Why is it that the last week of October and first week of November are so important to harvesting a patterned mature whitetail?
We have already spent months of putting out trail cameras, setting up tree stands, and just plain planning on harvesting that mature whitetail we set our eyes on. A lot of us become a little less aggressive than we should with tactics just for that reason, all the time we have already put in. But with the impending rut ready to kick off, all of our data is about to become null and void and that means we need to act now.
With the rut, we will have one very abrupt change to behavior for bucks both mature whitetail and young. As an unpredictable run of testosterone, we can pretty much kiss patterning good bye. That’s why many hunters stick to hunting over does as “live bait” hoping a cruising mature whitetail comes looking for the next doe in heat.
The good news is that mature whitetail show their most vulnerable days of patternable behavior in these last couple weeks leading up to the rut. They will lay down rub lines and scrapes more aggressively than any other time of the season. More importantly they will show themselves a little more in daylight before the chaos of the rut.
While some of us will be a bit hesitant to get out there and hunt aggressively out of fear of bumping our mature whitetail there is no better time to do so. Due to a spike in testosterone they will be more tolerable to our disruption of the area as they do not think as clearly as normal. Other than an aggressively negatively reinforced encounter with us there is not much that will bump them from this time bomb of the rut.
This is the time to take vacation time, call in sick, and just get up in our tree as much as we can finagle. These are the days that mature whitetail comes out 10 minutes earlier to give us the shot we planned so long for. The sad truth being once the rut comes this buck will most likely abandon the area and unfortunate for suburban environments may never return for late season hunting tactics.
We need to push our stands closer. Take the Hail Mary approach as the first days of November come to pass. We need to be as bold as even orchestrating deer drives to push a mature whitetail out of his bed for that opportunity, because whether we like it or not this mature whitetail is about to abandon us and all our preseason hard work.