By the last week of October, the whitetail woods will be bare of leaves, making it much easier for hunters to spot approaching deer. Sparring is a rare occurrence now, as most mature bucks are wound too tightly to even stand the sight of another male. And with dominance hierarchies in place, the buck that knows he’s the subordinate will quickly tuck tail and run from any threatening adversary.
At this time, it’s not uncommon for the first batch of does to come into heat, sending local bucks into a frenzy. This is just a warm-up for what’s soon to come when a dozen or so females in a given area all come into heat at once-the bucks will run 24 hours a day on those first does, and they won’t let up until mating season is over.
This week should be the kickoff to a exciting few weeks of rut hunting. With the rutting moon falling on October 28th and they are calling for an earlier than normal rut with peak activity occurring around November 4th, and continuing through November 14th. The seeking phase is predicted to begin around October 23rd the chasing phase to begin around October 27th. The tending/breeding phase, also known as “lockdown,” should be expected to begin around November 8th, the woods may be on fire with pre-rutting activity come later this week.
Couple these factors with a few different cold fronts pushing across much of the US and Canada on various days in the next two weeks, you will see obvious spikes in activity and the major activity predictions are following suit. Deer Cast and Hunt Stand are predicting higher than normal activity across much of whitetail country this weekend and into the middle of next week, while the Moon Guide presents a Red Moon kicking off on the 30th with major activity periods coinciding with the morning hunts which is often a recipe for success when rutting activity begins to climb.
In order for a synchronized rut to occur, three things need to align around November 1st (+/- 3 days): doe estrogen levels will peak, bucks testosterone levels peak, and the rutting moon falls near November 1st. According to the rutting moon theory, synchronized ruts are by far the most intense in terms of rutting behavior and activity and the longest lasting. As the days progress, you should be extending your sits in the mornings and the evenings, but don’t throw it all in just yet…the best is yet to come.
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