Thanksgiving week is here and it could not have arrived at a more perfect time. Let’s be honest there is not one hunter here that would take sitting in the tree stand and catching up with family over a cold November hunt! Luckily the time off work aligns perfectly with an incredible opportunity. The rut is winding down, but that does not mean mature buck movement is. In fact, this Thanksgiving week could be one of the best times to kill one of your hit-list bucks. This might just be the perfect excuse to miss thanksgiving dinner.
In states like Texas, a lot of the best hunting is coming in the next few weeks, as the rut starts to wind up down south. For some areas, the week of Thanksgiving and the week following are peak chasing phases, to catch those big bucks on their feed cruising and looking for the first available does.
The weather conditions are typically good for deer movement as the average temperature starts to drop considerably at the end of November and beginning of December. As the temperatures drop, and whitetails phase out of the “lock-down” period of the rut, mature buck movement starts to increase. The Moon Guide has mid-day activity showing strong over the next week and the various weather systems moving across the country have the deer cast and huntstand apps varying in deer movement predictions.
Sitting all day can still be productive during this time frame as mature bucks seek out estrous does. During this phase, we tend to hunt thick funnels and pinch points near known doe family group bedding areas trying to intercept bucks as they scent check the downwind side. Evening hunts can once again be productive over food sources as does begin to congregate around our food plots, corn or soybean fields.
During this time frame it seems like we will have new bucks pop up on trail camera as food sources change and deer shift into their winter ranges. One of our favorite tactics during this time frame is finding high quality food sources that bucks have “re-opened” all the scrapes around. This is typically a sign of two things, a doe is either in estrous or getting close to coming in, and she is frequenting the food source often or core bucks are coming back into their early fall ranges. This may be the most under-rated time of the year to hunt trophy bucks across the country.
The 2023 Rut Report is proudly brought to you by these fine partners: Mossberg | Taurus Pistols & Revolvers | Pyramid Air | Habit Outdoors | Reveal Cellular Cameras | Spypoint Cameras | StealthCam & Muddy Outdoors | Raw Frozen Scents | Forget Genetics