5 Whitetail Rut Tactics to Remember

For most whitetail hunters, the rut is the best time to be in the woods. Here are five strategies to maximize your odds during this year’s rut.

5 Whitetail Rut Tactics to Remember

The long days of merely daydreaming about a thick-antlered, swollen-necked whitetail buck chasing a doe-in-heat through the woods are over. It’s go time! But before you head out, make sure you’re rut ready by remembering these five tips.

1. Stay Stealthy

Getting to your stand undetected by deer is always critical, and the rut is no exception. Don’t become complacent; ensure you are following the best practices for scent control, as well as keeping to effective entry and exit strategies to stand sites.

2. Put in the Time

As the rut peaks, whitetails, especially bucks, are on their feet much of the day. Staying on stand a little longer during each sit may swing luck in your favor. If possible, stay on stand all day. To do so, remember to have a few comfort items such as warm clothing, snacks, and perhaps a game or book to endure the down times.

3. Use Audible and Visual Attractants

If there were ever a time to put grunt calls, doe bleats and rattling antlers to use, this is it. So, if they aren’t in your pack already, make sure they are now. Don’t hesitate to put them to use. If you have a deer decoy, this is the best time of year to put it to work for you, too.

4. Keep Scouting

Stay on top of your intel. If there is a camera on your stand site, swap cards either before or after a sit. Carefully look for fresh sign while walking to and from your stand. Compile the data and use it to make stand location choices for subsequent sits.   

5. If Needed, Move

There is no doubt the rut is a time for practicing patience. That said, if you aren’t seeing deer on stand or you are seeing them but they are out of range, don’t hesitate to make a move. Utilize all of your gathered data to make wise decisions on when and where to make a move. Hunt the hot sign!

Final Thoughts

We all know that the rut can be completely unpredictable at best. To overcome that challenge, be patient and persistent, but above all else, keep the faith. Stay true to your plan, and luck is sure to swing your way. I hope it does!

As always, if there is a topic you would like to see highlighted or expanded upon in the pages of Whitetail Journal, please do not hesitate to send me an email (darren.choate@grandviewoutdoors.com) with your thoughts. Best to you. 

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