published November 17, 2009 by Ben Adams

Arkansas Rut 2009: Phases, Tactics and Other Thoughts

Today’s column has to do with the latest poll question: “If you could only deer hunt during one time period, which would you choose: during the rut or during the first week of the season?

The most obvious choice, judging by the results so far, is the rut. After all, during this time period, the deer are — for lack of a better term — crazy. As hormones of whitetail bucks rage, usually around mid to mid-late November, the urge to breed and protect their territory increases, causing them to make a number of mental mistakes. Leaving  home territories, showing themselves in open, unprotected spaces, and growing increasinglyWhitetail Deer Fighting more visible during daylight hours are just a few of the opportunities the normally illusive whitetail bucks will present to hunters.

Another aspect of the rut that excites hunters are the many  strategies that can be utilized with great effectiveness such as rattling, grunting, mock scrapes, urine scents, etc — techniques that usually are not a big part of early or late season. Adding to the excitement, it’s not uncommon to see multiple bucks you’ve never seen before — even if you’ve scouted the area for months — as bucks travel miles in pursuit of does in estrous.

With all of that being said, my favorite time to hunt is still the first week of the season … well, in most cases anyway. Considering all of the benefits above, you think I’m crazy, right?

Allow me to rationalize.

Come inside the Arkansas Hunting Forum for the rest of the column and a detailed look at phases of the rut, as well as tips and tricks for rattling, grunting, etc during the pre, peak and post rut stages.


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Ben Adams





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