By Ryan Miloshewski
I am going to keep this week’s report short and sweet for two reasons: I am in Indianapolis for work and not much needs to be said. The rut is on! Get out and hunt this week any time you can and hunt all day (if possible). Bucks are seeking and chasing this week, does are coming intro estrus daily, and the frenzy is in full swing!
What we hunters refer to as “the rut” is occurring right now. It’s seeing that mature buck running across a field at 1:00 pm looking for does; a buck chasing a doe right by your stand, or hearing a chase going on over the next ridge. The first does are coming into estrus, or already have, and it is sending every buck in the woods into a wild frenzy, seeking and chasing every doe they can find. It is a truly exciting time in the woods, and this week/weekend is destined to be a great time to harvest a mature buck! So, as I said in the intro, hunt whenever you can and as long as you can. Use estrous scents, drag rags to your stand, and buck urine to lure in a bruiser. A doe decoy could be lethal at this stage. Just make sure it is scent eliminated and any buck coming near your stand can see it! Set up in a good funnel area—a part of your woods where bucks will pass through in search of does. It can be between a bedding and feeding area, or just a natural place for movement. Just set up there so you have a good shot opportunity with a bow.
I do believe the seek and chase phase started this past weekend. But, it will continue into this week. I say that because I heard and saw a buck chasing a group of does, as well as a giant 11 pointer I am hunting bedded down with a doe at midday. She came into estrous, he found her and bred her. I saw him the next day without her. He came into a series of estrous bleats and grunts, but wouldn’t come all the way. A nice 8 pointer was hit in front of the property I hunt, too, at 9:15 am. My cousin and I heard it unfold as we were hunting, and ended up finding the deer and processing it. It’s actually a simple process in Missouri—you tell the responding police officer you would like to keep the deer and they call it in to the MDC and it is yours. No tags are needed to be spent for road kill deer in Missouri. The point being, a buck is normally not going to cross a busy highway at 9:15 am unless he has the numbing scent of a hot doe coursing through his body! Get out and hunt, boys and girls, it is the best time of the year!
-Deer, like most animals, only seem to flush/jump out of their beds if you stop when walking past them. If you continue to walk, they usually stay put. Always glass blowdowns and thick cover for an antler, ear or leg of a deer before you get too close.
-Whenever I walk through the woods during daylight, I put a turkey call in my mouth and cluck or yelp every so often. You’d be amazed at how many deer I’ve gotten close to before they realized I wasn’t a turkey.
-Deer urine is packaged in an amber bottle so sunlight doesn’t reach the liquid and break it down into ammonia. It is the same concept as hydrogen peroxide being contained in a brown bottle and your favorite beer bottled in amber glass. Ammonia isn’t the byproduct of the latter two, but the concept is the same.
-If you don’t wear camouflage while hunting, refrain from wearing anything blue or certain shades of green. Deer see these colors best.
-When setting up a climbing tree stand, put your back on the side of the tree opposite of where you expect the deer to come. So, the deer will come from behind you. This provides excellent cover, as they cannot see you until it’s too late. Also, don’t face your stand directly to the east in the morning or west in the evening—for obvious reasons.
-Wear a harness every time you hunt. No exceptions.
-When butchering a deer, don’t wash out the coelom (body cavity) with water. This creates an excellent environment for bacteria to grow. Instead, simply field dress it and let it dry before processing.
Quote of the week: “There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm.”—Teddy Roosevelt
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