It's the Calm Before the Rut Storm in the Midwest


It's the Calm Before the Rut Storm in the Midwest

Posted 2022-10-31T14:51:00Z  by  Josh Honeycutt

Rut sign is popping and young bucks are cruising. Expect the best action of the year within the next 10 to 12 days

It's the Calm Before the Rut Storm in the Midwest - image_by_bruce_macqueen-mw

October is drawing to a close, and the rut is creeping closer. The time that deer hunters anticipate each year is almost here. The rut is coming, and great days of deer hunting will surely follow. But they aren't here yet.

Nathan Robinson with Winchester Ammunition hunts a lot near his home in southern Illinois. Yesterday, he watched three young bucks on their feet cruising during daylight hours. A 3-year-old buck made a scrape along a field edge and rubbed a tree close to its bed. However, the action ceased around 8 a.m.

My brother-in-law was about 400 yards away from me, Robinson said. He had a big buck bed only 40-ish yards from him before good light. After daylight, he tried to shoot the deer, but they think he missed. They grid-searched the whole property and never found the arrow, blood, or the deer.

Overall, Robinson is seeing a lot of scrapes and rubs appear on the landscape. Still, deer aren't acting crazy just yet. Furthermore, he says deer aren't acting very aggressive toward one another, either. I think it's still just a little early for prime rutting activity, Robinson said.

Aaron Warbritton with The Hunting Public has been in Iowa. He says the action is starting to pick up, but the real fun times are still several days out.

Two to three-year-old bucks are starting to cruise during daylight, he said. Trail camera activity on mature bucks has increased dramatically in the last three days since this recent cold front. He's seeing a lot of nighttime activity on scrapes. According to his trail cameras, these are being visited frequently by mature bucks.

In my experience, the big boys start getting back to bed later and later as it gets closer to Halloween, he said. Hoping that's the case again this year.

Overall, Warbritton says the hunting pressure is slowly trending upward, too. This should continue as the rut approaches. Hunting pressure is increasing some, but the rush hasn't got here yet, Warbritton said. This weekend, things will get busy as people begin taking vacation. That'll scramble the eggs a bit on public land.

In Ohio, trail cameras indicate that things are improving. Bucks are starting to move more, and it's a matter of days before the best action begins. Historically, in Ohio, the best action occurs from November 1-5, which is a little sooner than most other midwestern states.

The entire region is on the brink of exponential increases in rutting activity. Halloween marks the traditional kickoff for the rut. However, daylight movement seems to be stifled due to unseasonably warm temperatures. But the rut is coming, and deer hunters need to be in the field no matter the temperature. You never know what's going to walk by, or when. Be there when it happens. That's the message for the next several weeks.

(Don't Miss: How to Hunt the Phases of the Rut)

  • Day Activity

  • Rubbing

  • Scraping

  • Fighting

  • Seeking

  • Chasing

  • Breeding