The next 14 days of season should be the best ones of the year, so hunt regardless of the weather
The first week of November is ending, which means the best two weeks of the Midwestern rut are beginning right now. Overall, expect the best deer hunting action of the year to play out over the next 14 days.
Drilling down on specific areas, Chris Seaton with Rugged Cross Blinds has been in Ohio. He just wrapped up a hunt there, and he said does weren't acting very receptive to bucks. Furthermore, bucks weren't acting very aggressive toward each other due to warm temperatures. That said, looking over forums and social groups, Ohio whitetails are dropping like flies right now. So, the action must be spotty.
Also in Ohio, Neil Kendall is a deer hunting guide. He focuses on Adams and Brown counties, which are southern Ohio destinations close to the Ohio River. He is seeing some decent pre-rut activity and suspects a lot of nighttime chasing with this hot weather. That said, today's action was better than the past few days.
Bart Goins, co-host of The Rival, was recently hunting in Illinois. He said the cruising action was great last week, but based off his cell cameras, he thinks a large percentage of Illinois bucks are currently locked down with does.
Over in Minnesota, The Hunting Public's Zach Ferenbaugh has been hunting hard the past several weeks. He says the weather has been warm, and the action slow. It seemed like most of the deer movement was happening early in the morning before first light and late in the evening after dark, he said. We found a lot of rut sign, like active scrapes and fresh rubs that told us bucks were making their rounds, but buck sightings were minimal and mature buck sightings were either minutes before or after daylight in the morning or very last light in the evenings. There are certainly does that are coming into estrous somewhere, but we unfortunately never found that doe.
As far as Minnesota goes, I am taking a break because it's rifle season, he continued. I'm thinking that the weather is just going to keep getting better for the next couple weeks. I am hoping that when I get a chance to go back in mid-November the bucks will be more in the lock-down phase. That's when I have my best rut hunts. It's a great time of year for still hunting, calling, and stalking, which is more my style that waiting for one to walk by.
Realtree Road Trips personality Michael Pitts has been in Nebraska, and the weather is starting to cool off. I thought it would spark some rut activity, but it is still pretty slow here as far as mature bucks showing an interest in does, Pitts said. The younger bucks are chasing a bit, but the older, mature bucks are still somewhat laid back and reserved. That could change very quickly as we all know. We are seeing a bunch of deer. They are on their feet, including mature bucks, so hopefully we get an opportunity here soon.
In South Dakota, Realtree contributor Darron McDougal is battling high winds. Deer are bedding down, mostly, he said. Feeding in pockets out of the wind. No chasing. Saw one muley buck following a doe. Whitetails are just in groups feeding.
And in Iowa, Midwest Whitetail co-host Owen Reigler says the switch is flipped. They are cruising, searching, and chasing hard. Bucks are going to be hitting the ground the next few days.
Overall, it's clear that warm temperatures and undesirable weather is suppressing activity. That said, we're about to enter the peak chasing window throughout much of the country. It's time to be in the deer woods, regardless of the forecast.
(Don't Miss: How to Hunt the Phases of the Rut)