15 Deer Hunting Mistakes Guaranteed to Ruin the Rut 

Posted: October 6, 2017 by gamegetterII in Uncategorized

John Hafner

The rut is the Super Bowl of whitetail hunting. Bucks that typically behave like ghosts are suddenly vulnerable, and your chances of tagging a wall-hanger are at their highest. But whitetails are still whitetails—always cautious and rarely pushovers. So there are plenty of ways you can go wrong. Here are 15 ways you can turn the annual breeding season into a surefire flop.

Bow hunter with a trophy buck

The early hunter gets the buck.


1. You don’t start early enough.

Perhaps the most classic screwup is waiting until “things to get good.” Many hunters won’t hit the woods until they see bucks running after does like hounds on a coon. If you wait for the nuttiness, you often end up chasing the action rather than enjoying it. Far better to start early—as in two to three weeks before peak breeding—when mature bucks are laying down sign and moving freely in their core areas. Minnesota hunter (and my neighbor) Dave Olson shot this whopper the last week of October—three weeks before the rut peaked in our area.

Bowhunter with a trophy buck

Terrain funnels are often the best locations to ambush a rutting buck.


2. You don’t hunt terrain.

Sure, rubs and scrapes are exciting, but never forget that bucks are constantly moving during the rut, and they do so by moving through terrain quickly and efficiently. Funnels like creek bottoms and fence lines that connect distant blocks of cover are perfect examples. I shot this pretty 10-pointer midday, as he moved through a small triangle of timber between doe bedding areas. There was not a rub or scrape within sight.

Big Green Targets

Spend time shooting your bow, even during the middle of the season.


3. You don’t shoot enough.

This is one of the easiest, and most common, traps to fall into. After weeks of pre-season practice, and now that you’re bow is sighted in and scary-accurate, you quit practicing as soon as you get serious about hunting. Big mistake. To maintain focus and ensure that your equipment hasn’t changed, keep shooting so that you’re ready when that giant you’re after finally steps out.

Deer in food plot

Read the rest @ Field & Stream here


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