I love Halloween and I always hate to miss it due to being gone for work. In the same breath, I love the whitetail hunting opportunities that occur around Halloween. There's lots of pre-rut action because does are still approximately 2 weeks from coming into estrus and bucks are raging with testosterone. Scrapes begin smoking, rubs look like wood chipper sites and car/deer collisions spike because of rambunctious bucks searching for daylong flings.
For your best chance to tag a pre-rut buck around Halloween, you might want to employ a few of these tips.
Hunt rub lines. Rubs distinctively show the travel routes and destinations of whit-tailed bucks. Large rubs generally indicate large bucks, and bucks tend to rub on the most aromatic trees in the area to spread their forest cologne.
Hunt big scrapes. Scrapes occur everywhere due to the nervous nature of bucks as they stamp their presence around home territories. Lines of scrapes like lines of rubs indicate travel routes of bucks, but if you want to set up on a scrape, look for large scrapes visited by numerous deer. These oftentimes show up at the junction of several trails or along field edges.
Hunt with a buck decoy. White-tailed bucks have a chip on their shoulder now and if they spy competition they're likely to make sure the pecking order is still intact. Set your decoy close to your tree and turn the ears backwards to give it attitude. Now get ready to rumble.
Hunt an interior stand. Edge stands dominate in early season as bucks visit food plots, but as bucks become energized about the upcoming breeding season they might move earlier and even throughout the day doing a bedroom inspection for any possible estrus does.
Hunt as much as possible. The rut window offers a great opportunity to take advantage of bucks screwing up and dropping their guard. The more time you spend in the field, the greater your odds for being in the right place at the right time when a buck blunders.