We are on the eve, figuratively, of deer rifle season and if you are not ready for it, you’d better make haste. If you are an archer, put the paper down and get out to your stand! Bucks are moving as you read this. This week it’s all about does and bucks, especially bucks, and the opportunity to take a trophy animal.
Each year Field & Stream magazine lists the key days for the rut (or as they put it: The Rut.) Two days come to mind, the 10th and the 19th. The first one will set off key days of the archery season; the other, the 19th, is the Monday of rifle season. The days in between will all be good. If you are a deer hunter, your time is now!
Archers should be out as much as they can this week; this is the time bucks will move at all hours as does come into heat. Does that are ready to breed will drive away their fawns and move solo. A solitary doe should put any archer on red alert; she may well be seeking a buck and that buck can be on her trail, right behind her or following minutes later.
This is the time for doe-in-heat scents and scent trails (any archer should really consider using a scent drag as they walk to their stand.) Keep in mind that you do not want the scent at the base of your tree stand or blind; set it up some distance away, in a clear shooting lane. And keep in mind that bucks often do not use the main deer trails but often travel parallel to them or at an angle to them. Many a hunter has been caught totally flat-footed by a buck that appears from an area that they do not expect to see them.
But whatever the case, it is simply the best time to get a shot at a real trophy buck. We’d encourage any archer to get out there!
Rifle hunters have a few days to wait. That time can be well spent in checking out all the gear and clothing they will use. Weather is always a key factor and the experienced hunter will be ready for cold or warm, wet or dry, and they won’t wait until the last minute to get things ready.
Anyone heading out next Saturday best have their rifle sighted in and extra ammo ready. And any prep work that needs to be done on blinds or shooting lanes should be done this weekend at the latest.
Opening weekend is often spent on a stand or in a blind. Deer will often move when spooked by hunters going to or from their stands; thus mid-day can be very good as morning hunters take a break and walk out for lunch. And with a noon kickoff for the Packer game on Sunday, hunters may leave early to watch the game. We’d sit.
And Monday the 19th is one of those key days in the rut when most does have been bred, but some bucks will still move, trying to find another hot doe.
As with most November seasons, weather will play a major role but overall, we’re hearing very good reports of buck activity from archers and deer numbers should hold promise of a good season.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post in downtown Rhinelander.