There is a lot of information pertaining to the rut that hunters hang their hat on. But what is true, and what’s a myth?
There is a plethora of information out there about everything to do with the rut. There is common knowledge, all the way to theories on the moon that some people simply cannot agree on.
Here are seven myths about the rut that aren’t true.
1. Bucks Travel Miles and Miles to Search for a Doe
You see it every year. You’ve got a buck on trail camera all summer and fall, and once the rut hits, he disappears. You assume he’s off looking for does miles away. In other situations, during November you always see new bucks show up on your property.
What happens in most instances is that where you hunt is actually on the fringe of a buck’s home range. In most situations, a buck doesn’t live only on your property, and even though he may be on a doe, it might not be as far as you think.
2. The Moon Triggers the Rut
There are countless studies that have determined that does are bred during the same time of the year, every year.
The moon phase doesn’t trigger when the rut starts, but interestingly enough, that doesn’t alternatively mean the moon has no effect on the rut. There is more and more information being published saying that the moon may have an effect on how much daylight activity you see.
The truth is it’s just too uncertain to tell if that daylight activity is due strictly to breeding activities, or if it could have more to do with the late-year consumption of food, that always has to kick in to overdrive around the same time.
3. Rattling Only Works During the Pre-Rut
There is a notion that once bucks start breeding does, and the rut gets cranking, rattling can go out the window.
It has been found that for mature bucks, some of the best times to rattle can actually be during the post rut, when most young bucks have run out of energy.
During this time, for the most part, the mature bucks are the ones who are still going strong, and searching for that last doe. Hit the antlers together loud and hard, and this time of the year could be the best time to rattle in a mature buck.
4. The Rut is Crazy, All of the Time
If you’ve hunted enough, you know this isn’t true. Yes, there can be days when you have a crazy sit in the stand during the rut, with actino the entire time.
You’ve got to know that there will still be slow days hunting, and it’s not going to be on fire all of November. The key to hunting the rut besides hunting smart is to be in the right spot at the right time. There will be good days, and there will be slow days.
5. Deer are Dumb During the Rut
Are deer always thinking straight? No. But that doesn’t mean you can get away with murder.
Think logically for a second. A mature buck is mature for a reason. Yes, there are probably times you can get away with something you wouldn’t have been able to get away with in the first month of the season, but if you’re walking into a stand not caring about the wind, being loud, and moving too much, don’t expect to shoot a mature buck.
6. Hunt Scrapes for Success
In most cases, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The best time to hunt scrapes is in the weeks preceding the rut. Once the rut gets going, bucks aren’t touching scrapes nearly as much as all of their attention is focused on the women.
7. You Can Be Carefree
I know a lot of guys that stop their serious regime once November hits. They don’t wash their hunting clothes in scent free detergent anymore, they stop playing the wind, they don’t care about entrance/exit, etc.
You turn into this guy, and your chances of harvesting a mature buck plummet. If you were being serious in September, don’t change that now.
With all of that said, November is a great time to be in the deer woods. Play your cards right, and it can be the best time to put a mature buck on the ground.
Play them wrong, and you might be the one wondering if the rut ever happened.