By Mark Kenyon

We dream of it. We obsess about it. We talk about it, research it, predict it and plan for it. But then, when it finally arrives, we’re a miserable, stressed out mess.

Of course, I’m talking about the whitetail rut.  And maybe you can relate.

As serious deer hunters, many of us look at the rut as our single greatest hope of making our whitetail dreams for the year come true. Dozens if not hundreds of hours of preparation, planning and analysis have led up to these few days or weeks. It all comes down to this. And with that comes a tremendous amount of pressure.

And what comes with pressure – especially if things aren’t going the way we planned?

Stress. Worry. Disappointment.

Anyone ever feel that way when the ruts not going your way? I certainly have. And based on conversations with many other hunters, it sounds like I’m not the only one.

That said, this week on Wired To Hunt, I decided we needed to tackle this mental side of hunting the rut. Later this week, on the podcast, you’ll hear Dan and I discuss what we call the “dark side of the rut” and how we’re dealing with it ourselves over our rut vacations. But in the meantime, I wanted to offer a few words of advice and some resources to get you through the next couple days of hunts.

So first off, if you’re struggling so far with your hunting season, or more specifically your rut hunts – I first want you to know that you’re not alone.

You’re not the only one that’s not seeing big deer moving like you hoped they would. You’re not the only one who got busted last night. You’re not the only one dealing with hunting pressure screwing up your stand locations. You’re not the only one who missed the biggest buck of your life. You’re not alone.

But guess what? Some of these same people who were struggling with adversity yesterday ended up unbelievably killing a buck today. Or maybe they will tomorrow. Or the next day. And you know why? Because they didn’t give up, they didn’t panic, and they didn’t get too down on themselves. They just kept grinding. And that’s exactly what you need to do. And thats exactly what I need to do.

If you keep at it, if we keep at it, things are going to work out. So relax, keep on grinding, stay positive, and most importantly, have some fun.

To help drive these points home, I wanted to share a few articles on this very topic that I’ve written over the years. If you’re at all down about how your rut hunts have been going or how they might go in the coming days – please give these a read!

The Mental Challenge of Hunting the Rut

3 Tips for Mentally Preparing for the Rut

How to Avoid Rut Panic

4 Tips on What To Do When The Rut Is Not Rocking

And finally, if you need one more extra push to never give up and to never give in – you need to check out the video below. It’s not the typical video you’ll see recommended for hunters to watch (and despite what the title says – it’s not really about football), but it’s what I needed to hear this week and maybe you too.