There’s no “perfect time” to hunt during hunting season. The rut is the time of year that deer are the most active, but you don’t need to limit yourself to those golden months. The pre-rut and post-rut phases offer unique opportunities and can be just as productive as the rut if you know which tactics to use. Below are some tips for hunting the pre-rut and post-rut.
Before the rut begins, deer will be marking their territories and making plenty of rubs and scrapes to attract the does in the area and let the other bucks know they’re ready for the challenge. If you see a lot of rubs on trees in one area, that is a good sign that there are multiple deer in the area or a couple particularly eager deer. Either way, it lets you know that it is an active area.
Bucks are very active during the pre-rut and will scout out the does and mark their scent as often as possible. You might see does checking the rubs and scrapes, surveying the bucks in the area, but bucks will be actively looking to make their mark. Pre-rut is the time to use buck calls like grunts to entice competitive bucks to the area. They’ll be curious to see their competition. Save fighting calls like antler rattling for the rut. You want to use generic buck calls that indicate strong bucks, but aren’t overly threatening.
After the rut is over, the bucks won’t be quite as aggressive anymore. Post-rut is the time to use doe calls and softer buck calls. Post-rut is a great time to focus on food sources because the does that bred in the first rut season will begin to hibernate and prepare for winter. They’ll gravitate toward bedding areas and food sources. Does that have gone into second estrus will be eager to find eligible bucks. The bucks will still be looking for un-bred does, but there won’t be as many bucks fighting during this period. They will start to be more concerned with finding food for the winter than mating. Position your Stump blind between a bedding area and your Feedbank Gravity Feeder as the deer focus on food.
Our Wild Water System Helps in Every Phase
No matter what phase of the rut you’re hunting, our Wild Water® systems will attract deer to your property. Deer are attracted to water sources every month of the year, not just during hunting season. Hunting near your water system will give you a good shot at seeing a deer. Set your Stump blind between a bedding area and your Wild Water® system for prime viewing.
Whether you’re hunting pre-rut, rut, or post-rut, deer will be attracted to water sources. If you set up your Wild Water® Trough over the summer, the addictive properties of our Wild Water® Mineral Supplement make it likely that you’ll see the same deer now. They’ll have gotten used to the health benefits of the supplement and recognize your water system as something that brings them nutrition. Deer are in-tune to their needs and seek out their food and water sources accordingly. Use the proper calls and hunt close to water sources to increase your odds of success.
Whether you hunt pre-rut or post-rut, these phases of hunting season can be just as exciting as the main event. If you use the correct calls and focus on the right areas, you’ll be successful during every phase of the rut.
What phase do you like to hunt? Do you have a favorite hunting month? Let us know in the comments below!