Hunters are seeing an earlier rut this year due to a sudden colder climate in Michigan.
We’re officially in the transition from bow to firearm season and the beginning of the rut. But here in Michigan we’re experiencing something unusual this year. The coldest weather during the hunting season in Michigan has already been going on—because of this, it looks like it’s an earlier rut this year.
This year, the rut has started at the end of October due to the sudden drop in temperatures that we have been experiencing so early. Usually, we don’t see the rut happening in Michigan until mid-November during the start of shotgun season. Those hunters that scheduled their vacation during the first two weeks of November can breathe a sigh of relief.
During the rut, we scout out for active scrapes and enhance them by making the scrape bigger. Most hunters usually spray urine on the scrapes as well as the overhanging branch. This makes it look like another buck is coming into the original buck’s territory. Hopefully, the original buck will pay more attention to this particular spot in the coming days, hoping to challenge or get a glance at the new buck they think is encroaching on their territory.
Since the cold weather has arrived early this year, it’s important to look out for those bucks that have already started to rut. Now is the time when those trophy bucks will come out of their comfort places. It’s also your best chance at getting a nicer buck since they are often distracted with their guard down, casing does and fighting for their territories.
Know what to look for. The insanity of the rut is usually quite obvious. In full rut there will be bucks fighting and trying to mate with as many does as possible. Which can sometimes mean that two or more bucks could have mated with the same doe—a reason for any increase in twin births we might be seeing this year. A more mature buck will be marking his territory more often during the rut.
There’s really no downside to having an earlier rut—sometimes the rut can come later than usual as well. You just have to be aware of it so you don’t miss out on your chance to snag a monster buck!
Hurry up, the rut looks like it might be over soon.