By Alex Comstock
I've had a few people ask me recently what days I'd recommend they take off of work in the next month to hunt the rut. I asked them if they were hunting new places, or areas that they've hunted in the past. When they answered the latter, the answer was simple. When was the rut rocking last year? How about the year before?
When it comes to hunting the rut, it’s not always on fire, even though that’s what we like to think. Often times, there are small periods of time when things might be going crazy, and then a lot of time is spent in a tree where you don’t see much. If you can look to the past on when you experienced great hunts or correlate past years trail camera data with daylight movement, I’d recommend using that information rather than listen to someone tell you what days to take off.
Annual patterns are a real thing, and even though you may think it to be true, bucks aren’t just randomly wandering the woods in the rut hoping they run into a doe. Bucks might not be on a pattern from week to week, but often times they will do the same thing year after year. What I would do if I were you is look at those previous years and when bucks were moving. It may not always fall on the same exact date, but given weather conditions, it will probably be close.
For instance, if you have a spot that was great last year during the first week of November, but was then dead the second week of November, bucks are most likely using your property to either seek out does or as a travel area to get to does. But, once they have those does locked down, they might not be using your property. So, it wouldn’t make much sense to take vacation and hunt that second week of November this year.
This is quite the short blog post, but I just wanted to get you thinking. Just because someone else has great hunting November 12-20 every year, it doesn’t mean you will. Every property is unique, and if you have the ability, look to those years previous to help decide what days to take off this year.