Time to Grind

It’s here, the whitetail Super Bowl. Time to rise and grind, day after day. Vacation days will be eaten up and precious time will be spent on a stand. Rut strategies vary greatly depending on the hunter and their situation. Hunters who have generous time off to hunt might sit back and observe more often, while the hunter who has very limited time will dive right into the best spots during optimal conditions. No matter your strategy, it is time to put your nose to the grindstone for those long hours on stand. Your season can change in a matter of seconds! Your rut strategies might also vary depending on the amount of scouting you have done ahead of time.

For those who have done little, if any, scouting via trail camera or foot on their properties, strategies are probably different for those who have put in their time. If you have not scouted and you have around a week of vacation to hunt the rut, I would suggest a few “observation” sits to begin your vacation time. Observing on days with less than optimal conditions will ensure you do not bust into your best spots on a wrong wind or put scent on the ground in the wrong places. Pick a spot on a large field such as picked corn, with a view of sizeable timber behind you. Observing how deer enter or exit a field can be valuable information for the rest of your upcoming hunts. With limited time, figuring out how does are moving around food sources and potential bedding areas will be critical to your success. From your observation sits, become more aggressive while still using the wind to capture movement and figure out your land.

Hunters who are fortunate enough to have flexible schedules or property nearby, have probably put in many hours scouting and prepping their land for the season. Their strategies are typically very different from a public land hunter or someone with very limited time. With hours and hours dedicated to scouting and preparing your property for events such as the rut, you should be focusing on the traditional rut locations and fine tuning your camera and hunting strategies if those annual locations begin to fail. I am blessed to have a family farm in southwestern Wisconsin where I have a pretty good idea where I need to be when the sun rises on those first few days of November. Over the years, we have seen specific patterns emerge and typically give ourselves a good chance to get on a nice buck. In hilly regions, focusing on terrain funnels such as rock-outcroppings and points extending off ridges will typically produce results. On flatter terrain, using rivers, bottlenecks of small portions of timber, and inside corner field edges can be excellent travel routes to ambush bucks. However, even pre-season scouting and large tracts of private land do not guarantee a chance at a mature buck every season. If you haven’t tagged out already, now is the time to grind it out with those long sits in your very best spots!

-Paul Annear, Ani-Logics Pro Staff

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