The rut – mating season for ruminant animals – is approaching fast, and that means bucks are starting to move more readily. Break out the doe pee and get ready to get run over.
The pre-rut is starting to wind down and the rut is in the air. Scents and calls are becoming more effective, which stacks some of the cards in your favor. Bucks are beginning to drop their guard and it's time to capitalize on it. Food is becoming less important to bucks as they have girls on their minds. Being that bucks are adopting a new routine, it's time for you to change your own.
As the rut approaches, the big boys start to move during daylight hours. You will first see small bucks, mostly yearling and two-year-olds. For the trophy hunter, this is the signal that dominant bucks are about to start moving. For the meat hunter that doesn't mind taking a smaller buck, this is your chance to fill the freezer. Young bucks are notorious for their brazen, carefree attitude as the rut gets close. Little guys can be seen making their rounds nearly all day. They are inexperienced, which has them moving early and putting them in precarious positions. Small bucks will be most easily found hanging near food sources where they are looking for does. You can also find them roaming around checking scrapes. They haven't totally figured out the routine, so rather than check scrapes all day for the first hot does, they chase and pester any doe with which they can get close.