chase Phase the harder it is to stop a buck.  You can yell at a big buck, and they are not stopping, so early in the transition from Seek to Chase is when bucks still will listen.  Keys to hunting this phase are stick tight to where the does are at, food source, funnel areas to the bedroom, they all come into play.  Rattling and grunting is a must, but be ready for a busting loose buck.  Bucks are using their ears and will come in to investigate the situation.

(tactics, Rattling, Grunting, doe bleat)


Best days to hunt #4, November 9th  *BEST DAY OF THE YEAR

We have pegged this as THE BEST DAY OF THE HUNTING SEASON.  With grunting, chasing, calling going on for almost a week the majority of the does are ready.  Now we have all the above going on, and now we add doe estrus to the equation.  With rival bucks laying down scent, does laying down scent, mature bucks must ramp up their movement.  Bucks will check their go to spots for does, with doe groups busted up this is the time you will have several bucks on one doe running her.  Bucks will be moving in and out of their home range, once on a doe they will push her hard.  This day and the couple behind it are a must hunt.  These days are all day sits, with little movement by the hunter.  Pack a lunch and get ready for heart beating action.  If you are hunting a food source, put a doe decoy out to trick a big buck.

(tactics, Rattling, Grunting, Doe scent, and buck scent)

I hope this helps, again this is off our research over the years on our land.  Check your own journals and good luck.


Mike Coulthard