Jeffrey Wright author of this 2017-2018 MLHS senior student editorial
Benefits of Deer Hunting in the Rut
It’s 5:30 a.m. You are driving to your tree stand. You get up on the stand and wait for that prize buck to walk out into shooting range. This is every deer hunter’s dream; the rut is in full effect. The three main reasons for hunting deer in the rut are the effects on the hunters and the deer, the benefits of hunting in the rut, and that it is safer to hunt in the rut.
An effect of hunting during the rut is that it is action packed and full of promise, even for the novice hunter. According to imbmonsterbucks.com, during the rut (mating season for the deer) there is more activity from the bucks during the day. They are not in timber; they are looking for does to be with. When the bucks are in the rut they do not act smart, they only have one focus. When they are in the middle of the rut a hunter can be out longer during the day because the does will be running around trying to get away from the buck and the bucks will be chasing them. The deer will go into rut faster when the days become shorter according to northamericanwhitetail.com because deer are short day breeders; therefore, they will start their breeding earlier if the days permit it. There has been a misconception that cold weather affects the time that rut starts and ends, but that is a myth. When out bow hunting or in early to mid-season rut, a hunter should be prepared to see fewer does than he would before the rut because the does get pressured and get wary during the same time as the bucks in an same area. Most people will wait to start harvesting does because they think that the buck that is chasing them will vanish; therefore, they think that they won’t see them. According to qdma.com, this isn’t balancing the sex ratio, and when it is balanced, the breeding will intensify so there is a better chance of getting a buck.
Another good reason for hunting in the rut is that the benefits are greater for both the veteran and even the novice hunter. If they can’t get out hunting until the afternoon, it is okay because the deer will be walking around during mid-day, especially the bucks looking for does. My relatives that live in Iowa deer hunt when the deer aren’t in the rut, so therefore they get bigger bucks. Around here we don’t get bucks as large, but we see more of them and will more likely get one. During the rut, the weather will be cold in the morning and get up to about 40-45 degrees outside, so when gathering all of the equipment for the hunting trip, a hunter doesn’t have to get that real heavy coat or those real heavy bibs.
Reasons for it being safer are that hunters are wearing blaze orange or blaze pink, which is for the ladies. Great reasons why it is safer to hunt during the rut, is that hunters will likely be in their stand during mid-day because there might be bucks or other deer walking around. In Minnesota the start of the rut marks the start of slug season, when hunters have to wear orange during slug and muzzleloader season. They have to wear 50% orange on the upper half of the body so they can be seen walking through tall grass or trees. When hunting down here in the southwest corner of Minnesota, hunters can’t make those really long shots and have to risk gut shooting the deer or missing the deer completely.
To conclude, hunting deer during the rut has its benefits with the weather and deer activity, safety with hunters wearing orange and sitting in their stands instead of walking around, and effects that will balance the deer population. All of this information will be a benefit and increase the odds to harvest a deer during the rut.