A an excellent day come hunt whitetails this fall is any day friend can obtain off work. But knowing that part days will certainly be far better than others, us went v the calendar, analyzed moon phases, predicted the weather as best we could, took into account the historical reproduction patterns the whitetails, and also predicted as soon as the rut hunting will be best in the two huge months that October and also November.

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Plan your time turn off to encompass some or every one of these days and get all set to tags a bruiser.

October 16

One morning in October 2009, Minnesota bowhunter Scott O"Konek ran his climber increase a tree in the dark and also waited. Soon after daybreak, a doe crossed 120 yards indigenous his stand. The sight and smell that her brought about a gigantic buck (Scott never knew he to be there) to increase from his bed and also follow.

The doe and buck moved closer yet then vanished in brush. Scott shivered and worried the monster to be gone. However then, over there he was, quartering-away in ~ 44 yards! Scott had one chance, and also he made the count with a perfect arrow. The remarkable 32-pointer with the massive brow tines net-scored 227 3/8.


After mainly of lazing around and also fattening top top crops and acorns, maturation bucks acquire antsy and start to relocate a little in mid-October. If you study the historical "rut curves" assembled by biologists for the northern two-thirds of north America, you"ll watch that 5 to seven percent the a herd"s does are bred roughly October 21st. That"s no a lot, yet for the bowhunter, good things can occur when bucks begin to prowl because that the very very first estrus does. Simply ask Scott O"Konek.

A huge bonus: There"s small hunting push in the woods as compared to November. I"d rank October 21st together ninth ideal in ours survey, however it"s definitely worth a shot if you"re a hard-core bowhunter who can obtain out to your stand the day.

Best Conditions

Indian summer in plenty of areas, and also bucks will relocate only marginally well in the warmth. Yet if you acquire lucky and also the first far-ranging cold snap that the year blows in native the northwest and drops the temperature 20 or 30 degrees: perfect. The cooler weather will certainly be a harbinger of points to come for the deer, and also their activity will pick up.

The moon will certainly be huge and bright on October 5th. Don"t like that? Think again. The latest scientific research from a phibìc Carolina State University research finds that during a full moon deer move less at night and more in the day than you think. Bucks are active earlier in the afternoon, too, so obtain on stand beforehand after lunch.

height Stand

Hang a stand on a hardwood ridge within 100 yards or therefore of a corn, soybean, or alfalfa field. A pond or creek makes the setup all the better. Collection up near a trail, green edge or the favor that can funnel a buck because that a bowshot. Part does and bucks will browse ~ above the ridge before moving out to the crops at dusk. Arrangement a quiet, hidden, and also downwind course to your ridge article so as no to blow any deer out.

Go-To Tactics

Set two wicks near your stand, one doused v tarsal, the other with warm doe. When bucks start to prowl, they may circle in to either lure, to fight a rival or love top top a gal. Have actually your grunter ready and also call to any type of buck you view out the bow range. He could hear it and also veer over.

October 31

"Halloween is magical for us and kicks off some of the best activity of the year," says big-buck expert and TV star terrycloth Drury. Top top this day most every year, Drury look at one or much more beasts on the relocate on his Midwestern farm – favor the 280-pound, 6-year-old buck he eliminated a few years back.

During the 2 hours prior to he shooting the buck, terry spotted a dozen jittery does and small bucks. A special 8-pointer rolled out right into the field, ran off the teenagers, and ripped a scrape. "Just together I was fixing to attract on him, a 10-pointer ran 35 yards beneath my stand, grunted and also gave me the perfect shot." Cool stuff happens ~ above Halloween, so dress up in camo, paint your face, and also go.

Best Conditions

A cold front adhered to by high-pressure weather, a light northwest wind, temperatures in the 35- come 45-degree range.

"If you"re really lucky and also those things come together, you"ll see deer rutting all over," terry says. Too much heat will hit things back (true every job of the rut from now on).


The moon is in the last quarter on the 14th, which should boost the magic. The NC State study uncovered that throughout this last phase the deer movement may be "extreme," through the last hour that the day particularly good.

Top Stand

A killer clues is in or close to the edge of a woodlot wherein an overgrown pasture and also a crop field come together. Bucks will certainly run that diverse edge and nearby fencerows, rubbing and also scraping together they do for the feeding in the afternoon. Part does and also bucks will cut out throughout the weed pasture, particularly in the mornings, therefore watch because that tines and also flashes the hide out in the brush.

Go-To Tactics

Grunt and/or rattle to any type of bucks you see, specifically out in the weeds. Calling continues to be a warm if unsure tactic because that the following three weeks. Maybe try a doe decoy here. Stake her where she"s clearly shows in the cut crops 25 yards listed below your bow stand.

November 5, 6, 7, and also 8

November 6, 2012: Wisconsin bowhunter Dusty Gerrits sat and waited on a 150-class buck he referred to as "Tiny."

"We had actually pictures of tiny on a scrape the morning before, therefore I collection up best there," that says.

Two little bucks proved early, however no Tiny. Every one of a sudden, and also out of the blue, a large rolled in! "He thrust an 8-point turn off the scrape, yet no shot," states Dusty. Finally, he observed his opening and also fired. The buck crashed 50 yards away. The monster netted 189 and also change, the brand-new state record archery typical.

Regardless of weather or moon, the vast majority of go in the north two-thirds of America will be bred in between November sixth and Thanksgiving. That was true 10 years ago–will it is in true this year–will be true twenty years from now.

Historically, November 5-8 have actually been few of the optimal big-buck days within this window.


A random check of the record publication reveals that 15 Boone and also Crockett bucks were killed throughout North America ~ above November 8, 2003, alone. That plenty of monsters are apt to be eliminated November 5-8 this year.

Why so hot? many bucks haven"t bred a doe for a year. Castle wander around in a testosterone stupor, rubbing trees, check scrapes, acting ornery, wait on that very first wave that does to pop into estrus any type of day now. These four days are some of the ideal of the year to watch a large on his feet in daylight. Take off if friend can!

Best Conditions

Ditto native Halloween–the cooler the better, with a irradiate to moderate wind the end of the phibìc or west. But due to the fact that the bucks room out of their gourds and the sweet smell of go is for this reason powerful, you room apt to view a big deer ~ above his feet even if it"s in the 70s.

On a brand-new and dark moon, together we"ll have actually on October 17th, the NC State researcher say to intend deer come be most active very first thing in morning, and that aligns v my ar observations. Cool, tho mornings are ideal for hunting this stage of the rut, so gain out over there super early.

Top Stand

Scout ago in timber, 100 come 150 yards turn off a corn, bean, or alfalfa field, and zero in on spots with rubs, scrapes, and doe trails. Set a stand where one or more ridges, points, and also draws converge and also drop into a cover-lined creek bottom.

Many of your resident bucks, as well as some cruisers native a mile or 2 away, will certainly swing though this corridors and also funnels either trolling for does or chasing them–if not on the 5th, then possibly on the 6th or the 8th. Hunting a spot favor this for two or three days in a row and I"ll placed down money you"ll view a shooter.

Go-To Tactics

While scrape hunting is constantly iffy, these are an excellent days to shot it, particularly if you have recent electronic came pictures that bucks hitting a really hot scrape. It"s prime time for rattling, i beg your pardon works ideal in the mornings. Grunt at any kind of buck friend see, and he can turn right into range. Hanging hot-doe wicks can"t hurt and also will aid cover your scent.

November 15, 16 and also 17

If you"re turn off the mainly of November 9-14, hunt favor mad due to the fact that you could spot a huge buck cruising or chasing anytime. It"s the rut, man, and it"s every good! yet these room the work of significant "lockdown" in numerous places. Enlarge bucks hook up with does and seem to go underground to have actually fun for three or 4 days. Shooter buck sightings decrease noticeably. If girlfriend hit it wrong, the woods have the right to be favor a tomb.

This season ns think you"re much better off to press your vacation ago a few days if possible, till the 15th. Bucks that were locked down v does start to complimentary up and also start roaming again.

Keep in mind, though, the pressure. This is a huge hunting week. There will be a troop of bowhunters in the woods in part areas, and also an military of total hunters in plenty of other places. Obviously, the less pressure in your spot the better your chances.


For straightforward but reliable gear in the rut, carry your grunt call and also use it every day. Hunters grunt in and also shoot numerous giant bucks each November, and also most any tube will execute the job. You have the right to rattle in bucks through a bag or box, however I prefer real antlers.

Best Conditions

At the threat of sounding choose a damaged record, you want it cool come cold. However don"t let a warmth wave protect against you. A couple of years back in November in southern Dakota, i hit this phase simply right. V the sun burning the prairie at 80 degrees, i stalked and also sweated and also shot a 5½-year-old 8-pointer tending a doe out in the open up grass in ~ 2:00 p.m. When you struggle it simply right, the strength of the rut is amazing.

This season the moon waxes to complete on November 4th, and also this should make the hunting also better. Through a huge moon in the sky, the bucks prowling ~ lockdown should relocate well in ~ midday and early in the afternoon. I predict several of the best action of the year if you hunt ground with minimal pressure.

Top Stand

Look for a timbered ridge flanked by a chop field on one or two sides and CRP, a cattail marsh, or other heavy cover ~ above the various other sides. The more buck sign on the ridge, the better. Heavy cover near your was standing is vital because with any type of pressure at every in the area old bucks will relocate in or close to the special stuff.

Go-To Tactics

I earlier off rattling now due to the fact that bucks have actually heard clashing antlers (both real and fake) because that weeks. However keep grunting due to the fact that those call won"t spook deer and, to the contrary, could pull a buck anytime. Don"t freeze the end or burn out as well early. Setup on gaining to your post by 8:00 a.m. And also hunt till dark; remember with the full moon, bucks must move ideal from 11 o"clock on, one of two people on herbal movement or propelled by a hunter.

November 27th

Most does have actually been bred, and also bucks room tired and run-down native chasing does and eluding hunters. Yet those survivors recognize the possibility to each other a doe won"t come around for one more year. Lock prowl for the last 5 percent or for this reason of does that could still be receptive. Lock move mainly at night and also in cover, but a great buck might slip up in ~ dawn or dusk, therefore be out there.


The day before Thanksgiving is just one of the greatest hunting days of the year as hunters pan out across the woods. This is another reason to hunt. Girlfriend never know where and when the pressure could drive a gigantic into your lap.

Best Conditions

Hope because that daytime highs in the 20s to 40, v lows in the 20s or teens. Light snow would be great. One thing in our favor is the last-quarter moon that will hit this year ~ above November 10th. Remember, the NC State researchers discovered this phase ideal for excessive deer movement, especially the critical hour of the day.

Top Stand

You"ll likely have a cold west or phibìc wind, so set up ~ above the eastern side that a hill or ridge where the wind is right and where you can cover a vast swath of special woods, marsh, and/or a weed-choked ar below. Watch because that a buck cutting from one thicket come the next, hoping to run throughout the last hot doe–or sneaking far from pressure.

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Go-To Tactics

Keep her grunt call handy. But now the best and only real tactic is come get set and it is in ready. Stay positive and poised to react the 2nd you record a speed of special tines in the cover below. Your opportunities of tagging the end on the tenth ideal day the the rut are better than friend think.