You’ve read about it, you’ve thought about it, you may have even done it a time or two, but do you consciously make a regular effort to sit it out all day long during the rut? Look, I’m a diehard hunter and I’ll plainly admit that all day sits are tough and the mental aspect of it is even tougher. There have been countless times where I go to sleep the night before, fully jacked up about tomorrow’s hunt and 100% committed to sitting all day. Then the morning comes and I’m still pretty pumped up about the day’s hunt to come as I pack a lunch and prepare for an all day sit. Fully vigilant and locked into the crisp morning sights and sounds, the first couple of hours move along quickly, especially if there is deer movement. However, by 10:00 am, things start to drag along and you find yourself drawing a fake deer on Snapchat telling your buddies you shot him…wow, things deescalated quickly. It’s completely a mental game from here on out.
Snapchatting funny pics or treestand selfies is entertaining, no matter how pathetic it may seem.
The next time you find yourself in this situation, thinking you won’t miss anything by heading in for a bit before returning to hunt the afternoon, remind yourself of these reasons to stay. Say “no” to pointlessly climbing out of your stand because you are bored. Say “no” to that nice warm cabin with the perfect napping couch. Trust me… just say “no” to anything your brain is telling you about the benefits of going in. Instead, think of the benefits of staying out…
It won’t be an all day sit if you shoot something at noon. True story, after all, the reason you sit all day is to be in position for that twelve o’clock stroller. Just like that, you could be holding a fine rack in your hands;)
Ms. Stinky Can Run By At Any Time
During the rut, does almost always equal trailing bucks.
It only takes one doe. This is the thought that more often than not, keeps me perched up in that tree during the “slow hours”. During the rut, one hot doe can easily equal one, two, three or even four bucks. Just take it from my college buddy and fellow whitetail hunting die hard, who shot this mega whopper the other day at 1:15 in the afternoon. Noticing that the most deer activity was occurring during mid-day the past couple of days in south central Wisconsin, Aaron knew he had to be on stand during the “slow hours”.
Well, I’d say it paid off! Here is the short version from the man himself following his hunt:
“Well, we were seeing the most action the last few days during mid-day. I had a spike right on the tail of a hot doe crashing through the woods with a 6 pointer about 10-15 seconds behind them. Then, about 5 minutes later, I had a big 8 pointer that we have been after, come crashing in from behind me and headed north after them. I tried mouth grunting him and ran my can call a couple times, but nothing came. At this point, I was kind of down because the buck we had been chasing just cruised by and I had no shot. 3 minutes later, that thought vanished as I heard something else crashing through the woods. It was this buck. It all happened so fast. Right when I saw it, I grabbed for my bow and was at full draw within seconds. I had to grunt stop him 3 times before he actually stopped, but again kept going. Then a grunt stopped him a 4th time and I let the arrow fly. I shot him right through the heart and he went about 60-70 yards. This was at 1:15pm. So 4 bucks were chasing the same doe mid-day.”
Not only was this buck the 4th buck to be trailing the same doe, it was also a mystery buck.
Mystery Bucks Show Up
Feeling down about what your cameras have yielded thus far? Well, as you probably know, bucks often take excursions during the rut. I have heard countless stories of hunter’s shooting bucks they have never seen or that other hunters had on trail camera miles and miles away. Aaron’s buck above was a welcomed stranger they had no history with. This should be incredibly encouraging for those of you hunting small parcels and travel corridors. You just never know what has been hiding on your neighbor’s forty or for that matter, in the next county.
The Truth Of It All
Simply put, it is the rut and bucks are engaged in a fierce ongoing competition for breeding rights. And finding hot does requires covering a significant amount of ground. During this time of year you can throw out any patterns you learned of an individual buck because he isn’t on one. The best you can do is to be on stand as often and long as possible. Click here for 5 Tips on how to withstand long hunts.