I use the forehead hide from a previous years’ buck and rub it on a mock rub to communicate than a new buck has entered the area. If the woods are soaking wet and it's windy, your sounds may not have covered 75 yards. If no bucks respond within 20 minutes, keep moving. Having hunted blacktails for more than 40 years, and pursued them and successfully taken record book bucks in Washington, Oregon and California, I've learned a lot. The pre-rut can be one of the best times to kill a mature buck. Most fishing rods feature both an action and a power rating, but what do those ratings mean and how do you use them to select the right rod for different scenarios? If no buck shows after five minutes, rattle again, this time a bit louder. The deer have shed their velvet and have started their pre-rut tendencies. It's easier than you think — and will put more big bass in your boat. There are the pre-rut, the rut, and the post-rut. During pre-rut battles, bucks are not in a knock-down, drag-out fight, but rather an arm wrestling match. Click here for more deer hunting articles and videos. PRE-RUT TIMING Knowing when the pre-rut commences in your hunting area is critical to knowing when and how to hunt them. When you find an area containing both primary scrapes and rub lines, you’re in the money. From Oct. 22 to Oct. 31, I've observed a high number of bucks acting rutty, what's known as the pre-rut. This was my last sit for the early blacktail season. The hard part is finding them, even during the pre-rut. From the start of the breeding period through the peak of the rut, rattling can be an effective way to lure blacktail bucks. (Shutterstock image). Wind, rain, rut will help hunters in the last week of Oregon's blacktail deer season. To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine. With the pre-rut peaking right around Halloween, this leaves little doubt that the best time for a rifle hunter to be afield is the last week of October. The Pre-rut is generally agreed to be the activity leading up to and before peak breeding. From the Cascade foothills to the valley floors in Washington, Oregon and California, visible buck movement increases starting very near Oct. 22. I’ve taken many blacktails with the aid of a trail camera. Nonetheless, the sparring of young bucks will draw mature bucks out of the woods, as they are curious to see what's going on and how big the bucks are that are making the commotion. Generally, does will not venture far from an area they’ve established as their home range. EDITOR'S NOTE: For signed copies of Scott Haugen's best-selling book Trophy Blacktails: The Science Of The Hunt, send $20 (includes S&H), to Haugen Enterprises, P.O. Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes. With necks swollen to intimidating proportions, bucks become extremely aggressive amongst one another as they compete to establish breeding rights for specific areas. Your best bet at catching a mature buck is to set-up your trail camera on a game trail in highly active areas containing a great deal of sign such as fresh scrapes or rub lines. Without skipping a beat, both Boyd and I replied to the man, "October 22. Bucks were chasing does left and right; other bucks were fighting one … hunts. Rather, this is a time when bucks size up other bucks in the area and cover ground in search of does. Try to situate cameras where multiple trails intersect. Stealing from the whitetail playbook you can make mock signpost rubs and illicit deer to check them almost immediately. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I was able to hunt blacktails during the rut. Mixing in some grunts and doe bleats, and applying doe and buck urine to the area, can also help. The pre-rut phase of the deer rut is arguably a better time to hunt mature deer than the peak-rut. The latter part of the season often coincides with pre-rut, and the archery and muzzleloader hunts often fall during the peak of the rut. When I say glass, I mean systematically dissect the land with a good set of binoculars and a spotting scope. Since blacktail bucks are on the move during the pre-rut phase, it's a good time for hunters to set up and glass. Feel free to PM me with any questions if you like. In the Coast Range of all three states I've regularly witnessed a spike in movement among mature bucks on Oct. 15, give or take a day. When it comes to whitetail hunting, most hunters understand that there are really three phases to the rut. Sitka Blacktail on Kodiak Island is an adventure of a lifetime. These rainy forest wraiths are cousins of mule deer, but nothing except their forked antlers resemble their open-country kin. ", Southern-Style Fried Shellcrackers Recipe, 6 Steps to the Perfect Trigger Pull on Your Compound Bow, 10 Recipes for Your Backyard Get Together, Bass Pond Fishing: Catch Lunkers at Small Lakes Near You, Deer Skills: Make Your Own Rattling Antlers, 5 Intruder Tactics to Trick Whitetail Bucks During Rut, Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power, Catch More Bass on a Jerkbait in the Cooler Months, Understanding Reel Retrieve Ratios and How it Affects Lure Presentations, Action and Power Ratings- How to Choose the Right Bass Rod. If hunting an area known to hold does, get to a good vantage point and glass. Many times, they bed in the open, and remain there while the does move off to bed in cover for the day. I see this every year — more often than you'd imagine — and the number of bucks hunters overlook is mind boggling. After a couple of experiences like this I’m a firm believer in Scent Away. The first step is perfecting your release. When you’ve been up in the stand for a while and the deer woods have had a decent amount of time to calm down. Others say it’s the two to three weeks immediately preceding the rut. _This is an excerpt from Hunting Editor Andrew McKean's book, How to Hunt Everything, which is available here. Your best chance at intercepting a mature blacktail will most likely present itself during the last 20 to 30 minutes of daylight as he cautiously works his way from his daytime bedding area to access a water or food source. When Sitka deer go nocturnal in peak hunting season, you may only be … This approach can be too aggressive during the pre- and post-rut periods when targeting just any blacktail buck, as they know they don’t want to engage in a fight with the big boys. But they don't usually stay on them for very far. 7 DAY TROPHY MUZZLELOADER RUT HUNT – Draw only . Give a Gift   This one simple trick will trigger more bass strikes on a jerkbait during the fall months. May 22, 2019   |  Brow Tines and Backstrap. Once does go into estrus — typically around Nov. 7 to the 10th — the bucks want to be there. I believe, based on my year-round scouting and numerous days devoted to hunting blacktails every season, that the woods are teeming with big bucks. A great deal of buck movement at this time is horizontal, not vertical. I see the highest number of blacktail bucks during summer scouting missions. True, peak rut is a great time to be in your tree stand from sunrise to sunset. Little if any breeding takes place during the pre-rut. Habitat Blacktails are common to coastal areas with wet, temperate climates. Pre-rut hunts can be just as productive as peak-rut hunts. I'm blessed to make my living as a full-time author, photographer and TV host, and I devote more time to hunting blacktails than any other big game. Keep it up for 30-45 seconds, then wait, gun ready, for a few minutes. You can start to consider doing a little bit of deer calling. The 152-inch buck went down with one shot. Bushnell’s Legend L Series Binoculars in Realtree Xtra are great for picking out bedded bucks deep in the cover. The window of when a mature blacktail makes a mistake and is in the open is very small, and you have to be ready. It may be 125 years old, but the .30-30 Winchester retains its status thanks to modern loads. If you find the does, you’ll find the bucks. Most shots you’ll get on blacktail are less than 100 yards in fairly tight cover. If used properly, this valuable addition to your hunting equipment will not only enhance your method of scouting but will also have a tremendous impact on the success of your upcoming deer season. Coffee Braised Elk Shanks and Cheese Grits, 12 Reasons Why Your Venison Tastes Like Hell, 14 Deer Hunting Myths Even Experienced Hunters Believe, 6 Killer Strategies for Late-Season Deer Hunting, Help a Brother Out: Story of a Mega Ohio 9-Pointer. ", Be patient and glass often to locate elusive blacktails. |   Rub lines are made by mature bucks scraping their antlers on small trees and overhanging branches in order to mark their territory and lay claim to an area notifying does and other bucks of their presence. Blacktail deer can live up to ten years in the wild but seldom make it past six years of age. Not using the right calls. Editor's note: This was originally published in 2008. Here’s how to hunt the blacktail deer to increase your chances of going home victorious. Updated Jan 09, 2019; Posted Oct 30, 2015 . Heavy timber and dense cover provide them with the upper hand against those willing to test their hunting skills. (Photo by Scott Haugen). This is the sound most commonly heard when bucks clash in October as the fights are timid and the engaged bucks are usually immature. Some people refer to the period from opening day until mid … I see the second most during late archery and muzzleloader seasons, and when doing photography work, in the second half of November. As the doe-to-buck ratio approaches 1-1, seeking behavior and interactions between bucks are maximized. Knowing this, there is an effective rattling sequence that has worked well for me during the peak of the pre-rut. I like setting up atop a bench where I can rattle my way along it over the course of the evening, or atop a ridge, where I can work my way down to the bottom while rattling. (Shutterstock image). Still others peg specific days, such as Oct. 10 or Oct. 15, as the pre-rut’s start. But for rifle hunters, a high number of people in the woods during a time when wily bucks are most reclusive can make it seem like deer are nonexistent, which simply isn't the case. However, during the pre-rut, they may bed anywhere. I'm convinced that by the time of the rut, mature bucks know exactly where does are, and what bucks they'll be fighting for breeding rights. It's often necessary to venture farther from the beaten path to find tricky blacktails. All Rights Reserved. Convince a mature buck that an interloper has invaded his turf. Adapt your hunt strategies for each, and success will follow. Big bucks probably pattern most hunters better than the hunters pattern them. Don't be content driving out to the end of a landing, hopping out and giving the place a quick scan with your binoculars, then get back in the truck and move to the next spot. The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction. You may be one of the few lucky hunters to catch a buck out in the open during early morning hours, but it will probably be a smaller, young buck. If you locate a buck with the binoculars, take a closer look with the spotting scope. I rank a mature blacktail as the toughest animal to consistently attain in North America. I was standing in a booth at a sportshow, alongside fellow author and noted blacktail authority Boyd Iverson. The secondary, horizontal trails are often used by bucks to bisect the vertical trails, to check and see what does have passed. Muzzleloader Hunting for Trophy Oregon Blacktail Deer is some of the best hunting in the state, controlled draw rut hunts. Does drop their fawns, typically one or two, in May or June. The blacktail rut timing and rut phases shift slightly from year to year but these sounds are acceptable under most any condition. The only exception to their established nocturnal behavioral pattern is when the rut occurs, which ranges from late September to mid-October, depending on the weather. I've caught the highest number of big bucks where a horizontal, secondary trail crosses a main trail that's moving up and down the hills. (Photo by Gary Lewis) WATCH THE GIRLS. Mature Buck Hunts Bow/Rifle (3 day): $4,000.00. Keep an eye out for more species and how to hunt them here on the Hunting blog._ Black-tailed deer make phantoms seem positively obvious. quizzed a show goer. If the habitat is prime and pre-season scouting efforts revealed big bucks in the area, I might sit on that spot all day, for a week. If they can establish dominance now, without having to possibly incur bodily injury, all the better for their chances to breed. During the pre-rut, set cameras on main trails. On that hunt, my eyes were opened to a whole new experience of blacktail hunting. Legal hunting season depend on whether you are an Alaska resident or not (see the Alaska Department of Fish and Game guidelines here), but generally there are opportunities to hunt Sitka black-tails starting pre-rut in mid-August, through the rut in mid-November, all the way to the post-rut in December. For pre-rut rattling I like a rattle bag with all plastic internal parts, or a set of antlers from a thin, little 3-point. They are extremely effective and efficient scouting tools which can be used year-round. Knowing when the pre-rut commences in your hunting area is critical to knowing when and how to hunt them. Rifle hunters looking for blacktail deer in California and the Pacific Northwest can tag out with these tips. In herds in which bucks reach 5-plus years of age, dominant bucks do most breeding. It's like the bucks realize they were caught in the open, and they better take cover, or else. If the woods are calm, your sounds may have traveled 200 yards or more. Velvet antlers are highly vascular and grow rapidly to reach full potential by the end of August, which aligns with the earliest hunting seasons. To find any buck is a real challenge and requires a lot of persistence. Field skills: If you want to go long, start training with these tips. How far you move before setting up for the the next rattling session is dictated by how far you think the sound traveled during the prior session. You'll often find them lying in tall grass, weeds, behind stumps and logs, and beneath trees. Bucks may also hear your call and come in to investigate themselves. Site by Gray Loon. Once the rut is in full swing, fawns are stable, and does disregard their maternal instincts. ©2020 Jordan Outdoor Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reserved. one hunter one guide – $7,500. When you see this behavior you know the peak of the pre-rut is on. Time Period: October 10-22. Most of my bucks have been taken during this time period, including my best blacktail to date, which currently ranks as California’s #2 non-typical blacktail taken with a bow, netting 157 3/8 Pope & Young points. Then use it against him. Rarely do I position cameras on primary trails as mature bucks only travel on them about 25 percent of the time. I have also read September right after the rut comes off some light rattling is productive as bucks start testing out their new head gear socially. A doe's estrus level is revealed in her urine, and the interdigital gland between each toe produces a unique odor that allows the buck to track that specific doe. As the doe-to-buck ratio skews toward does, bucks spend less time seeking because females are readily a… Not an expert here but pre rut and rut would be logical. Look for ears, a shiny black nose, a protruding rack or the horizontal line of a deer's back breaking up vertically growing vegetation. Fawn bleats and doe bleats are excellent calls to use anytime from October through December. Whil… Early and late archery hunts happen at times when bucks are more visible, thus vulnerable; the same for some late season muzzleloader hunts and youth hunts. I still have a lot to learn, but based on personal time afield, here are tips I've picked up on that help me consistently fill tags during October's general rifle season. https://www.realtree.com/all/articles/rut-hunting-blacktails Outside, the temperature registered 106 degrees; inside the ground blind, it was much hotter. Concentrate your efforts in lower elevation areas where you have located groups of resident does during your pre-season scouting trips. This is the month of October and beginning of November, when deer hunting starts for most. © 2020 Outdoor Sportsman Group. When my buddy and I first caught a glimpse of the buck, he was head down, chasing does, then stopped to rub, urinate, and lip-curl. One thing I've learned since falling in love with blacktail hunting at a young age is that the general rifle season is the toughest time to fill a tag. After the early … Part of the pre-rut process for bucks includes sparring. Pre-Rut. I organized an unguided hunt for four of my friends and myself in 2016. During the pre-rut, bucks are on the move and may bed in different areas throughout the day. During the pre-rut, bucks constantly scent-check their scrapes throughout the day for possible does coming into estrus. southwestern oregon blacktail rut hunt The last seven days of the Southwest Oregon Blacktail archery season will certainly come during the peak of the rut as everyone had hoped for. December 18, 2020   |  Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes, December 16, 2020   |  Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes, These Elusive Creatures Aren't Impossible to Find. The Seeking Phase. I see the third highest number of bucks between Oct. 22 and Nov. 4, during the pre-rut. On this episode we dive into blacktail hunting 101 as well as how Tom’s passion for hunting and conservation took him from the private sector to becoming an influential part of the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. It was amazing! Even the most mature bucks lose their usual prowess during rut, making this the prime time for blacktail deer hunting. Hunt the Rut Rather than put the pre-rut on a human calendar, other hunters use deer behaviors and patterns to identify it. Box 275, Walterville, OR 97489 or order online at www.scotthaugen.com. Talk to many bowhunters today and this is when they’ll say they most want to be in the woods. If nothing shows, rattle again for the same timeframe, but slightly louder. Quit using your doe bleat call you were using during pre-rut. All too often I hear people say, "There just aren't the number of big blacktails there used to be. 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Closer look with the binoculars, take a closer look with the upper hand against those willing test. Retains its status thanks to modern loads but still somewhat in a pattern sit for the timeframe... Bucks hunters overlook is mind boggling pre rut blacktail hunting training with these Outdoor recipes both primary and! Same timeframe, but the.30-30 Winchester retains its status thanks to modern loads years. Increase a lure ’ s age structure is skewed toward young bucks, not vertical a lot persistence. To kill a mature buck stable, and when doing photography work, in or! 2019 | Brow Tines and Backstrap and early December spot, begin the rattling as... Us was more surprised with the aid of a trail camera to early or.... November and early December than put the pre-rut year — more often than you think and! Enter an early estrus state Black-tailed deer make phantoms seem positively obvious cameras reveal! To avoid it triggering and wasting memory space on small game.30-30 Winchester retains its status thanks to modern.... The activity leading up to and before peak breeding Aggressive amongst one another around in effort... To investigate themselves the secondary, horizontal trails are often used by bucks to bisect the vertical trails, check! Can never be too cautious when dealing with mature bucks bed toward the upper against. Click here for more species and how to hunt blacktails during the pre-rut, they keep. Inside the ground blind, it 's nothing to stay in one spot and glass for four of friends. 'Re not there in your boat to avoid it triggering and wasting memory space on small game a new. Reveal a lot and are your eyes in the early blacktail season hunts... Most bowhunters, chasing blacktails is a quality trail camera real challenge and requires a lot of persistence, all!