Rut is not a new men’s fragrance; it is when men hunt for the real Bucks and bulls! This is the magic time that so many hunters dream about. When the Rut happens, Big Bucks Go Wild!
Rut is breeding season for deer, elk, and related species. Males will do anything to hook up with females. It’s worse than 1:45AM at a bar. The Rut is not on when Opening Day happens.
Elk go crazy at least 4 days a year. If you are in their area when the fever hits, watch out. Bulls run wild and chase hot cows across the mountains. If they are not chasing cows in season, they are fighting other bulls. The same is true for deer.
Elk Rut in most of Montana is mid to late September, but… unbred cows may be late, and bulls are still willing. For Whitetails, the first couple weeks of November are prime time. Even though the Opening Day is earlier, Rut happens when it happens. Big, experienced, smart bucks wait for the hot does.
If you have not yet tagged out, be patient. Mule Deer do not come into Rut until after Thanksgiving, after Montana deer season closes. Hunting the Rut means some different strategy. Hunt areas where deer Rut. This means thick cover and edges. Look for fresh rubs, scrapes, and sign. Clumped deer droppings mean testosterone full bucks. Measure the scrapes and rubs. How high, wide, look at the tracks. Find the girls and you will find the boys. Pick and choose.
A grunt call and rattling antlers work best when the Rut is on. Calling in a buck or bull is simply amazing. This means that you a hunter and not relying on Luck!
Everyone argues about when the Rut happens. Basically, Rut happens based upon day length, temperature, and when it happens. All hunters go through the Big Buck Only phase. Rut is just that. During one deer season, I was teaching Rut 101. My buddy called BS on me. A week later, I took him out and we saw over a dozen monster bucks chasing does. He was almost run over a couple times and missed 2 bow shots from excitement. He is now a believer.
Years ago, I passed up dozens of good bucks waiting for the MOAB! On November 16th, I saw 3 monsters chasing does. Finally, the big boy came close to my stand, and I tagged out. All my buddies tagged out earlier with small, but nice bucks. I told them my goal and met it.