Are you singing the post-rut blues? You know the type of blues I’m talking about … right? Does this drive you into depression? Have your buck sightings dropped to few and far between? Have your scrapes become as inactive as the lackadaisical cubicle employee down the hall?
Clues like these mean most bucks are done rutting and settling into a winter pattern, so you can either adjust your strategy or eat tag soup.
Consider some of these post-rut whitetail hunting tactics:
1. Hunt funnels away from field edges. Sure bucks will show up at food sources, but you're more likely to find them sneaking well inside a timbered edge waiting for daylight to disappear. If you don’t have an encounter, wait long enough for the deer to get out on the fields and then use a backdoor exit to avoid spooking deer from a known food source.
2. Open a buck buffet. You can lure late-season bucks with a well-cultivated food plot heavy with winter favorites such as turnips or corn. If baiting is legal, use products like Buck Natural to bring hungry bucks into the open for a shooting opportunity.
3. Don’t forsake decoys, calls and scents. Mid-December means another flurry of mating activity, so you could lure a buck into range with rut tactics such as estrus scents incorporated into mock scrapes.
4. Chase the rut across the country. I’ve been hunting in the panhandle of Texas. It’s the first week of December and the bucks are still rutting. Rush Creek Guide Service accommodated me on a semi-guided hunt that was nothing less than memorable. I’m planning on going to South Texas and Alabama to take in rutting activity later in the month and into the New Year.
Start singing a tune of success and quit belting out those post-rut blues!