If there's a place that you want to experience successful whitetail deer calling, the Midwest in November is that place. Unfortunately, on this hunt, we have not hit the rut right and the weather has not cooperated. Because of this, we are not seeing the deer moving like we normally expect.
Typical Whitetail Rut Behavior
What you want to see during the rut is bucks cruising around, looking for does that are coming into estrus. This is when those bucks are very responsive to calling.
Under normal conditions, every hour or you want to do some kind of call: primarily grunt calls and rattling. You want to call in intervals to pick up on deer that are moving in your area. You never really know when the time is right to catch a buck that may be cruising by.
Even though you may not see him, there may be a buck just over a hill, through a wood block, or bedded down just out of sight. But he is still within hearing range. And your calling may just catch their attention and cause them to head your direction
Hunting Windy Conditions
Not only has it been warmer than usual, the wind has been blowing on this hunt. The wind makes it really difficult for deer to hear us calling, but you still want to call.
The reality of hunting whitetail is that you sneak into your hunting spot without making any noise. And if you really are quiet and the wind is in your favor, there very easily could be a buck bedded down just a hundred yards away and you would never know it.
With the wind, that buck may not get up and start moving until dark, but it is the rut. And that makes bucks behave differently than during other hunts. If there happens to be a hot doe in the area and you call, that might be the one thing that would get that buck up and moving towards you, when otherwise they would stay bedded down.
In a situation like we are currently in - with warmer temperatures and wind, you want to call lightly and sparingly. You want to do just enough so that those nearby bucks can hear you.
And you may not hear much in response, but if a buck does respond he's most likely bedded very close to you. And you need to be ready at any moment, because that buck could come out into target range really quickly.
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