Rut season is an exciting time to hunt because of the flurry of deer all trying to breed before they miss their chance, but the fun doesn’t have to end there. There are still plenty of things you can do during the post rut season.
Use Antler Rattles
Post rut will bring in the big bucks with big antlers. The big boys wait until post rut to come out because that’s when they have to battle for the remaining un-bred does. Younger bucks are the first to venture out during rut season, so they are also the first to remove themselves from battle. When the bigger bucks are ready to mate, they have a smaller pool of does to choose from because the younger does have already bred with some of them. The bucks are forced to battle with each other more fiercely for the does. This makes them very susceptible to antler rattling. They know that they need to take down the other bucks to get the does, so they will race over to the sound of rattling if they think that another buck is winning. Don’t rattle continuously, however. Keep up the sounds in spurts to intrigue the buck, not scare him off. Take advantage of this hotbed of big buck activity and bring your antler rattles with you on your next trip.
Hunt Food Sources
Post rut is the optimal time to hunt food sources, because the deer’s energy will be depleted after all of the running around they’ve been doing during rut. This is true for both bucks and does. Bucks will need the nutrition to combat their exhaustion from chasing does. Does need the nutrition to begin preparing their bodies for the birth of their fawns. Deer are very intuitive and know what their bodies need. This makes food sources an excellent area to hunt post rut. They will be on the lookout for food that is high in protein and carbohydrates to rebuild their bodies. Corn and soybean fields are a popular area for hungry deer during this time. Any cereal grain field will also connect you to big bucks. If you have a food plot on your own land, that makes this prime hunting time that much more accessible. Any of our Feedbank Gravity Feeders will serve you well. Keep in mind our previous article about feeding the deer only food they’ve been used to eating in the winter. Feeding deer the wrong food on your food plot will only give you sick deer.
Keep the Cameras Rolling
Though the activity post rut will become more concentrated, that doesn’t mean it will slow down. You may be tempted to shut your trail cameras off when you think the rut (and the show) is over, but don’t give in. Keep the cameras rolling into the late season. You might see some activity you never thought you’d see. Knowing what the deer are doing will help you know what you need to be doing as well. If you see them coming to your food plot, keep feeding them. If you catch activity in the woods, track their patterns and possibly gear up for another round of hunting.
The hunt doesn’t have to end with the rut. There are things you can do during the post rut season to keep the fun going into the new year. Use antler rattles, hunt food sources, and keep the cameras rolling to extend your hunt. What do you do when the rut is over?