By Mark Kenyon

It had been a lousy day, about as bad as it can get for November 2nd. My hunting buddy Josh had gotten food poisoning the night before, the temperatures were high, and the wind was howling. Conditions were poor and as the hours dragged by yesterday, I became progressively concerned. Where were the deer?

After 8 hours in the tree, we hadn’t seen a single whitetail! In fact, it wasn’t until just after shooting light had passed that a couple does finally walked by. And this was November 2nd! Bucks were supposed to be cruising, deer should be on their feet, action should be happening! Suffice to say, yesterday I was down in the deer hunting dumps.

That is, until we left.

Upon pulling out of our hunting property down here in Southern Ohio, just a few hundred yards down the road from our lease, our headlights panned over a bean field and my heart stopped.

Big buck! Really big buck!

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There in the middle of the field stood a giant!

For the next 15 minutes we watched as this giant 12 pointer walked back and forth across the field, following a hot doe, completely unconcerned by our presence. It was an awesome sight to see, and it was just what we needed.

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This encounter reminded me, once again, to never lose hope during the rut. 

You may not have a single deer on your property, but during the rut, all you need is one hot doe to come running across with the right buck behind her. Truly anything can happen at anytime during the rut, and it’s for that reason that you should never lose hope. A season changing encounter can be just a moment away at anytime. A life long memory can occur in the blink of an eye. Everything can change in a flash.

So as you sit in your tree today or tomorrow or maybe next week, and you feel that familiar pull of despair – push it away. No matter what tough times you’re having, keep in mind that it’s the rut, and anything is possible. Keep your head up, your trigger finger loose and spirits high.

Never lose hope. The rut is here, and anything can happen. Anything.