By Mark Kenyon
Continuing our ongoing focus on the up-coming rut, today we’re featuring the latest rut predictions from Field & Stream! Over the past 8 years, the Field & Stream hunting experts have been offering up their thoughts on top hunting days during the rut, reasons why, and tactics for taking advantage of those dates. Today we’ll recap those top days for 2012, but be sure to check out the most recent issue of Field & Stream to get all the details and strategies for hunting the 2012 rut!
Without further adieu, Field & Streams 2012 Best Days of the Rut!
October 24th: Oct 24th is being predicted to kick off the seeking phase of the rut, given the rising afternoon moon and the expected cooling temperatures. Look for bucks to finally get moving in daylight as they begin their early search for does.
November 2nd: The full moon is just past, and morning deer activity is expected to be increasing by this date. According to Field & Stream, at this time changes in daylight trigger a hormone boost that really kicks bucks into high gear as they begin their mission for a mate. Expect increased scraping activity, and mature bucks on their feet cruising.
November 6th: F&S explains that by this point we’re in the transition between the the seeking and chasing phase of the rut and some breeding has begun. Early does have come into estrus, and bucks are now vying for her favors. More than ever before, calls, decoys and scents can attract a rut crazed buck searching for love.
November 10th: Today is Field & Stream’s predicted best day of the 2012 rut! Enough does have come into estrus at this point that all bucks – mature, middle aged and young are hard after them. Cold temps and an almost dark moon – along with the usual mid-day movement of the rut should lead to lots of daylight activity. F&S recommends an all-day sit today. (For what it’s worth – I’d personally recommend sitting all day every time you hunt during the first 2 weeks of November)
November 19th: At this point we’re past the peak of the breeding madness, but bucks can still be caught on the prowl. According to Field & Stream’s predictions, a midday moon rise should have deer on their feet and heading to feed early. At this point young bucks are expected to slow down their chasing/rutting, but mature bucks will still be hard at work. Be mindful of hunting pressure around you, and figure out where these old bucks are still searching out the last few hot does.
November 24th: Again, it’s being predicted that cold temps and a rising midafternoon moon will lead to good daylight activity. Particularly during the evening hunt, conditions should be good.
December 9th: F&S explains that this is the “bottom of the 9th inning” for the rut. The “second rut” when unbred does cycle into heat again and fawns come into estrus for the first time, can be an exciting time to be in the woods. Key in on the top food source in the area, as deer are focused on recovering from the main rut and preparing for winter.
So there you have it, Field & Stream’s 2012 Best Days of the Rut! Check out the Field & Stream “Rut Reporters” website for more great information on the rut, and pick up the latest issue for the full scoop on these best days for 2012!
Interested in more info on the 2012 rut? Check out the following rut articles from Wired To Hunt posted earlier this fall…
2012 Rut Predictions – Intense and Synchronized Are The Key Words: Deer & Deer Hunting’s Charles Alsheimer shares his 2012 rut predictions based on the timing of the “rutting moon”.
Expert Rut Theories and Predictions for 2012 – Bill Winke, Mark Drury, Gordon Whittington and More: Some of hunting industry’s top whitetail experts chime in with their thoughts on rut predicting theories, and offer some key dates and predictions of their own!