I’m on my sixth and final day of bowhunting in Michigan during my rut vacation before I head to Ohio. While I’ve seen a lot of deer, the lack of mature buck sightings has been frustrating. So with just two days left, I decided it was time to focus on the absolute core truth of hunting the rut. And that’s hunting funnels. You can try a lot of different things during the rut, but when all else fails, heading to a funnel is always a safe bet.

At no other time are deer, particularly bucks, traveling two and from locations so consistently. Particularly it’s from one bedding area to the next, as bucks scent check for does coming into heat. So when the going gets tough, find a funnel that connects doe bedding areas and you should be in the bucks in no time.

What would constitute a good funnel? This could be a pinch in the timber, a creek crossing or a narrow strip of thick cover connecting two sides of  a field. Any natural feature that provides good cover for deer movement, that narrows down where they can travel will do the trick.

Funnels are about as deer hunting 101 as you can get, and I know I’ve written about them before. But when the going gets tough, it’s time to go back to the basics. So if you’re still struggling to put your rutting buck on the ground, don’t sweat. Just set up on the best natural funnel between beddings areas you know of and get ready. Because here he comes…