Alright, everyone. We are on the eve of the 2020 Michigan whitetail rut. It has been a crazy year, but the rut has not been shut down. If you are a bowhunter this is the two to three week period we wait for all year. Better than Christmas, the super bowl, and the fourth of july combined, the rut is a magical time. Right now, dominant bucks are developing swollen necks and starting to act a little different. They are moving around during the daytime, chasing does, and developing a one-track mind. Scrapes are getting hit hard, sparring behavior may be starting to ramp up, and for these bucks, food becomes much less important.
What It Means For Hunters
Your opinion on the rut may depend on what deer are currently on your property. If you have been chasing a specific buck already this season, you may be apprehensive about the rut. While it can mean you get a good look at him during the daytime, it can also mean he gets locked down with does or wanders onto nearby properties to chase those does. If you have not found your target buck yet, the rut can be a really exciting time. Reclusive bucks who you may not have even seen yet this year can suddenly appear throughout the day—especially near doe bedding areas.
If your goal right now is to kill any buck or a doe and to just get some venison, then this is the best chance you’ll have this year. Deer will be moving during daylight hours much more than normal. This means that you will want to be out in the woods as much as possible from November 1st through November 15th. By focusing on doe bedding areas in the morning and food sources in the evening, you can increase your chances of catching bucks coming in to search for a doe to mate.
Play the wind, take some chances, and be in the woods. This is the time we look forward to all year.