The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

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October 28, 2013

Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: The rut is coming, the rut is coming!

Every year, bow hunters eagerly anticipate that special time of year that only stick and sting enthusiasts get to enjoy, the rut!

The main rut never comes in during gun season, normal muzzleloader season or even the new early (yuck, what a slaughter, that’s a whole nother article and my unbiased opinion) muzzleloader season.

As an archer you and only you can witness sights, sounds and activities that other hunters only dream of observing. If you’ve ever been out there and observed a buck seeking or chasing a doe and possibly, if you’re real lucky, breeding her then you understand what I mean and what I’ve seen.

If not, hopefully your time will come and it will be and experience you’ll never forget.

What is the rut?

It’s that magical time of the year when the doe come into estrus and are ready to or getting ready to breed. At this time the males, bucks, exhibit a definite type of behavior specific to each stage of the rut, the stages being seeking, chasing and tending. Bucks become more vulnerable during this time than any other time of the hunting season and if you play your calls and scents right you may just be able to score on that big boy you’ve been watching from afar.  

Seeking stage

In this stage, the beginning stage of any rut, it is marked with an increase in buck activity with bucks “seeking” does. Triggered by a chemical indication from doe’s approaching estrus the bucks spend their time looking for doe’s that may be starting the estrous cycle. With the right buck-to-doe ratio in an area during strong seeking activities it can be a good time to be in your tree stand. During this time bucks can be coaxed in with such tactics as calling, rattling, scents and decoys, often perusing the edges of fields, swamps and woodland areas. This is also a good time to check your scrapes and rub lines.

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