In the norther zone archery woods right now, from Maine to North Dakota, the outdoor whitetail deer action is ready to rock as the calendar moves toward rutting activity. This is the time when rutting bucks are chasing does that are not ready to mate. As a hunter, it’s pretty exciting to be in the woods just to watch the nature of the season!
Each doe is looking for Mr. Right Buck as their nature cycle takes them into estrus, while the bucks are looking for ANY and ALL doe’s to mate, ready or not, but once a doe close to estrus is found, the buck will usually follow that doe until peak time. Competitive bucks can become very frustrated at this time, allowing vulnerability for the deer with advantage to the hunter. It’s a hot time to be in the hunting woods if you can accurately place an arrow on the mark of your aim! That is, if your heartbeat is in control, but not sure there is any way to practice this.
Early season scouting is one of the best ways to identify prime areas to focus your hunting efforts, but many hunters work during the day and don’t have time. When hunting season comes around they simply head for their usual hunting woods and do the best they can.
Things is, they can still gain an advantage if they stalk and quietly walk country terrain in search of tree rubs and ground scrapes. The areas that signify telltale markers of bucks in the search for doe’s. The bucks that made those rubs and scrapes are not far away and they will return to check for signs of a visiting hot doe at least twice a day, usually just before sunset and then again in the morning hours before bedding down. Savvy hunters watch the wind and locate their stand downwind of the scrape line.
Use of a scent drag line can offer the hunter an honest advantage, bringing the deer right to the hunter. There are two ways to think about using scent, one is to attract a buck by use of hot doe scent, also known as “doe-in-heat” or “doe in estrus” scent, the other is to upset the buck and trigger him into a more aggressive mode with the use of “rutting buck scent”. The use of buck scent is working when you see the buck return to his scrape and start a violent surge attacking the ground around what he thought was his own isolated scrape. When that happens, you know this buck is upset and considers this area “his area.” On the other hand, if he knows he is not the dominant buck, the buck scent may cause him to bolt away and never return, so smart hunters gotta be careful with buck scent if you are willing to settle for an ordinary six-point buck.
With your stand in the right zone, the visiting buck or doe is at the mercy of your shot. Be sure of distance to target and know your capability for an effective and sure kill shot.